Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Choice

Time to make up my mind about who I want for president and I’ve narrowed it down to two. Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter drove himself from Manchester to Conway while campaigning in New Hampshire last week. He was doing the best he could with his limited budget and staff. A few days later, former Republican governor Mitt Romney came to Conway with his driver. Two advance men were at The Conway Daily Sun (one of the papers running my column) when I arrived last Saturday morning, twenty minutes early for the interview by the Sun’s editorial board. It’s an example of what it’s like for Hunter as a back-of-the-pack candidate. Romney is among the leaders.

Hunter answers questions with a yes or a no, then explains his position. I interviewed him over the phone last July for the web site Family Security Matters. He knows what he thinks and I agree with him on nearly every issue. He’s is a conservative and always has been - no question about that. I also agree with Romney on nearly every issue, but on some issues important for a conservative like myself, he’s only recently come to the right. Abortion, illegal immigration and gay “marriage” are the biggest examples. That troubles me about Romney just as it does many conservatives when deciding who to support. Then I consider how I’ve moved right myself over the years. I’m an unwavering conservative now, but who am I to doubt Romney? Perhaps it’s an advantage to know how the other side thinks so as to be able to work with them when hammering out deals in congress? On the other hand, having a president whose conservative principles are bred in the bone the way Hunter’s are is comforting, especially after seeing what President George W. Bush has done with the growth of government and illegal immigration.

Hunter is a former soldier. He served two combat tours in Vietnam jumping out of helicopters. He’s served on the House Armed Services Committee for twenty-two years. When Republicans controlled the House, he was chairman. We’re at war and will continue to be for the foreseeable future and we need experience like his. Hunter’s son served three terms in Iraq as a Marine. There’s little question that Hunter would make an effective commander-in-chief. Romney’s military background? He doesn’t have any. That doesn’t disqualify him, but it’s a weakness if you’re going to lead a country in wartime. As governor of Massachusetts, he ordered the state police not to guard former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami, a supporter of Islamic terrorism, when Harvard foolishly invited him to speak in Cambridge. Good move, but that’s about the extent of Romney’s foreign policy experience.

Hunter has a determination about him that shows in his face and in his manner. He looks like a warrior. Romney looks like he was sent over by central casting. That can be an advantage, but it can also be off-putting. Hunter has little administrative experience except as a junior officer in the army. He’s a legislator. Romney, however, has had vast experience as a business executive, running the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and as governor of Massachusetts. In all three capacities, he’s been extremely effective. This is a clear advantage for Romney because the president is, after all, the chief executive.

Both men speak well. Hunter is direct. Romney is smooth. Each has his strength and we’ve seen how important communication skills are over the past seven years by observing George W. Bush’s lack of them. The president of the United States leads the most powerful country in history and is a major world leader as well. It’s important for him to explain things to the American people and encourage them to follow his lead during troubled times. Watching President Bush trip over his words when he wasn’t reading from a script has been embarrassing at times. Both Hunter and Romney would be improvements, but again, Romney has an advantage here as well.

There are more candidates in this presidential election than I can remember in my lifetime and I’ve been voting for thirty-five years. It’s also been one of longest elections in our history and it’s still almost a year away. We’ve seen and heard commercials and debates by candidates for both parties, so there’s been ample opportunity for us to make up our minds about whose name to put a check next to. I’ve had the opportunity to personally speak to and ask questions of six - four Republicans and two Democrats. All are good at relating to people. I’m finally mature enough to realize that I’ll never find a perfect candidate on everything. Each is flawed in some way just as we all are.

Though Hunter is the most conservative candidate and a good, courageous man as well, would I be wasting my vote for someone who has never risen above the low single digits in opinion polls? Shouldn’t I vote for Romney and help him get by Huckabee, McCain, Giuliani and Thompson who are leading the pack? Maybe, but there’s only one poll that really matters - the one in the voting booth. If I don’t vote for the man I believe would make the best president, wouldn’t I be further corrupting the process? Each of us had to use his brain and his gut to determine whom to vote for. I have. Maybe I’m a sucker the underdog, but I’m voting for Duncan Hunter. I urge you to do the same.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I was hoping you would go with Mitt.

Anonymous said...

Tom: Very disappointed; Hunter is a good, solid man but to pick him over Romney is foolish. Romney is a proven leader, manager and organizer and if there is anything we are going to need in the next decade or so it is people with just those attributes on a world stage.
The greatest challenge we face is to be able to live tolerantly with all other groups, races, colors, religions and philosophies. That is going to take a lot of courage and intelligence; Mitt has it, Duncan may or may not. After further emphasis on the instability of global affairs in what happened this morning we cannot afford to take a chance with it.
I am in no way affiliated with any candidate's campaign.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Tom. Duncan Hunter is the right man, and if more people join you despite his poll numbers, the poll numbers will change. Being hard at work for the DH grassroot campaign for months, I know that there are a LOT of closet supporters that will join up if Hunter's numbers increase just a little bit.

Duncan Hunter 2008!

Anonymous said...

Tom, couldn't agree with you more. Duncan Hunter is the man we NEED at this time.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Last Saturday, I was part of a group who interviewed Romney. I asked a national security question our commander-in-chief should know. I mentioned that President Ahmadinejad began two speeches before the UN by invoking the "Mahdi," the "Twelfth Imam." I asked Romney if he knew who the Mahdi was. He didn't. He described well the threat we face from Radical Islam, but he didn't know what Ahmadinejad believes about the Mahdi.

The Mahdi, radical Shiites believe, has been waiting in a well for over a thousand years and kept alive by Allah. He will come out in a "Last Days" scenario when chaos erupts on earth, after which he will institute a thousand years of justice and peace as ruler on earth. Ahmadinejad believes that humans can precipitate that chaos. It's highly likely that he's trying to construct nuclear weapons to "wipe Israel off the map" as he's threatened repeatedly, and bring about that chaos. He also invoked the Mahdi at Columbia last September in his opening remarks.

Romney should know this stuff. Everyone running for president should know it. I didn't ask any of the other candidates I interviewed about it, but although I didn't ask Tom Tancredo, he brought it up. He was well versed on the Shiite belief and realizes it's an important factor in Iran's foreign policy initiatives. Romney's ignorance about this was a factor in my decision.

Anonymous said...

Tom ,
Thank you for doing the right thing and getting behind a true conservative who can stand by his full record .
Duncan can make a charge (kerry did 4 years ago )
He is a good man and will stop the amnesty invasion and bring jobs back to America .
good call Tom !

Anonymous said...

Tommy, if Duncan is so great, why is he pulling only single digit support? You can't tell me the SINGLE DIGIT support he has is from every single TRUE CONSERVATIVE! There are a lot more TRUE CONSERVATIVES and they obviously not supporting Duncan.

Anonymous said...

Duncan Hunter SUCKS - Mr. Pyscho Ron Paul is pulling in more support than Duncan!

Anonymous said...

"Tommy, if Duncan is so great, why is he pulling only single digit support? You can't tell me the SINGLE DIGIT support he has is from every single TRUE CONSERVATIVE! There are a lot more TRUE CONSERVATIVES and they obviously not supporting Duncan."

The reason is what you prove so well Anon - Stupidity is contagious.

Anonymous said...

Tom: I cannot believe what you are writing! You are usually right on the money but to endorse one guy because his main rival does not know anything about a genie living in a well makes me wonder about your decision making process at the very least.


Anonymous said...

as you said Tom
far too many know nothing about who they are voting for or they would be behind Duncan Hunter .
The media has thir liberal way with too many Americans .

RMS941 said...

Tom Great Post. Here mine

To My Fellow American’s now more than ever the time has come to evaluate the Republican Candidates for President.

As time passes, we are learning more about the top-tier candidates for the Republican nomination. We are learning where they stand on the issues that face this nation. I’m learning some candidates hold positions on issues that cause me concern and I wonder, do you feel the same?

As a Reagan Republican, I’m looking for someone who is a true conservative, a straight talker, and someone who understands the dangers America faces. I’m looking for someone who has shown he can win over Independents and Conservative Democrats. I’m looking for someone that adheres to the Reagan philosophy on all issues.

Now more than ever in this day and time we the people are responsible for the character of our Government. If that Government body is ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, which it is, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If our Government is intelligent, brave, and moral, it is because the people demand high standards of our representatives in the national legislature. So, I ask you, what is it that you demand?

From within the current candidates vying for the GOP nomination, I have found a candidate that holds these high standards and I would like to suggest you take a look at Congressman Duncan Hunter for President. I’m not a high-powered campaign operative; I’m just a regular guy with 3 children who’s a Reagan conservative. Let me share some of the reasons with you that I have chosen to support Duncan Hunter for President.

Today, it seems some have forgotten our beginnings. Instead of Americans with a shared vision, we have become a nation divided. We have become a nation of individuals and groups, each with a special interest vision, often without thought for what is best for the nation. We are, however, a nation that at one time had an immutable vision for all. Duncan Hunter is a man that has a vision for the nation, a vision that includes all men and it’s the same vision that our Founding Fathers held for this nation.

Duncan Hunter supports:

Duncan Hunter believe that God has endowed men with certain inalienable rights as set forth in the in the Declaration of Independence and that no legislature and no majority, however great, may morally limit or destroy these; that the sole function of government is to protect life, liberty, and property and anything more than this is usurpation and oppression.

1) Securing our Borders – Duncan Hunter wrote the bill to build a border fence across the southern border. He built the fence in San Diego. Duncan Hunter supports our border patrol agents and is a strong advocate for the release of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.

2) Our Military and their Mission – a decorated Vietnam Army Ranger with 26 years on the Armed Services Committee. Duncan Hunter has the experience to lead America in a time of war.

3) Fair Trade Policies – Duncan Hunter Insists trading partners such as China stop cheating on trade agreements. Duncan Hunter will protect American Jobs. This is not protectionism, but fair and equitable trade.

4) The Sanctity of Life – Duncan Hunter has earned a 100% rating from the National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, and the Family Research Council.

5) The 2nd Amendment – Duncan Hunter earned an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association and an A from Gun Owners of America.

These are the Conservative Values of the Republican Party. Let's face it, the Republican nominee is going to get support from many quarters because of whom the Democrats are going to nominate. They just don't share the values of mainstream America. Why not nominate a candidate who supports conservative values. History shows when we nominate Presidential candidates with strong conservative credentials, we win elections.

When we don't, we lose. Incidentally, Duncan Hunter first won his seat in a heavily Democrat District against a sitting Congressman, so he has proven that he can win as a conservative.

So, I say to you, as a Reagan Republican, I will vote for Duncan Hunter and work to put him in the White House 2008. Please take time to give Duncan Hunter another look, as I did. There is much work to be done. Time is short. Let’s begin - in earnest - and may God Bless our efforts.

I invite you to join the Duncan Hunter team for America at and help put him in the White House in 2008. I ask you to donate all you can for America and Freedom, donate to the candidacy of Duncan Hunter.

Russell M. Scott

RD said...

Duncan Hunter is the Real Deal. Bravo to you Tom for making the tough choice for what is right.

Mitt will have trouble carrying California and the south along with trouble in the Bible belt... Hunter has won in CA for 26 years, has a great reputation, is the most capable to run the military (most all other candidates including Romney want HUNTER as their Sec of Defense) and be commander in chief.

He is the ONLY true pro-life candidate and the ONLY candidate with the courage and determination to take CHINA on in their trade cheating scam.

oh and btw- He'll finish building the border fence in 6 months.

No other conservative candidate can touch Duncan Hunter on conservative ideals...nobody.


Anonymous said...

Well Tom, you really stirred up the Hunter campaign folks. All this because Duncan has a "determined look" and Mitt didn't know anything about a genie living in a well until he is called out by the ancient Persians or maybe the Medes who will bring chaos to the world. I have to hand it to you Thomas, you got the interest flowing this time.
Nothing that has been said however will convince me that Hunter has the capacity to be as effective on the world stage as Romney. You are all wrong guys and time will prove it, to our disadvantage.

Anonymous said...

Folks do NOT let the liberal media pick our candidate , Hunter is aRealrepublican and we should onate and get him where he belongs the lead ...

Anonymous said...

Right On Tom! Hunter is the right man for the job. Hopefully the tide will change and he will end up on top before it's too late.

Bob Sharkey

Anonymous said...

I began as a supporter of Huckabee but it was not based on very much information. I would say that there were some reservations soon after I made that decision.

I have heard a theme that repeats in this thread and that is that Mitt is "slicker" than Duncan Hunter. I for one have had enough of a slick person in office. I want someone that speaks his mind! I want a true conservative! I want someone that demands respect simply by being his own person. I want someone that has a good plan and will not take "no" for answer!

I have heard Duncan Hunter's plans and they are sound as far as I am concerned. I have no doubt that he will "man" his plan forward. It may not be slick or pretty but I have the feeling that he will accomplish what he sets out to do. I have seen the way others look at him when he speaks. They focus intently because of the fact that he is speaking plan words with clear intent. They may not be as polished as Romney's words but I don't really care about that - just get the job done.

At the end of the day I will have to vote for the man that I trust is best for this country. Today, as far as I am concerned, that man is Duncan Hunter.

Anonymous said...

thought you might enjoy and send to friends ,again great choice tom !