Picking smart candidates

I recently had the opportunity to hear the Tea-Party anointed candidate for Virginia’s Republican primary race next year for Lieutenant Governor.  This will be the candidate running with Ken Cuccinelli for Governor.  This candidate is one of seven candidates.  She has positioned herself to be the farthest to the right on every issue.  Ask her a question and her answer will meet our litmus test.  For that, I commend her and those supporting her candidacy.

But I wonder, has our knee-jerk reaction against the establishment become one where we only look at a person’s espoused viewpoints?  I think beliefs and worldview is where we have to start.  But my concern arises, when we pluck county supervisors out of obscurity to run for statewide office.  Maybe four years ago, this would have been ok.  But we have lived through the Christine O’Donnell nightmare now.  We know how bad it can get.  We have seen the enemy and it is us.    

Holding a previous office shouldn’t be a pre-requisite for running for higher office.  We don’t necessarily need lifetime politicians running everything.  But in the age of media and fundraising, green candidates face off against a hostile media and seasoned opponents.  If the Virginia primary has six candidates that are unacceptable, then that is fine, we’ll go with the seventh.  But if we have people that are 100% pro-life, for cutting taxes, shrinking government and the protection of land and gun owners, then we need to be careful who we crawl into bed with.

Many of us made the mistake of going all in for a presidential candidate who happened to forget the three government agencies he was campaigning to eliminate on national television.  We need to try to do better if we can from now on.  We need to learn our lessons, not repeat them.  If so many of us hadn’t coalesced around Perry so early, there may have been time for a superior-Romney-alternative to have jumped in.  Instead, we have four more years of Obama.  This means approaching inexperienced candidates gingerly – not lining up and endorsing them six months before the primary.  

We can be conservative and responsible at the same time.