2012: It's time to bring an open mind to the table

It’s time to give all the candidates a chance

Many of you know that I am leaning towards Mitch Daniels as the GOP candidate for 2012.

This diary is not about you giving Mitch Daniels a chance in 2012.

It’s more about me opening up my mind, and all of us opening up our minds, to all of the candidates as we move forward.

How many choices do we really have?

One of the issues as we move forward into the race for 2012 is “How Many Choices Do We Really Have?”

I think the answer to that question is somewhat time based.

For all of 2011, I think that are choices are wide open: Palin, Jindal, Gingrich, Trump, Romney, Huckabee, Daniels, Barbour, Pawlenty, etc, etc.

There is plenty of time for us to open our minds and see what type of candidate we are looking for without judging any of them.

This is a stretch for me since I like Daniels and carry strong apprehensions about several other candidates at this time.

And the truth is that what got me started on this was listening to Palin talk the other day and feeling like I needed to push back some of my bias against her as someone who “can’t beat Obama” and try to get a fresh take on her.

Make yourself a spreadsheet

Hey, I’m a spreadsheet guy so what can I say. If you prefer paper then make yourself a big table on a piece of paper. Put your top five items across the top and the ten or so candidates down the side of one piece.

What are your five issues? Abortion, Limited Government, Afghanistan, Experience, Ability to Win the General election, not a Washington type?

They could be anything that really makes a difference to you.

Maybe it’s not five issues for you. Maybe it’s three issues or even two issues this time around.

Do YOUR OWN research

Part of what we’ve learned from the tea party movement is to do our own research and talk these things through with our friends and lead from the ground up.

Crank up Fox News, read redstate and realclearpolitics, search google news for speeches the candidates are making or look at their record — what they’ve actually done not just said.

Do this for the next six months whenever you hear something from one of the presumed candidates.

When June rolls around, it will be time to cut back the list a bit — based on fundraising, who’s really in, and who you just do and don’t like after you’ve done you’re research.

We need to get this right

Problems happen in the Republican primary when we just line up to take the next person without really thinking about the true pros and cons that are out there in regards to who are next President could be.

We need to take an approach that will lead us to the Marco Rubio of presidential candidates — the one who will resonate with both the conservative base and the American people as a whole and it’s still too early to decide who that is going to be.