Each person in the field of 2016 GOP presidential candidates is highly respected in his/her own right. However, it is time to assess each person’s strengths and weaknesses in order to ensure that we have the most competitive candidate in place for the general election and the strongest administration possible if the GOP wins the White House.
To begin with, it is time for Santorum, Huckabee, Kasich, Bush, Fiorina and Paul to acknowledge that this is not their year. They all need to step out gracefully and let the people focus on the five other candidates. All should continue to be engaged and to support the GOP process. All except Fiorina have jobs to return to where they have been very successful. Perhaps Fiorina would be a great pick for VP, or even Secretary of State. She needs to continue to be out there taking it to Hillary as only another woman can do.
The remaining five have a legitimate shot at the nomination. So let’s look at each one.
Donald Trump has turned this election on its head. He is a marketing and public relations genius. In his own words, he is a deal-maker. However, as entertaining as he is and as wonderful as he is at sensing and voicing what is on the minds of many American people, he is a moderate at best and is not presidential timber. He is someone who divides the nation for his own gain. He treats others with disrespect. He has not appeared to take foreign policy and the role of commander in chief seriously enough to study issues and offer solutions beyond simplistic headline grabbers. Our country does not need a president who will make leadership about himself. We need a president who will be about the people. Perhaps Donald Trump could be Secretary of Commerce in a GOP administration.
Ted Cruz uses strong conservative rhetoric. He is a Constitutional scholar and is a pit bull on principle when he wants to be. Cruz has given us a glimpse of his approach to getting things done and it does not look good. In his short stint in the Senate, he has been less concerned with leading and encouraging others in government to take principled action than about drawing attention to himself. His filibustering antics were a bit like showboating to the extent of shutting down the government with no hope of accomplishing anything beyond placing the spotlight on Ted Cruz. He has succeeded in alienating 33% of the party. He is another divider at a time when our nation needs to come together. Ted Cruz needs to be our next Attorney General, not President.
Marco Rubio is a charismatic young man with impressive knowledge in the area of national defense. His resume is very limited in the area of accomplishments. He has only two years’ experience in the private sector, starting a law firm that was set aside when he ran for US Senate. His greatest accomplishments in the public sector have been in winning elections. He spent eight years in the Florida House of Representatives and was ultimately elected Speaker of the Florida House for two years. He was elected US Senator from Florida and soon after began his bid for the White House. In all of his time in elected office, he has few legislative accomplishments to point to, only winning elections. Rubio has great potential but is not ready to be President. Rubio should be Secretary of Defense in a new administration where he can get some executive experience with some very high stakes.
Chris Christie is impressive as well. He is a pull no punches guy who was an effective federal prosecutor and has become an effective politician. During his tenure, he has made some positive accomplishments as a Republican governor in a blue state. However, New Jersey continues to have major problems and his efforts as a politician have not been able to fix those. In spite of Christie’s rhetorical success, he is a mainstream politician, using political approaches that don’t always work. The American voters understand that the next president needs to be someone beyond a politician. Christie would be an incredible Secretary of Homeland Security in the next administration.
Dr. Ben Carson is a unique individual in the GOP race. He has never run for office and is only in this race because he was drafted by millions of American voters who believed he could lead America out of the serious problems that we face. Carson, having grown up in the ghettos of Detroit, has direct experience with every socio-economic level that our voters may be in. He experienced racial animosity and succeeded in spite of it. His extraordinary gifts were recognized early in his career when he was named Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital at the age of 33. He led talented people in growing that department into the most respected of its kind in the United States. Carson pulled together gifted people to accomplish things in medicine that no one had ever accomplished. He was a problem solver. He was on the board of directors for two multinational companies for many years, gaining invaluable experience in the workings of commerce. He and his wife, Candy, have been involved in providing resources and motivation for young people to get a great education, even young people with backgrounds that typically restricted such accomplishment.
He has demonstrated that he has the back bone to stand just 10 feet from the President of the United States and explain why this administration’s Affordable Care Act is ruining healthcare in America, how political correctness is dividing the country and taking away the positive dialogue needed to solve problems.
Dr. Carson has been charged as being too “low energy” to be president. Dr. Charles Krauthammer’s comment on that charge was that as a neurosurgeon (doing brain surgery), he had to stand in surgery for 17 hours at a time under the stress of knowing that there was absolutely no room for error. Few men have the stamina to accomplish that sort of work throughout an entire career.
He slipped in the polls when terrorism became center stage in the campaign and a great deal of attention was drawn to national security. Instead of ending his campaign, Carson did what he has done his entire career, he studied the issues and brought in people with the knowledge and experience to help. He has a clear understanding of the problems throughout the world and has developed strategies to address them.
The bottom line is that Carson, the problem solver, the team builder is what America needs at this moment. He has made it clear that his candidacy is about returning the government to the people, from the political elites. He would heal all of the divisiveness that our nation has suffered with under the current administration. He would unite people in government to solve our economic problems, our foreign policy problems and our national security problems. He wouldn’t do it by himself. He would bring together the best and brightest and work with them to accomplish what is needed. He would communicate effectively with the people to help them understand what is happening and what is at stake. Ben Carson needs to be the next President of the United States. And there are many talented people available to help him.