Massachusetts. I can't believe I'm going to vote for the guy from Massachusetts.
Not since the days of John Adams has this been a good idea. Michael Dukakis? John Kerry? Ouch.
So it is with not a small bit of trepidation that I enter Super Tuesday poised to pull the lever for Mitt Romney. If this sounds like a lukewarm endorsement, it is. I'm afraid I'll have to take the exclamation point off my "Mitt!" yard sign and replace it with an Asterisk. That's about as much enthusiasm as I can seem to muster.
It's not that the other guys don't have some endearing values to them. They do. Ron Paul, for instance - I like the man, if not the candidate. He has a quick wit and seems very smart, has common sense ideas. Too bad he's also chronically unelectable. He's one of those "Constitution" guys who run on the premise that his views on the constitution are "the" views on the constitution, and henceforth not up for debate. People love him for that. Newsflash, folks...they ALL say they are defending the Constitution. This country has been debating, even changing, our founding document for two hundred years. Presidential politics are all about Constitutional debates, not shutting them down. Paul is a non-starter for me.
Then we have Rick Santorum. Here's a guy I really want to get behind. He's an easy target for those whose life mission seems to oppose anything having to do with religion in general, Christianity in particular. He's unabashed about his faith, a quality I respect and wish I had more of myself. Trouble is, that seems to be the only card he's holding. I am firmly against abortion, but not to the point of outlawing birth control. Everything I read, even Santorum's own website, seems to suggest that he supports such a thing.
Santorum's stance on separation of church and state is...troubling. I've studied the context of his infamous "puke" remarks. Now, I love my church and the state of my country in the same way I love ice cream and chili. I love them both. Just not mixed together. Yuck. Jesus and Jefferson understood the value of separation of Church and State. Rick, apparently, does not. I can't go for that.
I've already made my take on Newt Gingrich clear in a previous column. The guy is a slippery as his namesake amphibian. Suffice to say that my position has not changed on the matter. There's a reason the guy was out of the limelight for nearly twenty years. Sorry, Newt folks. I still can't do it.
So that leaves the smirking Romney, a solid moderate who stands for...uh...something. I guess. Each of the other guys, I can find things I like about them, but they all have that one, glaring flaw that I can't get past. With Romney, there's no glaring ethical issue or platform flaw. On matters of policy, I find him lukewarm, bland and kind of status quo. But he's the best of what's left.
That's where I'm at with it. I really want to rally some enthusiasm for this race, but I'm not there yet. I never really got there with McCain/Palin four years ago; many people didn't and I fear that a retread of 2008 is in store this year. I'm a conservative. I really want one of these guys to prove me wrong. Soon.
But here we are, the debate for Republicans in Georgia is over. It's time to choose. Who's it gonna be?