So I think last week's post about race and the Democratic primary might have been just a little ahead of its time. Wow. What a crazy campaign! I continue to hope Barack resists the trap of getting in the mud with the Clintons. The temptation is understandable. But he has to realize that nobody can beat them there. Think about it -- Bill Clinton was impeached and still survived. You have to beat them on issues and character. You will never win with dirty politics.
Now a quick look at the GOP side. McCain has got the momentum and this time it is Florida taking center stage to see who has the edge going into Super Tuesday. Thompson is gone and Huckabee is strangely on life-support. How quickly things change. I have a feeling we will not see this kind of primary system ever again. It must bother the powers-that-be to deal with such uncertaintly.
Anyway here's my dilemma. There are 3 main groups of conservatives these days. There's the social conservatives, the fiscal conservatives, and the security conservatives. Of course many individuals and all the candidates claim an identity within each category. But ultimately, I believe at some point you have a main concern that takes priority. I have long felt mine to be in the social conservative side. That's not to say the others don't matter to me, but even after the disaster of the Bush presidency, I continue to believe our best shot at real leadership will come from within this group. In fact, this may still hold true were a Democrat like Edwards or Obama (who does not run from his faith) to become the president.
So back to the question. The top choices of social conservatives have been (in no particular order): Huckabee, Tancredo, Thompson, Brownback, and Hunter. As of today, they are all gone with the exception of Huckabee who's in real trouble after running out of money. It's not surprising because social cons will always lack the natural fund raising machines that those whom Wall Street favors enjoy (i.e. Romney, Giuliani). And money sure does talk. So I simply don't know what to do with my Florida vote. Strangely enough I am led in the direction of Ron Paul who is anything but a social con. However, unlike the trio of McCain, Giuliani, and Romney, at least I can rest assured that Paul actually believes in the principles on which he campaigns. But I also know voting for Paul is a throw-away vote. Then again, perhaps so too is Huckabee at this point. So I really don't know what to do.
I think I'll watch the Florida debate tomorrow night on MSNBC and deal with it later. Analysts say all guns will be aimed directly at new frontrunner McCain. Should be fun!