I chatted very briefly with a conservative buddy of mine online today about the Republican nominees, and he made the comment that I don’t think anyone could beat Obama.
Always up for a challenge I thought for a minute, and the best I could come up with was Colin Powell. Now, before you criticize, consider my limitations: I had to pick a conservative and I had to pick someone who could beat Obama, not someone I wanted to be president or someone conservatives want to be president.
On the whole, I think Powell is electable, especially among Republicans. The only criticism I am aware of that might stick to him is his involvement in the Bush administration and the selling of the Iraq war, and what do Republicans care about that?
While I think that is a solid choice, I think the key would be the running mate. What is the one demographic that Republicans could capture from the Democrats, and who is the one candidate to do it? That demographic is the young, and the candidate is Ron Paul.
I’m not a huge fan of Paul, myself. His pro-life stance is enough to make me not even consider supporting him. However, the way he markets himself is unlike other Republicans.
Ron Paul doesn’t speak publicly about the fact that he has introduced bills that extend personhood to fetuses of any age, he focuses on legalizing pot and other drugs. He’s also got an entertaining economic narrative, with a convenient boogey-man to demonize in “The Fed,” and a simplistic, Libertarian brand of laissez-faire capitalism that appeals to people who reflexively blame the government for everything.
Do the frat boys who fawn over Ron Paul realize that Paul has been a House Representative for 30 years and has little or nothing to show for it? Or, that he’s basically just part of the same system as all the other Republicans? The answer is a very slurred, “No way, bro.”
The only thing is, I don’t think I would do this if I was Colin Powell. I mean honestly, would you want your life to be the only thing standing in the way of a Ron Paul presidency? I’ve talked to a lot of Ron Paul supporters… that is a dangerous position to be in.
Still, focusing just on Powell himself, he has a lot to offer Republicans in the election. Obviously, he’s black, but I think his military record would probably attract more actual voters than his race (though race would probably be what the media focuses on). He contrasts well with Obama in a 1-on-1 showdown, because Powell comes off looking like the more experienced statesman, and his military experience paints the right kind of image at a time when we have troops deployed and multiple operations underway.
What do you guys think? What pairing do you think could beat Obama in 2012?