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In the know: Republican presidential candidates

By Itak Moradi

Dec. 5, 2011 12:05 a.m.

The presidential campaigns for 2012 continue with their characteristic ad hominem advertisements, fumbling debates and attacks against the incumbent, and it’s time we take a closer look at who may be our next head honcho.

According to a November Gallup poll, 43 percent of Americans say they will vote for Obama, about the same percentage who prefer a GOP candidate.

While my vote is with Obama, I am concerned with how likely it is that he will lose.

In the Republican corner, Newt Gingrich seems to be leading positive image polls, followed closely by Herman Cain and in third, Mitt Romney.

I believe in bottom-up politics, so I’ll start with Romney.

His platform largely rests upon his assurance that he understands employment. He often cites his long-term experience with Bain Capital, a private equity group, as his training in how to expand business and create jobs. But this is the same company that is notorious for extracting unmanageable payments from failing companies, and that has had about half of its acquired companies end up filing for bankruptcy. There are examples of companies Bain and Co. handled that reached profitable success, but it’s clear that the company’s goals, and logically then Romney’s tactics, were always directed at reaping gains for their investments, not creating jobs.

Romney is now worth more than $200 million, though he has comically insisted, “I should tell my story. I’m also unemployed.”

Cain actually rescinded his campaign on Dec. 3, to the dismay of many.

It’s not the now-laughable number of sexual harassment allegations against him (we’ll never know the truth anyway), it’s not that he condones smoking in a country that loses more than 400,000 citizens yearly to tobacco use and it’s not even that he somehow didn’t know what Libya was that annoys me so deeply.

What is surprising is that someone so incredibly unqualified would have garnered so much support across the nation, even bringing 12-year-olds to tears after his resignation announcement. That’s simply weird.

News outlets all over are now positioning Gingrich as Obama’s prime competitor, even though those same news outlets are quick to point to the fact that Gingrich has no definitive base of political ideas. Throughout the past couple decades, he has faltered in supporting opposing positions on everything from immigration to abortion to the environment.

Fellow columnist Ram Dolom recently wrote that the mockery typical of the political left halts any engagement with the potential that ideas coming from those different may have. And I agree.

But my concern for the future of the U.S. outweighs my concern for having more politically polite conversation ““ from the venture capitalist to the hypocrite, these candidates are not the best fit to run our country by any means.

With an economic, academic and social crisis in America’s lap, the forecast is bleary ““ but it’ll look a little brighter if we experience some stability and keep our incumbent.

While I don’t always agree with Obama’s foreign policy, I believe many of his efforts within the country are commendable.

I want to see if Obamacare works, to see him try again with the jobs bill and to see a Democratic majority in Congress, so that issues like the education, social programs for alleviating the recession’s impact and the environment can be better prioritized. Obama still seems like our best shot.

Email Moradi at [email protected] Send general comments to [email protected]

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