When seven Republicans hoping to become president of the United States appeared together Monday night for a debate, did you see “the next president of the United States” in the lineup?
Alphabetically, the hopefuls were Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, businessman Herman Cain of Georgia, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich of Georgia, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
There’s a reasonable likelihood that one of them will be the Republican presidential nominee and will be facing Democrat President Barack Obama in November 2012 — although others still might enter the race.
And while many Americans still wonder how the extremely inexperienced Obama managed to get to the White House, that doesn’t answer the question of which Republican should replace him.
There obviously is no Washington or Lincoln — from either party — in the 2012 presidential field, and yet soon, we will be called on to elect someone to the most powerful position in U.S. government.
None of the Republican presidential hopefuls scored a knockout blow against the other candidates in the debate Monday. But neither did any of them look inadequate — especially when compared with Obama, whose mismanagement of the economy alone indicates that he should be retired next year.
We need a great president to lead our country, to inspire our national confidence and to unify us around sound economics and reasonable policies on other domestic issues — as well as one who can lead us in facing both known and unpredictable international challenges.
Did presumed front-runner Romney “look more presidential” than some of the others on stage? Maybe. But will his political record, philosophy and personality propel him to the nomination? It’s far too early to say.
More important is the question of whether any of the likely Republican candidates can defeat Obama.
We surely have the finest nation in the world, with the greatest Constitution any country has ever had. But do you see a great president, or potential president, when you look at Obama and the GOP field?
If not, what could one of them do or say to give you confidence that he or she is “the one”?