We, the people, have elected some great presidents in the history of our marvelous United States of America.
Of course, we think of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as the greatest. And fortunately, voters have chosen some other presidents who have served with distinction as well.
But we also have elected presidents who offered far less in character, qualifications and performance than we needed. We note these facts as we look with concern toward our 2012 presidential election.
Democratic President Barack Obama is already asking the voters to give him a second term.
Who are the announced or likely Republican presidential candidates, so far? Recently, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, of Georgia, threw his hat into the ring. He was both conservative and controversial in his time in Washington.
Here are at least some of the other official or potential GOP candidates:
• Michele Bachmann, a member of the U.S. House from Minnesota.
• Herman Cain, of Georgia, former chairman of Godfather's Pizza and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
• Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana.
• Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas.
• Ron Paul, a medical doctor and House member from Texas.
• Tim Pawlenty, a five-term congressman and two-term governor of Minnesota.
• Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and a 2008 presidential candidate.
• Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor.
• Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor.
• Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor.
Do you see a Republican you believe could and should be elected to replace Obama? A number of them have some excellent qualities, and some might yet prove to be worthy opponents for Obama.
But as you survey both parties' candidates and potential candidates, what does the field say about our current national leadership - and the choice we must make in 2012 for president of the United States and leader of the free world?