Picture of Rick Santorum

Santorum Wins Iowa Caucus

Lee’s Summit, January 4, 2012 – The first stop in the 50 State battle for the nomination of the GOP was all that it promised to be.  Santorum and Romney in a dead heat at 25% each, Ron Paul with 22% and Newt Gingrich with 14%, and the rest had a nice showing.

Newt Gingrich gave a great speech for the fourth place candidate.  It did not sound at all like a concession speech; but rather the voiced lessons learned by a candidate that knows this race is far from over.  He spoke about the choice the GOP has before it, “whether this party wants a Reagan conservative who helped change Washington in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan and helped change Washington in the 1990s as Speaker of the House, or we want a Massachusetts moderate” and that sums it up very nicely for someone who was outspent in the airways of Iowa $10 million to nearly unnoticed.

Santorum is the big surprise in Iowa.  His jump, as he predicted, would be in the end.  He canvased 99 counties and if you look at a map of Iowa and color it for each candidate; you’d see a sea of Santorum with a poke-a-dot of victories by his closest opponents.

Santorum did well in rural Iowa while the millions in campaign advertising got Romney and Paul the larger cities and counties.

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Ron Paul’s lead in some of the Iowa polls leading to the caucus night did not materialize in votes.  Iowa should have been his strongest showing; and if indeed it proves to be so, then he won’t make it – he may go the full race, but he won’t be the nominee if the pundits have it right.

Iowans did their State Proud today with the caucuses.  Congratulations and Thank You!

As I look forward to the day I vote here in Missouri, I keep wondering who will make the best President out of this group.  My thinking leans to the Governors first because in my opinion they are the best prepared to lead the country.  They are familiar with the workings of Congress, the fiscal responsibilities of managing a State, and the political battles that are often required to move the agenda forward.

Romney is too moderate for my taste at this point.  He won’t do harm to the Union, but I don’t think – yet – that he is going to do good enough to reverse the trend of wild spending in a growing governmental involvement in the economy.

Rick Perry seems to be licking his wounds and may or may not continue in the race, but from what I’ve seen so far, I think I’d like to have a conversation with him, maybe have a family meal, but I’m not sure he’s figured out how to get the nomination yet, much less how to beat Obama for President.

Jon Huntsman is the most interesting of the Governors to me.  He was slow to realize he was no longer an ambassador, and needed to start running a presidential campaign.  I think he has most of what it takes, except the backing to make the full run.  I’d like to see him run again but not sure he will.

So from the three Governors in the race I’m not sure I’d vote for any of them at this point; but I will reserve judgment.

Senators are not the same as Governors, but at least they’ve had to run State wide campaigns and that should give a flavor for what they can do in a large election.  Principles then become the key differentiator and you have to combine that with experience and leadership that made a difference.  Unlike Barack Obama Senator from Illinois who won the Democratic Party’s Nomination four years ago; Rick Santorum does have a track record of success, and principled leadership.  But again, I wonder if a Senator makes a great President when facing what this country will face in the next four years.

Congressmen, to me, have the worst credentials to become president.  They run in a district in their State, they are one vote in congress (what a friend of mine calls a gnats fart in a whirlwind) where it is difficult to show leadership.  So to me the measure of a Congressman’s ability to set an agenda that others follow is most important; and party loyalty becomes least important.

Ron Paul may do wonders for his State and for his constituents, and has interesting opinions but I don’t believe he has the ideas, nor the ability to sell those ideas to run the country.

Michelle Bachmann has run a good campaign but has failed to capture the imagination of the vast majority of the voters.  To her credit she’s the leader of the Tea Party caucus in Congress, but that’s not been enough for her to make a difference in Iowa – and I don’t think she’d do well in the rest of the country.

Newt Gingrich, of the Congressman running for President, is the only one that put together a push to win back the congress for the GOP, and was able to find common ground to move the Nation towards fiscal responsibility working with a Democrat in the White House – but he did not last long.

I don’t think we have a Ronald Reagan in this group, much less a George Bush (either one).  It is going to be hard to decide on who to vote for on Primary day in Lee’s Summit; but I know I’m going to be watching closely what each of them has to say; then I’ll decide, and push the pin to cast my vote.

It is important that you vote wisely in 2012; it is probably the most significant vote of your life – and the future of America.

Respectfully Submitted
The Lee’s Summit Conservative

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