GOP race still up for grabs; Santorum looks good

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By Zach Jarrell, Features Editor

The GOP race is wide open right now. With Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry dropping out, only four serious candidates remain. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the current frontrunner, but there’s a movement growing for Anybody-But-Mitt.

Ron Paul seems to be the scary second choice. He has enough support to consistently remain a top contestant, but he can’t get enough to win a state. Newt Gingrich is hanging on by his fingertips at a consistent fourth. He’s remaining in the race now more for his own pride than his actual chances of winning. He’s been criticized for switching from his talk about a “positive campaign” to making ads hammering Romney.

The final candidate is former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Santorum began his campaign as the laughing stock of the race. A week before Iowa, he was only in single digits in the polls. After visiting every county inIowa, including 35 pizza joints, he managed to surge to an apparent second, finishing eight votes behind Romney. But the GOP recently recounted the votes and is now declaring Santorum the winner ofIowa.  He spent little time inNew Hampshire, where Romney was the obvious leader. Instead, he chose to focus on South Carolina for its Jan. 21 primary.

My personal choice for 2012? Well, I was all in for Herman Cain, but he dropped. In fact, if he were still in the race, I think he would be the easy winner of the Republican nomination. But unfortunately, I can’t pick him now. The rest is a tough crowd to choose from and I’m more comfortable choosing who I don’t want. Here’s how I see the people who are left.

Ron Paul is scary

The No. 1 person who scares me is Ron Paul. I agree with a lot of his views, but he takes them to extremes that are even too big for me. I almost fear that Paul would get rid of the federal government entirely. I’m all for giving the states more power, but we can’t have a nation as strong as we are without some type of federal government. Look what happened with the Articles of Confederation. They were great for establishing a mail service and bringing the Northwest Ordinance, but some key things such as building an army were not very feasible. The federal government needs to be there, just not as big as it is now.

Gingrich’s time has passed

Next I would have to eliminate Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has been in Washington forever and I believe his time has come to leave.  He is a little too sketchy for my tastes. I don’t like the fact that he’s had a ton wives, though I don’t think that should be a huge issue. He also is just too much of a politician. Politicians aren’t the most trustworthy people and he has certainly been one for a long time. Granted, a candidate needs more experience politically than Obama had, but Washington is one the most corrupting places in the world. Gingrich also is a believer of global warming, something I have not seen strong enough evidence for and that most conservatives don’t believe exists.

Romney is a flip-flopper

Mitt Romney is an interesting character. He was growing on me for a time. I disagreed with his views almost as much as Jon Huntsman’s, but I thought he had the best chance of beating Obama. Romney was even getting the endorsements of some of my favorite people such as Chris Christie and Ann Coulter. But I’m starting to see he is a flip-flopper. I don’t like Romney-Care, and I think he has shown a more moderate past. Our country needs more than a moderate to get out of the hole it’s in. Romney seems to base his views on what’s popular and doesn’t really have his own opinions. He’s very power-hungry; I think he just wants the power that comes with the presidency.

Santorum gets my vote

That leaves me with one choice. (I won’t even consider Vermin Supreme, the candidate who promises ponies for everybody if he becomes president). I will be voting for Rick Santorum this March.  His views are most consistent with my own, and after his win in Iowa, I believe he could run a considerable campaign.

Santorum is the most socially conservative of the bunch. In his Senate career, he added the Santorum Amendment to Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. The amendment states that “where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much continuing controversy, and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject.”

Santorum is also willing to defend America to whatever extent it takes. He will clearly identify who our enemies and allies are, unlike Obama who has shown much more hostility to our friends in Israel than our other enemies in the Middle East. Some people fear that Santorum will lead us to war with Iran, but people thought the same thing about Ronald Reagan when he was elected.

Santorum is the best choice for presidency at this rate. He is a very conservative candidate and a leader that could rally the nation for a victory over Obama.

Saturday, Jan. 21, will be a very important date for this year’s Republican nomination. It has the potential to show a shift in the GOP leader or knock a candidate or two out of the race. Whatever happens, there is almost no doubt that they will be better than Obama.