Wait a sec! Whom will I vote for now?

You know, I was so busy last night writing about the Huntsman departure from the race that only now has this thought occurred to me: For whom will I vote on Saturday, now that he’s out of it?

That’s a toughie. Let’s look at my options, in alphabetical order:

  • Newt Gingrich — He’s a knowledgeable guy. As one uncommitted Republican (the same one who called Romney a “Plastic Banana Rock ‘n’ Roller”) said to me the other night, Newt Gingrich is like the professor and the others are like the students in debates. But knowledge and wisdom are not the same things. And a vote for Newt Gingrich is like a vote for a live grenade with the cotter pin pulled out. You’re only going to be able to hold the safety lever in place for just so long…
  • Ron Paul — No way in the world. As I often say, despite being an UnPartisan I can frequently find points of agreement with both Democrats and Republicans. But Ron Paul comes about as close as anyone can to being the polar opposite of what I believe in. Some times you can with justice call me liberal or conservative (even though I don’t like it), but no one who knows me would call me a libertarian.
  • Rick Perry — Nope. He just doesn’t bring anything to the table that I’m looking for. If all you can offer me is that you’re a Christian and you served in the military, as fine as those things are, you aren’t telling me why you should be POTUS.
  • Mitt Romney — We know about all his failings, mostly arising from his fundamental opportunism. In his favor I’ll say that I don’t think he’d lead the country down a wrong path. But that’s because I don’t think he’d lead it down any path at all. He would just manage what we have.
  • Rick Santorum — I like this guy more than I thought I would (I just thought of him as that culture warrior who got crushed by Bob Casey), and of course as a Catholic I share a lot of fundamental values — more so than with the evangelical Perry. But as much as he touts his foreign policy experience as a former senator, I find it hard to see what about his resume demonstrates a readiness to be POTUS.
I’ve got to pick somebody, because this is my one chance as a South Carolinian to have my vote count (since the November vote here is always a foregone conclusion).
However I do vote come Saturday, I doubt that I will share the decision with y’all — because I won’t feel good about it, and won’t feel like defending it…

25 thoughts on “Wait a sec! Whom will I vote for now?

  1. Doug Ross

    A vote for Gingrich says “I don’t care about a man’s personal or professional ethics”.

    Unlike you, I would never vote for someone I would not vote for in November. Match each of the candidates against Obama and then decide which is the right choice for President.

  2. Lynn

    Eanie, meanie, minie, moe…..hold your nose and choose one.

    Subscribing to politics as circus I recommend Newt. He will require a ring master and a whole car of clowns,(these are jobs remember) which should be entertaining if nothing else.

  3. bud

    I doubt that I will share the decision with y’all — because I won’t feel good about it, and won’t feel like defending it

    I just went way out on a limb saying who I’ll vote for come Saturday, IF I vote at all. And seriously is is very likely that I won’t vote at all. The only reason I’m even considering voting is because I’m being forced to pay for this excercise in insanity.

    Brad, I really don’t understand why you’re not a staunch supporter of eliminating the electoral college? It’s clear we really have no voice in South Carolina. Yet we still pay for the privelage of voting.

  4. `Kathryn Fenner

    Of the current offerings, Romney is the only one who I believe would not unduly f— things up. He’s got reasonable skills and apparent sense, and he’s a pragmatist.

    I could never vote for Santorum or Perry–loathsome social positions. Gingrich is nuts, but at least he’s smart….and like you, I am not a libertarian.

  5. KP

    Why on earth would you not vote in the Republican primary, even if you don’t think you”ll end up voting for the guy in November? Better to have a bad choice than none at all.

  6. `Kathryn Fenner

    @Doug–The primary is open to all voters with adequate ID, and I have a right to vote for whomever I please. The ethical choice is to vote for my second choice (after Obama).

  7. Steven Davis

    If Mitt Romney doesn’t control his robocallers soon he’s going to lose my vote. Two calls yesterday and three calls today.

  8. Doug Ross

    It’s not an ethical choice. Sorry. It’s only an ethical choice if you seriously are conflicted between Obama and whomever you vote for.

    That’s not you.

    Like I said before, I hope you’re okay with Republicans voting for the least worst Democrat in 2012.

    But if you do vote for a Republican, will you have the guts to tell us who you voted for and why? If not, you’re just playing games.

  9. Doug Ross

    And, Kathryn, how about taking a photo of you voting in the Republican primary and post it on your Facebook page? Show everyone how proud you are to do your civic duty.

  10. Brad

    Actually, I seldom tell people how I vote. But I always tell you what I think.

    And I’m sorry, but we’ll never agree on this subject. I believe a voter should take any legitimate opportunity he has to elect either the person he wants to win, or the person he least wants to lose.

    Most often in my life as a voter, I have been voting for the person I dislike the least, rather than anyone I actively like. And that is not only my right, but my duty as a citizen.

    You know what I think; I’ve said it many times: When there is both a Democratic and a Republican primary, each voter should be allowed to vote in BOTH of them. We are disenfranchised if we don’t have that right.

    As soon as we are all allowed to do that, the influence of the extremes will be greatly reduced, because every candidate will have to run with the entire electorate in mind, not just the extremists of each party. And the nation will be on its way toward healing.

  11. Doug Ross

    If SC Democrats were smart (debatable), they would get out the vote for Paul. It would be the most strategic move to help Obama. Paul is the only one with the resources to stay in it until the end (he raised 1.3 million online over the past weekend). The more money Romney has to spend to reach the inevitable nomination, the less he will have to battle Obama in the summer/fall. A second place finish by Paul would kill off Perry and Santorum.

    But, go ahead, vote for the least despicable Republican you’ll never vote for in November.

  12. Doug Ross

    I didn’t say you shouldn’t have the right to vote in both primaries.. I said what I believe: you should only vote for someone who you would actually vote for in November. To do otherwise is just playing around.

  13. Brad

    But Doug, no one can guarantee that the person they vote for in November will win. Because of that, the voter has a legitimate and urgent interest in the other person on that ballot being as unobjectionable as possible.

    I believe it is irresponsible for a voter to pass up a chance to help decide who will be on that general election ballot.

    The ideal should be to have two people you like on the ballot, so that you have a win/win. This happened for me in 2008. But it’s rare. I had similar situations in 1976 and 1992, but not to the extent of 2008, when both nominees were people I had actively supported for their respective nominations.

    But if you can’t get an obvious win/win — and you seldom can — you should go for a win/not-lose-too-badly scenario.

    I think it’s deeply wrong for a voter to say, “I’ve got my guy in November, and it he doesn’t win, I’m just going to stand by and let somebody I think would be deeply harmful to the country get elected, even though there’s something I could do to try to prevent that…”

  14. KP

    I do not understand Doug’s position on this at all. It IS irresponsible not to do what you can as a voter to see that there are reasonable choices on the general election ballot, as you see it. I don’t know whether I’ll vote for Romney in November or not, but I sure as hell won’t vote for Santorum or Gingrich or Paul.

  15. `Kathryn Fenner

    What Brad said.

    If I vote on Saturday, it will be for Romney, barring any unforeseen events (and there have been too many to count.)

  16. Doug Ross


    Exactly. If there is a chance you will vote for Romney in November, go ahead and vote for him this week.

    But there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that Kathryn will vote for Mitt Romney in November.

    And, Brad, you know who the Democratic nominee will be in November. So if you truly can find a Republican amongst the candidates who you would vote for over Obama, go ahead. But just like with your McCain endorsement, it’s pretty clear you’re on the Obama bus this time around. Sure, you’ll play around with trying to appear like you’re weighing the options. But, really, tell us what would cause you to choose Santorum or Romney over Obama. If you can’t make a case for one of the Republicans now, why pretend your vote is meaningful in the primary?

  17. Doug Ross

    And here’s the other thing… if you are an Obama supporter and vote for a Republican this week, are you then going to turn around and demonize that same candidate if he’s up against Obama? Let’s say you vote for Romney this week – are you going to present a balanced assessment of Romney versus Obama or will you revert to the typical Democrat talking points to then show why he will be a nightmare for America?

  18. Doug Ross


    Like I said.. I will judge your seriousness on this if you post on Facebook that you voted for Romney on Saturday. He’s the second best man to lead this country, right?

  19. Brad

    Doug, let’s suppose you’re right — and I’ve made no secret of the fact that Obama’s looking better to me than he did in ’08 — the fact remains that the GOP candidate could win. So I have not only a right, but a duty, to vote for the one I think would be best for the country, or at least the least harmful.

    This point lies at the very crux of many disagreements you and I have had over the years.

  20. Doug Ross

    That’s would be fine if you articulated what would cause you to choose choose the Republican. For example, you could say “I like Santorum/Romney’s views on abortion, the ones that are 180 degrees opposite from Obama. I like Santorum/Romny’s views on repealing Obamacare. I like Santorum/Romney’s views on cutting taxes for the wealthy.”

    I vote based on what a candidate believes in.

  21. Steven Davis

    Doug wrote, “if you are an Obama supporter and vote for a Republican this week, are you then going to turn around and demonize that same candidate if he’s up against Obama?”

    Brad wrote, “Doug, let’s suppose you’re right”

    “suppose”? So now all those Democrats who blamed Republicans for Alvin Greene are now okay with voting in the Republican primary? Are they going to really vote for the best candidate or the easiest candidate for Obama to beat?

  22. Steven Davis

    “Obama’s looking better to me than he did in ‘08”

    Gonna pull that straight party ticket lever again this year?

  23. Brad

    Steven, you must be too busy commenting ever to actually read this blog — or anything I ever wrote in the paper.

    Not only do I believe that straight-party voting should be outlawed — there should be no such lever or button or anything else on a ballot — but I think anyone who has ever voted that way, rather than making individual decisions about the candidates, should lose the right to vote for the rest of his or her life.

    And of course, what everyone familiar with this blog knows is that I supported McCain over Obama in 2008, just as I backed Bush in 2000 and 2004, and Dole in 1996.

    But don’t assume, as some Democrats here like to fantasize, that I always vote Republican. For instance, I actually voted in the Democratic primary in 2010 so I could vote for Vincent Sheheen — which was a sacrifice, because it meant I was disenfranchised in other races in which the Republican primary WAS the election. Because I, like you, live in Lexington County.

    I also voted in the Democratic presidential primary in 2004 (and regulars know whom I supported), because there was no GOP primary.


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