Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fred's done

Well, crap:

Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.

This doesn't come as much of a shock - Fred got into the race late, never had the organization to match some of the other candidates, and, despite early public enthusiasm, never really caught fire. He didn't do well in any of the early primaries, and a third-place finish in South Carolina was the final blow.

It's sad, because I think Fred was the best the Republicans had to offer. Even before he made it official, though, I was already thinking about where my vote would go if he was a non-factor by the time the Virginia primary rolls around on February 12. But where should it go? Romney's history of changing positions leaves me cold. Giuliani isn't much of a conservative. McCain is a fairly principled man, as politicians go, and I can disagree with him while still respecting him - but I disagree with him on a number of important things. Huckabee is a good preacher, but when it comes to preachers and politics I think the Republic of Texas got it right in the Constitution of 1836:

Ministers of the gospel being, by their profession, dedicated to God and the care of souls, ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions, therefore, no minister of the gospel or priest of any denomination whatever shall be eligible to the office of the Executive of the Republic, nor to a seat of either branch of the Congress of the same.

I don't know who I'm going to vote for, and I wonder if it really matters, and if the Reagan coalition is really dead. Because as I look at the remaining candidates I wonder:

Where are the conservatives?


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