The election of our President should not be reduced to the level of a popularity contest. We're not electing homecoming king of the local high school, but the leader of the free world. A serious party should put forth a serious candidate -- one who represents the best that party has to offer. Yet I fear that the Republican party is being driven towards candidates whose only recommendation is name recognition, regardless of their qualifications or policies. (my emphasis)
The writer at the Guardian WatchBlog has come to the same conclusion I have:
The only potential Republican candidate who can be called a real Conservative is California Representative Duncan Hunter. His voting record shows him to be on the right side of all the issues: he’s pro-life, pro-gun, strong on border control and national defense, tough on America’s enemies and someone who stands solidly behind our military. NARAL and the ACLU hate him, while FAIR and the NRA like him. He favors a balanced budget, and is the only potential candidate who seems to have noticed China’s military buildup at our expense. Hunter came in third in the South Carolina straw poll, in a statistical tie with McCain and Giuliani, indicating that he does have the potential to win the nomination. He recently won a similar straw poll in Arizona – McCain’s home state. Hunter’s recent duty as chairman of the Armed Services Committee would prove invaluable to a wartime President. His own experience as an Army Ranger in Vietnam (during which he was awarded a Bronze Star), and the fact that his son did two tours in Iraq, would also serve him well. Duncan Hunter looks like the answer to the Leftward slide that cost the Republicans their majority in both Houses of Congress in 2006.
As I stated in the post linked above:
The election is over a year and a half away. If there are other Republicans who have gone to the trouble and expense of running for the nomination - and there are - is is too much to ask to give them a fair shot? Is it too much to ask for Republicans to take a look at them? Who gets to decide which candidates are acceptable and which ones are not? All I hear is we must support those candidates who are "electable". My opinion, for what it's worth, is the election is a long way off and much can change. I don't think we do ourselves any favors by ignoring other legitimate candidates this early in the game.