Four years ago at this time (see McNamara's Band) I was firmly ensconced on the Draft Fred bandwagon, and it truly seemed as if he was the best candidate. McCain did not seem remotely plausible as a nominee. Lesson learned? First of all, Texas is too late in the primary season to make much of a difference, other than as a jumbo ATM machine. Sure, we in Texas knew that McCain was not a winning nominee. But we in Texas don’t matter much. By the time the primary hit Texas it was too late. We have Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina first. Iowa chose Huckabee, and in retrospect, if the Fredheads had gotten on board with Huckabee, he would have been a better choice in the long run. (Yes, I know that he had some issues as Governor of Arkansas, which called into question his conservative credentials. But Fred ended up being an astoundingly ineffective candidate, and we ended up with McCain and ultimately President Obama.)
Summer is too early in the primary season to settle on a candidate. It is premature to endorse any candidate when we are still not sure if the field is complete. And I exhort my fellow conservatives to keep their powder dry. This race is still wide open. We have some stellar conservatives in the race. But it is too early. Let’s not nitpick the announced candidates to death. Let’s not declare that we cannot support one or the other of them. Let’s not spread our support out so thinly that the least favorable candidate will win by default. Our goal must be to defeat President Obama. No, I’m not suggesting that we settle for a non-conservative just so that we can win. But I am declaring that even our worst Republican would be better than Obama. It is the constant dilemma that we face as conservatives. As soon as we know the entire field of candidates, then we can better judge whom to support. And if you really want to have a voice in this process, you’d better get ready to travel to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida. That’s where the choice will ultimately be made.