With 2015 comes the start of the presidential race. Already Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee have announced they are considering running, and others have hinted at it. As such, being an American columnist for China.org.cn, I began this year by analyzing a few of the candidates:
Here they are:
Bush’s two terms in office were widely considered to be huge successes. He had relatively high approval ratings in office and got a lot of policies enacted. He was innovative on some fronts, being the first governor to successfully introduce school vouchers, now a popular conservative education reform idea in other states. But since leaving office, Bush has been slammed by the Tea Party for taking positions on Common Core, a national movement to reform education standards, and immigration reform that right-wingers detest. In truth, when you look at his record in office, he was a very conservative governor, cutting taxes up to US$19 billion, vetoing about US$2 billion in spending, strengthening gun rights laws, and suing to keep a feeding tube inserted in the body of Terry Schiavo, a brain dead woman whose case the “pro-life” community rallied around. All of these positions are clear conservative positions, but the Tea Party has moved the Republican Party farther to the right since Bush left office.
– Jeb Bush: A bipartisan punching bag
In 1957, the Soviet Union released the satellite Sputnik 1, beating the United States in the first round of the Space Race. Non-reproductive sexual relations were criminalized in the privacy of one’s own home. Jim Crow laws and segregation prevailed across the South, and Sen. Strom Thurmond spent 24 hours filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
It doesn’t sound like it was a very good time to be an American, but you wouldn’t know it if you heard prospective presidential candidate Mike Huckabee describing it. Huckabee, who announced on Jan. 3 that he was quitting his Fox News talk show to consider a 2016 presidential run, never misses an opportunity to wax nostalgic about the bygone era of “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best.”
– Mike Huckabee: stuck in the past
Is the third time a charm? Mitt Romney is quoted as having told supporters that he is strongly considering a run for the presidency in 2016.
Skepticism abounds. As Romney said in the documentary “Mitt,” those who lose are branded as losers for life. Richard Nixon was the only president in the last century to win the presidency in a general election on his second try.
But Romney is a driven man who learns from his mistakes. It was easy to see in the 2012 primary debates, where Romney made pointed attacks on his challengers, how much Romney had improved from his 2008 primary loss.
Moreover, Romney has earned the respect – if not the love – of the GOP’s conservative base and the Tea Party. The way the race is shaping up, he might have a path to victory that builds on both “conservative” and “moderate” support.
– How Mitt Romney can win conservatives
It’s impossible to say who is the most dishonest politician. There are too many good choices, and the most dishonest politicians are often the hardest to find, anyway. If they’re good at it, then you won’t know they are lying.
The politicians who are bad at lying are easy to spot. They’re right there on cable news or in print spewing transparent contradictions. When Sen. Rand Paul went on CNN in March 2013 to discuss his proposed anti-abortion Life at Conception Act, he responded to the host’s first question by saying, “I don’t think we’re in any real rush towards new legislation.”
This is Rand Paul’s approach to controversial questions across the spectrum. Unlike his father, Ron Paul, who would go on CNN and unapologetically defend his radical positions, Rand Paul will run from them in an instant in order to try to win votes.
– Rand Paul: Too radical for America