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OPINION: 2012 Presidential candidates

A Column divided: From the right

Published: Monday, October 3, 2011

Updated: Monday, October 3, 2011 10:10

The presidential primaries are starting to heat up, so let's take a look at the top three candidates -- Democrat incumbent Barack Obama, Republican Rick Perry and Republican Mitt Romney. Let's start with the incumbent.

Despite my right-wing roots, I must admit President Obama has not done a terrible job. He is certainly a step up from our last Republican president. One of the major criticisms during Obama's presidential campaign was that he lacked international experience. Ironically, this has been one of his strongest suits, and he has done much to patch up relations that were slaughtered by the Bush administration. While he certainly hasn't been perfect, the fact that most of the countries outside the U.S. like him isn't a bad thing.

However, I request someone get this man an economics textbook. Yes, I understand that he isn't to blame for the 2008 crash. I also realize that health care was a mess and far too expensive, but his solutions to both these problems violate the most basic economic principles.

The thing Rick Perry has going for him is he isn't Sarah Palin.

While he is my pick to win the Republican primaries, I don't think Rick Perry stands a chance against Obama. Those of you that follow elections may remember the tactic used by Obama's campaign that was a death blow to McCain's bid -- the death blow that didn't come from Alaska that is. Obama compared McCain to Bush Jr., and doing the same to Perry is just too easy. Their similarities are too obvious: both were Texas governors, both make fools of themselves in public speech and debate, and their intelligence leaves a bit to be desired. Additionally, Rick Perry is a career politician, and I think career politicians represent exactly what is wrong with our political system today.

Mitt Romney is in some ways Obama's antithesis. Romney is the economic wonder child. Just about everything he touched in the business world turned to gold. The 2002 Winter Olympics took a turn from disaster to one of the most successful winter Olympics, thanks to Romney, and this was no small feat.

While my economic side loves Romney, my political side loathes him. I must admit this is, in large part, because I find his bandwagon-following group of Mormon supporters to be obnoxious. I get it; I myself am LDS, and there is a certain level of inherent trust in someone's integrity when they share your religious beliefs. Just because he shares your religion, though, doesn't make him the best candidate. Like Perry, he has many of the marks of a career politician. As governor of Massachusetts, he was pro-abortion and passed health care reform similar to Obama's. I don't know which Mitt Romney is the real one -- Massachusetts Mitt or 2012 candidate Mitt. Either he was selling out then, or he is selling out now.

So this leaves two questions: Whom do I want to win? And whom do I think will win? Despite my gripes, Romney currently has my vote. I must admit my reasoning for this is largely selfish. Romney is the candidate most capable of getting the nation's economy back on track. As a student looking to enter the work force in the near future, the high unemployment numbers frighten me, particularly because the majority of unemployment comes from my age group. Economics is the most pressing need for our country currently, and Mitt is the man to fix that.

Unfortunately, I believe the presidential race is between Obama and Perry. Despite what many Utahns may think, Obama is a moderate Democrat and will probably control the majority of the swing votes. Perry tries to paint himself as moderate but isn't doing a very good job. I think it's only a matter of time before Americans realize Perry wasn't cut from presidential cloth. My prediction? Obama over Perry by a comfortable margin.

 

– Mike Burnham is a junior majoring in economics and international relations. Comments can be sent to him at mike.burnham@gmail.com.

 

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