First, let's cover the rejects.
Guiliani - never considered him; too liberal
McCain - never considered him; had often mistaken him for a Democrat
Tancredo - sounded good; didn't know much about him, but has exited the campaign anyway
Romney - He's the first one I started to like at all. His Mormonism bothered me, but I thought that if he had integrity, the right values, and decently conservative policies, he was the best choice we were going to get. Turns out he's not very conservative, though. Moreover, then came along...
Huckabee - A "true" Christian. I was a Huckabee fan for a couple of weeks or so. But I started thinking: Bill Clinton was "Christian" too -- i.e. professing Protestant, non-Mormon -- and what did that get us? I then realized that we are making too much of religious labels. To drive home the point, Jimmy Carter was a ""'"'"born again'""'"" Christian. And what a nightmare!
Religion aside, Huckabee has been shown to be pretty liberal on a lot of issues, such as taxation, immigration, and environmentalism. I don't have links, but you can look it up. He's simply not a conservative. The things he says sounds like they come out of the mouths of Bush-hating liberals. You'd think Huckabee would get the endorsement of MoveOn.org. Really, if it weren't for Huckabee's Christian statements, he would get more support from the Left than Ron Paul. Speaking of whom...
Ron "UFO" Paul - He should run on the Libertarian ticket. On the moon.
EDIT: Sorry, I was confused here. The "UFO" reference has to do with a news story about candidate Dennis Kucinich. It's pretty bad that I mistook a GOP candidate for a Communist. Bad for him.
But let me return to Huckabee. The man has played fast and loose with the truth. The first incident was his claim that he had a theology degree, which isn't quite true. Of all things to be weaselly about! But I was going to give him a pass on that. Chalk it up to off-the-cuff misstatement/exaggeration, heat of the moment, etc. But there have been other incidents where he's just not been shooting straight. The latest is this incident. Follow this:
- Goes positive: Huckabee pledges to have positive campaign
- Goes negative: Under pressure, H. spends $30,000 on negative ad against Romney to counter Romney's ads
- Goes positive: H. pulls ad from stations at the last moment saying he will stick to a positive campaign; H. holds press conference announcing this action
- Goes negative: H. shows his negative ad at said press conference, allegedly to prove to the "cynical" media that the ad actually existed
The cynic will not fail to notice that through this maneuvering Huckabee was able to get his attack ad aired throughout the media for free instead of having to pay the networks. All the while, maintaining his stance (and a straight face) of having a consistent policy against negative ads. Folks, this is more Clintonian than Clinton. I don't want to see what this would be like when a President Huckabee is faced with serious issues! I personally don't even mind negative ads, per se. That's not the point. The issue is integrity and trustworthiness. I do not trust Mike Huckabee. Period.
Someone I do trust is Fred Thompson.
First, the downsides: not charming, doesn't have a "face for television", mannerisms are mildly annoying, not an eloquent orator (although a better speaker than Bush). But so what? Thompson is conservative on every issue.
Fred Thompson is conservative:
None of the other major Republican candidates can say that. No one else.
I made up my mind yesterday. This video I saw today sealed it for me. (I have not seen any of the debates except a little on YouTube, because I generally don't watch TV.)
But then I remembered an important topic that I hadn't seen Thompson address. Fortunately, a little Googling put a big smile on my face. I will be very happy to support Fred Thompson with my vote in the Republican primary.