Do Solutions Matter In Presidential Elections?

20Mar12

Interesting conversation with one of  my sisters regarding political candidates. She basically floated the idea that solutions don’t matter when choosing one.

I hadn’t thought about this, although it would certainly seem possible given how President Obama didn’t present a lot of solutions during the 2008 campaign (save for hope and change). Of course, Senator John McCain’s solutions weren’t that good either.

But in looking at the current crop of Republican candidates, it’s interesting to see who’s presented solutions (and is talking about them) and who hasn’t.

Mitt Romney:

In a recent talk at the University of Chicago, the ex-Massachusetts governor talked about economic freedom and sustained prosperity. He discussed Obama wanting to raise the marginal tax rate from 37-percent to 40-percent. But he didn’t mention how he would do it. One thing Romney did talk about was reducing federal spending, balancing the budget and keeping debts from going to another generation. He also talked about eliminating programs like ObamaCare, Amtrak subsidies and sending programs back to state.

Now it’s nice that he’s talking about that, but this was to a group  of economic students at UC. In his other speeches, he’s been more concerned about either Rick Santorum or Obama. Romney’s tax plan is on his website.

Rick Santorum:

He’s got a plan on his website…but he hasn’t really talked about it that I can think of. He’s been more focused talking about his faith, his war on pornography, how Romney isn’t a conservative (even though he did call Romney one in 2008), how Obama is a bad parent and how liberty and freedom matter more than the unemployment rate. Santorum’s actually right on how freedom and liberty matter more in the long run, but saying “I don’t care what the unemployment rate is,” won’t score votes. And certainly didn’t in Illinois, although he had a pretty decent showing. It will be interesting to see if the recent quotes will hurt the ex-Pennsylvania senator or if it will matter in Louisiana, Texas, California.

Newt Gingrich:

Newt’s a strange character. The former Speaker of the House has been focused almost solely on his $2.50 gas campaign. It’s actually not a bad strategy because obviously gas is a major issue. He’s also apparently made the White House mad with his barbs towards Obama’s lack of an energy policy. Liz Peek has an interesting op-ed on Fox News’ website on this. It really is funny how Newt’s the one who’s causing the ruckus, since Romney and Santorum haven’t. Of course, he’s still not winning primaries but obviously something is annoying Obama. Newt does has a plan on his website and he also talked about it at CPAC.

Ron Paul:

I think Ron Paul has pretty much put his planned 2013 budget on his website. I haven’t seen a lot of speeches by the Texas congressman, but I’m pretty sure he’s sticking to this. Since he’s doing a lot of town halls with university students, they don’t get televised that often. In fact, Paul supporters have been making more news these days than Paul has.

So do solutions matter? To me they do. To everyone else…well I’m not a mind reader but sometimes I wonder.



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