By Carole on Aug 14, 2011
With the conclusion of the Ames straw poll, an Iowa institution that is usually less about the GOP nomination and more about filling time during a slow August news cycle, it's time for Republican primary voters to get serious about supporting the candidate of their choice. But can they even begin to make that choice if some might-be candidates will not fully commit to either running or not running?
Across this country are hundreds of thousands of will-be activists just waiting to donate their time, energy and cash to the candidate in which they most believe. They are ready, willing and able to support the man or woman they trust to defeat President Barack Obama and lead this country out of our economic quagmire.
But with several big names still playing the role of semi-reluctant bride, many of those Americans are stuck with two bad choices: do nothing for an indefinite period of time while the Obama machine gains political momentum or get behind their second, third, or even fourth choice.
That kind of by-default candidate selection is what leads to what happened in 2008 - nominating a candidate who can only muster half-hearted support from the Republican base, has no real traction with Independents and has a lower chance of winning the general election.
With Texas Governor Rick Perry's recent announcement, that still leaves might-be's such as former Alaska and New York Governors Sarah Palin and George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who continue to coyly flirt with the possibility of entering the race without committing one way or the other. And then there is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who has repeatedly ruled out a 2012 White House bid yet continues to take meetings with major potential donors and recently traveled to Iowa to speak on national issues.
These potential candidates, as well as a few other lesser knowns, must either stand up beside those who have already declared their candidacy or retreat far enough from the stage so that the spotlight shines only on the real choices available. With Ames behind us and the serious campaigning about to begin, it's time that those who want to get involved in the process be able to hear from all the candidates and make their choice.
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