U.S. Republicans could learn from former N.D. governor

Eisenhower, Ford and Reagan must be rolling in their graves at what their old party has become.

One major candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Michele Bachmann, has said that the U.S. should seek compensation from Iraq to cover the cost of the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation. Previously, she had also suggested that some newly hired teenagers should be paying their employers instead of the other way around.

Another candidate with significant support from the party’s libertarian wing, Ron Paul, caused more than a few chuckles and rolled eyes when he announced that “[the U.S.] should be like 1900; we should be like 1940, 1950, 1960…” Paul is also an advocate of returning the U.S. dollar to the gold standard.

A third candidate who has become popular more recently, former restaurant CEO Herman Cain, markets his economic plan as if it were pizza, calling it the “9-9-9 Plan”. Candidate Bachmann has already tried to link this to the supposedly satanic “6-6-6”. Few, however, have noticed that “999” is the local equivalent of North America’s “911” emergency number in Hong Kong, the U.K., Ireland, Singapore and several other countries; nor that nein, nein, nein is German for “no, no, no”. Candidate Cain’s web site also helpfully suggests that “a dollar must always be a dollar just as an hour is always 60 minutes”. Americans are no doubt waiting with baited breath for Cain’s “2 for 1 Special”.

Amid it all, the more presentable Mitt Romney, a seemingly competent former governor and corporate executive, tries to bolster his appeal to the Republicans’ influential Christian Conservative wing, which views his Mormonism as being only slightly less distasteful than if he were to be an atheist; while Jon Huntsman, another competent former governor and diplomat, and Mormon, struggles to make an impact at all. Rick Perry, an incumbent Texas governor who at least looks presidential even if his qualifications are the subject of much debate, struggles to keep his once-promising campaign from going off the rails.

It’s strange that North Dakota senator John Hoeven, who governed Manitoba’s southern neighbour state for 10 years from 2000 to 2010, hasn’t been suggested yet as a compromise candidate, given the casting-about that the Republican Party has been doing in its search for a viable presidential candidate.

Less than a year after leaving Bismarck for Washington, D.C. and handing over the top job to now-governor Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota still looks like the land that the brutal U.S. recession somehow forgot.

In September 2011, North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S., at just 3.5 percent, far below the U.S. national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

North Dakota’s real GDP grew by 7.1 percent in 2009-2010, powered by the relatively strong mining and wholesale trade sectors.

In 2000, North Dakota ranked 21st in terms of the percentage of residents aged 25 years and over who had completed high school. In 2009, North Dakota ranked 11th — a change in standing only rivaled by Hawaii and the District of Columbia, and a sharp contrast to Texas (which dropped from 45th to 51st under Rick Perry’s watch), Utah (which dropped from 2nd to 8th between 2006 and 2009, when Jon Huntsman was governor) and Massachusetts (which drifted up and down in the upper-teens during the 2000s, which included Mitt Romney’s 2003-07 governorship.)

In 2009, North Dakota was one of the 10 safest U.S. states to live in in terms of violent crime rates — bested by Utah, but still boasting fewer than half as many violent crimes per 100,000 people than in either Texas or Massachusetts.

Perhaps even more importantly, Hoeven is a proven vote-winner, having increased his respectable 55 percent of the vote in 2000 to 71 percent in 2004, and further still to 74 percent in 2008.

He is, however, a Catholic (not necessarily an asset with the important Christian Conservative base noted above) and is considered to be fairly moderate in his views and reluctant to get dragged into hot-button social issues (definitely not an asset with the above!)

The two latter items alone are probably enough to prevent him from advancing any further in his political career than his current position in the Senate.

It’s a shame, because the U.S. deserves better than a zany congresswoman, a guy offering the hope of a better yesterday, and a Texas governor who led his state to the country’s worst high school attainment rate during his time in office, among others.

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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

3 Responses to U.S. Republicans could learn from former N.D. governor

  1. Reed Solomon says:

    Why would U.S. Republicans be interested in learning?

  2. TRex says:

    Interesting to note how most of the Republican candidates publicly seek the blessings of the likes of Donald Trump, Rush and the meanest Sherif in America to give their campaigns credibility in the eyes of the far right Evangelical Christian/Tea Party when in reality they are beholden to the Military Industrial Complex and Wall Street. You will even find many members of the discredited neocons lurking in the shadows ready to rise from the dead!

    Yes, Michele Bachmann rides the crazy train, Ron Paul suffers from Libertarian tunnel vision, Newt Gingrich is a phony intellectual and political has been (and a truly horrible human being), Rick Perry an absolute backwoods whore and Herman Cain way over his head in the deep end of the pool. Mittens has many flaws the most obvious being his inability to cast a shadow having no substance but I predict this will be the candidate running against Obama. Should be entertaining.

    Not exactly the kind of people who look down the food chain to “learn” anything.

  3. Jim says:

    To bad politics has become such a game of who can sling the most dirt . And it has tended to scare away the people who we and they really need .

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