Penny is a sharp gal who calls herself a "hard core conservative" and she has certainly had her concerns about McCain as the Republican nominee. But to her credit, she has considered the alternatives and decided her vote needs to go for McCain. She has even given her time as a McCain delegate and has worked to persuade supporters of other candidates to back him. Thanks Penny for thinking of a higher purpose and putting together some thorough and useful information for us.
I have three main criteria that I hope Senator McCain will follow in picking a running mate:
- That the individual must be 'untainted' among Conservatives
- That they be able to consolidate both religious and economic conservatives, and;
- That they be able to bring new voters into the fold and expand the Republican base.
I believe Watts has the ability to make a difference in the outcome of a national election. He is an unapologetic social conservative, a former pastor, former Oklahoma Corporate Commissioner and Congressman, former college football star, and currently a successful businessman, national pundit, and a board member of such organizations as the Boy Scouts of America. More importantly, JC is a true believer in free market economics, and consistently for more defense, less government overall, and lower taxes. Watts can speak to the Huckabee, Romney, Thompson, and McCain voting blocks with out batting an eye, and without having his sincerity questioned.
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't appreciate the fact that Watts is an African-American, I do. I am against affirmative action, but believe it makes sense for Republicans to recruit minority candidates. African-American voters have been taken for granted by the Democratic Party, as has become evident with Obama's overwhelming wins in South Carolina and Georgia. With McCain's popularity in the Hispanic community and Watts' ability to reach out to African-Americans, the Republican Party can break into typical Democratic voting blocks that are not only key for victory in 2008, but an absolute must if we are to be successful in the future.
No, I do not believe that women vote for women just because they are of the same sex, or that blacks vote for blacks, etc. Individuals will vote for those that have similar perspectives and backgrounds, and yes, also to those individuals that look like us. So while I am not saying that we are going to get African-American votes simply by putting Watts on the ticket, I do think that Watts presents a window of opportunity that is closing at a rapid pace.
Most importantly, Congressman Watts can be President. He has come from a modest background to make something of himself, he is of high character, he has been on the national scene playing a leadership role in the Republican Congress, and he has started and successfully ran a business since his time on the hill. He is also, BTW, a good friend of Senator McCain's and would make a loyal number two who has been an effective spokesmen for Conservative ideals.
I believe over the next couple of months Senator McCain has to reach out to conservatives in his own party who have rightfully, at times, questioned his loyalty to the cause. He can start by picking one of the cause's greatest advocates.
Video 1: A child's report on J.C. Watts (hey let's recruit this kid for the campaign!)
Video 2: Congressman Watts Interview (note: volume is low)