06/14/11 — Casting call: Not a bad showing for what some have called lukewarm candidate pool

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Casting call: Not a bad showing for what some have called lukewarm candidate pool

Of course those who would rather not see Republicans as the party in the White House in 2012 don't think much of those who have already announced their intention -- or even hinted at an intention -- of running for the party's presidential nomination.

That's what you do when you want to have an edge in a campaign -- you run down your opponents.

But on the contrary, last night's Republican debate was a good step forward -- a chance to see that those who are seeking the GOP nod are not radical nitwits, have a grasp on the issues and have a little charisma of their own.

But then again, it is early.

There is no question that President Barack Obama is struggling. Low jobs numbers, an anemic economy and a host of other concerns mean he is vulnerable in 2012.

However, the Republican Party is not a shoo-in. If the contenders want to keep from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they need to have answers, options and a grasp of the fact that partisanship just won't cut it with this new electorate.

Over the last few years, Americans have learned something about casting ballots for presidential elections. It is not about history this time or a great speech maker.

This election will be about substance -- and it will be won by someone with ideas and the backbone to back them up with action.

So who is the right candidate for the GOP nod? It is still too early to tell. But Monday's debate suggested that several of them are ready to talk solutions and are undeterred by those who infer otherwise.

We will have to see if they can keep it up.

Published in Editorials on June 14, 2011 12:47 PM