10/10/11 — The great debate: Republican field should be narrowed by substance

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The great debate: Republican field should be narrowed by substance

In any election, there are red herrings -- little bits of information that come out about a candidate that are interesting, and maybe even relevant, but that are not the critical factors in determining whether he or she will be a good officeholder.

And often, those little bits are tactics -- either by one of the other hopefuls or by the opposition -- designed to steer conversation away from issues and toward what can only be described as distraction.

That is the case in the Republican battle for the nomination to run for the office of president of the United States.

Sure, some of the questions have a base in substance, but many of them really say little about the candidate's ability to lead a country. They are intrigue and speculation, not fact. And, in some cases, discussion of those sideshows often distract from the true exploration of whom would be the best candidate to lead this country, should voters decide to put a Republican in office.

And right now, Americans cannot afford this sort of distraction from what is really important. Voters have to be able to tell what candidates on either side and in multiple races really think about issues like immigration, jobs, education and the economy.

They have to be able to judge, effectively, who best articulates their vision for America.

Distractions will continue -- as will the "got yous."

It is the job of those who care about the future of this country to ignore them and to focus on what really matters -- finding the best person to lead this nation forward.

Published in Editorials on October 10, 2011 10:33 AM