The Republican Front Runners

As something of a political junkie, I’ve been intrigued by how
soon and how quickly the 2008 presidential race has progressed.
That we are over a year out and already have supposed a “front
runner” in at least one of the parties is striking.

I haven’t made up my mind quite yet – I refuse to succumb to
the pre-primary hoopla – but I do have some favorites so far.
There are a couple who I think would make a good president; another
who I agree with but doesn’t stand a chance.

And then there are the ones whose candidacies I find troubling
because their platforms are so diametrically different from my own.
Once again, the anti-gay agenda has become a rallying point for
some of the leading contenders on the right.

Touting himself as the only true conservative, Fred Thompson has emphasized
his consistency on various social and fiscal issues. Unlike some of
his counterparts, he hasn’t shifted his stance on gay marriage;
he was always against it. Thompson has publicly endorsed a
federal Constitutional amendment that would ban marriage, but
his language is
more nuanced
than previous attempts, and in his opinion, is
more likely to pass.

As mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani is best known for
his leadership on 9/11. He is also credited with “cleaning up the
city” by cracking down on crime, albeit with a highly
controversial police policy that targeted particular segments of
the population. Always viewed as a social moderate, Giuliani has
shifted his stance on gay rights
, but has tried to maintain a
centrist stance.

A statement from his website reads, “Rudy Giuliani will nominate
strict constructionist judges with respect for the rule of law and
a proven fidelity to the Constitution. Those judges will follow the
text of laws and of the Constitution and will not make policy from
the bench.”
Read: “Dear Conservative Base, regardless of what I’ve
supposedly stood for in the past, I won’t nominate anyone to the
bench who supports all families (or a woman’s right to
control her own body.)”

Mitt Romney, arguably my
least favorite of the candidates on the right, spent the greater
part of his tenure as governor of Massachusetts bad mouthing his
constituency and whining about being a red dot in a bleeding-heart
blue state. Though he declared himself as a
more ardent supporter of gay rights than Ted Kennedy
Romney, showing himself to be little more than a disingenuous
political opportunist, is now quite
anti-gay rights.