National Examiner's Anthony Martin: Do We Add Coburn's Name To The Presidential Candidate List?
By Anthony G. Martin
In The National Examiner
This year has already witnessed the emergence of some surprises among those who would challenge Barack Obama in 2012. Hillary Clinton, of course, has long been rumored to mount a primary challenge to the President. Businessman Herman Cain is exploring a possible run, and of course, Donald Trump has created a national stir as he considers entering the race.
But as of Tuesday of this week, Americans can now add another name--a new face to Presidential politics--to the possible GOP contenders, that of U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
Coburn has not announced any intention to seek the Republican nomination.
Yet many observers are convinced he brings to the table solid conservative credentials, experience in government as a U.S. Senator, and a willingness to state the truth regardless of the consequences.
Political reporter/commentator Mike McCarville has been at the forefront of Oklahoma politics for 31 years. His 'McCarville Report' is one of the most respected political publications in the nation today, and McCarville himself has garnered the respect and admiration of readers, political pundits, and politicians on both sides of the aisle.
McCarville believes that Senator Coburn is the man to challenge Barack Obama in 2012.
McCarville penned an open letter, published in his Report yesterday, that urges Coburn to seek the Republican nomination. While there is room for disagreement with some of McCarville's statements concerning Palin and Bachmann in particular, his reasoning is well worth considering.
Here is one excerpt: "The genesis of this open letter occurred two months ago, as you battled yet another congressional spending ploy. Like many, I am beyond weary of the excessive federal spending that has now encompassed at least the last 40-plus years and threatens the future of the Republic.
"To accomplish what we both want...salvaging the future of this country...there must be a resolute, determined and courageous occupant of the Oval Office who has demonstrated by his actions that he means what he says and who is a devotee of fiscal sanity.
"You, sir, have so demonstrated."
Coburn is a physician who entered politics in 1994 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected to the Senate in 2004. During that time he has distinguished himself as a principled conservative who consistently stands against excessive government spending and tax increases. He supports gun rights, term limits, and the right-to-life movement. He is an ordained Southern Baptist deacon in his church and has broad appeal to evangelicals throughout the South, Southwest, and Midwest.
But, as McCarville points out, Coburn does not carry the stigma associated with many conservatives presently on the national stage.
His public statements are carefully reasoned, articulate, and devoid of any of the demagoguery that is so rampant in American politics today. Yet he is solidly principled in his devotion to the Constitution, the free market, small government, and lower taxes, and he articulates these ideals with sufficient passion.
McCarville continues: "A nationally-respected and well-known observer who desires to remain anonymous tells The McCarville Report Online: 'The GOP field is ill-defined, and in many ways deeply flawed. You need someone who combines ideological consistency (lacking in Romney), with evangelical acceptability to get through those early southern primaries. But there is also the need for the executive function needed in a mature leader. Coburn has all that, but the field is crowded and raucous. His voice won't stand out because no one will sit still for his professorial discourses on how to do things. There are upsides to Coburn as a candidate. Unlike the conservatives who can appeal to the Tea fringe, he has the added advantage of not seeming like an ill-informed, unpleasant demagogue (Bachmann, Cain, Palin, Santorum, Trump). He's got the interesting and active mind like the 'boring' guys -- Mitch Daniels, Jon Huntsman. And, he seems to be less clownish than Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani. And, he's got better name identification that the two candidates in the field who I see as the most presidential. Gary Johnson and Haley Barbour."
The anonymous pundit quoted in the above paragraph goes on to note Coburn's chief weakness--his disdain for fund-raising. He hates the process, and, as the writer notes, a Presidential campaign is all about being able to raise sufficient funds, particularly given the fact that Obama has a sizeable war-chest at his disposal, compliments of Marxist-Socialists such as George Soros and his gazillion organizations.
Yet if Coburn has 'the fire in the belly,' such a deficit can be overcome.
Thus, Coburn brings to the table 4 distinct advantages: he is both a fiscal and a social conservative; he is an intellectual who can engage in reasoned public discourse with the most polished debaters; he has the kind of personality that many associate with the word 'charisma;' and he lacks the baggage that many of the current crop of contenders carry with them.
Does Coburn want the job? And is he willing to do the hard work necessary to raise the money?
Those questions are yet to the answered.
Be sure to catch Anthony Martin's blog at The Liberty Sphere.