Do we really want a candidate with courage and integrity?
Now, here's the thing: we say that we want leaders with courage and integrity. I'm certainly not saying that we should go out of our way to find candidates to support who take positions we find obnoxious. But I wonder how many of us will actually respond favorably to a candidate with such conspicuous courage and integrity that he is willing to take unpopular positions because he believes that they're right, and stick to them.
Sure, there have been other Republican candidates who have done that in recent years. Rudi Giuliani and Jon Huntsman, for example. But this is the first time in a long while that I can recall a candidate with an actual chance of winning the nomination has refused to pander.
I wonder how we'll respond to that sort of integrity? I've participated enough in Iowa Republican politics to be a little skeptical about how the rank-and-file here in the Hawkeye State will respond to this unusual phenomenon. We tend to like our red meat here, especially at caucus time.
But the issues on which Jeb disagrees with the rank-and-file are actually rather few in number. On most issues, he's as solid as they come- despite the rhetoric of the more extreme elements of the party.
Who knows I'd like to think that integrity and ability- as well as electability- might trump Jeb's last name when caucus time comes.
We shall see.