“The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win. If you could convince me that Barry Goldwater could win, I’d vote for him.” -William F. Buckley (1925-2008)
Conservatives should nominate the most conservative candidate who is electable - The Buckley Rule
The speeches from CPAC this week have been great, but perhaps the most prescient words spoken came from James Higgins, the conservative activist who introduced John Thune. In his eloquent introduction, he reminded us of what has become "The Buckley Rule" -- the principle that conservatives nominate candidates who can win.
There is perhaps no better race to apply the Buckley rule than to the Republican 2012 nomination. As a young Conservative student, I am greatly inspired by (and indebted to) Conservative leaders from all across the nation. However, I realize in 2012 we need an electable candidate who encompasses everything we stand for.
Most are not familiar with John Thune. I wasn't either until a good friend told me about him. After some research, I've concluded that there would be no better candidate to beat President Obama in 2012 than the Senator from South Dakota.
"Can he win?" you are asking. He is no doubt a formidable political force as he beat the incumbent Democratic Senate Leader Tom Daschle in 2004. He has become so strong in his home state the other Party didn't even field a candidate against him in 2010. Because of this, he's now sitting on campaign funds of over $7 million - a war chest that could really jumpstart a presidential campaign.
"How are his conservative principles?" you might say. When it comes to social, fiscal, and foreign policy issues there is no better candidate than John Thune. With a 100 American Conservative Union rating and a solid voting record, I would trust a President Thune to hold fast to his values and get this country back on track.
In short, Thune's the complete package. If we follow the advice of William Buckley, we won't be disappointed in electing John Thune in 2012.