Sunday, May 01, 2011

Dark Horse: Lew Lehrman for President

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 5/2/11

The New York Times lead political story this weekend says Republicans are pursuing a wider field for the 2012 race: “The wish list among Republicans is wide and varied. Sarah Palin, a former governor of Alaska, retains a devoted following. But activists also express a longing for others to step off the sidelines, including Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the chairman of the Budget Committee.”

How about Lewis Lehrman?

Lehrman is a smart-as-paint stalwart Reagan Republican and a man of honor to the nth degree. He achieved national political prominence in a 1982 campaign for Governor of New York, in which he ran a close race against Democrat Mario Cuomo.

And in a day when conservatives are divided between traditional Republicans and new directions, including Tea Party, “Constitutional conservatives” and libertarians like Ron Paul who wants to bring back the gold standard, Lehrman has feet in both camps. And much of that which the 40% of young conservatives today find attractive in libertarian Ron Paul can be found in Republican Lew Lehrman as well in a more comprehensive package.

Among the traditionalists, he is, as Wiki reports, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Project for the New American Century, as well as a Trustee to the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation. But he was also a member of Reagan’s U.S. Gold Commission in 1981 with Congressman Ron Paul and coauthored the book, The Case for Gold, with Paul in 1982.

“Gold puts the money supply back in the hands of the people,” he told Fox’s Neil Cavuto, who called his debates with Cuomo “a Lincoln/Douglas moment.”

In 1983, when Lehrman founded Citizens for America he might have been a man ahead of his times, but time may have risen to meet his thinking today. He would be a sound choice for President in 2012 and is head and shoulders above some of those who have already entered the race. And a sound choice as well for Rick Perry’s vice president, or Chris Christie’s or Sarah Palin’s.

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