If we lived in an ideal world, former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer would be the undisputed frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. However, as the world operates under anything but ideal circumstances, Roemer was sure to lose from the get go, though he has managed to surpass Texas Governor Rick Perry in a few recent polls. The reasons for this are many, but the central one is what late California Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh described as the “mother’s milk” of politics; money. Roemer has set a $100 limit on all individual contributions in an effort to raise awareness about fighting corruption, particularly that which is brought about by lobbyists and special interest groups. Indeed, campaign finance reform has been Roemer’s main theme since announcing his candidacy early last year. Unlike most politicians who bring this subject up to score points with an embittered electorate, Roemer has lived by example, beginning with the institution of similar donation caps during his successful late 1980s run for the Pelican state’s gubernatorial post.
Aside from being a man of his word in this pivotal regard, Roemer has devised sensible, sustainable plans for our nation’s haywire fiscal policy. Supporting feasible tariffs to incentivize domestic industrial growth, as well as ending ludicrous subsidies to already successful oil and ethanol corporations, he strikes a new chord in creative problem solving.
In addition, he is an unabashed social moderate who has absolutely no interest in forcing his own ideas of morality down the throats of voters. Proof of this is evident from his single term as governor, when he boldly stood up for women’s reproductive rights, to the present, as he recently went out of his way to build inroads with members and supporters of the Occupy movement.
If Roemer were on the ballot in the upcoming Florida primary, I would gladly cast my ballot for him. Mitt Romney is far enough ahead of the wingnuts, theocrat Rick Santorum, pseudo-libertarian Ron Paul, and legend in his own mind Newt Gingrich, that true preference based voting is possible. Nonetheless, I hope that Roemer’s campaign gains traction during the months ahead and can become a national presence to be reckoned with over the next several months.
All things considered, Buddy Roemer is a man whose time has doubtlessly come. Unfortunately, the spotlight that he so richly deserves was snatched away from him. What a loss for candidate and country alike.