Political Experience: A Plus Or a Minus?


Written by Chad Groening

Will conservative voters be looking for someone with previous political experience to head the GOP presidential ticket in 2016 – or will they be looking for a fresh face?

In a recent compilation of polls by RealClearPolitics, Jeb Bush – the former Florida governor – continues to be the front runner, with almost 16 and half percent of Republican respondents. But several polls, including one in New Hampshire and one in Iowa, had Bush trailing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has substantial momentum coming out his re-election in November.

Tom Pauken is a former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. He believes Walker is one of several possible candidates who should provide Bush with formidable competition for the GOP nomination. In fact, he doesn’t think the former Florida governor is really all that popular with many Republicans.

“I do believe a lot of Republicans – and not just conservatives – don’t want to see us have simply yet another Bush as our presidential nominee,” he states bluntly. “So I think there’s a real opportunity for someone like a Scott Walker to put together a coalition of conservatives and moderates.”

Pauken sees the political environment very differently than when Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush, ran for president in 2000.

“[George W. Bush] was clearly out front and clearly positioned himself as the conservative choice. I don’t think he was a conservative, but he was able to convince a majority of Republican primary voters he was,” says Pauken. “I think Jeb Bush is going to have a tougher time doing that this time around. And I don’t think he has the lead early in the process that his brother had when he ran for president.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Ben Carson continues to fare well in various 2016 Republican presidential polls in this unofficial early stage of the campaign. Conservative black activist Nadra Enzi, a member of the advisory council for theProject 21 (The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives), is dismissing concerns from political pundits that Carson can’t be a legitimate presidential candidate because he has absolutely no political experience.

Enzi says the country may need to have somebody like Carson who hasn’t been tainted by what the political process has become.

“When I look at the absolute mess that those with political experience have made of the nation, I – like many others – am willing to at least to give a listening ear to someone who has intellect, who has character, who has a true rags-to-riches story, but who also does not have political experience,” he shares.

Carson recently made news when the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center apologized to the famed neurosurgeon and removed him from its “Extremist Watch List.” Many political pundits believe the SPLC initially put Carson on the list because it is afraid that he will be a viable candidate even though he has had no previous political experience.

This article was originally posted at the OneNewsNow.com website.