Paul A. Ibbetson
Values Voter Summit: Why winning is not enough
By Paul A. Ibbetson
September 24, 2010

The recent Values Voter Summit in Washington gave people a chance to hear from some of the potential Republican presidential candidates for 2012. Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, the lesser known of the political lineup that spoke at the event, took first place with 24 percent, narrowly beating former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who received 22 percent of the votes from the 700 plus attendees of the event.

While straw polls have no real validity as a gauge of the future political waters, they do show us that the Republican Party has begun to think about the future. It is now that the GOP and the American people must do some careful thinking. As much as we all would love to know the primary candidates now, strategic reasoning places most of those declarations further down the road. The most important reason for this is that when politicians announce their candidacy, they are immediately placed under attack, often attacks frivolous in nature, and must expend valuable time and resources defending their names. Strategically, this is a fight best scheduled for months before an election, not years. While this kind of baseless mud throwing demeans the process, it has unfortunately become so common that we are shocked when politicians at any level of government simply square off on their platform issues. At my last count, Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell, who just won her primary, is currently accused of being a mentally unstable, litigious, satanic witch who improperly uses campaign funds to gain the allegiance of a radical right-wing Tea Party movement. Did I miss anything? A stroke of the keys on your computer in a week will probably bring forth accusations that make these look tame, and a presidential candidate will have it much worse.

As much as I feel for whomever will take on that monumental task of being the Republican presidential candidate for the primaries and later, the winner in the general election, I am much more concerned about losing the country. In the bigger picture, that is the challenge at hand. Here are some fundamental truths along the pathway to the 2012 presidential election: Barack Obama will be extremely hard to beat in 2012. Any mentality to the contrary is almost as detrimental to the GOP as being part of an ACORN voter registration drive. On my radio program Conscience of Kansas I spoke with Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, author of the book "Conduct Unbecoming." Patterson said of Obama that "he is the most anti-American, most radical president we have ever elected by far." Now remember, Patterson worked directly with former president Bill Clinton. Despite the painful accuracy of Patterson's assessment and the growing discontent found in Astroturf-free groups like the Tea Party, Obama and the Democrats have several ways to achieve victory in 2012. Republicans have only one.

Here are some more 2012 election truths: Barack Obama is nothing if not a superb campaigner. Let not the lackadaisical John McCain presidential campaign diminish the real effectiveness of Obama's campaign machine when put into action. We would also be wise to understand that power achieved is never easily relinquished. If the Republican Party fails to place truly conservative candidates in the primary, Obama will win. If the American people allow third-string democrats in the form of RINOs in the Republican Party to surpass true conservatives in the primary, Obama wins. If the American people vote a strong conservative through the primary and the party fails to adequately disseminate those values and how they address the issues of the day, Obama wins. Lastly, and possibly the most overlooked potential for defeat during the course of this upcoming 2012 general election battle, even if Republicans defeat Obama in the general election, if our party's candidate does not have true conservative values, we lose, we lose, we lose.

It might sound that pessimism is the word of the day, but that is not so. Barack Obama is indeed beatable, and he deserves to be placed in the annals of history with democrat failures such as Jimmy Carter. Like many unhappy Americans today, I look forward to voting in the 2012 election. Heck, I want to video tape my trip to the polls and put it on YouTube, just to be able to relive the moment and to anger liberals till the end of time. However, the Republican Party must have a true conservative candidate to show voters the clear delineation between their values and the socialistic values of Barack Obama.

The Values Voter Summit is but one of many chances for politicians in the Republican Party to prepare themselves for the scrutiny of the American people on both the right and the left. If Mike Pence and others can truly model the congressman's own words at the Voter Summit that priorities are to be a Christian, conservative and a Republican, they will find the support of the Tea Party, they will be equipped to address the economic concerns of this nation. They will also have the strength from faith necessary to handle the liberal onslaught and defeat the Obama political machine. This is the Republican Party's only true option to victory in 2012.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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