Judd for President
He has the credentials — so why not?
Recently a Nashua Telegraph letter to the editor asked an innocent question. Why, writer Randall Whitehead wanted to know, isn’t Judd Gregg running for president? After all, Gregg, the state’s three-term Republican U.S. Senator, is retiring this year and hasn’t said what he is doing next.
Those close to him point out that Gregg lacks the desire and campaign fund-raising ability to seek the most grueling and expensive campaign in American politics. But Whitehead’s letter has some valid points:
“Sen. Gregg is a very intelligent, yet humble, man. He has dedicated much of his life to serving others. He has a wealth of political experience in the executive and legislative branches. He has had national exposure, vigorously standing up to President Obama’s economic policies. He is very articulate and is seen as a moderate Republican. His age is perfect. He even looks a little like Abe Lincoln. And he’s our boy! What more could we want?”
I don’t know about the Lincoln part, but he does have executive experience from being governor and deep policy knowledge from his years in Washington. His main passion is lowering the national debt and that happens to be exactly where the Republican Party — and the Tea Party — are right now.
Here are three reasons why he should seriously consider presidential run:
First, Gregg will be taken seriously, while most aren’t given the chance. Does he have the name recognition of Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee? No. But given the events of 2009 and his continued media relevance in 2010, he is known among Republicans nationwide as having significant policy credibility. Plus, he is probably about as well known as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who thinks he is presidential material.
Second, after he leaves office a presidential campaign will continue to bring prominence to the issues he cares about. Presidential campaigns are often used as a chance to draw political and media attention to causes
Third, a presidential campaign could be part of a lasting political legacy. What better way to exit a career for the state’s most successful politician ever, but with a win in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, an institution he and his father spent lifetimes preserving as first-in-the-nation?
Some have suggested that Gregg would probably be a better fit as a vice-presidential pick, particularly for a nominee without Washington experience. And for that many look to his close relationship with past — and potentially future — presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In the campaign Romney will likely talk about the same issues Gregg would. But before the campaign begins can we ask the question why Romney is the pick and not Gregg? Gregg has been in office since 1978 and has consistently fought on these issues. Gregg also has been in the political game at higher levels longer than Romney.
Being able to run as a credible candidate for leader of the free world is something only a handful of politicians ever get a shot at. The last person from our state to do it was in 1999 and only one Granite Stater — Franklin Pierce — ever won the whole thing. Gregg hasn’t given any indication he has any desire to run for president, but what does he have
to lose? NH