Does a candidate’s character matter? (OPINION)

Kate Dalley is a business woman and cohost of the Perspectives with Bryan and Kate on Fox News 1450 AM. The opinions stated in this article are solely her and not those of St. George News.

GOP Candidate Wanted. Must only be able to debate well. Personal Info and character – not important.

I cringed when Newt Gingrich recently won the South Carolina Primary. I was actually more disgusted with the 41 percent of Americans that voted for him for than I am disgusted with just Newt in general. It seems as though Newt is emerging as the new underdog- with voters rallying around him as if his ex-wife’s complaints are merely vengeful attacks on his character. I don’t even know if Newt possesses any character.

Should a candidate’s personal character come into play when we elect him into the most important office of leadership in the country?

I think it should.

We like redemption. A good story of redemption seems to move us and invokes our emotion, or so the media tells us so. Yet, the details of Newt’s life decisions seem more like a pattern to me than a moment of weakness. The problem is Newt has made the same mistakes over and over.

He left his first wife after she had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing cancer treatments. He asked his second wife for an open relationship with his mistress of six years (who is now is third wife) and left his second wife just after she was diagnosed with MS.  His second wife was the result of an affair while married to his first wife.  Are you keeping up with me on this? Sigh.

Too many marriages.

Too many affairs.

Let’s also mention that Newt was run out of Congress by his own party, fined $300,000 for ethics violations, has had questionable bank accounts, pandering allegations, and incurred 86 counts of fraud- all while he was in leadership.

For jobs or careers such as the police department or the FBI, jobs that possess responsibilities to security over the lives of others, or even positions of power such as the CEO or CFO of a company, candidates are thoroughly vetted. Their personal credit, job history, even references are all taken into account. Candidates are scrutinized about their pasts and their ability to be trusted.

In the real world, given his past with fraud alone, Newt wouldn’t even qualify for a rookie position with any police department in the country let alone a job as a CEO or CFO- yet we are quick to employ him as our Commander in Chief?  With the fraud allegations, there is a great chance he would not even qualify as an entry level candidate for any branch in our own armed forces or even pass the vetting process of becoming a school teacher. We would not give this man the ability to wear a uniform, carry a loaded weapon as a policeman or teach our children, but we would give him the ability to start World War III.

I think in every way, a candidates personal life, his character, his morality, do offer an indication of who this man will be when he renders his power on Congress and us, the American people.

I do believe that the man behind the mantle is just as important, or should be just as important to us- knowing full well he will be given the latitude to enforce ideas, execute orders and veto bills. The man and the mantle are equally important when you can identify a pattern of bad behavior and corrupt morals.

It has been said of Romney that we are infuriated by his wholesomeness.  We seem to like those that can make mistakes and will vote for the underdog in any situation just because we can identify with him.  Well, to me, both statements are just as infuriating.

I like Romney’s wholesomeness. I like that he has been married to the same women for 40-plus years. When she was diagnosed with her illness, he was totally loyal and devoted to her and has stayed by her side. I want a man in office who has led a great life and doesn’t get a pass for bad behavior because he is a career politician. I want a great man to hold the greatest office in our country.

Without character, there can be no leadership. Without character, there can be no respect.

If Romney had made the same mistakes as Newt, he would have been ousted from this race a long time ago. Herman Cain was gone after one alleged affair. Yet, Newt seems to get a free pass.  I find it baffling that we are not only accepting of Newt’s behavior but rallying in support of him and blaming the victims of his disgusting trail of moral ineptitude.

I hope we have higher expectations than this. I hope that we would expect more from our president and not condone the actions of some slimy career politician who is known for philandering and fraud. Debate is a wonderful skill but really only proves who is the better scrapper or fighter. Debates, to me, do not prove a thing.

We have had the advantage of seeing what Newt will do in a leadership role. In Newt’s own words, “It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say”.  Well, I do care what he does and I don’t want to hear what he has to say. Lip service doesn’t mean a thing to me.

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  • Firefly January 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Very well stated…with one caveat, Romney’s term(s) as Governor and his campaign 4 years ago, in your view make him a “semi-career politician”. So what would be the difference between a “career politician” and a “semi-career poltician”?

  • TLish January 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Kim January 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Well said Kate! Character counts!

  • Carrie Heaton January 24, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Of course it matters! If his own wife can’t trust him, why should we?

  • Mark January 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

    You nailed it Kate. If Newt does become the GOP candidate we deserve what we get. I sure hope there is enough ‘sense’ left to prevent that. Newt is just BHO with a different party affiliation and a lot more ‘smarmy’ personality. God help us.

  • Deborah Bowling January 25, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Well done. Too bad character didn’t seem to matter when our current president got elected…

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