10.31.2009 0

Why Not Duncan D. Hunter for VP?

  • On: 11/17/2009 09:43:48
  • In: Conservative Movement
  • by David Bozeman

    For the title of rising star and possible vice-presidential candidate in 2012, the GOP should consider Duncan D. Hunter, first-term congressman representing California’s 52nd district (San Diego). He, of course, is the son of Duncan L. Hunter, who held the seat for twenty-eight years and ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

    Duncan D., 33 in December (a rating of 91% from the American Conservative Union, 100% from the Eagle Forum and one of Politico’s “up and comers” in the new congressional class) will have served but two terms as of 2012, assuming, of course, he wins 2010. But, as President Obama has proven, youth, promise and a compelling life story can compensate for a thin resume.

    He helped pay his tuition at San Diego State University by designing web sites and later became a business analyst. He enlisted in the Marines as a lieutenant just after 9/11, and by late 2007 had served three combat tours, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. If economic and domestic issues remain top-tier concerns in 2012, his military record and membership on the Armed Services Committee will remind voters of the post 9/11 patriotism and resolve that has helped keep America safe from a second catastrophe. If foreign policy again takes center stage, the House of Representatives knows no finer patriot than Hunter who, under the mentorship of a seasoned presidential contender, could gallantly lead his country and his party for many years to come.

    Predictably, much like they did Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin, the Democrats and the press would eat him alive. His clean-cut boyish looks combined with a verbal faux-pas and he will be permanently labeled a lightweight. Something about a conservative’s potential for years of leadership brings out the daggers, but consistently fending off the Obama agenda would galvanize not only the conservative base but the same independent voters who voted Republican this year.

    Hunter, much like his father, is a military hawk, a staunch proponent of border security (he opposes amnesty and drivers licenses for illegals), and his opposition to Obama-care includes his amendment, accepted by the House Education and Labor Committee, to protect small businesses from broad employer mandates. In a revealing comment this July, Hunter told Human Events that, “unless we change our ways, California offers a telling snapshot of where our nation might eventually end up.” Ok, so he’s not the first person to note his home state’s reckless descent into debt and dependency. Still, he is not merely an ideological counter-weight to California’s most prominent representative, he could well be called the ‘anti-Pelosi,’ a designation that could serve as a major plus in 2012. He has lived the American dream, he has served on the front lines defending it, both overseas and in Washington, thus his values and understanding carry weight and cross the spectrum from social to economic conservative to military hawk.

    Duncan D. Hunter certainly carries the benefits of a highly tenured political name, but the Hunter family is equally as definable by military service (his grandfather Robert was a Marine in World War II). He and his wife reportedly once ruled out a political future, dreading time away from home, so he proceeds with a perspective well beyond politics and government. Busy forging his agenda, he only occasionally appears on the talk shows, and perhaps the best indication that he fits the template of rising star is that he is not trying to.

    If he is not the one, maybe the Republican hierarchy can talk Hunter, Sr. out of retirement. A bona-fide conservative, in 2008 he boldly defended the character of one of his staunchest supporters, Ann Coulter, without the cursory, “Well, I don’t agree with everything she says, but…” conservatives standing up for their own is all too rare. While his political comeback appears unlikely, in the words of Sarah Palin, he doesn’t need a title to speak out (and he is reportedly working on a book detailing his military life), so Republicans could do worse that craft an electoral strategy around the name Duncan Hunter.

    David Bozeman is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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