The Colonel is loathe to endorse a candidate for President of these re-United States. His backing of any candidate for any office has nearly always been the kiss of electoral death.
So, don't consider the following to be the Colonel's "official endorsement." Rather, look at it as his objective, and not-so humble, assessment of the highest percentage shot at denying occupation of the Oval Office by either a criminal or a[nother] socialist.
Look, the Colonel gets it. Trump is making all of our Great American hearts quicken with his politically incorrect and populist campaign. The Colonel wants all of what he says he will do.
The problem is that the office of President of these re-United States does not have the Constitutional authority to do the majority of what Trump says he's going to do.
For the last eight decades, our republic has suffered from the extra-Constitutional actions of chief executives (from both parties), drifting further and further from the safely navigated waters of (little "r") republican and balanced state/federal governance towards the rocks and shoals of dictatorial tyranny the likes of which drove Americans to revolution 240 years ago.
The Colonel cannot, in good conscience, support a man whose manifest narcissism would inevitably lead him to disregard the Constitution. Trump is a builder by nature -- he'll just build more government.
So, Trump is out. Would make a great Chief Trade Negotiator.
The two men making the best case for limiting the scope of the Federal government and taking the strongest line in support of the Constitution are Senators Paul and Cruz.
However, Senator Paul doesn't seem to accept the notion that one of the foundational pillars of American Exceptionalism is a robust foreign policy embodied in the open hand of active diplomacy and the fist of a unmatched expeditionary military.
So, Paul is out. Would make a great Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Senator Cruz has staked out a conservative, Constitution-defending position that warms the cockles of the Colonel's heart. But, Senator Cruz will be hoisted on the petard of his own hard-line interpretation of the very Constitution he so fervently defends. By the most conservative interpretation of the Constitution, he, being born in Canada, is not a "natural-born citizen" as required for election as President.
The Colonel recognizes that Cruz will win any court challenges to his eligibility, but the Republican Party does not need that drag on what will already be an up-hill battle.
So, Cruz is out. Would make a great Supreme Court Justice.
Doctor Carson is a great guy. Brilliant and accomplished surgeon. But his naivete reminds me of a certain peanut farmer from Georgia whose feckless performance in the Oval Office established the comparative floor of Presidential rankings.
So, Carson is out. Would make a great Surgeon General.
The Colonel loves Governor Christie. He would have made a great Marine -- or two. But, Christie is a Northeastern liberal who would make Romney's anemic turnout in the evangelical ranks look like a tsunami.
So, Christie is out. Would make a terrific Attorney General.
Governor Huckabee and Senator Santorum are both great guys. But, they have been running for President without success for the past two decades. Give it up guys.
The Colonel salutes the only veteran, Governor Gilmore. How would you like to fix the V.A., Governor?
Governors Bush and Kasich are the two men best qualified to govern as President of the United States on Day One. The Colonel loves W, but, frankly, we elected the wrong Governor Bush in 2000. Jeb would have not been nearly as trigger-happy and would not have selected Cheney as his VP, let alone let him have such unfettered influence. (If you have any doubt -- the Colonel ain't a Dick Cheney fan, for multiple reasons not germane to this post.)
But, a third Bush in the Oval Office in a little more than a generation just smacks too much of hereditary dynasty. And, the Colonel has come to believe that the Bushes are as big a fans of Big Government as the socialists calling themselves the Democrat Party.
So, Bush is out. Would make a great ambassador.
The Colonel likes Governor Kasich -- as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate. Hold that thought -- more later.
Senator Rubio, for all his faults, makes the most electoral sense as the Republican's Presidential nominee. He wins Florida and the South. He attracts enough Hispanic support to make the Southwest and West competitive for the Republicans. He is young and just visionary enough to appeal to the newest generation of voters.
A Rubio/Kasich ticket is the only winning ticket, from an Electoral College perspective. In order to win the Presidency, the Republicans must, in addition to winning the solidly red states, win a majority of the "purple" states -- i.e., Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia.
Kasich wins Ohio and Pennsylvania. Oh, and he was the Chairman of the House Budget Committee the last time the Federal government had a balanced budget.
Hey, Marco, the Colonel has a great job for your Vice President!
The Colonel hears the faint voices of those asking "What about Carly?"
The Colonel loves Ms. Fiorina! Wish she was from Ohio! She ain't real popular in California and the Republicans haven't had a shot at the left coast since Reagan.
Rubio/Kasich for the win.
NOT an official endorsement...