Sunday, April 17, 2005

Because It's Never Too Early...

John J. Miller is looking ahead to the possibilities for the GOP nominee in '08 and in an article from the April 25th edition of National Review, he gives us a peak at South Carolina's Governor, Mark Sanford:

Since then, he has gone on to become one of the best new governors in the country, ranking near the top of the Cato Institute's latest fiscal-policy report card and putting himself in position for an easy reelection next year. Conservatives have praised his efforts to slash taxes and limit the growth of government. A college student in Maryland has even launched a "Draft Sanford for President 2008" website.

Sanford was elected to Congress in 1994 and became an early advocate for Social Security reform:

His main focus, however, was Social Security. Sanford began offering reform ideas -- beta versions of what President Bush advocates now -- shortly after his 1995 swearing-in ceremony. His first bill was his most ambitious one. It would have allowed workers to redirect a chunk of their payroll taxes into private accounts.

Okay, you've got my attention. Tell me more.

Unlike some local Congressman, Sanford kept his term-limit pledge:

After six years in Congress, Sanford honored a term-limits pledge and stepped down. He indicated that he had no plans to run for another office, and he even joined the Air Force Reserve as a logistics officer who coordinated medical crews aboard C-17s. (He still belongs, and may be called up -- which would present an interesting problem.) "It was an odd midlife crisis," he says. "We've disconnected the rights of being Americans with the responsibilities. I wanted to have some juice in the deal, and to set an example for my boys." (Sanford and his wife have four sons.)

This guy is sounding better and better.

In 2002, he was elected governor:

It wasn't long before Sanford set his sights on the governorship. As a candidate, Sanford proposed abolishing the state's income tax over the course of 18 years. As governor he wasn't able to move this idea through the statehouse, even with Republicans in control of both chambers. Instead, he found himself issuing 106 budget vetoes in an effort to reduce spending -- but legislators overrode 105 of them. Sanford protested their taste for pork by carrying a pair of piglets into the capitol building. His prickly relations with lawmakers continue this year, as he keeps on pushing for tax cuts that South Carolina's senatorial grandees don't want to give him.

106 budget vetoes to reduce spending and still pushing for tax cuts? Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

Sanford in 2008? It could be just the ticket.

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