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GOP front-runners lack political skill

By Greta Hallberg

CNN hosted the second debate among 11 candidates vying for the Republican nomination for president Wednesday. There are 16 people running now, after Rick Perry dropped out of the race last week.

Most of the candidates have a political background - Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Ohio's Governor John Kasich were all in the mix at the GOP debate. They have rich political histories, working their way up through state level government before getting elected to serve from Capitol Hill or the Governor's Mansion - and, maybe someday, the White House.

These candidates are experienced. They know what it's like to hold a public office and run effective campaigns - they've done it successfully before. In other words, whether we like all of them or not, these candidates are qualified for the positions they're applying for.

Early coverage of Wednesday's debate concluded that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was an easy winner. She conducted herself professionally, answering tough questions about defunding Planned Parenthood and defending comments from a misogynistic Trump.

A recent poll by the New York Times and CBS News released earlier this week that shows that the two leading Republican candidates at this point are Donald Trump and Ben Carson. A real estate mogul and former neurosurgeon, respectively, are currently ranked the highest in public opinion polls.

The New York Times/CBS News poll shows that 27 percent of Republican voters favor Donald Trump, up from 24 percent in a previous poll. Carson has made significant gains, rising to 23 percent favorability, an increase from 6 percent. The next public opinion polls are sure to show a surge in Fiorina's favorability, too.

These three candidates combined have the highest favorability with Republican voters. Over half of the voter base supports candidates that are not politicians. The Republican voters want to elect somebody with no experience dealing with foreign affairs, approving and examining laws or leading the military.

Realistically, the only thing Donald Trump has going for him is his money. He has built a successful company and his net worth is $4 billion, according to Forbes. Trump is so far removed from the average American's financial situation that he has no authority to sign any legislation or make futile attempts to connect with voters.

Ben Carson is undoubtedly intelligent, having successfully separated Siamese twins. It's an impressive achievement, but raw intellect, especially in subjects like neuroscience, does not qualify Carson to be our Commanderin-Chief.

Carly Fiorina, while a more successful debater and global businesswomen, still has little experience in politics. She may have more of a sense of the global economy than Carson, but that does not mean she's ready to stop Russia and Iran from entering into a nuclear war.

Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has 6 percent favorability. He's an experienced executive who worked to reform the education system in Florida and instituted environmental policies to protect the Everglades. Governor Scott Walker has 2 percent favorability with the voter base. Walker has an impressive gubernatorial record in his home state, too, turning Wisconsin's budget deficit into a surplus.

The three Republican front-runners are not qualified to lead the free world. While successful in their own right, they do not have the political experience that our country needs.

Running for political office is no different than applying for a job. Instead of writing a cover letter to a hiring manager, candidates give speeches to the public. Interviews are done with the press, not a small room of employees. Whether or not they get "hired" is up to voters - in this case 300 million Americans.

The leading GOP candidates do not have the political résumés to hold this position, the highest political office in the land. Announcing your candidacy is the political equivalent of applying for a job and it should be treated as such by the people who do the hiring.

As Carson said Wednesday, "The people - they are in charge."

He's right. We are in charge. It is our job as educated voters to hire the person with the experience and knowhow to be the elected to the Oval Office.

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