Formed in the fire

I don't know that any of them are going to win the Republican nomination, but I do know that contenders from those northern liberal bastions like Minnesota and Wisconsin that grew inexplicably out of those hardy, self-sufficient Viking communities that first populated their regions, are impressing me. Tim Pawlenty, Michelle Bachman, Paul Ryan and Wisconsin's incredibly gutsy young governor, Scott Walker, are setting standards for political courage that should become a required course for conservative Republicans across the country.

Out of two states that have been so historically Democrat, progressive and union-dominated that you would never guess a conservative could be elected, the common-sense folks of Wisconsin and Minnesota have delivered an impressive group of young Republican conservatives who are inordinately dominating the national political scene. And yes, I can get away with referring to the 55 year-old Michelle Bachman as young because I'm many years her senior. She's a kid to me but a damned bright and competent one whose political philosophy reflects mine and I would say with confidence, that of much of America..

I see these successful young Republicans as the hard metal hammered from the forge of their respective state politics. They have been formed in the fire and they have met the test of toughness, believability and durability that may one-day qualify them for national greatness. As I look at each of them I see the steel that formed the spines of past great Americans who led this country through times of strife and into periods of prosperity that have made us the example to the world when we as a people supported political courage over political expediency.

Would I vote for any one of them for president? I honestly don't know. But what I do know is that all of them should be in the cabinet of whichever Republican is elected.