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Heather Robinson Headshot

Republican Candidates: Mitt, Newt, Rick Santorum And Ron Paul Don't Do It For Me

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So, as this primary election season goes on and on, I still haven't found The One. Seasons have changed, I've switched to a new therapist and while I have no problem attracting candidates for the position, the search continues. My mother always told me he would come along, and that when I knew, I'd just know.

But no matter how many times I see Mitt, Newt, Ron, and Rick, I still can't make up my mind.

My life coach tells me that expectations are everything. If I were a peasant girl in the fifteenth century looking forward to a lifetime of sweeping dirt floors and carding wool and there was only one young man in the village with a functioning set of teeth, I would fall madly in love with him. But what does that have to do with me as a big city career woman with options?

Yes, I know primary season is moving along and I should make up my mind already. My mother says Mitt is the one for me. And on paper, he is perfect (not that there's any such thing, as I've finally internalized after years of psychodynamic therapy).

Mitt is handsome and tall; he has an MBA from Harvard and a gorgeous, much discussed head of hair; and despite the perfect 10 on the looks and success scale, he is, disarmingly, a sweetheart. He likes babies, is extremely family-oriented and is not a commitment-phobe. Sometimes single women are accused of having impossible standards, but I think I am plenty flexible. For instance, I don't mind that he is noncommittal about releasing his multiple tax returns. I mean, so what if the man has some alleged secret offshore accounts in the Caymans. I have my secrets, too -- Spanx, anyone?

Mitt has been pursuing something serious with me since 2008 -- for so many years that to be honest, I'm surprised he hasn't given up. I mean, hasn't this been going on a bit too long already? But I do admire his persistence.

The awful thing is, something's still missing. Just when I start to admire his masterful competence in answering a question, just when I'm starting to feel some warmth, Newt comes out swinging and it makes me realize -- I hate to say it but -- I'm not in love with Mitt.

Newt is such a bad boy, I shouldn't be attracted to him. But he has this way of stating things just as he sees them, and damn what anyone else thinks. So what if he's a little jowly? At the most random times, like when I'm doing yoga, I hear him say, in that crisp, irritated tone, "Elect me, and your kids will be able to move out because they'll have work!" And I start picturing a future.

I know, I know, it's unrealistic. The man's had three wives and left two of them on their sickbeds. If I choose Newt, it will not be a stable union. My therapist thinks I'm being self-destructive, but it's like there's this wild chemistry, especially when he speaks of himself as a "transformational figure" and says things like, "I'd be quite happy to have a three-hour Lincoln Douglas style debate with Barack Obama. I'll let him use the teleprompter, I'll rely on knowledge, and I'll be fine." That confidence makes me wild. I can't stop thinking about the irritated look Newt gets when someone asks a question like John King did in the Charleston debate, and he puts them in their place with that bulldog 'tude. And he's so intriguing. There's angry Newt, then brilliant Newt, and just when he starts to sound pedantic, funny Newt.

Mitt is no wimp -- but he doesn't have Newt's boldness. If only I could infuse a little bit of one into the other!

Then there's Rick Santorum. Santy's got this church-boy-next-door-in-the-sleeveless-vest appeal. In my post-college years, I wouldn't have even looked at him. But that was before Barack and Slick Willie (don't remind me). Santy's solid; he hasn't shifted his positions on anything, ever.

I'd never have to worry about Santy being unfaithful. He even does his own taxes. When I'm drinking coffee in the morning, I imagine a future with him.

To further complicate matters, Ron Paul is in the picture. He's the kind of guy I imagine could fix my computer and hang shelves for me -- while giving me tough love about spending too much money on spa treatments and clothes. He'd have me eating Ramen Noodles and thinking about the Federal Reserve and balancing my checkbook regularly.

But when he starts railing about how the U.S. should cut all foreign aid, including to Israel, it's awkward. Israel's security is a core value for me.

I'm starting to think that if I can't totally fall in love and be comfortable with any of these men in time, then maybe I'll just become an independent. That would mean giving up voting in the primary, but parties are useless if you never meet anyone who fits. I'll still vote in the general election, but I'm not putting my heart on the line unless he's worth it. In 2012, a woman doesn't settle.

Journalist Heather Robinson also blogs at and is a columnist for