It has been said many times, but bears repeating: there is no perfect candidate. Even if there were, my perfect candidate would likely be different than your perfect candidate.
Two points. First, conservatives and Republicans (I am both) need to ask themselves: are those seeking the Republican nomination likely to be better, or worse presidents, than Hillary (or Joe or, shudder, Bernie)? There is not a single person running on our side who would not make a better president than any of those the Democrats have on offer (whatever happened to Jim Webb?).
Second, hark back to William F. Buckley’s premise: we should nominate the most conservative candidate who can win the general election. Not the perfect candidate. He (or she) does not exist.
Right now, for me at least, that would be Marco Rubio. He is smart, well-versed on the issues of the day, good on his feet, and presents the starkest possible generational contrast with the Old Folks the Dems have to offer.
While The Donald might get the nomination, he is rather disliked by the general electorate. And his explosive response to any slight, perceived or real, would do him in in the general.
What about Bush, Carson, and Fiorina? The name Bush has become anathema, and we are not some third-rate monarchy that passes the throne to the next in line for coronation. Carson? Brilliant surgeon, marvelous person. Not a clue when it comes to what matters in running our military or foreign policy. We’ve already seen what on-the-job training will get you in a president. Fiorina? Failed executive, failed senate candidate. ‘Nuff said.
As for Scott Walker, for whom I had high hopes, he disappointed with his sour grapes exit. But he was right. We need to focus on dumping Trump. No-chance candidates such as Govs. Gilmore, Huckabee, Jindal, and Pataki, and Sens. Graham, Paul, and Santorum should exit gracefully before wasting any more time and money.