I've now settled on my candidate of choice, though: Rep. Ron Paul. The deciding information came from Saturday's ABC-Yahoo debate. Here's why:
Military service: The next president will inherit many military issues that need facing. Paul served in uniform while other candidates did not. Other candidates have tried to claim they understand military needs despite not having served. Newt Gingrich actually tried to claim his father's military experience qualified him during the debate.
Equal rights: I'm also a strong believer in equal rights. None of the candidates supports marriage equality. At least Paul acknowledges that racism is a serious problem, though. He mentions how much inequality appears in the application of drug laws and other circumstances. He's attacked for items he didn't write, but his statements clearly show he is concerned with inequality.
Constitutional transparency: Paul also believes in the Constitution and the necessity of Congress taking full responsibility for the operations of government instead of hiding behind speeches. He called out Rick Santorum for continually raising the national debt instead of being responsible.
Dr. Paul's commitment to the Constitution is enormous. He is very clear in his stance that wars should only be fought after careful deliberation by the Congress and a formal declaration of war. He makes a lot of sense when he says it is wrong for one person, even a president, to decide whether to send American military personnel into harm's way.
Business know-how: Paul's understanding of long-term business cycles makes me feel he'll understand how to fix the American economy. He believes in sound fiscal policy, sound monetary policy, real spending cuts and paying off the national debt. As the eldest candidate he has a longer lifetime from which to draw perspective on long-term issues compared to the other candidates.
While I disagree with his stance on issues like abortion and so-called right-to-work laws, I feel he is the Republican candidate with the greatest chance to help the United States correct its problems.