Friday, August 12, 2011

Ranking the G.O.P. Nominees

Last evening, eight G.O.P. presidential hopefuls took part in the Republican primary debate in Ames Iowa, just ahead of the crucial-for-some Iowa poll.  This debate was a decided contrast to the previous one in that the questions asked by the moderators were tough and the candidate tried to better differentiate themselves from their opponents, sometimes by verbally attacking each other.  That said, following is my own interpretation and opinions on who I thought were the winners, who were the losers, and how I currently would rank them in my own order of preference for president.

 #1 Michele Bachmann – Bachmann struck me once again that she is a fighter.  She isn’t timid or worried about political correctness, while still coming across as a gentle lady.  She was the one that struck me as perhaps being the most principled on all topics, especially regarding our economy.  She has always been at the forefront of every fight on major issues in congress, and on the right side of those fights.  She is smart, savvy, and doesn’t come across as a “politician” in the usual connotation of the word.  Because of her fighting spirit and her uncompromising principled stand on the issues, she is currently my first choice for president.

#2 Rick Santorum – Santorum impressed me last night.  I have always admired him, particularly his strong pro-life stance, but last night he came across as more energetic and charismatic than the typical vanilla personality he has displayed in the past.  Santorum is right on all of the issues, particularly regarding his strong view of supporting states rights while still acknowledging that there are definitely core principles that should be enforced on a federal level for all states.  Rick doesn’t have a chance at winning the nomination, as even he admitted that he typically gets scant media coverage, however his performance last night rooted in principle makes him sky-rocket to 2nd place on my list.  He would make a good V.P. nomination, especially coming from the crucial swing-state of Pennsylvania.

#3 Herman Cain – Mr. Cain brings something to the debate that has been sorely lacking in the past.  He is a non-politician.  He is a no-nonsense businessman with a record of success.  He rightly points out, especially with economic matters, that we cannot fix the problem until we have identified and are working on the right danged problem.  I also am impressed with the fact that he is not afraid to rely on experts that know more than he does on subjects, particularly the generals when it comes to fighting in the Middle East.  Instead of BS’ing his way through some answer to make one believe he is a subject matter expert, he tells the truth.  That is refreshing and typically very un-politician like.  I think we could do far worse in fixing our economic ills than to elect this savvy straight talking businessman to the White House.

#4 Newt Gingrich – When it comes to issues, over-all knowledge, and proper historical context, nobody surpasses Gingrich.  His answers impressed me most and proved that he has the specific ideas and fire in the belly to be an excellent president.  He stated in the post-debate interview that the House should return to work on Monday and repeal the Dodd-Frank Bill that day, repeal Sarbanes-Oxley on Tuesday, and remove restrictions on energy exploration on Wednesday and then ask the Senate if they are going to remain on vacation until November or come back to work and fix the economy now.  Newt would be my first choice for president and would do an excellent job except for one major thing.  His personal life and political baggage are a mess and make him unelectable.  His poor choices and seeming lack of integrity in his personal life make him a non-starter.  Too bad, because things would get done and for the better, if only Gingrich would live by the values he espoused.  Nevertheless, Gingrich was the winner of the debate last night.

#5 Mitt Romney – I know it is conventional wisdom that the nomination for president is Mitt’s to lose.  I am not a fan of conventional wisdom in this case.  I thought Romney did a good job in the debate, looked, sounded, and acted very presidential and for the most part had good answers.  Unfortunately, I do not trust him.  Romney would even embarrass John Kerry in the flip flopping department, and on core principles (abortion and government health care for instance).  This makes Romney look like a slick used-car salesman that will say anything to get the sale.  A lot of conservatives aren’t buying his line.  Unfortunately, a lot of the establishment is and that is likely why he will end up being our nominee.  If Romney holds fast to his latest version of his truth, then things will likely work out fine for our country.  If he goes searching for approval in the polls and doing what is politically expedient, then we are hosed with a Romney presidency.

#6 Tim Pawlenty – I was never very fond of Pawlenty right from the start.  He strikes me as the consummate smarmy politician.  His attacks on Michele Bachmann in the debate last night only solidified my opinion.  He criticized Bachmann for not getting results despite her being at the forefront of every major political fight.  While Pawlenty is right about her lack of results, his implied solution is that she needs to learn to compromise.  Now compromise can be okay if it advances one’s important agenda without sacrificing one’s core values; however, political compromise simply to get “results” of some legislation passed in which to show that you have done “something” is exactly how we end up with horrible legislation like the recent debt-ceiling bill.  Pawlenty is more about having something tangible to point towards, rather than standing on certain core principles.  Pawlenty didn’t help his cause last night and is hopefully done accordingly.

#7 Jon Huntsman – Huntsman is the former governor of my current home state of Utah.  While he did some good things economically for Utah and did create jobs here, he is a big-government Republican of the worst type.  His support for TARP and for cap & trade are examples of this.  I don’t have a problem with his having served in the Obama administration as ambassador to China.  I do have a problem with the fact that he seems to think like Obama in that the answer to all of our problems can usually be taken care of with a government program.  Huntsman also did little to help his cause in the debate last night and hopefully can return to relative national obscurity soon.  Besides, he sounded as if he was going to cry last night as he repeatedly said how he was “proud to stand on his record”.

#8 Ron Paul – First, I was surprised at the vocal support that Paul received from the crowd last night, and indeed he is doing well in the Iowa polls.  Paul is a walking contradiction to me though.  He understands the economy and the systemic changes needed to fix it probably better than anybody else.  The problem is that his foreign policy is horrible and dangerous.  He “understands” why Iran wants nuclear weapons and evidently doesn’t think it is a big deal, despite the fact that their President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that he wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.  I understand and can appreciate not wanting to get involved in foreign entanglements, but Paul’s call to neo-isolationism in this world of jihadists today is foolish and dangerous to America, not to mention an existential threat to the very existence of our only stable democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.

Well, there you have it.  T. Paine’s analysis of where the candidates stand for the Republican nomination in my own personal opinion.  I doubt seriously that this will fall in line with the media’s rankings or thoughts on who won the debate last night, and frankly I could care less.  I did come away last night feeling better about some of the top candidates in the field though.  I think any of my top four would do a good job as president.

 I am irritated that Rick Perry, who is going to run now, decided he didn’t need to jump in the race in time to partake in last night’s debate.  Perhaps that is a smart move politically, but it cost him points in my book.  It will be interesting to see who is left standing after the group gets whittled down in the next month or two.  Hopefully this isn’t merely an exercise of going through the motions because Romney has already been pre-determined to be the nominee.  We do not need another moderate politician.  We tried that with Dole, Bush, and McCain.  None of them were successful overall.  The left managed to nominate and get elected the most liberal senator in the nation to the White House.  After his incompetence and aloofness towards the handling of vital issues, I think a true conservative candidate is what is needed to repair the mess created by the man-child-in-chief accordingly.


John Myste said...

The first thing I thought when I read this was how your list was exactly backwards, which is what I expected. However, it was a gut reaction. You did put Ron Paul last. Too bad the list was not large enough to scroll off the page.

However, the article is pretty good. You inspired a few thoughts, I don’t have time to share and here they are:

Reagan was fundamentalist on foreign policy, but for a republican he was a moderate. He was nothing like Michelle Bachman. If you want a man like Reagan, then you want a moderate. Please get off Rush Limbaugh’s soapbox. Moderates can do well and can accomplish as much as irrational fanatics. Rush tells you otherwise because he wants people with his mindset in office (or perhaps because it gets ratings, who knows).

Rich Santorum – Google this: “Santorum”

Rick Perry – It is too bad that he was not in the mix. Perhaps he could take his position right under Ron Paul where he belongs. Huckabee is far more intelligent that Rick Perry and he did not win. Don’t think you can march into the White House with God on your shoulder. I don’t think it will happen.

If he wins the primary, everyone will Google his name.

Newt Gingrich – Like Biden and Bush, I think he would walk around with his foot in his mouth. I do like that. If he gets the nomination, he will have fought for it amid discrediting attacks such as his stance on the Ryan budget. I like that. He is a has been, and despite what you say, I sense that the real fire has gone out, and I like that. He is considered knowledgeable of the past, but not of current events (no support for this. It is my sense). I like that discrediting factor. I may be on board for Newt, after all, he and I have history together. Lots of targets.

Romney – He does seem to sane too sane overall. I fear him and I don’t want him to win the primary. I agree that he flip flops all over the place, like a fish out of water. That is the only thing I like about him. One could argue that holding steadfast to a defunct opinion is not intellectual.

I was never very fond of Pawlenty right from the start. He strikes me as the consummate smarmy politician. He wants us to put God in the schoolroom, go to a flat-tax-esque system of taxation, and will not consider a raise in social security caps. He would kill the program first. It would seem he is smarmy. I agree. Keep him out.

Jon Huntsman. Hmm. Maybe. Will need to learn more, but your endorsement certainly helps.

First, I was surprised at the vocal support that Paul received Me too. If he becomes president I am moving to Europe.

I should not have started this. It is a big topic. Your first choice is close to my last choice. I would sooner go to an asylum and randomly select the next president.

Just the Facts! said...

John, T Paine,
It was a mixed bag to say the least. What I find as interesting is how the DNC leadership responds to whom the polls feel is the GOP front runner. Or at least the person who takes the air out of the room by entering it.

Instead of comparing that person's stand on issues to President Obama's positions & performance, they with in hours release hit articles, photos to lesson that person's creditability..
I beleive they do so because they know President Obama can not run on his record as it stands, up to this day. So instead they present the case that while the President may not be that good, look how bad brand X of the GOP is.
I heard an interesting position presented earlier this week that President Obama should announce he will not run for a 2nd term like LBJ in order to save the DNC by giving them enough time to develop new candidates for 2012. Not a bad idea but doubt anyone who takes as many vacations as this President does, will want to give up the perks without a fight.

T. Paine said...

Mr. Myste, I am shocked that you think I have my list backwards, sir! :)

When taking the Libertarian Ron Paul out of the mix, my list typically goes from the most to the least conservative. The fact that you indicate you like the bottom of the list better means that my list is probably right and is what would indeed be best for our country candidate-wise, my friend.

JTF, you make an interesting observation, sir. Now Obama has a record to run on, and it is a horrible one to say the least. He still has been trying to get by, like he did in the Senate, by just voting present. That doesn't work as president.

I am not surprised that the DNC is trying to tar whomever looks strongest from the G.O.P. field though. When your candidate is poor, you try to obfuscate the truth and make your opponents look even worse by comparison. (Even if you have to distort or outright lie to do it!)

The Heathen Republican said...

My list was focused entirely on last night, while I see that yours is an overall preference. Nonetheless, I'll contribute based on last night.

Michele Bachmann (my #6): I don't think she or Pawlenty came off well with their bickering, which is why I rank here much lower. I was impressed by her performance in New Hampshire, but was turned off last night.

Rick Santorum (my #8): He came off very whiny last night, practically begging for questions. His mannerisms are annoying (but I can't figure out if that's because he reminds me of my first boss, whom I did not like), like his posture and how he uses his hands. I also disagree with many of his positions.

Herman Cain (my #5): I thought he did alright last night, but better in New Hampshire. I forget, is he the candidate who is not a politician but a successful business man? I kid of course; his talking points were repeated ad nauseum.

Newt Gingrich (my #1): I'm sad to say I think he's the least likely candidate to succeed, but his performance last night was over the top great. He was right to call out the panel, and his specific ideas were right on the money. I'm surprised with how forceful he was that there seems to be a media blackout today on his performance.

Mitt Romney (my #2): I agree that I can't go along with conventional wisdom. Like 2008, I just can't get excited for a Romney candidacy. Last night he handled himself well and had no major gaffes. One of the few who truly looked presidential.

Tim Pawlenty (my #7): As with Bachmann, his bickering was a big turn off to me last night. He's uninteresting otherwise, and he needed to stand out for good reasons.

Jon Huntsman (my #4): This was probably my first introduction to Huntsman and he did pretty well. No major negatives or positives for me.

Ron Paul (my #3): I thought he did much better in New Hampshire and came off with a lot more loose screws this time. But his policy answers were generally very good and I enjoyed him schooling Santorum.

Just the Facts! said...

A recent example of what I said.

US President Barack Obama's top reelection strategist charged Friday that Republican White House hopeful and Texas Governor Rick Perry had "very little to do" with his state's economic success.

"There's a specific reason that Texas has done so well, and that's because the oil industry has done so well in the last few years, and the military has grown because of the challenges that we have had overseas," said David Axelrod.

"And so he's been the beneficiary of things that he had very little to do with," Axelrod told ABC television.

The preemptive strike came one day before Perry, who succeeded George W. Bush in the Texas governor's mansion in 2000, was to formally launch his bid for the Republican nomination to take on Obama in the November 2012 elections.

John Myste said...

Yes, we need another Texas governor to fix things. The last one did so well.

This time, though, lets elect a Texas governor who wants God to be his vice president. Perhaps it was in our Vice Presidential selection that we faltered on the first try.

I have no argument to make. I am just waiting for Rick Perry to throw his cross into the ring.

Just the Facts! said...

Throw his cross into the the ring, like Jummy Carter did? Another president from Texas like LBJ?

See John you have proved my point, since Obama can't run on his record, anyone who may run against him must be downgraded.

John Myste said...


I think you misunderstood. Your point is not proved at all.

I was comparing Brother Perry to the other republican candidates, not to Obama.

You did prove one point, though. Confirmation Bias is living and well.

John Myste said...


Throw his cross into the ring, like Jimmy Carter did? Another president from Texas like LBJ?

Except for the Confirmation Bias, you scored a lot of points with that. I read that and my first thought was, hmm, nice one.

However, Carter did not want to convert the White House to a church, so that is not really the same thing, and LBJ was never governor of Texas, which is what I said we did not need, so that is kind of different.

So, except for Carter, LBJ and the Confirmation Bias, it was a still a pretty good point.

T. Paine said...

HR, your analysis of Newt is right on, and I also find it interesting that his outstanding performance was not even noted throughout the mainstream media. I guess they don't want to breathe even a wisp of life into his already dead campaign. If Newt didn't have his personal baggage, he would be absolutely devestating in a debate with Obama. I almost feel sorry for Barry just thinking about it.

JTF, despite our witty John Myste's comments to the contrary, I definitely see and agree with your point.

John, you kill me! :) I have to admit that your are very adept at finding the chinks in the armor. Again, it is beautiful to watch you work, until it happens to me on the very rare occasions when you are able to successfully rebut an argument I have made! :)

free0352 said...

When I read your list, this mantra started playing in my head that went "#1 worthless, #2 worthless," and so on and so forth on down the list.

Except when I got to Romney and instead of worthless I thought "SCUM BAG."

Anyway, I hope they nominate Rick Pery and be done with it. I'm not in love with the guy, but what the hell. With choices like this he's an improvement.

John Myste said...

Mr. Paine,

Can you asked Mr. Free to explain how a libertarian finds the fanatic mix church and stater like Rick Perry to be an improvement over Ron Paul?

Can you find out if Free knows where Rick Perry's attention was right before the debate, probably the thing that kept him out of it?

Oso said...

It's interesting to read the give and take here, all of us very strong in our convictions and all of us decent people who only want what's best,and all of us taking different positions on the issues.

Personally I'm a strong Ron Paul supporter, entirely due to his foreign policy stands. We manufacture threats where there are none, for example Ahmadinejad never said anything about wiping Israel off the map, such a phrase doesn't exist in Farsi. What he said was the Israeli regime would follow the apartheid regime in South Africa and the Soviet regime in Russia by vanishing from the page of time. My assumption from that would be, a gradual but inevitable process because both were non-violent.

Besides, presidential authority in Iran is strictly internal.The military is in the hands of the religious leaders. So to say Ahmadinejad is a threat would be like a Persian claiming Timmy Geithner is about to launch a nuclear attack.

To me Paul's failing is his inability to understand we are no longer on a gold standard, and it's not 1775. Nevertheless he's no worse than Obama in terms of not understanding the economy, and unlike Obama he's not in thrall to the Fed.

My opinions in the mix - they make sense to me, but I'm a long time Raider fan as you know so anything I say must be taken with the entire salt shaker in hand, as well as maybe a hose to spray me with.

God bless T!

John Myste said...


If you get Ron Paul's foreign policy, you get the rest of him also. It is all attached to that creepy thing that is Ron Paul.

Plans to Prosper said...

To me, Bachmann has always seemed to be one of the most "politician" of any of the candidates. Gingrich spent too much time arguing with the moderators to win the debate in my eyes. I think both Gingrich and Santorum would be great people to have in the next Republican administration, just not as President.

Oso, you're the first person I've seen to like Paul's foreign policy but not his economics. For most people I know, it's the other way around.

T. Paine said...

Free – I, at first, shared your general assessment of the Republican primary field. After watching for awhile, there are several folks, like Bachmann, that do rise to the top, in my opinion. She has been a vocal and vehement fighter against every major big-government issue championed by Obama and the Democrats, for instance. Her positions on all of the issues I have heard or read about thus far are all in line with my own. She is principled and not going to cave into doing what is politically expedient, like Romney. Lastly, the media hates her and are afraid of her. That alone tells me she might very well be the candidate for me.

As for Perry, I was annoyed with his delayed announcement for the presidency until after the debate and Iowa straw poll. In retrospect, it was probably a very smart initial political move. I am not overly familiar with Perry thus far, but I just watched his presidential candidacy speech from South Carolina and I am definitely impressed with what he had to say. I would definitely like to have heard more specifics about what his plans are, but I am sure that will come. The media is already talking about the G.O.P. race likely coming down to a head to head match-up between Romney and Perry. Even with the unknowns at this point, if that ends up being the case, then Perry is my guy. The only unsettling thing to me was his Texas drawl was eerily similar to George W. Bush’s. I realize that means nothing, but it bothered me on an emotional level. (I know… I sound like a progressive when I talk about my “feelings” like that.) :)

Myste – At the risk of speaking for Free, I have read enough of his thoughts to know that he probably likes all the aspects of Ron Paul with the exception of his very dangerous foreign policy ideas, considering the world we are currently living in with all of the Islamofascists who think that they are mandated by Allah to kill or subdue all of us un-believers. I am sure Free will correct me if this is not accurate. As for Perry, the fact that in his speech today he proclaimed that his goal is to make the federal government as inconsequential to us Americans as possible in our daily lives is exactly what is attractive about Perry to me, and I suspect to Free also. We aren’t worried about Perry’s religious affiliations because he will not be running a theocracy or instituting new laws that are exclusive to his faith beliefs.

As for what kept Perry out of the debate… well I am sure you will tell us what that is. As I already implied, I am sure it was a political calculation. One doesn’t jump into the fray and stand to lose political ground by wallowing in the mud with the other candidates where the potential to only lose ground exists, particularly when you are at the top of the polls before even announcing your candidacy.

T. Paine said...

Oso – Even though you are a misguided Raiders fan, just your tone is a welcome addition to the debate, my friend. I do find it interesting that you support Ron Paul for the very reasons I reject him. As for Ahmadinejad’s statements regarding Israel, perhaps the exact words were not translated into a recognizable American idiom from an equivalent Farsi one, but the intent behind it is accurate, sir. See this link from the Associated Press: Further, you are correct about the relative weakness of the Iranian presidency as an office. You are na├»ve, my friend, if you think the ruling mullahs in the theocracy differ from Ahmadinejad’s in their desires to destroy Israel and America on this particular issue. They have already been directly responsible for various acts of war against Israel and America. Iran’s financial, logistical, and support of Moktada al Sadr’s shia militia in the killing of Americans in inarguable. Indeed, the Iranian Revolutionary guard has been responsible for American deaths there. I imagine Free has far more information than I do regarding this, assuming he is even allowed to speak about it since he is still on active duty. I am amazed that you think that Iran is “non-violent”. Even their proxies in Syria and various terrorist groups doing the Iranian mullah’s will are undeniable, sir. Regardless, I appreciate your comment, Oso. You are a good man, even despite cheering for the worst team in the NFL!

T. Paine said...

Plans to Prosper – Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I find myself in complete agreement with you regarding Gingrich and Santorum being excellent people to serve in the next Republican administration. I think Gingrich would make a formidable Secretary of State and Santorum could serve admirably in any number of cabinet posts. Hopefully President Perry and VP Bachmann will see fit to place them in such positions accordingly. As for our friend Oso, he tends to walk to the beat of his own drum. The difference between him and many of his progressive fellow travelers is that he can articulate a logical reason for his positions typically, even if he is still wrong in his overall assessments.  In that respect, he and John Myste are the exception to the liberal rule. That is one of the reasons why I like both of them, despite their misguided political ways.

John Myste said...

@Plans to Prosper,

Gingrich spent too much time arguing with the moderators to win the debate in my eyes. Perhaps if you opened them, it would help. Gingrich was right to call out an aggressive moderator. If he had not, he would have appeared to be desperately trying to worm his way out of the situation. Instead he confronted it. You have to debate those debating you, because the world is watching. The moderator joined the debate with loaded questions, so Newt debated. The alternative was to concede.

@T. Paine,

I am not overly familiar with Perry thus far. He and God govern my state. You would love him. He could not announce his candidacy because it conflicted with his revival schedule.

then Perry is my guy Romney is my guy, and I hate him. That is, assuming we cannot have anyone good. I don’t know much about Huntsman, but he seems too inexperienced to be fully brainwashed. I may easily prefer him if I knew more.

We aren’t worried about Perry’s religious affiliations because he will not be running a theocracy or instituting new laws that are exclusive to his faith beliefs. Don’t bet on that, Mr. Paine. He has a mandate from God, which is more powerful than his earthly duty. You are dead wrong, but that’s OK.

One doesn’t jump into the fray and stand to lose political ground by wallowing in the mud with the other candidates where the potential to only lose ground exists, particularly when you are at the top of the polls before even announcing your candidacy. This could exactly right. I know a horrible pool player who won an amateur competition (very amateur. It was at a Christmas party). When I asked how he did it, he said: “I was the only one that didn’t try to make the shot.”

T. Paine said...

Myste, your pool player story is great! That said, I don't know if Perry is the real deal, or an amateur waiting in the wings while the rest eat each other. I suspect he is the real deal, based on the single speech I saw of him today, but I could very well be wrong. Time will indeed vet him out to be worthy or not.

Based on the very little I know of him thus far, I still would 100 times out of 100 vote for him over the man-child Obama in the general election.

John Myste said...

He has spoken of Texas seceding from the Union, he attends revivals that I have not attended, but I would not be surprised if they charmed snakes and speak in tongues. He definitely feels he has a mandate from God to run America God’s Way [citation needed], and that is not what I want in office.

Texas has more minimum wage jobs than almost any state out there, and he brags about the number of people “he” has put to work on minimum wage jobs. 7.25 / hr is more than anyone needs to set their table. We have no state taxes, and he believes fully in regressive taxation.

I would very much prefer George Bush to Rick Perry.

As Dusty schooled me, we are also one of the most illiterate states out there and our literacy continues to drop under his leadership. I would have known that, but how could I? I am in Texas and we don’t learn anything.

Matt@StBlogustine said...

I did not see the debate the other night, not because I was avoiding it, but because I was working and forgot to turn on my radio. Okay, AND because I think most of these debates likened by Fred Thompson to "10 little Indians lining up to wait for someone to throw them a fish," are nothing but glorified beauty pageants due to their far too structured nature. If you want to see how a candidate stands up to pressure or think on his/her feet, use the format Canada used years ago with Mulrony (sp?) and (that other guy), in which a free exchange (sometimes heated and quick) ensued.

I'll give only a brief rundown on my opinions of the candidates, since I'm not following it that closely. After all, I wouldn't send any of them money just yet...

Rick Santorum is usually the "smartest man in the room" wherever he goes. His fellow senators from both parties who've worked with him know this. He is right on all the issues, and was a terrific senator from PA. However, I am concerned about his nerve. In his campaign for re-election in PA against challenger Bob Casey, he led for a time until all Republicans began to falter. Then he panicked. In their debate he proposed nuking Iran, then the next day he backed off of that. On the Laura Ingraham Show, on which he was frequently heard, his voice became shaky and fearful in a couple appearances near election day. I just don't know if I'd feel safe with him in the Oval Office.

Michelle Bachmann has nerves of steel. She has proven this time and again when under vicious assault by salacious liberal extremists. She has several life accomplishments, one of which, is taking part in the raising of 23 foster children. And though some of those 23 may have been with her a short time, that's still an incredible number. She, like Santorum, is right on the issues and would make a formidable candidate. It is time for a woman president.

The more I read about Herman Cain, the more questions I have about his qualifications. At first I only knew about Godfather's Pizza, which I never much cared for. But then I came to find he is given almost sole credit for torpedoing Hillary-care, rather than Harold and Louise. He was the deputy chairman/chairman of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and also served on the boards of Reader's Digest, Nabisco, and Whirlpool. He currently serves as a Baptist minister in Atlanta, and has his own newspaper column. But he has had his share of verbal gaffs, insisting that Obama was raised in Kenya (it was Indonesia). He also supports Affirmative Action, which IMHO, merely promotes the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Romney is a RINO at best, and a shameless opportunist at worst. Although his father was a stand-up guy as Gov of MI, Mitt tries to be all things to all people running at the consistency of milquetoast. Two good things I can say about him are that he lives a clean life, and he has managed his family well. His children are all successful and well-rounded. Not one slouch or deviant in the bunch, last I checked.

John was correct when he said Newt knows history well, but doesn't seem up on current events. John, this isn't only YOUR sense. He is past his prime, out of the loop, ready for the glue factory, has too much baggage, somebody please turn off the life support on Newt. Thanks.

Huntsman is this year's McCain without the sympathy factor. He is untortured to my knowledge. Wrong on too many issues, his looks are not enough to win.

Perry is too dumb to be President. His college transcripts are abysmal, and he attended a mediocre school. I don't even remember the name of it.

Ron Paul is a circus freak, nothing more.

Is that everybody? Or is Tommy Thompson invading the room with his walker? Speak loudly so he can hear you, please.

All of the above choices make me at least a little nervous, but any of them would be better than Obama.

Matt@StBlogustine said...

I forgot Pawlenty! An excellent governor of MN. He is given much credit for converting a piss-poor blue state to a red one, using his skills of persuasion. Too bad those skills don't translate into a well-run campaign. It is embarrassing to watch. Must be why I remembered to mention Tommy Thompson earlier. Same difference.

T. Paine said...

Myste, as far as Perry speaking about Texas seceding, that was indeed a foolish thing to say. Even caught up in the heat of the moment, he should have known better.

As for his revivals, I could care less if he/they spoke in tongues or charmed snakes. If that is his faith, I could care less, assuming that he is qualified in all other aspects. The only faith that I can think of that would be a deal killer for me would be a Satanist. I wouldn’t even have issues with an agnostic or atheist as president. It doesn’t matter very much to me. My preference, of course, would be a Catholic, but that is simply because I would have that in common. That said, certain un-faithful Catholics like Kerry or Pelosi or Biden would make horrible presidents.

As for his creation of minimum wage jobs, well that is definitely not ideal, but that is still preferable to sitting at home collecting unemployment benefits. Indeed I would far prefer those minimum wage jobs as opposed to those high paying government jobs that Obama has created with his unaccountable Obamacare panel. I have to pay the salary of those liberty-binding folks.

No offense to Dusty, not that she would be caught dead reading my blog anyway, but I don’t consider her a valid source on education, even in the state of Texas. I have met many a Texan that strikes me as quite literate and educated, yourself definitely included, my friend.

T. Paine said...

Matt, great summation and some interesting facts of which I was not aware! That said, there are a few comments I have regarding some of the things you brought up accordingly, sir.

First, I would love the idea of seeing the final two or three candidates just having an open discussion/debate without format like you had intimated was Canada’s format. I think that would be exceptionally informational and helpful in making a decision on who was the best candidate.

I agree with your assessment of Santorum being bright and correct on the issues. I was not aware of his wavering tendencies though. That definitely makes me concerned, because the next president must be unwaveringly tough and unbending unless new relevant and game changing facts are brought to light that necessarily changes the debate.

From what I know of Bachmann, I definitely agree with your excellent analysis of her. She is still my candidate to beat right now, and evidently is now the winner of the Iowa straw poll tonight too.

As for Cain, I was aware of everything you said about him, except his support for affirmative action. That is distressing to me. I think there was absolutely a time when this was necessary, but now that time is past. You are correct that this does indeed promote the bigotry of low expectations, my friend.

As for Romney, raising a good family is not enough to qualify him to be president, even though it is an admirable accomplishment. I agree with your assessment of him accordingly.

Luckily Huntsman is going nowhere and his campaign will be over within a month, so I won’t waste any more time on him… thank God!

As for Perry, I don’t know much about him yet. I thought he attended Texas A&M though. Further, I wouldn’t be so quick to condemn a man of not being qualified because of bad grades. I have met many a person that was educated far beyond the capabilities of their intelligence. I have also met some brilliant book-smart people that don’t have a lick of common sense. Jimmy Carter may very well have been the most brilliant president to serve from a knowledge basis in my lifetime. We all know how his governing of our nation turned out for us.

I think a man has to be smart, but not necessarily brilliant to be president. He needs to have some vital core principles upon which he will not compromise. He needs to have some good common sense and decency. He needs to be able to admit that he is not a subject matter expert on all things and be willing to rely upon varying advice from those that are and thus surround himself with such good people. I would even include adding people with ideas and policies different than my own into a Paine administration as those people could theoretically point out where I was wrong on certain aspects of policy or consequently confirm that I am on the right path, even if they don’t think so. :)

I think Ron Paul will fizzle out within two months, despite coming in second place in the Iowa straw poll. He will sink back into irrelevancy too.

Oh, and Pawlenty, well a third place finish in Iowa tonight will be the highpoint of his presidential campaign. Good stuff though, Matt. Thanks!

John Myste said...

Mr. Paine,

I am sure I already made this clear, and I certainly cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, though I probably could Google up some evidence, were I so included, but I am pretty sure Mr. Perry believes that God as blessed his future presidency. I am pretty sure that he is taking instructions from God first, and the Constitution second in as much as he can get away with it, and I am pretty sure that he does not inherently support freedom of religion, but rather believes that his God's word supersedes all else.

I could easily be mistaken, but if I am not, this would be unprecedented for a modern president.

T. Paine said...

John, if your suspicions are accurate and not simply some progressive slander campaign, not that I am accusing you of such a thing, I am sure it will be brought to light ad nauseum. If what you fear is correct, I would be inclined to definitely agree with you that he is NOT the man to be president.

If I cared enough about it and wasn't lazy I'd do some research on it right now. As it is, I will wait for more word to come out first.

John Myste said...

I am not sure there is explicit evidence to find, just hints.

I have no reason to smear the man. One of the Republican candidates will win the primary. Alas, Obama cannot win the Republican primary. I don't care for any of them.

It just so happens that Rick Perry is near the bottom of my list.

I find most of their policies and thinking to be pretty similar enough to make me want to vomit when I think of any of them (excepting Ron Paul, who is very different and also makes me want to vomit).

As I think I stated, if I had to vote for a republican, at this point it would be Mitty or Huntsman. However, I cannot imagine a news anchor saying: "The president said to today, ... " And I turn and see Huntsman standing there. It would be like seeing a little boy dressed in a grown up's suit.

I wish I had paid more attention to
Romney's religious statements in the past, but I did not realize it was going to become so important.

Mr. Paine, would you have voted for Huckabee?

T. Paine said...

Well John, I am not really concerned about unsubstantiated rumor and innuendo regarding Perry or anyone else, including Obama for that matter.

As for Huckabee, I did not care for his policies when he was governor of Arkansas. He seems like a decent and likeable guy, but he is another establishment big-government Republican, in my opinion. He was way down on my list in the primaries in 2008 accordingly.

If he had won the primary though, with what I had already learned about Obama just by reading his books, I would have definitely voted for Huckabee over Obama in the general election.

Plans to Prosper said...

@John Myste: While the moderators did ask some pretty loaded questions, I'm just fine with that (with the exception of Bachmann's submission question). Gingrich's question about his campaign problems was fair game. If he can't run a Presidential campaign, how can we expect him to run the Presidency itself?

T. Paine said...

Plans to Prosper, as I reconsidered the debate, I thought that Chris Wallace's questions were indeed tough, but quite valid and fair, especially the one he directed towards Newt about his campaign.

Once Newt was done chastising Wallace for the question, I thought Newt's historical context answer comparing it to Reagan's campaign was an adequate answer.

I also think that Newt's tantrum towards Wallace played well to the crowd and was probably a smart political move, as most of the crowd is distrustful of the media to begin with, even if it is Fox.

I share your annoyance at the Bachmann submission question though. That did indeed seem like a superfulous gotcha question. Anyone that knows or has followed Bachmann for more than a week knows that she is not submissive in the context of which the question was asked.

free0352 said...

I have read enough of his thoughts to know that he probably likes all the aspects of Ron Paul with the exception of his very dangerous foreign policy ideas,

That is correct. Further, we agree that it doesn't matter that Perry is christian, because Perry isn't suggesting a theocracy and I'm much more afraid of Obama's socialist driven policy versus anything Perry has said or done.