About Those GOP Candidates So Far

Let’s get an update on the GOP candidates for President. I’ve watched the debates. I was especially interested in how Perry would do. As everyone in Texas knows, Gov. Perry did’n’t debate Bill White last time he was running for Governor. I wondered if it was because his debating skills aren’t the best.

I know conservatives love Perry for his stance on the issues, (although his Texas Dream Act and the Guardasil decision has them uneasy) but it takes more than just being right on the issues to get through the intense journey that is a presidential run. Perry has done ok in the debates. The last one was the worse for him. Romney clearly had a better grasp on answering the questions. There is a reason for this. Romney knows how to run for President. I’ve always said that Romney will be the one to beat in the primaries. I don’t see him being beaten yet. But a LOT can change before the primaries. I think at this time last run around, Rudy Giuliani was the favorite, and we all know how that turned out.

John Huntsman just strikes me as strange. He says all the right things, but conservatives don’t trust him. They kind of feel like he played on the opposing team, and they see him as being too moderate. I don’t see him as lasting too much longer, but I could be wrong.

Michelle Bachman is great on the issues, and her personal story is incredible, but she doesn’t seem to be able to separate the kinds of things politicians say to their base as opposed to what they say to everyone else. She can be erratic, which just isn’t a good way to be when running for President. I think she has a long career ahead of her. She needs a bit more experience.

Newt Gingrich always seems to be the smartest guy in the room. Which is what they said about Obama, and look where that got us. But Newt is smart, with great innovative ideas. When he drops out (and he will), whoever snaps him up as an adviser would be lucky to have him. Newt has too many personal issues that many of us conservatives cannot get past. We can forgive, but we don’t forget.

As much as I love Perry, I’m not sure he’s ready this time around. Maybe he needs this experience for a later run. But then again, when Reagan ran against Carter they said he was far too rightwing to win. The media was convinced that if the GOP didn’t nominate a moderate then we would lose in the general, and we all know how that turned out. As conservative as Perry is, I think this is a moment in history when the independents, who decide elections, don’t really care how conservative or liberal you are, as long as they think you can bring the jobs back to American. Perry has the best record there, so maybe I’m counting him out too soon. I guess we shall see.

Romney has all the necessary elements to beat Obama. If he didn’t have his own healthcare bill hanging around his neck, he would probably be far ahead of the pack, but that’s a drag I’m not sure he can overcome. He explains the difference in his bill and Obamacare well, but are the independents listening? He says he WILL get rid of Obamacare (as all the GOP candidates say they will), and that’s all that matters to so many business owners and moderate to conservative Americans.

As you guys know, I love Herman Cain. I love how he is the anti politician. We all love to talk about how we need people in Washington who aren’t career politicians, but when it comes down to it, we always ask ourselves if we want someone who has never held public office. This is Cain’s weakness, but that didn’t stop him from winning the Florida straw poll. And he won it by a better than two to one margin over Perry. Cain did well in the last debate. He reminded us why we love him. He claims to be a problem solver. He talks about solutions that he has already developed and articulated. It’s what we want to hear. He is also down to earth, with a great sense of humor. His weakness is foreign policy. He has no experience there at a time when it’s kind of critical. But, he strikes me as someone who can study up on that pretty quickly.

The interesting thing about his particular straw poll is that is has predicted the GOP nominee. Ronald Reagan won in 1979, George H.W. Bush in 1987 and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole in 1995.

That must be very good news in the Cain camp.

Update: I realized last night as I was going to sleep that I forgot Ron Paul (and Santorum). I honestly didn’t think of them. I like Santorum, and I understand Ron Paul’s appeal, but he has as much of chance of being President as Santorum does, which is none.

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