At one point, I was hoping Rick Perry would make a real positive splash, but now that Perry has demonstrated that he's not capable of making a salient point in a debate, I, like many others, have soured on him.
I like Herman Cain, but I never saw him as a serious candidate. Sure, he's articulate and he has some sort of vision for the country, but, his total refusal to address certain foreign policy questions ("I would study them and heed the advice of the commanders" or something like that), and his ignorance on things like "right of return" for Palestinians and Chinese nukes (I think that was a misstatement, but still) and his latest gaffes, coupled with the sexual harassment baggage (sure, trumped up, but poorly addressed), and the inanity of the 999 plan, have convinced me he's not the one.
Newt Gingrich has always been a favorite of mine from a policy perspective, and I'd love to see Newt get his wish of seven three hour debates with Obama. But, let's be honest, that's not going to happen, and I feel quite comfortable with Romney on stage with Obama.
It is nice to see Newt in the top tier now, and I hope he stays there a while. I think it will improve Romney and force him to better articulate his conservative side as we move to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, then he can sew up the nomination and start the hard work of tearing Obama to shreds. Shouldn't be tooooooo terribly hard, what with the work Obama has done destroying the economy and ruining our standing in the world.
Today Ann makes some valid points, a couple of these that I totally agree with vis a vis Newt:
- Newt's Fannie/Freddie consulting problem - I wouldn't care if Newt answered that yes, he lobbied for them in an effort to increase home ownership. That would have seemed a defensible position in, uh, 2007, but now, in hindsight, being a shill for the principals in destroying the housing market, doesn't seem so great, does it. Trying to hide it doesn't help. Strike one.
- Sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi hyping global warming. I hate the "climate change" crowd. They are the 70's population bomb crowd, the Ice Age crowd. They are leftists and former communists and their goal is the destruction of Western Civilization by any means necessary. Today, that takes the form of man-made global warming. They're wrong on the science, and wrong to want to bring down the West, just as they have been for 40+ years. Sitting with them is a problem. Romney was a believer, too, at one time, and I have a problem with that. But, he didn't do a PSA with Pelosi. Strike two.
- The personal issues - Ditching your wife while she's being treated for cancer, having an affair during the Clinton impeachment, the $500,000 account at Tiffany's. It all just smells bad, and it's out there, and will be used repeatedly by Democrats in the general to kill him. I don't think this stuff disqualifies him as a president, and I don't think it's material, but, it'll play in ads. Strike three.
- Romneycare - Be honest, he's not going to keep Obamacare. If this election turns on any single issue, it is going to be the repeal of Obamacare. People hate this legislation. They hate the way it was rammed down our throats, and they will really hate what it is going to cost. The only way it gets squashed forever, is with a Republican president and Congress in January 2013. Romney has explained that what might work in Liberal Massachusetts is not a prescription for the nation. Obama can say all he wants, "Mitt, we used your state as an example," to which the proper reply is "That shows how stupid you are, using Massachusetts as the example for this entire nation. Just stupid."
- Flip flops on abortion and some other issues - we've mentioned the global warming scam, on which Romney has come around, and abortion, where in Massachusetts he was a tepidly anti-life. If you want to win a statewide race in liberal Massachusetts, you have to acknowledge Roe as the law of the land and look for other ways to limit abortions. Was Romney's conversion to choice convenient? I don't think so, if you read his reasons for it, you can understand why he might have taken that position. Now, I would have respected more a politician saying Roe is the law of the land, and that a sitting governor has no choice but to uphold the law. Of course, he went slightly further and had valid personal reasons for supporting Roe. His conversion back to life was more politically convenient, running, as he is, for the GOP presidential nomination. I think he's more in line with his church now, and with mainstream GOP voters (and Americans in general). He has the right answer now, which is that Roe was poorly decided, and that it ought to be overturned, and we ought to let states decide. I am hoping that at some point, the long national genocide known as abortion will end, and while some states may choose to keep it legal, that will make it more rare.
- Global Warming - I find Romney's statements to be troubling, and indicative of not much study of the issue. His even recent statements tend to place him with the majority of people who think that global warming is occurring and that man is a large contributor to it. To his credit, he has always seemed to couch his belief in some doubt over man's impact. Surely, in 2011, Romney is aware of research that includes that done by warmists, that the warming largely stopped in 1999, and temperatures have been steady or declining somewhat since then. I think he could have staked out a position that man may contribute a tiny portion to the increase in CO2, but, we really have no evidence that CO2 is even a contributor to temperature increases (and even if it is, that it matters very much), and that regulating CO2 as a pollutant is wrong, and probably just stupid.
You can disagree, but, I think he stands a chance to take Obama down hard, and I'd really love to see 60+ GOP senators in the next Congress, and I fear that any other candidate will struggle to beat Obama, and drag the rest of the party down.