Monday, August 15, 2011

The Iowa Eight did not Thrill me. Welcome to the Arena, Rick Perry.

I watched the debate in Iowa the other night and unfortunately none of the candidates really thrilled me. None of them, I thought, were electable except perhaps Romney and I just don't like Romney. It is primarily due to his passing a health care plan in Massachusetts which is almost identical to Obamacare. Also, Romney just appears a little too slick. And, he flip-flopped from pro-choice to pro-life at one time, not that I have never changed my mind on an issue, but I just think Romney is one who would change his position on a critical issue to get the nomination. I just don't think Romney is a real conservative. I would support him over Obama should he be the nominee but I could not get excited about Romney. I want to get excited about the person I am going to support.

I agree with what many pundits has said about Tim Pawlenty's poor performance. I was thinking Pawlenty might be the candidate I could support, but he performed poorly and then came in a distant third in the straw poll and has since withdrawn from the race.

I like Michele Bachman but she is just too doctrinaire and inflexible for my taste. She not only voted against the final compromise on the deal to raise the debt limit, she voted against the House cut, cap, and balance bill. With the government borrowing 41 cents out of ever dollar it spends, it is not going to be possible to cut that amount out of the budget all at once. Apparently, she would have let the government default rather than raise the debt limit, under any circumstances.  We need someone with a little more flexibility. Being principled is to be admired but we need someone who is also pragmatic and ready to govern. Nevertheless, if she were the nominee, I would support her, but I don't think she could be elected.

Ron Paul: I occasionally like what he has to say. I never doubt his sincerity and the certainty of his position.  However, his isolationist foreign policy really scares me. I do not want to let North Korea or Iran get the bomb.  We must stay engaged in the world. However, I think he is right when he says it is time to end the isolation of Cuba. He can not win the nomination. He can win straw polls. His supporters will attend CPAC and other events to vote in a straw poll. He has an enthusiastic following, but there is no way he can win the nomination and if he did, there is no way he could be elected president. He is not to be taken seriously as a candidate.

Newt Gingrich: I thought Newt performed well in the debate. He was probably the smartest man on the stage. For some reason however, it seems Newt's time has passed. Part of the reason Newt has fallen out of favor with me is that he has pandered to the Sharia law fear mongers and anti-Muslim zealots. Still, I would contribute money and work for Newt's election if he were the candidate but the thrill is gone.

Herman Cain: The first few times I saw Herman Cain, I got the start of a thrill. His pandering to the anti-Muslim zealots and saying Muslims should not have the right to build a mosque in Murfreesboro, turned me against Cain however. He later clarified his position and said he was wrong in his statements in Murfressboro. I am glad he reversed his position, but someone who is no more grounded in his believes and no more committed to the First Amendment than to take the position he took in the first place concerns me. Nevertheless, I could support him if he were the candidate. Before I could get behind his campaign, I would have to hear more.

Jon Huntsman did nothing for me. He is the lone liberal Republican.  Rick Santorum did not distinguish himself but I would give him another look. I wish Chris Christi was a candidate and part of the debate. I really like Christie but he is not running. I really don't think Sarah Palin will run. I am not sure what game she is playing but I don't think she is a candidate for president and she would not be my preferred candidate should she run. Quite frankly, I don't think Palin would do well in a debate. I like her values and her personality but I am not sure she can think on her feet and I think she would show herself unqualified to be president be President if she were to participate in the debate.

Since the debate in Iowa, I have been pleased to see Rick Perry throw his hat in the ring. He has that "something" that inspires and motivates. I do not know his position on all of the issues yet, and he may end up disappointing me, bus so far, I am impressed by Perry. I want to learn more.

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of and long time conservative fund raiser and activist had this to say about Rick Perry:
To win the Republican nomination this time, a candidate must do two things.
First, the candidate must convince GOP primary voters that he or she is a committed conservative.  They don't have to be the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan, but they do have to be convincing as the conservative standard bearer.

Second, that person has to convince Republican primary voters that he or she can defeat Barack Obama.

A few of the eight candidates on the stage in Ames, Iowa can pass one of those tests.  On the day he announced, Rick Perry made it clear he is the only candidate who passes both of them.
Viguerie, I think, is right. That is the test the candidate must pass. The third test for me is that the person must convince me that if elected he can govern. Viguerie may be right. Perry may be the candidate who can pass the test. I am starting to feel a thrill.

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