Just watched the Republican presidential candidate debate and would like to give some impressions — don’t confuse me with the facts, partly because in campaigning candidates simply stack the deck in their favor when making statements and giving answers and often avoid direct answers.
I will also say I have never voted for a Republican presidential candidate and my first election I believe is the one where George McGovern got clobbered (no matter what people thought of the Vietnam War they could not stomach him saying he would go begging to the North Vietnamese).
Anyway, I thought Jon Huntsman looked the most promising, but I am listening to some MSNBC pundits and not even a mention of him. I think they thought Mitt Romney won.
Now a mention of Huntsman, but only in a negative analogy.
They also seem to think Rick Perry lost some momentum.
But this is not my impressions, which I said I was going to give.
Ron Paul did well, but I doubt Americans would ever buy into the libertarian philosophy, and he is just the kind of guy who is unelectable — an old crank of a guy. He seemed weak when he tried to answer a question about whether he would do away with government regulations on air safety and drugs (legal ones). Sticking to the ultimate libertarian stance, Paul suggested regulation could be taken care of by the private sector, whatever that means.
And, as I said, I’m hearing MSNBC pundits as I am writing this (but not being influenced by them in my own thoughts). I just heard Rachel Maddow say that Huntsman lost — she did not explain, except to say he proved himself second tier, and agreed with others that Michele Bachman fell as well. To compare Bachman with Huntsman is ludicrous.
I do think if Romney did not lose, he probably won. While he did not impress me, he does have the name recognition and you can’t say he is not flexible — he bends with the wind, but sometimes that works.
Please don’t get the impression I am a Huntsman supporter. He is a Republican and a Mormon, two strikes against him in my books. But ultimately we have to elect someone and unless Barack Obama can pull a rabbit out the hat and quit giving away the store to the opposition, one has to look at one’s choices.
I think — not sure — that Huntsman and Paul are the only ones solidly for immediately quitting the business of nation building backed by the U.S. military (maybe Bachman feels that way too). I agree.
There was a black guy on the panel of candidates who I knew little about and still don’t, even though I have heard his name mentioned. A big business guy and quite dynamic and seemingly the antithesis of his black brother in the White House. UPDATE: Okay, I looked him up: Herman Cain, among other things, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Funny, he didn’t look Italian (okay a silly joke). And I doubt he has a chance, just not well enough known by the general public and maybe a little too business oriented (we’re just not all businessmen and you have to be more than one-dimensional).
In summary, if anyone watched this debate and could not see Huntsman as at least a strong contender, they must be just too cynical and looking at it strictly as a horse race and forget everything else.
But it is a horse race, I guess.
And I could and will make a bad pun and say a dark horse won last time, but really Obama (a Democrat of course) was not a dark horse — people knew of him, they just really did not know much about him because he had almost no track record.
But it does look like Romney is making great strides, even though I don’t know exactly how he is doing it. I thought he would be the Republican candidate last time and said so early.
But maybe Huntsman will catch on if he can hang on.
I never know what people mean when they say regulations on business should be cut or curbed — which ones? Health and safety rules? Worker rights? Anti-monopoly rules (which I don’t think exist anyway anymore).
Much hay was made about Rick Perry hurting himself by saying Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (a position he stuck to in the debate). It does resemble one, but it is all on the up and up and just needs to be protected, repaired and preserved, I think.
I own up to my mistakes. In a previous version of this post I connected Cain with Domino’s Pizza, rather than Godfather’s as I should have.