Diary

An alternative view of the Republican Primary contenders

I read Erick’s post Monday morning and there are a couple of things I disagree with. There is a name for people who think that Palin or Bachmann are stupid.

Democrats.

However, there are plenty of Republicans who think that, at this point in her life, Sarah Palin doesn’t have the experience to run for President. Bachmann is in the same position.

Secondly, I can’t agree with anybody who leaves Herman Cain out of the group of smart guys. He has a different mix of talents from Romney or Daniels or Gingrich, but I think that he belongs in that group. People who are good with numbers, who can manage, and who can inspire are rare. A lot of folks can do one, some can do two, but few can do all three.

Mitt Romney:

I like Romney. He is a very impressive guy, and he would make a fine President if he won. Polls show him to be competitive with Obama. However, I think he lacks the ability to inspire. I also don’t think he is a strong conservative.

I think people make too much of his history with healthcare. Back in 2007, nobody seemed to think that Romneycare or the individual mandate was a terrible idea. I bet I could dig up quite a few quotes from conservative pundits who praised it at the time.

Times have changed of course, and Romney has to deal with that.

Tim Pawlenty:

I supported him for McCain’s VP. I think he is a good guy. The trouble is, he doesn’t seem to get much traction with the voters. He supported ethanol because Minnesota is a big corn producing state. He was trying to do the best for his people.

Herman Cain:

I don’t understand why Erick thinks he doesn’t appeal to the elite. He understands what it takes to run a medium sized company. That’s pretty elite! However, he also understands what it is like to come from a family that isn’t rich. His life experience, and his race, potentially gives him very broad appeal.

Mitch Daniels:

I don’t get this guy’s appeal. He’s spent most of his life in Washington. As W’s budget director, he is directly responsible for the deficits run up during the Bush years. Look for Obama to remind people of that!

Yes, he seems to have done a good job as Governor of Indiana. However, he has a tremendous amount of professional baggage because of his time in the Bush White House. His decision to pick a fight with social conservatives also strikes me as very poor political judgement. Socons are an important part of the Republican base. Social issues don’t hurt Republicans in national elections the way they do in California.

Why annoy social conservatives when you don’t have to? Maybe because he really doesn’t like them?

My take is that he is being pushed by the Republican elite inside the beltway.

Newt:

In 2008 he came up with “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.” The McCain campaign picked up on that and it worked well for them. He’s had some good ideas in the past, but I think he more on the left of the Party now. I don’t know what he thought he was doing on last Sunday’s talk show. The reponse to his comments was predictable, and he owes Paul Ryan an apology.

Palin and Bachmann:

Smart. Charismatic. Inexperienced. Their fan clubs may overlook their lack of experience. The rest of the country won’t.

If I was voting tomorrow I would be torn between Romney and Cain. Romney is the sensible pick, and Cain is the exciting hail Mary pass. I really want to see more of Cain. Is he ready for Presidential politics? Would it be crazy to pick somebody who has never run for office before?

(Technical note: I’m using IE 9, and am having a lot of trouble with the blogging section of the site. Sorry for the presentation of the post)