A quick word on the GOP debate last night. I’m following them because one of the candidates will be our next president unless the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot. For what it’s worth, here is my assessment based on how the candidates presented themselves and their ideas, not the validity of their ideas. Any Republican who ends up as the nominee is going to focus on “free market solutions,” even though most of their solutions are not “free market.” But their proposals will be better than President Obama’s knee-jerk Keynesian-welfare statism.
Rick Perry ▲ For his first foray into the national spotlight he did a great job. He was smooth, persuasive, fairly articulate, and almost never got flustered. He spoke directly to the TV audience and presented simple ideas that were easy to grasp. Like most politicians he dodged the tough questions. I would say for presentation he was the best up there. Everyone was expecting him to fail as another W. Bush and he exceeded expectations. He is my least favorite candidate.
Mit Romney▲ Mit did a good job, but not as good as Perry. He has a tendency to get into details which loses the audience. People think these debates are for candidates to debate the issues. Nothing could be further from the truth. The idea is to communicate to the TV audience and get them to like you and your ideas. You need to express concepts simply and clearly. He was well prepared and had good answers for his critics except the ones he couldn’t defend (Romneycare). I still see him as a middle-of-the-roader, but so is Perry.
Michelle Bachmann ▼ If anyone was a big loser it was Bachmann. I found her presentation weak and off-key. She looked scared and haggard. Her answers were stupid and way off target. She came across as the lightweight she is. She is about equal to Perry in my dislike.
Ron Paul ▼ He continues to spiral downward in the effectiveness of his presentation. While he is my favorite candidate he did horribly. The man is still in the trenches fighting the good fight but he blew it again. I am very disappointed in him. I have criticized him for not being serious in his quest for the Presidency. He fumbles his answers, wanders, goes off on policy issues, and loses his audience. Don’t get me wrong: I agree with (almost) everything he says. But he’s letting the movement down. He’ll start falling in the polls once the Iowa Caucuses start up. Sad to say.
John Huntsman ▲ ▼ I agreed with a lot he had to say. He, like Romney, can play the businessman card, but he was good on immigration (Reagan Amnesty) and getting out of Afghanistan. He is a Mormon but apparently believes in evolution (vs. creationist bible-bangers Perry and Bachmann), and agrees there is good science behind global warming (it doesn’t mean I am in favor of destroying the economy because of it; but face it, man’s activity is a factor in climate change). I felt he was more free market that any other candidate except Ron Paul. He needs to work on his presentation though. He comes across as being stern rather than Perry-Romney confident. He’s my next favorite after Ron.
Forget the rest:
Cain: Good, but no one takes him seriously, especially donors.
Today I would put Perry as the front-runner.