Monday, May 23, 2011

The Republican Presidential Field: A First Look

It's good to be back blogging again, after a busy few weeks.

The GOP presidential field is forming and evolving, as various individuals dive in or bow out. I want to discuss my thoughts on who these folks are and whether they are the "kind of people we want" in the White House. Starting from the top:

My Favorite so far: Tim Pawlenty. Two-term governor of a liberal-leaning state who managed to keep a wayward budget under control and generally be conservative without compromising core principles. As long as he doesn't get to DC and get grandiose ideas about how government can "help the people," I think he'll do a pretty good job.

Other Big Names:

Mitt Romney: He worries me. I can't get "RomneyCare" out of my head. He's Mormon...not sure how that will affect his decision making...if at all...or should it? He looks and talks presidential, but almost without passion.

Newt Gingrich: I like him, but his negatives are enormous. For every two good ideas he has—and he has many—there seems to be a lemon. I always have my doubts about those whose marital infidelity has become so, um, public. His tenure as House Speaker, however, was superb.

Rick Santorum: I like him, too. He's quite conservative and votes with a conscience. I don't think he has much of a chance, but mainly because so many of my GOP friends/family in PA don't like him. And if you can't do well in your home state....

Jon Huntsman: The man began running for president against Obama while still serving in the Obama administration. I call this bad ethics. He's an incredibly rich man—he didn't need the day job. So why did he take it?

The Rest of the Pack:

Michele Bachmann: Four words: Sarah Palin on steroids. Thoroughly enjoyable to listen to, and her positions on the issues are consistently on the mark. She comes across as less-than-presidential, though, and will be portrayed as (you heard it here first) Sarah Palin on steroids. This demonization will deep-six her campaign. And like Santorum, if you can't win your home state—Pawlenty will win MN, I'm sure—you are toast.

Ron Paul: Good on fiscal issues. Libertarian streak is too strong. Occasionally comes across as a crackpot.

Herman Cain: I lack research. Is he a bona fide, conscience-driven, Bible-believing Christian? Is he another loud-mouthed, egotistical, radio talking head? I honestly have no idea yet.

Gary Johnson: Leading nominee at present for the 2012 "Who??" award.

Thankful they dropped out: Huckabee, Trump. (Although Trump may do a Ross Perot and jump back in. I can see this scenario. I don't like it.)

Still haven't committed, and looking doubtful they will: Palin, Christie

And there are others out there as well. Start your research, everyone; I'll keep you informed about mine.

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