Thursday, May 05, 2011

Thoughts on the S.C. Republican debate

I just finished watching the Republican presidential debate. Here are some random off-the-top-of my head impressions of the candidates:

Gary Johnson was not in favor of a wall protecting our southern border but he was in favor of legalizing marijuana use. He just didn't seem very presidential. He was my least favorite candidate. I would have a very hard time supporting him for President.

Ron Paul is a little too libertarian for my tastes. Legalize heroin and crack use? Please! I fear that would cause a rise in burglary, robbery and violent crime like nothing we've ever seen since the days of the wild west. His position on dropping foreign aid and bringing our troops home was appealing to me, though possibly a bit too extreme. I would have a hard time supporting him for President.

Rick Santorum is probably the one with whom I agree the most, but he didn't seem nearly as "at ease" as Tim Pawlenty or Herman Cain. My main concern is whether or not he is electable. I loved his defense of Newt Gingrich, though.

Herman Cain:  I liked Herman Cain--a lot!  Unfortunately, he has never held public office and I think it is not only important to have the right positions on the issues, I think you need to know how Washington works behind the scenes. I'm afraid Mr. Cain would get crushed by Washington politics. However, I think Herman Cain would make a great Vice President. In the focus group discussion that followed the debate, only one person was a Cain supporter before the debate but after the debate, the overwhelming majority of the focus group participants said they would now support Herman Cain for President.

Tim Pawlenty seemed most presidential. He was very knowledgeable and seemed very "at-ease" in his responses. I don't like the fact that he once supported cap and trade, but he acknowledged that he was wrong and he satisfied me that he is now strongly opposed to it. The only negative was that I got a little tired of his homespun stories.

So what about those who didn't come to the debate: Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sara Palin, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump?

Donald Trump scares me. I would have a hard time supporting him for President.

I could reluctantly support Mitt Romney but he wouldn't be my first choice, or second, third, forth or even fifth choice.

I love Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin but I fear that they may not be electable as President.

I like Mike Huckabee and think he may be one of our best options.

I think Newt Gingrich is probably the most knowledgeable and most politically savvy. He may may make the best President.

The people who seem to best reflect my personal views are Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum.  My main concern is whether they could be electable--but they may be able to change my mind as the primary season goes on.

My opinion will undoubtedly change over the coming months but right now I think Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich or Tim Pawlenty may be our best options for a presidential candidate, with Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann as the best options for Vice President.


Geoffrey said...

Keep in mind a Pawlenty-Bachmann ticket could not receive Minnesota's electoral votes, since at least one of the candidates must be from a different state than the Elector.

(In one of the more important but less closely followed court cases in November 2000, a court ruled that Cheney was a resident of Wyoming and not Texas.)

professor ed said...

I had the pleaslure of being at the debate. Pre-debate I was leaning toward the former Minn. governor. Post-debate I was/am solidly in Herman Cain's corner. He was not afraid to speak his mind. When asked by a pannelist if the fact he had never held an elected office hinder his effort, Cain responded by saying look what we have running Washington now, that has previously held elected office. Unlike Trump, Cain has been married to the same woman for a number of years (family values). While others on the stage, in paarticular our former senator from PA, seemed uncomfortable at times, Cain seemed to be saying, in boddy language as well as words, go on panel, bring it on, I can handle whatever you throw at me.

Dennis said...

Professor ed,

Do you have any concerns about Herman Cain's lack of experience in foreign affairs or in handling Washington's back-stabbing, cut-throat, political culture?

I felt the same way about Santorum. He did not seem nearly as at ease as Cain did.