Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Who's Who 2012

Things have changed since my last political post on the debate. Since my GOP 2012 in a Nutshell post, we have seen a few people drop out and some new people join the battle. Here are a few thoughts to help you get to know the candidates a little more.

Who is running? What do they believe?

TOP Tier:

Romney is the front runner when it comes to money and name recognition. Every other candidate knows that RomneyCare is going to hurt him. And rightly so. RomneyCare has all the same problems that ObamaCare does. They both have taxpayer funding of abortion, individual mandates, and government control of the industry. If people don't like ObamaCare, I don't think they'll like Romney.

Bachmann has shocked the political elite (including Bill Clinton) by jumping to the lead in several recent polls. You will not find a candidate more conservative than her and she is a great speaker. She, however, can be difficult to work with and does not have any meaningful leadership experience. I like her, and she has proven herself ideologically but I'd like her to prove herself as a leader.

Pawlenty has experience and the smarts, but some complain that he is boring. Personally, I would like results over talk, a record over words, and a solid reputation over a record that changes with political need. He has worked hard to reach various audiences: homeschoolers, people who care about American foreign policy, and past Huckabee supporters.

Huntsman is running as the moderate in the room. One of the first mailers that his people sent out after he announced his candidacy was him taking credit for legalizing civil unions as Governor of Utah. He looks the part of the President, but I don't think that he will have much appeal with the conservative base.

Palin* is a rock star. The question, however, is whether or not she is running. She is solid on the issues that conservatives care about, but her popularity has suffered from three years of constant scrutiny and even attacks leveled from her nemesis: The Main Stream Media. I imagine that her best move right now is to stay out and use her political clout to regain credibility with the base.

Perry* is not official. Like Palin, he is flirting with running. Some (Karl Rove, Rep. Canseco, and other unnamed Republicans) say that he has decided to run, but there has been no confirmation. He is one of the most interesting possible candidates. On one hand, he has been a leader calling the nation to fast and pray and fighting for states' rights. On the other hand, he endorsed pro-abortion Rudy Giuliani in 2008 and ordered that all girls in Texas take HPV vaccines. He would shake up the race if he got in, but he would have a hard time facing Obama in a general election, if only because he sounds too much like Bush.

MIDDLE Tier:

Santorum is a homeschool dad and was a leader fighting against abortion in the Senate a few short years ago. He repeatedly followed the party line on spending bills and he endorsed a pro-abortion Senator against now Senator Pat Toomey in 2004. He is a great guy, but the window of opportunity is closing for him to jump into the top tier.

Cain is a strong speaker and quick thinker. He is running as the outside-of-the-beltway guy, but the issue he has is that he doesn't have any experience. He has run huge companies, but his political experience is limited to arguing on TV with Bill Clinton. He will need to show some improvement in key polls or else his supporters will start looking elsewhere.

Bottom Tier:

Gingrich-Campaign is imploding and he is not working on building a winning plan.

Ron Paul-He can raise money and his supporters are very loyal, but there are not enough of them.

Johnson-Running on legalizing pot is not enough to win any serious nomination.

Roemer** - If there is a lower than bottom tier, he would be there.

Moore** -If there is a lower than bottom tier, he would be there.

* Undeclared

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