Monday, September 12, 2011

Republican Debate 9/12/11

I'm flipping back and forth between the CNN Tea Party Express (seems like an odd juxtaposition, no?) Republican Primary Debate, so I won't be able to give complete commentary, but below will be my take on each candidate from what I see.

Michele Bachmann - I was quite surprised that she had so much less face time than Romney and perry.  That said, I think her comments on the HPV vaccine directed at Perry might well have brought him right back to the pack.

Rick Perry - Dislikes Romney...Intensely.  I can't say that I support his ideas to this point, but he seems like he'll not shy away from difficult issues.  That said, he seems to put his feet in his mouth by oversensationalizing a bit for effect.  He would be better served by using arguments to support his beliefs, not grandiose statements that seem more to capture headlines.  If that is the way he legislates (and the HPV vaccine may be indicative of that), it is dangerous.  I don't understand how he says how he is so pro-small government and pro-Constitution yet talk about using executive orders (even going so far as to using one to repeal parts of Obamacare)...Even AFTER Ron Paul had just talked about the abuse of executive orders.  That said, I agree with his stated stance on illegal immigration, and I respect that he said it despite its unpopularity among the audience.  I don't understand why the Hell anyone wouldn't want to encourage people to be productive members of society (coughcoughRomneycoughcough).

Mitt Romney - Dislikes Perry...Intensely.  With the opening topic of Social Security, he seems more like an attack dog than he does someone who wants to tackle issues or take them head on.  Rather than offer an idea, he went right after Perry.  It wouldn't surprise me to see the same tactic on other topics as well.  Additionally, I feel he'll say anything for a vote.  To me, he's just as slimy as I remember in 2007.

Ron Paul - The peace candidate.  I do like that he differentiates between defense spending and military spending.  It seems like he is the candidate with the most concrete ideas.  However, he tends to come off as that crazy uncle who walks around in underwear and boots.  While from an idea standpoint, I find him one of the more compelling candidates, he just doesn't strike me as electable.  That said, I think he might be the most sincere, and I don't believe that he's saying anything to get a vote.  He's saying it because he truly believes it.  Not saying that I agree with all he says, but I respect that he just says it.

"She turned me into a" Newt Gingrich - He always comes off as being condescending and professorial.  When he's not that, he's busy making jokes and ripping on the President.  Based on what I'm hearing, he is the embodiment of the politics I can't stand.  I'd prefer to see him stand toe to toe with his fellow candidates and the President rather than to claim that between he and Barack Obama, he is the least bad choice.  That said, attacking the incumbent did prove to be a successful strategy in 2008...

Herman "Hurri" Cain - I'm hearing some good idea and some bad ideas from him here.  He seems like one of the more pro-business candidates up there, BUT I wish that I could hear more of his thoughts fleshed out to a greater degree.  Unfortunately, Perry and Romney seem to betting the lion's share of the spotlight.

Jon Huntsman - See Cain.  I would be quite happy seeing a side debate between these two candidates.

Rick Santorum - I really haven't heard much from him other than trying to drag down the current frontrunners.  I'd like him to focus more on ideas (much like Newty).  Another thing I notice is that he answers the question he wants to answer rather than the question asked.  Case in point: Immigration question.

One thing that I wish the candidates would do differently is use fewer statistics in their arguments.  Those of you who know me are probably shocked by this comment because I quite enjoy statistics.  However, politicians generally use statistics that are misleading or plainly false because a zinging sound bite sticks with people more than anything else, and since other candidates usually can't decipher where the heck the statistic came from and what the truth is in the moment, the perpetrators don't get called out till it's too late.



  1. You missed the other debate, but it's Always Perry and Romney that get the lions share of time. It's almost as if the media is determining who the front runners are before the people have a chance to really hear anyone else's views. But we all know the media wouldn't do that...

    I like Paul and Huntsman. Do a little research on Huntsman and he'll surprise you.

  2. I didn't watch this debate. But I did watch the one on Wednesday, so I'll add my opinions on all the candidates.

    Michelle Bachmann - Bachmann is at least a bit crazy, but I like her as a person because she actually supports her beliefs with actions (such as raising foster children). Her dedication to her beliefs is commendable, but it is mitigated by some of the crazy.

    Rick Perry - Loathe. I might dislike Rick Perry more than Mitt Romney. I realize he and GWB did not have a tremendous amount of power to stop Texas' reprehensible death penalty practices, but in derailing any attempt to investigate the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, Perry made it very clear that he not only supports the death penalty, but that he is more interested in making sure criminals are executed than making sure innocent people are not executed. That alone disqualifies him in my mind from public office.

    Mitt Romney can say whatever he wants. It seems obvious the man has never met a principle in politics he cared about more than his own power. Those people are fine politicians, I guess. But without real convictions, I can't see him as anything better than a mediocre president. I believe Obama's been a mediocre president, and I really don't see why I would trade the mediocre president we have for the mediocre president we don't have.

    Ron Paul - I think we need more politicians like him in congress. I can't imagine what he'd be like as president.

    Newt Gingrich... He has no chance, but he also doesn't deserve one. His performance as Speaker of the House was disgraceful. He did however, give us this great work of art.

    Herman Cain... meh. His "I'm a Real Black Man unlike the President" shtick, as documented by Adam Serwer is ugly.

    Jon Huntsman... This guy is way more conservative than he gets credit for. He also appears have integrity, a love of his country, and a willingness to compromise. Id strongly consider voting for him against Barack Obama, and I feel robbed that he doesn't have a chance. I'm not saying a President Huntsman wouldn't irritate me at times, but he just might be a better president than Obama.

    Rick Santorum - I don't really like him, and I can't imagine you liking him either. He wants to run as the Christian right candidate, trumps his Catholocism and attacks abortion and gay marriage and so and so. This would be a lot more acceptable to me if he wasn't such a full-throated supporter of torture. Hypocrite.

    I agree with you on statistics in debates, but politicians would find another way to lie.

    I can't believe I'm actually rooting for Mitt Romney to win the nomination. I feel dirty.

  3. "I agree with you on statistics in debates, but politicians would find another way to lie."

    That sounds like something I'd say! It's sad that your comment is so true.

    As for the last comment about Mitt, don't do it! It is dirty! I'm wondering whether anyone will look at the field, say, "We have to do better than this," and enter or be convinced to enter by others with that thought (perhaps Chris Christie?).