Thursday, January 24, 2008

After the fall

Sizing up the remainder of the Republican candidates sans Fred is somewhat of an exercise in frustration, especially after reading this. So, whom to choose?

In some areas Huckabee seems attractive due to his genuineness. At the same time he seems to be genuinely willing to say whatever or capitulate wherever necessary to get the job done. The yin yang suggests some kind of an underlying goal, one I've yet to pin down completely.

Paul is Paul. As blogger Mick Wright recently quipped, it wouldn't be surprising if he soon calls for a return to the original 13 colonies. Notice that's where they keep the blimp.

As to Rudy, he's been relatively unimpressive on the stump so far and like Fred, a little defensive, probably due to the Kerik connection and his wife's limo rides. That's also given him the air of a ex-chieftain rather than an ex-mayor, whether fair or not. And his past personal foibles and feelings on gun control are only a thought away. He'll be resurfacing soon forcing another look, but chances are it'll produce the same effect as the first one.

As to Mitt, he's competent but his recent incredibly awkward "who let the dogs out" moment might be a red flag of attacks to come. Think George Bush 41 not knowing the price of milk, ie, stiff on the street cred. Can he handle the attacks? Well, that just happens to be the subject of a Times article, suggesting ever so softly that he might be a little bit of a softie. They also quoted our next contestant, John McCain, in the story:
“Never get into a wrestling match with a pig,” Senator John McCain said in New Hampshire this month after reporters asked him about Mr. Romney. “You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”
Pigs. Well, there goes the Muslim vote. Ironically the above quote might be an example of the reason McCain cannot win the general election against either Hillary or Obama. The Maverick has some well-known weaknesses:
  • He appears to have a nasty temper, or at least people think he does. Not necessarily a showstopper unless the opposition can goad the inner hornet into a blowup, and since his current media friends will likely throw him under the bus when the game's on the line, it could be disastrous.
  • He has a tendency to speak freely, re the pigs remark. Hey, so do I, but I'm not running.
  • He's older than dirt, in his own words. He'd retire from a second term at 80, which will be mentioned repeatedly by opposition operatives.
  • He has a tendency to wander off the reservation on issues (not on defense--he'd be the best CIC bar none). While this independence may appeal to moderates and some Democrats, conservatives really don't want him waffling on core issues like SCOTUS appointments.
  • The Democrats seem to want him as an opponent. This should make everyone nervous.
Despite the above he still bubbles up close to the top, the field being what it is. But with the Democrats trying to destroy themselves and with Bloomberg and Nadar considering runs (might as well get Perot back in), anything could still happen.

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