At the start of the primary season, I reported on the first GOP debate.
After some insightful observations, and putting on record my initial ranking considerations here repeated below, I also then predicted what the media would attempt to do:
1. Newt Gingerich
3. Ron Paul
5. Herman Cain
6. Michele Bachman
7. Rick Santorum
“Of course, the medial will try to precisely reverse this order… will try to say Newt is a bored disconnected college professor…and they will try to declare the winners the underdogs they do not see as being able to win the general election… maybe pawlenty, herman cain or Bachman. ”
This is precisely what happened, mostly with the media putting an enormous emphasize on Bachman, and virtually ignoring even the existence of Newt Gingerich (except when reporting scandal or someone in his camp quitting). Early polling showed the effects of this.
As realclearpolitics.com trend graphs show, (poll averages over time), Bachman was given a big boost by the early coverage, Newt dropped to somewhere in the 4% range.
Now, Rick Perry, had not been in this first debate nor announced his candidacy, the media put full weight behind him as another possible challenger that can increase bickering in the field between the candidates, and erode their solidarity against Obama. This arises both out of a natural economic incentive for ratings and “drama” as well as an innate fear of the conservative victory and thus the need to encourage underdogs, fringe candidates and/or more liberal ones in an attempt to undermine the possibility of a true conservative victory.
Initially, many of my fellow conservatives (Eitan) jumped on the Rick Perry bandwagon and were energized about his announcement. They also bought into the media’s claims that Newt was finished.
Perry’s strong appearance at first reminds of presidential character, even perhaps of the now missed resolute character of a fellow Texan governor who sat in the White House not too long ago. The great economic track record of Texas, amid this economic chaos, also greatly helped.
Of course, I rejected Perry from the start, (along with the likes of Rumsfeld, Cheney and G W) and I stated immediately that Texas owes its greatness to itself, a conservative assembly, court, people, natural resources, size and past governors. There was little Rick Perry could do as a Republican to have ruined it. It was Romney who recently took up my line in the last debate “Texas is a great state…” and Rick taking credit for it is a bit like “Al Gore claiming he created the Internet”.
As the many debates have gone on and we near the end of the primary season, the conservative voters have seen through the media’s attempt and reversed those trends. Rick Perry’s support dropped in dramatic fashion, as did Bachman’s while Gingerich was able to revive his campaign and now contend for third place.
However, the biggest surprise is Herman Cain’s skyrocketing numbers in the polls, now only second to Romney. Much of Perry’s and Bachman’s support went to him (which otherwise would have gone I believe in large part to Newt).
Though I am surprised at his success and did not foresee it, in the same initial report I wrote about Cain:
Herman Cain, pretty impressive. He actually looks like he can be a very good executive, and hence probably his success in business. His instinct are good, as his political knowledge and history are quite limited, but he gets most answers right. He also is genuine and does not try to pretend what he doesn’t know (like when he admitted earlier that he did not know what the palestinian “right of return” demand was). He seems firmly conservative, recognizes the Muslim threat on the West, and unlike his fellow black, Obama, he does not believe US blacks are an oppressed minority in need of govt guidance and support, but equal citizens in what should be the freest and greatest country on earth.
Basically, the likely Republican voters not supporting Romney, over the course of the debates and campaign, have come to agree with my initial assessment of the rest… Perry’s character limitations and flaws, Bachman’s weakness as a Presidential candidate, Newt’s intellectual depth and ability, and Herman Cain’s positive qualities.
Frankly, I expected that in spite of Cain’s strengths, being black would hurt his popularity in the largely white Republican Party. The GOP has impressed us, in that despite the media’s endless claims of bigotry, they are proven untrue time and time again.
The problem is that the other sector of the likely voters, those supporting Romney, have virtually remained unchanged and he remains the front runner. Though he is an admirable man, he lacks the boldness and intellectual prowess needed for the next president to actually turn the US back to a conservative path. This would be very dangerous as even another mediocre 4 years, may lead to a subsequent decade of leftist control if not more as people forget the Obama debacle and come to the conclusion neither side is very effective.
The hope is that, though he remains a front runner, the vast majority (near 80%) of Republicans are not backing him, but rather any one of the many candidates still in the race. As they drop out, I believe (hope) that Newt can catch both many of the voters to the right of Romney now spread out among the candidates, as well as large number of “establishment” types who are looking for a trustworthy, traditional and presidential character.
Change in my Rankings
1. Newt Gingrich
3. Ron Paul
– Pawlenty – (not in debate)
4. Herman Cain
5. Michele Bachman
6. Rick Perry
7. Rick Santorum
In general, there is little change. Pawlenty was not in the last CNN debate, and so brings everyone below him up a rank. Rick Perry is an addition who was not in the first debate. In the middle we do have Huntsman who seems to have come and gone (hard to know what to make of him), so I leave him out.
I do have an improved appreciation for ALL of them, including Bachman and Santorum (who are at the bottom of my list), but the order does not change. Santorum teeters on the edge of dislikable, but saves himself from falling over, while Bachman stopped announcing over and over that she was 1. running for president, 2. a mother of 50 adopted children, and 3. crazy. This was definitely an improvement. Despite Rick Perry’s rudeness, intellectual dullness, fact he supported Al-Gore, and dislike-ability, for some reason I still would support him over the slightly more likeable Santorum. Hard to describe why, the Texan strong character counts for something, while Santorum’s overly Catholic-based pro government interventionist approach and overall weak (but sort of nasty) approach puts him at the bottom of the pack.
In general, Cain, Bachman and Perry (4, 5 and 6) are a very close call.
Newt continues to tower over the rest by at least 5 normal human IQs, and was best portrayed with his closing words of the last debate to the effect of: “If I am the nominee, I will challenge Obama to the Lincoln rules…” 3 hour debates, no moderators, no teleprompter etc.. with the rest of the candidates smirking in the background knowing only Newt would want to do that, and poor Barak wouldn’t leave there well. And Ron Paul? Well he is the champion of liberty.
GOP debate and Israel
Again, to see across the board how Pro-Israel the entire field is.. leaves one honored, and in awe and embarrassment that a vast majority of American Jews vote for the other party. Even Ron Paul, who advocated cutting all foreign aid (including that to Israel) said it would be good for Israel who could regain its sovereignty and not be defendant on the US… Right on Ron Paul. Not to mention much of the military aid simply balances out the military aid given to Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia etc which obviously is redundant if it was cut to all of them.
A bit sad, that the high moral standing through which these candidates see Israel was tainted by the Gilad Shalit deal releasing over 1027 terrorists. The whole field agreed with the principle of never negotiating with terror, while at the same time tried (especially Cain) to excuse and explain Netanyahu and that there must be good reasons why Israel would do it if in fact it did.
1. It was frustrating that Romney was never smart enough to counter with population differences between Mass and Texas every time Rick Perry would launch absurd numbers at him like “we created 20 times more jobs in Texas in 5 days than you did in MA in 500 years” type of thing…
On the other hand Perry was quick to point out in response to some of the criticism aimed at him which related to poor socioeconomic groups, such as lots of uninsured, poor school records etc, that Texas shares a long border with Mexico and the massive influx of illegal, often poor, often uneducated people will have an effect on such statistics if you want to compare them with say… Denmark (or another US state not bordering Mexico).
Romney kept saying that his unemployment rate in Mass, 4.7% was lower than Perry’s was in Texas while they were both governors, but was never able to put together that if you speak in “number of jobs” Texas is a much bigger place and it is an irrelevant statistic. He did finally at one point out as stated earlier that “Texas is a great state..” and it has oil, gas, no income tax, a republican court etc etc.
The problem with that defense was that instead of simply pointing out that TX has a much larger population than Mass, (so lets use this neat invention called “percentages” to compare accomplishments); he is in away admitting that Perry’s result in Texas was in fact better, but it would be unfair to compare since Romney’s situation was harder… Texas being ” a great state” as opposed to Mass? I am sure folks in his home state were happy to hear that (though its true!)
2. When cornered about TARP 1 (the Bush one), which was a bailout (the word now being very unpopular) none were able to defend their position supporting it then under Bush (though of course Newt was not asked). The only one that even manned up to it was Herman Cain, and though he briefly mentioned “crisis” he was unable to put together a decent defense on the philosophical grounds of conservatives. And this would have been very simple:
TARP was supported by some conservatives, not happily and to promote social justice and as a great ideal program etc etc but rather very reluctantly because we were told the world was coming to an end. Meaning… it was not done because it was thought the banks “deserved” a bailout or to save a certain amount of jobs or companies, but rather as a matter of national security.
The freedoms of capitalism can be broken (and MUST be) only in order to save the nation and thus all the other freedoms. For example, you can be drafted and sent to war (pretty much as extreme as you can get in taking away ones freedom) in order to save the nation and thus your future freedom allong with everyone elses. So, economists told Bush, congress and the the US, “Pass TARP or the US collapses” It ws passed in this light, and weather the economists were right or wrong it was done as a national security emergency. Bush also promised, that if it works and the US does not collapse, then most likely, most if not all the taxpayer money would be returned (as the purchased toxic assets regain value). TARP 1 remains the only one of the programs since the economic collapse that was actually profitable… the US government ended up MAKING money on the deal as Bush promised. Of course, this matters little since then the money was not returned to the taxpayer with or without profit, but spent anyways under Obama’s useless programs. Herman should have been able to explain this (in less words, haha).
1. Every word Newt said.
2. When Herman Cain stood by his statements against the lazy hippies protesting in wall street, and asked what it was they wanted from the bankers, if for them to come down stairs and write them a check. The place to protest is congress or the White House, the private citizens, rich or not, in Wall street don’t make policy… (they make money)