December 11, 2007

Some thoughts about the GOP race for President:

Unlike those like Richard John Neuhaus, I for one was NOT impressed by former MA governor Mitt Romney’s speech on religion the other day. Although well executed and, at times, impressive in its breadth and scope, I’m just sick and tired of all this religious pandering going on in the race for the GOP’s 2008 nomination for President. A person’s faith and religion are their own business, and there are far too many critical issues facing the country in what promises to be a watershed election in its history than to hear candidates blathering on and on about their faith.

While watching Romney’s speech, I couldn’t help but think that strategically it was big mistake, the primary reason being that it took all the focus away from Romney’s perceived strengths – i.e., his stand on taxes, judicial appointments, and immigration – and funneled all the attention on his supposed weakness (his Mormon religion). Of course, you won’t hear that from Romney flacks like Hugh Hewitt and NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez – who have both gone nutty and abandoned all objectivity on Romney to the exclusion of all other candidates.

There’s no question – Romney’s drop in the polls (and, not so incidentally, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s rise) are THE big story right now. This is especially true given all the money Romney has pumped into his capaign thus far, and how little Huckabee has.

Regarding Huckabee – his rise to me seems more a result of the lack of a dynamic, conservative candidate that Republicans can all rally behind. My view is that Huckabee lacks the organization and, as time will soon tell, the gravitas to stay in the lead for long. Once his opponents start pummeling him on his record as Governor and his political stand on issues (can you say, Jimmy Carter?), his lack of money and organization will start to show and he’ll drop, and quick.

While I like Rudy Giuliani personally, I just can’t see him ever being elected President. Too many skeletons in the closet re: his personal life and from his days as mayor of NY. Besides, enough socially-conservative Republicans will steer clear of him on primary days to prevent him from getting the GOP nod.

Both John McCain and Fred Thompson have done themselves well by hanging in there, staying away from the religion issue, and focusing primarily on issues. Right now the polls show them both lagging a bit, but with Romney and Huckabee blasting away at each other, Romney fading a bit, and Huckabee about to, there will be room for one of these candidates (I doubt both) to wedge their way into a near-frontrunner position by the time the South Carolina primary (after Iowa and New Hampshire) comes round. Who will it be? Either of them would be OK with me, but I’m hoping it’s Fred, who I like a lot and am supporting.

Why Fred? Don’t take my words for it, take it from Say Anything Blog:

ABC News has done some fact-checking on claims being made by the various Republican presidential campaigns. They found that Mitt Romney is sending out information that’s less than truthful about John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson’s on illegal immigration. Rudy has sent out misleading information about Romney’s record on crime. Mike Huckabee has made misleading statements about Rudy’s stance on gay marriage.

But someone who wasn’t mentioned in the article as having mislead voters was Fred Thompson. Because Thompson has a consistent record that doesn’t meed to be obfuscated with misleading accusations aimed at the other candidates.

Fred’s running on issues, and while he might not be the most charismatic candidate in the world, he has my support and enthusiastically. Go Fred Go!

The sooner Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo drop out of the GOP race, the better. It’s time to focus on candidates who are serious players for the GOP nomination.

Ron Paul is a loon, as are his wacko followers, and were he ever to get the GOP nomination, I would gladly pull the lever for Hillary Clinton, if only to keep Paul out of the Oval Office.

Tomorrow: The Democrats

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:28 | Comments Off on The Race Is On – GOP Edition
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