If the primary were today…

2012 GOP Presidential candidates

I have been going round and round about the presidential candidates over the last few months trying to decide who I liked best and who I wanted to serve our country as Commander in Chief. I tend to like all of them and will be happy with anyone who gets the noination.

I really wanted to support Perry, but his campaign is very negative. It’s hard to support a candidate who just can’t say what he means with clarity. So I had to write him off for now unless he really begins to impress.

Romney is someone I go back and forth on. I do like him and believe him when he says he will repeal Obamacare, but I have serious concern about him as just being another status quo Republican, and his his past positions in MA are absolutely unacceptable to me as a conservative. A likable personality and strong general election polling just aren’t enough at the moment. Romney’s position in the polls is a reflection of his personal appeal and overall competence.

Michele Bachmann has actually impressed me more than I expected her to do. She certainly comes across as more articulate than I had anticipated, but her constant chants and canned lines drive me up the wall.

Anderson, the good news is, the cake is baked. Barack Obama will be a one-term  president; there’s no question about that.

It’s that kind of statement that makes my eyes glaze over when she speaks.

Rick Santorum is a sincere conservative who complains all the time.

Jon Huntsman seems like a nice guy but just isn’t taking off.

I agree with Ron Paul on many issues, but he also holds several positions that are deal breakers. (His son Rand comes across as much more realistic while still adhering to his principals.)

I really love Herman Cain and appreciate the conversation about the tax code he has brought to the race, but I suspect when I’m listening to him that there are aspects he is not prepared for.

So that leaves me with one candidate left. If the election were held in the next couple of weeks, I would vote for Newt Gingrich. I know he has the knowledge and ideas that would best serve our country. There isn’t an issue he hasn’t thought through or a position he isn’t able to articulate with the utmost skill.

I have reached the point where I do not want style or gimmicks. I want substance, and I want someone who is capable of articulating why conservatism is the best option for this country. I want someone committed to making fundamental changes in our government. Perry might be conservative in his gut, but he can’t articulate why; Romney might be able to articulate conservatism, but I’m not sure he really believes in it enough to consistantly abide by it.

Obviously by the time the 2012 primary gets to SD, we will probably rubber stamp whomever has already been selected. I still think we are best served as citizens if we take time to learn about and evaluate the candidates and develope a deeper understanding of what matters to us as individuals.

35 Replies to “If the primary were today…”

  1. Troy Jones

    Good summary. Pretty much agree.

    But the fun is disagreeing so I’ll tell you where I disagree.

    I wish Pawlenty would have stayed in. Never know if he wouldn’t have gotten a Perry/Cain like bounce.

    I wish Thune would have ran. His non-bickering style would have contrasted nicely with the debate in Vegas.

    I wish Palin would have run. I think her much smarter than she is percieved and a campaign would have given her a chance to prove it. I like her management style she showed in Alaska. She gets what we need with regard to moving the economy.

    I think Bachman has all the weaknesses of Obama even though I generally agree with her on many issues. No accomplishments. Just good lines and speeches. Don’t want to go there again!

    I think it interesting and appropriate you never even mentioned Huntsman. How the guy ever got elected to anything is beyond me. Competant and smart but shows no skills it takes to win elections.

    I think we are too hard on Romney as conservatives. Politics is the art of the possible. As Governor, one must govern. He was Governor in Mass., which isn’t exactly a place receptive to conservative ideals. But to his credit, coming from MA, nobody probably knows better how much government must be cut and reformed.

    I think Newt has a great deal of capabilities but for a person with the ideas and name idea he has, his current standing indicates he doesn’t get winning elections outside of a Congressional District and in a caucus which basically makes him Dole-esque. V.P maybe?

    I think Ron Paul is the most intellectually vigorous candidate either party has seen since for a long time. He has a cogent philosophy which he isn’t afraid to articulate even when certain specifics run against the grain.

    Rick Perry is Joe Biden redux. Probably a good guy, many good ideas, but too thin-skinned, especially for one who thinks out loud (ala Biden) which sometimes looks like he isn’t thoughtful (which isn’t fair to him as it isn’t fair to Biden).

    Santorum is definitely my choice for VP among this group. He will be a great ambassador to Congressional leadership (both parties), he is solid on issues, thoughtful (I don’t see whiney).

    Cain to me is the most Reagan-esque. He has a vision, can communicate it, isn’t afraid to throw out ideas that change the debate (9-9-9 might be unrealistic but it has us talking about tax reform), and has a capacity to connect with everyone, even those who disagree with him. A year ago, I was with you: thought him interesting but not ready for prime time. Now, I find it amazing he has handled campaigning, articulated ideas, and developed a sincere base better than Perry and Gingrich who have alot more political experience. By next summer, he will be blazing.

    If the election were held today, I’m caught between Cain and Romney. The biggest problem facing America is first and foremost the economy and the lack of private sector growth. They both get what it will take to stimulate business activity and entrepreneurial confidence. They both know what is to manage a large business (President’s do have to run the government).

    Today, I’d vote for Romney but by June, I might be ready to go Cain. Bachman is the only one I don’t want to have as my nominee. Quite comfortable with everyone else.

    1. Anonymous

      I agree with both troy and clay. I want to vote Romney but don’t. His positions too conveniently change. I’m talking core principles. Though I likely won’t vote for him in the primary I would be a strong supporter in the general.

      I wish I could combine Gingrich and Cain. But then i would have Reagan.

      1. insomniac

        Gingrich would be my #1 choice aswell because when he speaks he can at least make a clear statement without talking points or stupid screw ups.

        Gingrich would destroy Obama in a debate.

  2. veldy

    Gingrich probably smartest of the bunch, too much baggage for the top slot. Romney the establishment guy, I could live with Him. Cain will fade away, if I had a restaurant chain to turn around, he’d be the guy. Huntsman and Santorum, who?? Michele Bachmann, pretty tough running from the house. Don’t sell Perry short, there’s a reason he’s never lost an election, guessing the ground game will make or break him.

  3. Duh

    Perry lost me on his comments on immigration. Cain is impressive. Newt is old baggage like an 80’s band with one original member and Newt is a lot like McCain reappearance-wise and look how that turned out.

  4. oldguy

    Veld has it right about Newt which is too bad as he is a smart but has really bad baggage. I have no clue on who will win but do think Cain is interesting.

  5. Slim Pickins

    The rundown:

    Gingrich ? Old school. Baggage. Lots of it. The guy has twelve big ideas every day. And one of those is sometimes a good idea.

    Romney ? if this guy was a Democrat, I could just hear all of you in here SCREAMING that he is a flip-flopper and an evil man for forcing citizens of his state to buy health insurance. But he?s a Republican, so that?s ok. You guys are so like Democrats in that regard.

    Paul ? energetic yes. Some of his stuff is pretty good, but not realistic. Maybe his ideas would have been accepted during the Enlightenment.

    Bachmann ? I want a President who knows that Libya IS in Africa. Oh ? and at least a solid third-grade knowledge of history. She falls short on both counts.

    Santorum ? other than his hilarious Google “situation”, he is a kook. Did you see/hear him plowing around in the contraception issue? Holy crap!

    Perry ? Ready! Fire! Aim! Just the kind of guy I want with his finger on the red button. Of course the fact that the Bushians and the Rovians hate him make him a tiny bit more attractive to me. As a candidate, I mean…

    Cain ? amusing and a helluva pizza man. But there is no way on God?s green earth that the Republican party is going to have a black guy represent them for President of the United States. No Way. Even if Hell did freeze over, Congress would gut him out within six months. It would be amusing to see his Wells Fargo bank branch employee ? his 999 ?economist? come to Washington and become Secretary of the Treasury. And to see who he picks for Secretary of State to send to all of those “ackistans” out there. Maybe Bolton’s available. Hilarious.

    Huntsman ? I would probably vote for him. I think he?s the best-educated and well-rounded of all the Republican candidates. Not a real fireball, but no one is perfect, eh?

    Thune ? Troy wishes Thune would have run and so do I. I still pray every day that he gets chosen for VP. But the senator whose best work is based in cow farts and adding an unnecessary line to the 1040 would be forced to be combative in the campaign, since his colleagues would undoubtedly be pointing out that he has not accomplished anything. Same as the guy we have in there now. Except for a speech. And an election.

    Palin ? I prayed for her to run every single day since the 2008 election was over. I don?t know how long it takes for prayers to work, but I am not giving up. I only have about 1450 hours of prayer invested right now and I?ll continue until I hit 10,000 hours. But that?s my limit ? at least as far as Palin is concerned. My willingness to invest prayer in a Thune run is nearing infinity (or as near infinity as a human can come).

    The good news? You really don’t have to wring your hands about that here in South Dakota. If you are a Republican, your vote does not matter in choosing the national candidate. South Dakota’s tiny delegate count could never be the difference in a national race. If you are a South Dakota citizen of any political persuasion, your state is a default vote for the Republican candidate.

    Yeah. Slim Pickins. 2012 will be a year for the history books. The only time in American history that a sitting President with an 80% disapproval rating beats the challenger.

    1. duggersd

      Slim, I could support Cain for President, even though I am not a Republican. He is very intelligent and I believe he is a quick learner. The problem I have with him is the on-the-job training that will be going on with him. We tried that. The biggest difference is I believe Cain would grow into the office whereas President Obama has shrunk. Your assertions the Republican Party would not have a black guy represent them for President are offensive and ridiculous.

        1. springer

          I repeat Dugger’s statement that your comment about Republicans and a Black president are offensive, but typical from many liberals. What is so hard to get through your thick heads that 99% of the Republicans/conservatives do NOT care what the color of a person’s skin is – however, they DO care deeply what a person’s policies are. It does no good to repeat this to people such as you because evidently the only card you have to fall back on is the racist one – just why is that???

        2. PNR

          Disagree on the “true” bit.

          Republicans are not by definition so racist as to oppose a Black man for the fact of his skin color. I know lots of people like to portray us that way, but it is false.

          Cain has his problems, but skin pigmentation isn’t one of them.

        3. duggersd

          Slim, your assertions are ridiculous. That alone tells us they are untrue. I find the people who throw those types of accusations out generally are projecting their own feelings.
          I am not a registered Republican, so I really have no say in who they pick for their candidate. I can assure you however, if it is Cain, I will vote for him in a heartbeat and with enthusiasm, as will most other conservatives and Republicans. As pointed by someone else, Cain has his problems, but the color of his skin is not one of them. I suggest you be careful when you sit down as I would hate for you to break your neck.

  6. Spencer

    It is a hard choice. Any one of them would be infinitely better than what is currently in the White House. Even Hillary is looking pretty good right now.

    1. Job Creator

      It’ll be interesting to see how effective the new Republican President will be when Harry Reid announces that the #1 Democratic strategy will be to make him a one-term president. And then follow through with it. McConnell has done an excellent job plugging things up to make that possible. Now if they can just sell that to the electorate.

  7. William

    Job Creator,

    It will matter little what Harry Reid announces, as the Minority Leader in the Senate. Given the number of seats the Democrats will be defending vs GOP, it’s unlikely he’ll be setting the agenda.

    1. Job Creator

      William, you are exactly correct, just as Mitch McConnell stated that the Republicans’ most important goal would be to make Obama a one-term President.

      ?Well that is true, [making Obama a one-term President is] my single most important political goal along with every active Republican in the country.”

      McConnell did this as Senate minority leader not long after Obama was elected and re-affirmed that in July, 2011. McConnell supposedly did not set the Senate agenda, but as my post pointed out, he effectively plugged up the Senate and is hoping the electorate buy his strategy to make Obama a one-termer.

  8. CaveMan

    What is truly amazing is how close most Republicans are in their assessments of the contenders. Obama does not want to run against either Romney or Cain; and certainly not together as a team. Which would be an amazing win for Cain to be America’s first Black VP.

    What most resembles America today is a centrist ideology with checks and balances well placed within government with a strong emphasis on individual freedoms. Small businesses are the backbone of growth and both Cain and Romney get that. Either one will need to check the presidential powers that Obama has taken and make a Czar program impossible to attain ever again.

    Congress needs to install a check on future regulations coming from all bureaucracies by needing a vote from themselves in order for any regulation to become law. Who are the people making regulations and where do they come from? Harvard or Yale very likely.

    And Sarah Palin needs to continue cheerleading which she is terrific at and stay out of the game.

    Hillary Clinton beats Obama in the Democratic Primary and would be very tough to beat knowing every Democrat would vote for her knowing Bill Clinton is loved right now because he is the last Democratic president before Obama who had more than half a brain. But Secretary Clinton looks worn out, tired and ready to retire actually.

  9. CaveMan

    I had to chuckle a bit reading Slim Pickens views above stating that we don’t count out here. Move forward 25 years here in SD and you will find about five districts North of I-90 and West of I-29. Talk about not counting and four fifths of SD will really not matter much but will be bringing to the table over half of all revenue.

    The forefathers writing our constitution blew it when they placed all legislative people together in groups based upon population and not allowing one Senator coming from every county with the representatives reflective upon density.

    It would take a big set of huevo’s and a titanium backbone for a sitting legislator to bring a bill trying to make that happen today. While there is still time.

  10. Troy Jones

    Slim pickins,

    Your overt prejudice and bigotry is hilarious as it is done at the same time you accuse Republicans of being racist.

    It reminds me of how proud liberals were of themselves they voted for Obama because he was Black even though he was no more qualified to be President than Bachmann. Just a good speaker.

    Us conservative live by the words of MLK who dreamt people would be judged by the content of their character (and ideas) and not the color of their skin. You liberals cant seem to get past race and the like. What bigots.

  11. Slim Pickins

    Troy, I really enjoyed spoofing your pontifications above. You can call me what you want, but I stand by my assertion. It is not meant to point out that Republicans are racists, but as an observation that the Republican party is not the party of people with brown or black skin. My assertion that the Republican party will never have a black man or woman as their candidate for President of the United States does not make me a racist and it does not make the Republican party racist. It’s just a statement of fact. Now, if I went into the reasons this situation existed, I might enter some territory that would make all of you
    “anti-racists” in her a little bit uncomfortable.

    If Hell does happen to freeze over, I will stand corrected at that time. Until then, admit the obvious. It’s a little painful at first, but rip off that bandaid. It will feel better soon…

    1. PNR

      It’s not a statement of fact. It is a statement of opinion. You may know many things, but I am absolutely certain you are not divine and do not know the future. 🙂

      The demographics are, as you note, such as to make it unlikely, but then, lots of unlikely things still happen.

  12. springer

    How about this, Slim? I would be proud to vote for Herman Cain, Payne (an economist, can’t remember his first name), or Allen West, to name just three Black persons, as President or whatever office they cared to run for; and all are more Black BTW than the present occupant of the White House. Even this won’t get thru to you though.

  13. PNR

    Perry has yet to give us a solid reason to be for him. That could change, but I’m not exactly hopeful.

    Gingrich is an idea man – not a good idea man, necessarily, but he does have lots of ideas.

    Bachmann just lost her entire NH staff. She’s a goner. Going from winning a congressional seat in MN to winning the presidency was always a bit of a stretch – needs a different discipline, different strategy, and she never got there.

    Cain has promise. I’m not voting for a national sales tax, though. But we could use a president who’s cheerful instead of the nagging scold we’ve had for the last few years. Yeah, he’s got stuff to learn, but he’s willing to learn it and a president with a sense of humility isn’t bad, either.

    Romney – not if I can help it. Yeah, he’d be better than Obama, but so would my dog. His core belief is still in the power of government and that’s the same problem I had with Bush II. We need somebody who recognizes that government is only the answer in a very narrow range of problems. Cain and Paul fill that bill infinitely better and Perry’s record in TX indicates that he would be better on that score, too – if he can ever get around to actually campaigning.

    R. Paul isn’t in it to win. He’s in it to pull the debate towards libertarianism. I’m OK with that.

    Santorum? Remember that kid who had everything, but still managed to complain all the time? Yeah. That’s Santorum.

    Huntsman? What does he have to offer that isn’t there already in Romney? What of Romney’s weaknesses does he avoid? Nothing and nothing. He’s too similar to somebody who’s already got that corner of the GOP locked down.

  14. Troy Jones

    Slim,

    Conservatives have been accused their opposition to Obama is based on his race as opposed to his very policies which are opposite across the board to conservative principles. The Tea Party has been accused of being racist despite the reality Cain is the favorite among those who identify themselves as “Tea Partiers.” And you say we will never support someone who doesn’t look like us.

    It is all part of the same slander- Republicans are racist.

    The very first politician I remember ever meeting was Ben Reifel, Native American South Dakota Republican Congressman (McGovern second and Farrar third). My dad loved him. Do you know what I most remember from that meeting: He had soft hands (I remember them as real big but all adult hands were probably big to me), a big smile, and he bent over to talk to me. I know his race made no impact on me even later (maybe that same year) as I remember at “Field Days” the last day of elementary school, Deanna Four Bear won the sprint wearing a Reifel t-shirt and me being more upset she had a Riefel t-shirt and I didn’t than her beating me and getting the blue ribbon.

    I’ve been around politics for most of my life. I’ve heard alot less Republicans even intimating race has impact on their view of a candidate (for and against together) than Democrats intimating there is merit to consider race. Republicans are watching closely what Cain has to say and his priorities and not his race just as I valued the Reifel t-shirt more than I did the sprint I lost.

    While my gut says the GOP ticket will be Romney-Cain, I like better either as the top guy and Santorum as VP (I fantasize Thune will be picked but I fear Thune is too valued in the Senate by whoever the nominee is). Despite the difference in their life experience, Romney/Cain are much closer in outlook/priorities and I like the diversity of outlook/priorities of Romney/Cain with Santorum.

  15. Clay Bill

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Shakespeare encountered something similar to what’s being communicated in this blog as he was writing “Hamlet,” and that’s where he came up with the famous line: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    It’s spoken by Hamlet’s mother Gertrude as she watches a play (devised by Hamlet to make her squirm a little…) about a man who kills his brother and marries the widow — essentially what’s just happened in her own life, she being the widow. In the play, the woman (in today’s world played by Troy and Springer and PNR and everyone elso who is blasting Slim) is defending herself against accepting responsibility for her unsavory actions (marrying her dead husband’s brother — or, in today’s world, the GOP claiming they would support a black presidential candidate when they never will, and pulling the race card whenever anyone like Slim makes that observation). Gertrude (today’s Slim) is basically saying that she (Troy, Springer, PNR, etc.) would be a lot more believable if Troy, Springer, PNR, etc. weren’t so vocal about her (their) innocence, or in this particular case, the GOP posters’ assertions that they would vote for a black man for president.

    In other words, the more the SD GOP commenters on this blog try to talk their way out of Slim’s highly accurate, non-racist observation, the less people find the GOP to be believable.

  16. duggersd

    Slim Pickens and recently “Clay Bill” have recently made assertions about whether the Republican party would ever nominate a Black man. While these assertions are ridiculous and offensive, the fact of the matter is the Republican ESTABLISHMENT will try to make sure that Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Michelle Bachman are not nominated. It has nothing to do with the race of Herman Cain or the gender of Michelle Bachman, but with the ideas they and Santorum and Perry have about government. IMHO, OK, IMO, the Republican party of Ronald Reagan is not the Republican party of today. I had such hopes during the Bush years and was greatly disappointed when the Republican controlled Congress passed bloated spending bills. I got to the point where it appeared to me we had the Socialist party and Socialist light. The people in charge of Socialist light do not like the ideas of people who want to fundamentally change the process and bring forth the ideas that most conservatives see as making this great country move forward again. So, Slim and Clay, I believe the jury is still out on whether the Republicans will nominate a Black man, but it has nothing to do with his skin color. It is the ideas that the establishment do not like.

  17. Troy Jones

    A person accuses Republicans of being racist or motivated to vote only for a person who “looks like them” and we are considered guilty for protesting the characterization. Wow!

  18. Elais

    I can’t see the GOP choosing to have Cain as their nominee for President let alone Cain winning with the ‘average’ republican voter.

    Funny that the Cain supporters here all say that Cain doesn’t have much experience has to ‘grow’ into this postion, yet yell at the top of their lungs about how naive and inexperienced Obama was. The GOP have always been blind to hypocrisy in themselves. Just like they refuse to acknowledge the racism in their own party.

    Cain has even LESS experience than Obama, yet he is the hottest candidate running?

    I do think the the only reason that Cain is pretty much on top is that conservatives are enamored of the appearance of a credible black alternative to Obama, once they face the actual prospect of a President Cain, then they will skedaddle.

    1. veldy

      I think they will skeedaddle, but for other reasons. Cain is a very bright business person, one who would be an excellent part of an administration. When it comes to “fixing” things of government,however, it will take a “politician”, one with administrative experience to set the direction.