Who’s a Contender, Who’s a Pretender?

The Republican dominoes are falling into place. There are several declared candidates, and several candidates circling like sharks waiting to get into the race. However, if the sharks take the bait, are they going to be hauled aboard a boat and turned into the next day’s dinner. Or do they have a chance? I would love to know how you feel. Here are my predictions.

Pretenders:

Mitt Romney-this race is going to hinge on government spending, and Obamacare is one of the biggest spenders. Romneycare in Massachusetts is no different. Sorry Mitt, save your money. But, Romney might make a good addition to a cabinet; Secretary of Commerce?

Newt Gingrich-Newt is really smart. But, he has a lot of baggage. That baggage has to be paid for now when you fly-politics isn’t like Southwest Airlines. I also picture Newt in a cabinet position, Secretary of State?

Ron Paul. Ron Paul isn’t grandpa, he’s great grandpa. Way too old, and way too out in left field. He makes some winning points in debate, but ending the Federal Reserve and going back to a gold standard is for crazies. Ron should stay in the House. His son Rand would make a better President.

Rick Santorum. Save your money Senator. Social issues are taking a back burner. America is becoming more libertarian on these kinds of things. Many of us believe abortion is terrible, but we’d rather see the government end all subsidies and payments for it, and try to create a good economic climate where women wouldn’t make that choice.

Donald Trump. He got a lot of publicity and that’s what he wanted. He is likable. He works hard, but he would get so frustrated with the political process he’d blow a gasket. Plus, I don’t think he wants the rectal examination he would get on his finances. Come to Chicago and visit your Trump Tower. It’s a nice addition.

Michelle Bachman. Not this time. She is well spoken, embraced the Tea Party but has some high negatives. She would be a great VP candidate I think.

John Huntsman. Sorry, anyone that crossed the aisle and worked for Obama will not pass muster with the Republican base. Aside from that, the social conservatives will trash him.

Sarah Palin. She has a huge loyal base. But, it’s not her time. She needs to become more articulate off the cuff. Once she runs through her talking points, is there any substance there? Palin wowed ‘em on the campaign trail in 2008. But, she is divisive among independents. The left has done a good job demonizing her-she isn’s as crazy as they make her. As a matter of fact, she’s competitive as heck and probably a pretty smart cookie. She keeps making huge money in the private sector for 8 more years, then tests the water.

Mike Huckabee. He is beloved by social conservatives. He is a good talker. But, he isn’t a financial genius type guy. Huckabee would be a good VP candidate. He brings in the south, and can talk to plain folks. In a head to head against Obama, I don’t think he wins. (subsequent to this, Huck said he wasn’t running)

Maybes

John Bolton. Smart. Knows foreign policy. Really smart and unafraid. No one has a good sense of what his domestic policy would look like. He needs to define himself.

Herman Cain. Has all the right experiences. Federal Reserve, CEO. He must flesh himself out, and become a better debater. Even though he is black, the left will demonize him and call him an Uncle Tom. My sense of him is that he understands that and doesn’t care. Watch Herman Cain.

Contenders

Tim Pawlenty. Former governor of Minnesota. Comes from a hard scrabble background and the Tea Party can support him. Social conservatives can support him too. He should appeal to the middle of America, and the independent voter. The question then becomes, can he build excitement? He needs some polish.

Mitch Daniels. The knock on him was he is too short. But, so was James Madison. There are other issues, like the court judgement in Indiana today on property rights, and his marriage. Daniels is a social conservative, but has said he will put those issues on the back burner. He has been a great governor for Indiana as far as finance goes.

In my lifetime, the incumbent Presidents that lost were beaten by some stalwarts. Carter, a weak incumbent if there ever was one was beaten by Reagan. Reagan’s shadow hangs over Republicans to this day. If they could have cloned him they would have. Bush 1 lost to Clinton. I dare say that Clinton is much more beloved than any other Democratic president, including the one that occupies the White House today.

Would have been an interesting race, Reagan vs Clinton. We aren’t going to have that this time. Obama isn’t going to be as weak an incumbent as Jimmy Carter, but he won’t be as strong an incumbent as George Bush 1.

So my prediction is Cain, Bolton, Pawlenty or Daniels vs Obama. What do you think?

ADDENDUM

What about some fantasy candidates?

How about Paul Ryan? He would provide the intellectual counterbalance, and plain speaking American’s desire. He can beat Obama, and credibly took Obama on in the health care debate. I would instantaneously be behind Paul Ryan.

Chris Christie will not run, and is not yet built for the long run I don’t think. Everyone likes him, but let him finish a term or two as governor.


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