The murky waters of the Republican primary are beginning to clear up. With Tim Pawlenty dropping out of the primary, and Rick Perry (Governor-TX) joining the field, we’re starting to get a feel for the front runners and their varying views.
The front runners seem to be Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry in that order, but the pack is closer than it was just a few weeks ago. Behind them, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul remain in the race.
Romney seems to be the most economically savvy. While some politicians will ride business for out sourcing jobs, Romney was a business man that had to outsource jobs to increase efficiency. He’ll surely be attacked for doing so, but it means he understands the problems that lead to outsourcing and instead of blaming business and empowering unions like liberals do, he’ll fix the system so that American jobs aren’t best suited for outsourcing. We don’t know much about him regarding foreign affairs, except that he wouldn’t disrespect and throw Israel under the bus as Obama did, but the biggest issue in this election is the economy and that is Romney’s strong suit. He’ll also be attacked for the state run healthcare he set up as Governor of Massachusetts, in which subsidized abortions were included, and while his plan may have been wrong and may hurt him in the primary, it will paint him as desirably moderate come general election time.
Michelle Bachmann is in the position many expected Sarah Palin to fill, female conservative representing the Tea Party element of the Republican party. Liberals will surely try to tether her to Sarah Palin to deny her the opportunity to topple Obama. The native Iowan won the Iowa Straw Poll last week and now has to be considered a viable candidate. Bachmann stands firms against farm subsidies, which is extremely respectable considering she is an Iowan and farm owner (I wrote in a previous blog post about how Calvin Coolidge stood against big government farm subsidies). She claimed that her family farm never received any government subsidies, but was recently found to be incorrect as financial records showed they did receive subsidies. Regardless, she seems to be extremely forthcoming, genuine, and willing to to state what she truly believes. Where Romney is extremely polished and rote, she is full of piss and vinegar. Where Romney may say what gets him the most votes, she appears more likely to stand on principle. That said, she may not have the business acumen or the ability to beat the extremely polished politician that currently occupies the White House.
Rick Perry is largely an unknown. He just recently entered the race, and seems to be somewhat of a middle ground between Romney, the polished businessman, and Bachmann the true conservative. He’s already being tied to Bush as both served as the Governor of Texas, which he’ll have to overcome, but he seems like a strong candidate that we’ll have to learn more about in the coming weeks.
Herman Cain has no shot. He’s said some things you just can’t say, and even if they were misconstrued, I don’t think he has much of a shot at this point.
Newt Gingrich is great. He’s very intellectual, but the fear was and is that he’s just not very captivating. While he may do a great job forming effective policies, he’s generating very little buzz and it’s becoming extremely hard to think he can win. That said, he was the speaker of the house that forced Clinton to balance the budget. He’s done great things and there’s little doubt in my mind he’d make a great president, I just don’t think he’s polished and energizing enough to win the Republican primary, let alone defeat Obama.
I’m a fan of both Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, and I enjoyed seeing them spar in the last debate. Check it out on YouTube here. That’s a pretty good sparring over Iran there.
Rick Santorum is a true conservative on social, economic, and foreign affairs. Ron Paul is a true Libertarian running in the Republican primary. I consider my views to fit squarely between the Christian Conservative views that Santorum has expressed and the small government sentiment that oozes out of each and every pore of Ron Paul. On one hand, I don’t want our government to do too much because they’re liable to screw it up, but on the other hand sometimes the government needs to stop certain things, like Iran getting a Nuclear missile. It doesn’t seems like either candidate is likely to emerge and beat out the three leading candidates, but there is still much time. I wish I could mush these two candidates together and make a super candidate that really represented my views…wait that’s Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul!
Social issues are the toughest to reconcile between the two views (America as a moral enterprise vs. small government). It’s almost ironic that big government liberals don’t want the government to restrict social behaviors like smoking marijuana since they love large government so much. I find the debate on Iran between Santorum and Paul the most interesting, on the one hand, is it really our place to spend billions getting into another foreign operation? It sounds awful! On the other hand can we allow a nation ruled by a truly evil man to get a nuclear weapon and potentially wipe our Israeli allies off the map? We’re the “Big Satan,” doesn’t it concern our safety as well?
Anyway… My very early prediction…Romney, who entered as the front runner, wins the election due to its focus on the economy. His business acumen leads him against Obama who has mishandled the economy, and come 2012 Mitt Romney is the leader of the free world. What do you think? Please share in the comment section below.
Note: After the 12/10 debate in Iowa it looks like Newt Gingrich may have cemented his new spot as the front runner for GOP nomination.