Wednesday, May 18, 2011

GOP Presidential Candidate

Here’s my prediction for the 2012 Presidential Race
by Charlie Leck

It’s a long way out to be making predictions about the final candidates for the Republican nomination for President, but (what the hell) it’s great fun to take a run at it. You can put this blog away somewhere safe and pull it out again next summer, after the Republican Convention, and whop me over the head with it if you like.

There are three possible final candidates as far as I’m concerned. One of them makes me tremble. One makes me yawn. The other could actually be a pretty damned good President.

Newt Gingrich
makes me tremble. This guy is a brilliant George W. Bush. He constantly runs at the mouth, but with a touch of brilliance in his oratory. I think Gingrich has a strong touch of the libertarian in him. Programs that protect the poor and the elderly would suffer under him. He frightens me because he has raised an enormous amount of money for his effort and he has the ability to raise an awful lot more. When the Koch brothers alone are hinting that they’ll throw far more than 50 million corporate dollars into this campaign (thanks again, Supreme Court), you just know they wouldn’t mind putting it behind a guy like Gingrich. Gingrich could win an election. His weakness will be his personal life. Remember how harsh he was on Bill Clinton for having a number of sexual dalliances while in office. Well, Newt was carrying on in a big way himself – at the very time he was so harshly attacking the President. However, America has changed a great deal in the last generation and this kind of stuff doesn’t seem to affect the voter as much anymore. One of Gingrich’s weaknesses is his real gaff-potential. He does make mistakes and say dumb things – as does almost anyone who runs so hard and fast at the mouth. There would be a stark, detailed difference between the presidential candidates if Gingrich is in the race. The people would have a real choice to make and the Democrats would have a good chance of winning.

Richard Cohen, opining in Washington Post (May16) really nails Gingrich on his tendency to hyperbolize and out-right fib:

“This core dishonesty is what separates Gingrich from the rest of the Republican presidential candidates, committed or not-quite-yet. Some of the others say things that are untrue — Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” for instance — but these untruths spill out of the mouths of ditzes. Not so with Gingrich. He is a former history professor with a doctorate, someone who knows his way around the stacks. He talks in neon, using gaudy words such as socialism not because they’re true but because they’re ear-catching. He employs the ugly language of demagoguery not because he is oblivious to its history but on account of it. He mimics. He was, however, brilliantly original in explaining to the Christian Broadcasting Network why he had committed adultery. It had to do with “how passionately I felt about this country” — a genuine contribution to the annals of sexual fibbery.”

Political candidates these days seem to get away with such chicanery, however. Lying has become a part of the political campaign routine.

Cohen explains exactly why I tremble at the thought of Gingrich being President.

“There is more than a little Richard Nixon in Gingrich — the same lack of place, the same keen intellect, the same petty fights and imaginary enemies, the same hallucinatory grievances, the same willingness to lie, exaggerate and smear. On a given day, Newt Gingrich could be a brilliant president. On any night, he could be a monster.”

Mitt Romney
puts me absolutely to sleep. I guess he’s not a bad guy. He’s more moderate and closer to the middle of the road than Gingrich for sure, but he’s simply as boring as all-get-out. He’s loaded with personal money and he’ll be able to raise a significant amount of other money also. I think he would be a less vicious opponent for Obama than Gingrich. Romney is more of a statesman and more diplomatic. I’d be surprised if the GOP, in the end, gives him the nod just because he’s so damned boring.

Lots of people think Romney should apologize for signing into law in Massachusetts a health care bill after which the national health care law was patterned under Obama. To Romney’s credit, he wouldn’t do it.

“I presume that a lot of folks would think that if I did that [apologize] it would be good for me politically. There’s only one problem with that. It wouldn’t be honest. I did what I think was right for the people of my state.”

Romney seems like a decent guy – boring, but decent.

Mitch Daniels
would make the best President of these three. Daniels has a lot of the same statesman-like characteristics that Romney has, but not in such a boring way. Daniels actually has a strong wit and very subtle sense of humor. He knows how to laugh at himself. He also knows himself. He’s a strong, intellectual conservative. He’s thoughtful enough to listen to the opposition and he’s flexible enough to occasionally compromise on issues. He’s not an exciting orator, but he’s a solid, thoughtful speaker. He’ll be tough in debates. Money would not be a problem.

As conservative writer Reihan Salam said…

“I can’t help but think that a common-sense conservative like Daniels would be the perfect match for Obama.”

Daniels is only 5-7 (that’s in significant heels) and he appears a bit unsure of himself in mannerisms. He is balding and it appears he tries to hide it with a funny combing job. He couldn’t ever be called charismatic. Yet, he has a strong sense of confidence and he’s extremely bright. He speaks with confidence and he speaks well. He also has a record of significant achievement in government while running Indiana.

The Indiana Governor has been clear on some things the federal government should do – like raising the retirement age, reducing Social Security for the rich and rethinking our military expenditures and commitments. In Indiana he wanted to raise taxes on those making more than $100,000 but his own party wouldn’t go along.

Daniels is the darling of many of the GOP’s wealthiest backers. In the end, I don’t think Romney or Gingrich would beat Obama. Daniels might! He’s undecided about running, but, if he does get in the race, he’s my prediction as Obama’s opponent. And, he’ll be a tough opponent. He’ll also be an honest one and there will be real and meaningful debate.


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  1. If I may please;

    Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who would cut enough spending to avert a debt crisis. Only he will restore constitutionally sound money. And, only he will strengthen our national defense by bringing our troops home and putting an end to the nation-building that is draining our country.
    Watch Dr Paul question Ben Bernanke if you doubt Paul understands even subtle aspects of the economy. Imagine Palin or Romney doing that?
    Other candidates speak flowery words and tell nothing of how anything will get done. Mr. Paul is very different.
    Constitutionally, legislatively, and morally, Ron Paul has no equal. His 22 year voting record speaks for itself.
    Please help give America back Her Constitution.
    Ron Paul for President in 2012.
    Thank You

  2. Does that mean you are thinking of voting Republican?