Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Take on the Iowa Republican Debate


This is the first debate I watched live since we are stranded by the ice storm. The consensus seems to be that many didn't like the moderator Carolyn Washburn. The Fox News Panel compared her to Nurse Ratched. I didn't think she was too bad because this debate enabled me to clarify where I stood with each of the candidates and why I view them the way I do.

OVERVIEW OF THE CANDIDATES:

Disclaimer: My favorites all along have been Rudy, Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter so that is always who I'm leaning towards going into these debates.

My view of the top 5:
1) Rudy--He comes across to me as very clear, concise and inspiring. During this debate he gave very specific answers about what he would DO to solve different problems.

2) Fred Thompson--Although, I like Fred and I view him as real and honest like Rudy, he is the opposite of Mitt (too scripted) in that he seems to ramble and doesn't have a clear answer on things.

3) Mitt Romney--He gives answers that seem to be too scripted and too polished to me. He also came across as very vague on some of his answers and you were left not knowing what he would actually do. In other words he is the ultimate politician.

Although, I am finding Mitt more palatable since the rise of Huckabee. I still prefer Rudy to Romney but if I'm forced to pick between Mitt and Huckabee I would pick Mitt.

4) John McCain--I am also finding him more palatable since the rise of Huckabee. He is still down on my list because of his past betrayal of Republicans but he would be good on the War on Terror. Although, I can't believe his stand on torture.

5) Mike Huckabee--My problem with Huckabee during the debates is he comes across like the bottom tier candidates as annoyingly preachy, lecturing and condescending.

My view of the bottom tier:
6) Duncan Hunter--I have always liked Duncan Hunter's strength. I do think he kind of harps on his main issues of being anti-free trade and strong on immigration but he isn't anything like the other bottom tier candidates whom I can't stand.

7) Tom Tancredo--He along with Ron Paul, Huckabee and Alan Keyes are very preachy, lecturing and condescending. I find it extremely annoying and a big turn off. Tancredo did better this time around than in the past because I did think he got a really good dig in at Huckabee.

8) Ron Paul--The best part about Ron Paul speaking today was that I was watching the Fox News Focus Group's graphing while he was talking. Every time Paul spoke the graphing went down dramatically which meant the Focus group didn't like what he was saying. It dipped to its lowest levels when he said that as President he would get us out of Iraq and that Iran wasn't a threat.

9) Alan Keyes--It pains me to say what I'm about to say because I used to have a very high opinion and respect for Alan Keyes. He used to be a very neat, passionate Christian guy who had a lot of the same ideals I had but he has majorly lost his way. By injecting himself in a Presidential race that he has no business being in he just makes himself look ludicrous. He wouldn't answer the questions, he was extremely preachy and just way out in left field in the way he handled himself. Whining about not getting to speak just made him look ridiculous and petty.

What I didn't like in the debate:
--Huckabee's answers made me roll my eyes more than once. His answer about uniting all the people made me want to gag. That is pure politician speak and not in his control at all. Haven't we learned that by Bush's attempts with the new tone? You can't force Ted Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi to play ball nicely if they aren't inclined to, which they are NOT!!

--Huckabee saying that he can't part the Red Sea but he can part red tape. Please!!!!!! Another roll the eyes moment.

--Huckabee's video talk about faith. I agree that our faith should affect our lives but how it does is not for ANYONE to say. If we are going to use Huckabee's standards Ronald Reagan wouldn't have been a man of faith and we know that wasn't true.

--Romney's statement that he doesn't stay awake at night worrying about what taxes the rich are paying really didn't set well with me. That is pure liberal speak and class envy at its worst. I really couldn't believe it came out of his mouth.

--Rudy, Romney and McCain's answers on global warming. McCain's was the worst but Rudy and Romney didn't impress me by buying into this hoax of man made global warming. Although, Romney redeemed himself a little with saying that it is global warming and not just America warming.

What I did like in the debate:
--I liked Romney and Rudy's answers to the New Year's Resolution question. Romney said he wants all Republicans to come together and support whoever wins the nomination. I couldn't agree more. Also, I liked Rudy's injection of optimism into his answer.

--Thompson's excellent slam on Romney after Romney's class envy tax statement. Thompson said he wished he was in Romney's situation where he didn't have to worry about paying taxes. I also liked Fred's point in his personal statement on who we would want sitting on our side of the negotiating table.

--I liked Rudy's answers on the deficit and on reducing debt where he said that we should rely on the American people and not the government. I also love Rudy on education and thought his answer on that was good.

--As I pointed out, Tancredo got in a good dig at Huckabee. Tancredo pointed out that Huckabee can't claim that he wants government out of education and then say he wants all schools to mandate Art and Music. Well said!! Although, Huckabee's response wasn't too bad.
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