Republican Presidential Debate

Tonight was the Republican Presidential Debate.  I live for this type of thing!  In fact, one of my dearest friends called me tonight and we had not spoken in a few weeks.  I had to cut her short by saying, “You know I love you and I would love to chat but we are 40 seconds away from the Republican Presidential Debate so I will have to call you back.  I am live tweeting the debate.”  She of course agreed knowing the kind of person I am.

Of course I think the 2012 elections are do or die.  As you would suspect, I have not been happy with the current administration.  As Governor Romney said tonight, it is a perfect example of why you can’t have a career politician with little previous leadership or management experience run the country.  I am not here to bash the President.  He is very good at inspiring people and making them believe.  But, the economy is in the toilet and I am scared to death about the future.  Congress stinks, the Administration stinks and I am slowly realizing I am working in a cesspool called Washington, D.C.  My friends are bailing right and left.  Nobody wants to be a lobbyist and nobody wants to work with the government.  So, I am putting all my Hope and Change on 2012.

First, I have to say that I am a Texas, Republican who attended Texas A&M University.  So naturally you would think that a Texas Republican who attended Texas A&M and is running for President would be my pick for President.  WRONG!  I worked in the Texas Leg when Rick Perry was Lt. Governor and I was not impressed.  As we say in Texas…he was all Hat no Cattle.  But, people change and gain on the job experience in 12 years…so he may not be the same man I knew.  He is the longest serving Governor in Texas.  He has done wonders with the economy in Texas.  He has actively sought businesses and brought them to Texas.  That takes some sort of savvy.  So I can’t rule him out.

Frankly, there isn’t anyone who “Wow’s” me in the Republican field.  I wanted Mitch Daniels…he declined to run (Smart man…who would want to go through all of this?)  It is also no longer just enough to wow someone…you need to bring more than that to the field.
The debate showed that Romney is ready for a fight with Perry.  I think Perry did a good job, but I think his Social Security answer is going to hurt in down the road.  I also think some of his advance folks did not properly prepare him for some of the questions.  (And I believe the most important thing for a leader is his ability to surround himself with good people.)  He definitely is not as smooth as Bill Clinton on the fly.  Perry’s major problem is he can’t carry the swing states (Florida, PA, VA, Michigan, and a myriad of others).   Perhaps that can change, but I don’t think so.  Also, I don’t really like party switchers so I can’t forget that Perry used to be on the other side of the isle.

Perry scored major points right off the bat with his fighting spirit.  I aappreciated his response on the death penalty.  I am so tired of all these people being outraged by the Texas execution rate.   We are a large state, and we don’t put up with crap.  I often have people question me on the Texas death penalty.  I just tell them don’t move to Texas if you don’t like it.  There are plenty of states that don’t have a death penalty.  That is the beauty of States Rights.   You can live in a state that fits your viewpoint!  I also appreciated Perry’s acknowledgement that he might have done things differently regarding the cervical cancer vaccine.  I have to give kudos to Romney for backing him on that as well.  But when Perry was questioned on global warming and immigration…he was not as prepared as he should have been.

I am unsure Perry can recover from his Ponzi Scheme Social Security belief and that hurts him in Florida.  However…lets really talk about what he means by that statement.  He is saying that the money I am paying into Social Security will not really come back to me for my social security.  Does anyone disagree with that?  I look at my social security tax on my paycheck and I call it my donation to Mom and Dad’s retirement. I am not getting that. And if I get lucky and actually get a portion of that it is going to come from taxes my kids are paying.  My money is spent.   I am planning on paying for my own retirement! that a ponzi scheme?  Not exactly, but you understand the point he is making.

Romney – I just haven’t been a Romney fan.  I don’t trust a Massachusetts Republican and I am sure there are many other southern Republicans that feel the same way.  For some reason I get a used car salesman feel from Romney.

Romney did well tonight.  He is well versed on policy issues, seems to be at ease in front of the camera (except for in the beginning when he was stiff and doll like looking!)  Romney has good business and government experience which is something I think is important.  It is also something I think that hurts Perry…he is a career politician.  I think Romney has the best chance to beat Obama.  I think a Romney-Perry ticket could be strong.  The problem with Romney getting the Republican nomination is that it makes it more likely for a third party candidate (tea party/libertarian, etc) to run and split the Republican vote.  Then we have the Ross Perot effect and Obama wins.   Perry can’t win today, but he will stop the 3rd party candidates from entering the race.

There were two people in tonight’s debate that really shined for me.  Jon Hunstman and Newt Gingrich.  I love Huntsman. He is a moderate, with strong foreign policy skills and I thought he came off very well in the debate.  I can’t figure out why he doesn’t have more of a following.  (Although I was concerned about his bad tan.)  I also liked Newt in the debate.  Now I say that cautiously because I would never elect Newt President.  But I loved his fire and I loved his point about the candidates should not be fighting each other but focusing on running against their opponent.

When I was home in Texas I was completely surprised at how many people thought Michelle Bachmann’s was a good option. They said they didn’t know a lot about her but they liked what they heard.  I had to do a double take and then politely ask them to wait on making that judgment call.  Folks Ms. Bachmann is just crazy…certifiably crazy…for real…not media created crazy like Sarah Palin.  Based on tonight’s showing it won’t be long until she drops out.

Ron Paul…well Ron Paul is waiting for a strong libertarian party to move him forward.  We are years away from that.  But I understand and agree with his basic belief…less government.  Its just not Mr. Pauls’ time.

The problem is…we don’t have a strong Republican candidate today…. which his just sad.  This President is easily beatable by a good candidate.  But, there is nothing prohibiting one of these guys from morphing into the candidate we need.  I guess it is a wait and see game now.

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