Friday, August 12, 2011

Debate Recap

I don't know if anyone cares about my take on the debate last night, but I want to talk about it anyway. As I said yesterday, I don't have any bloody idea who I would vote for. I was really hoping someone would jump out at me last night. Didn't happen. But here's what did jump out at me regarding each candidate:

Rick Santorum: I was actually more impressed with him than I thought I would be. In particular, he made a few really good points that I thought showed more a moderate and reasonable approach than I expected from him -- like, that states rights should not be allowed to run amok, and that the debt ceiling simply had to be raised a small amount for the short term because there was no way to crunch the numbers and deal with the debt crisis with cuts alone. But he seemed a little whiny about not getting much attention from the media (FNC wasn't giving him a fair shake last night) and whininess is not very presidential. I also think he's too socially conservative to be electable (even when I agree with his stances).

Herman Cain: I like this man; my husband really likes this man. He has a lot of good things to say. Truth is, I think he would make an excellent Secretary of Commerce or something like that. But I haven't seen evidence yet that he has enough knowledge in international politics to be the country's front man on the world stage.

Ron Paul: Kind of a nutty man, but I like a lot of what he has to say. I tend to lean libertarian. But he's extreme libertarian enough that he can't be elected, and if he were and tried to implement what he wants, it would be too much too fast. Plus, his foreign policy views make me very nervous.

Mitt Romney: Oh, Mitt. I couldn't disagree with much of anything he said. He's probably a safe bet. Thing is, he's just so boring. And something about him . . . he's, like, too pretty-boy perfect . . . in a John Edwards kind of way, that makes you wonder if he's hiding something. Probably not, but I just can't get excited about him, and Republicans need someone to rally for instead of just someone to rally against.

Michelle Bachmann: She annoyed me. Her bickering with Pawlenty annoyed me. Her very first remarks, sounding like a scripted political rally speech, immediately after the moderator's request to set aside the talking points for the night . . they annoyed me. She may be a fine human being in a lot of respects, but she reminds me of a yappy fight dog -- she'll scare the poop out of you and corral you out of the yard she doesn't want you in, but darned if you have any intention of following her anywhere.

Tim Pawlenty: After the debate was over, my over-all impression of the man was that he was kind of mean. Nothing of substance that he said stood out to me, and that's not a good sign.

Jon Huntsman: This was my first introduction to the man. He was alright. I respected him for not apologizing for his less popular stands, like supporting civil unions. But he didn't do or say anything to make me pay much more attention to him.

Newt Gingerich: Oh, Newt. He was clearly the most comfortable person up there -- perhaps the most knowledgable and intelligent -- and also the most angry. But at least he wasn't angry at the others on stage -- he was angry about the media, and the debt "supercommittee" nonsense, the stuff that the rest of the country is mad about, too. I could possibly support him if it weren't for all his marital affairs. I just can't get past those. Yes, I believe in redemption and if he says he's found Christ and turned his life around, I take him at his word. But the man cheated on two different wives (and those are just the affairs that came out in public -- do we really believe that was the extent of his philandering?) Truth is, two such blatant and huge discretions are a sign, to me, of an area of real weakness in his spirit. He can be repentant and forgiven and fully intending to walk the straight and narrow, but I think it will always be a struggle and a temptation to him, and the pressure of the office is very likely to send him into "remission", which puts him in a vulnerable position as the leader of the free world. Same reason I would hesitate to elect a former alcoholic who had relapsed a couple times. The affairs aren't a deal-breaker for me, but they make me reluctant.

In the end, no one won me over. Glad we have several more months to make this decision.

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