Posted By RichC on August 12, 2011
Without too much expectation we watched the presidential hopefuls in the Republican debate last night and came away surprised. Several of the candidates in Iowa avoided the canned talking points and went out on a limb in presenting fresh and thoughtful ideas; almost all candidates convinced me that the field is far more qualified than expected. For the most part, the press had previously presented the field as “ho-hum” and as Newt Gingrich forcefully stated, spends too much time looking for “gotcha moments.” After last nights debate was over, the only on with a black-eye was one of the questioners Chris Wallace. In my “new” opinion, the GOP has a strong field and seeing President Obama’s track record I have no problem voting for any candidate from this group as a replacement.
In my opinion, the current front runner Mitt Romney continued to look presidential and handled himself as a leader. He was able to fend off any attacks on his record with a smile and gracious response. He was also able to make President Obama the target of his criticism rather than the other GOP candidates … probably appreciated by Republican voters who aren’t happy with excessive in-fighting. Although I enjoyed learning about each candidate during the back and forth attacks, it may take a little time for the bad taste in my mouth to disappear before I’d be supporting their “primary” campaign. I found it uncomfortable watching the midwestern “nice guy” Tim Pawlenty going after fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann … and vice-versa. Rick Sandtorium who presented several great points regarding the constitution and American history was far brighter than I previously gave him credit, but his back and forth with Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann had me cringing. On the other hand, the wildcard Ron Paul and his strong libertarian positions is definitely a different kind of Republican than the other seven who were on the stage.
As for Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman, both did a fine job and presented their ideas and reason they would be a better president than Obama … but they didn’t do enough to move their campaign to the top three, yet. As one of the candidates mention (I think Newt), there is still a long way to go in the primary and even those who have not declared their candidacy have plenty of time to enter the race … pointing to previous presidential primary runs. Point being is that a noted Texas governor Rick Perry has yet to declare his candidacy and has plenty of time to “sell” his campaign to voters.
Here’s my top 5 which I have unscientifically ranked base strictly on my observation: (my reasoning for ranking governors so high is that I would like a business-minded executive with actual experience in both the private sector and in politics)