Last week I opined on the Democratic Presidential candidates
, so now it's time to dive into the Republican side of the field.
I'm a Democrat and am unlikely to vote for any of the Republican candidates for President, but if Giuliani were to win I could probably live with him as President. The former NYC Mayor is pro-choice and supports gay rights, which makes me think that he can at least form his own opinions outside of his party. The corruption stories worry me about Giuliani, as does his preening about being tough on terrorism despite not much of a real record of doing anything.
Romney is the only candidate in the field that truly scares me (outside of Mike Gravel, but that's for different reasons). Love him or hate him - and I am certainly no fan - George Bush has rarely wavered on the issues he believes in, and that was a major reason he was re-elected to a second term. John Kerry was (rightly) labeled a flip-flopper, but you always knew where Bush stood, and there's something to be said for that. Romney is the GOP version of Kerry, only significantly worse. He will say and do anything so long as it gets him elected President, and I'm sure he would say or do anything to remain in office if he were elected. I don't want a President who makes every
decision based on what he thinks will be best for him politically.
This one example tells me everything I need to know about Romney: He supported gay marriage when he was governor of Massachusetts, but now he does not. Romney has explained the difference by saying that he supported gay marriage "as a governor" but he does not "as a President." Really? How about giving us your thoughts on gay marriage as a man
? As a human being? Romney changed his stance because he wants to be his party's nominee for President, just like he supported gay marriage in liberal Massachusetts so that he could be elected governor. This is not the kind of person I want leading a Rotary Club, much less leading the country. I am legitimately afraid of what might happen were Romney elected President.
Like many people, I liked the 2000 version of John McCain a lot better than the 2007 model. McCain used to be something of a maverick, a guy who stood up for what he believed in regardless of where his party told him he should stand. He seemed to be a free-thinker, and he often reached across the aisle to try to solve problems (even if it didn't work particularly well, such as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance measure). But the new McCain is more like Romney, doing and saying what he thinks he needs to do and say in order to win his party's nomination. I actually could have seen myself voting for the 2000 McCain, but I have no interest in him now.
McCain is also pretty old (in his early 70s), and that's a major concern for me; we shouldn't have a President who would be approaching his 80s in office, because who knows when his mental faculties will begin to decline significantly? Ronald Reagan, as we know now, wasn't all there at the end of his Presidency, and that's dangerous.
On another note, I do feel sorry for McCain. His campaign has been a complete and utter disaster, and it sounds like his former advisors did him a great disservice.
I don't watch "Law and Order," but I do know Thompson as one of my favorite "that guy" actors. You know what I mean - he has a decent role in a lot of action films, such as Die Hard 2, but you never knew his name. He was just "that guy who is in those movies." Maybe soon he'll be "that guy" in the Oval Office.
Do you know who was just elected President?
Yeah, that one guy. You know, that guy from the thing.
Thompson has the best-looking wife of all of the candidates (sorry, Dennis Kucinich
), but she looks like she could be his granddaughter, and that's creepy. I also have absolutely no idea where he stands on anything politically, which is by design. He had run a clever "non-campaign" for months before officially jumping into the race earlier this month, but now that he is on the stump it will be interesting to see what he has to say. Thompson has a reputation for having been a lazy Senator as well. I was too lazy to look up the details.
I'm withholding judgment on Thompson for now, other than to say that physically, he looks like crap. I don't know how old he is, but in the pictures I've seen lately, he looks really bad.
The former Arkansas governor seems like a guy I could vote for. Huckabee probably won't win his party's nomination, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing him again soon; if a Democrat wins in '08, he would have to be a favorite on the GOP side in 2012. All I really know about Huckabee is that he lost more than 100 pounds a few years ago and is a charismatic fellow. Whenever I hear him speak, he seems to be full of vim and vigor. I don't know what 'vim' is, but Huckabee has it.
Brownback is the token extreme-right Christian conservative in the race, and for awhile I thought he might surprise people because the top-tier candidates are, shall we say, less than morally sound. I thought Brownback could break through and capture enough of the conservative Christian base to become a top candidate, but to this point he has all the momentum of a dead squirrel. I also have no idea what Brownback looks like, which probably isn't a good sign for his campaign; I wouldn't know Sen. Brownback if he walked in my front door, yet he's running for President.
He's a congressman from California. That's all I know.
He's a libertarian running as a Republican and his name is sadly similar to the famous cross-dresser. The refrain I hear about Paul is that he has a lot of great ideas but isn't really a leader. I also don't know what he looks like.
Either Gingrich is running the world's longest pretend campaign for President (take that, Fred Thompson!), or he's not really going to be a candidate. My sense is that Gingrich was waiting in the wings hoping that there would be a big void to fill. There is
a void, but nobody seems to want it filled with a Newt. Maybe he'll run, maybe he won't. I don't think it matters.