Friday, June 17, 2011

June 13 GOP Debate Will Push 3 Candidates Down in the Polls

(AP Photo/Jim Cole)
On June 13, CNN held a Republican debate in New Hampshire and there were actually winners and losers (despite what you may have heard elsewhere) and I don’t just mean the moderator John King.

It’s now seventeen months until the 2012 presidential election and the fight for who will be the next president of the United States has begun in earnest. The discussion and debates between the candidates will hopefully enlighten the voters as to why they should not elect Barack Obama to another term as president. The Republican primary debates are an especially important forum for voters getting to know the candidates and the issues better. 

In my opinion, no one person really won the debate, though Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney came out looking the best. Businessman Herman Cain also performed well, though I really think his thin political resume is going to hurt him. My advice to Mr. Cain is to run for governor or senator first and then come back and run for president. He’d be a shoe-in then! 

Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty didn’t do themselves any favors in Monday’s debate for the simple reason that they have no charisma. You must have some charisma or likeability factor if you’re going to have a chance and they didn’t have it. Ron Paul was his usual self, sometimes making sense and sometimes expressing radical and untenable ideas.

If you are going to be elected president of the United States you need to have charisma, and/or political gravitas, and not hold radical positions that most people would disagree with. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney have the charisma. Newt Gingrich doesn’t really have charisma, but he does have the political gravitas. Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty have zero charisma, so even though they have good political backgrounds they are not electable to the presidency. Ron Paul has a non-politician’s genuineness but he consistently supports ideas outside the mainstream and is frankly too old. So, he is also unelectable to the presidency.

So the only person up there on Monday with charisma, political chops, and no baggage was Michele Bachmann. In my view, the race will be between her and Mitt Romney, assuming that no one else throws their hat in the race.


  1. Interesting commentary Brian. I'm a Republican who is so disappointed in the potential about slim pickings!
    I agree with most of your points except for your opinion of Congresswoman Bachmann. While she is a compelling figure, her penchant for saying peculiar things and embracing what I consider to be hard right social issues don't make her a viable candidate. As a Republican, I would literally have to hold my nose and pull the lever for her (if it came down to it) so therefore I doubt that she could charm Independents and unaffiliated voters during the general.
    How I wish some of the rising stars (Rubio, Est, Christie, Ryan) of the GOP were ready...alas, we are stuck with a retread, a has been and a couple of never will be's.

  2. Thanks very much for the comment Xenia. I had a friend in Indonesia with that very nice name. My view is that any Republican would be better than the current occupant of the office, no nose-holding necessary! All of them are better qualified than President Obama was four years ago. All of them, including the Congresswoman would help to create jobs. And I don't see what's hard-right about Ms. Bachmann. It seems to me that her views are held by a broad swath of middle America. I agree that she is kind of polarizing, so that will work against her with Independents. But Ronald Reagan was somewhat polarizing when he was running for and in office as well.

    You are right about Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Paul Ryan. Even the governor of Texas looks good, despite his wanting to help illegal aliens get an education. But Rubio needs a little more time as senator under his belt, Christie says he needs more time as governor, and Ryan, as capable as he is, is like Santorum, too young and lacking in gravitas.

    In the end, a Congressperson is probably not going to be elected president of the United States. Anyone we choose is going to have faults or baggage. Nobody's perfect. I am however, excited to see how the election primaries play out!

  3. Granted any Republican would be my choice over another four years of President Obama. I think that if a less-than-stellar Republican happens to be the one appointed to the almost insurmountable task of undoing the damage of this administration, it probably won't play out well for the GOP in the long run.
    With Mr.Obama's poll numbers being as poor as they are, I'd love to share your excitement, but I'm not certain any of the current candidates could beat Mr. Obama.