I know I’m a little late in coming up with this post. But there’s a simple reason: I don’t have cable, and therefore could not watch the debate live (unless I missed it streaming somewhere). So I got to hunting today and found the whole debate. So if you missed it, or you want to rewatch, here’s the link:
So let me just give you the pocket summary of my impressions of the five candidates, as I have 3 candidates I would support to the general election in this one.
Herman Cain – Herman Cain was the first dog I had in this fight. There are two things that he really covered that led to his subsequent “victory” in both the focus group afterward, and in the click poll after (in which he beat out the usual legion of the Ron Paulistas pushing their man as a libertarian Obama): First, he’s not a political figure. He’s never held an elected office. He has successfully run businesses, and honed his politics in the crucible of talk radio. This makes him unique of the field last night, and of the larger unannounced field (the closest being the idiot Trump). Second, he’s a damned captivating speaker, and articulates fiscal conservative more eloquently than anyone, with the professional chops to back it up, which makes him the most electable of my candidates. Still annoyed by the social conservative pandering stuff though. And he’s a FairTax supporter. ‘Nuff said.
Gary Johnson – My second candidate in the primaries, mainly because he was the saner version of Ron Paul. He came off weak in this debate, whining as he was short on early questions. But I think he excellently reflects a libertarian philosophy, with plenty of common sense. And while I’m not a fan of the levels of his antiwar stance (although I’m closer to that than to the people who would keep us in Afghanistan for another couple decades because we might miss a terrorist), I think that he will be a force to be reckoned with if he can get the name recognition of….
Ron Paul – Now I’ve ripped into Ron Paul many times because he is damn near an isolationist and too often gets on the “American Imperialism” thing for no good reason (as we tend to police the world, not empire build). And he comes off as the least presidential of any of these guys (from a purely perceptual standpoint). But it was on his answer to the heroin question in the debate he finally won me over (fucked up, I know). Because it’s a defense of individual liberty even on unpopular subjects that we need now, because even half the conservatives are creeping left. And I’m going to make an assumption that, if he were elected, he may look at the situation a little differently when he has all the information that he lacks that I assume is the reason we aren’t already out of Afghanistan and Iraq. So he’s now my third horse in this race. Because at this point, fiscal conservatism and limited federal power in all its glory is something we have not had in full swing in a long time. And this may be the first time in a while we may be able to get it.
Tim Pawlenty – Here’s a candidate that has his script, hits all the mainstream GOP talking points, and has a nice patchy record as governor. Seriously not a fan here. Fairly sure I couldn’t support him if he got the nod, and iffy on voting for him. His flirting with shit like cap and tax (which he admitted was a mistake) reminds me of the policy clusterfucks given to us by President Bush that grew the government.
Rick Santorum – One immediate trigger for me to dislike someone is for them to carry the air of an evangelical nutjob who tones it down for political office. That’s what I got from listening to Rick Santorum. When God wasn’t being trotted out as the justification and explanation for things (stated or otherwise), he and Pawlenty could have been ass clones, for the talking point shit they were spewing out. If I had to pick between these last two, it would be pawlenty because he sucks less. I wouldn’t support Santorum, and I’d be hunting third party hard if he got the nod.
So that’s my pocket impression. Tell me where I’m cracked.