Thursday, November 29, 2007

The GOP Debate

I watched a lot of this, but I came in a bit late. I understand I missed a certain amount of Romney and Giuliani engaging in tumescent urethral comparisons. No great loss.

Some observations:

  • I literally had to change the channel whenever Tancredo and McCain were speaking. The unresponsiveness and stridency exhibited were apalling. It's really sad how uncomfortable McCain has become in his own skin. Hunter was slightly better, but not better enough to warrant being on the stage.

  • Huckabee comes close to being a decent communicator. I still wouldn't vote for him if my life depended on it but you can see why he's the new Flavor of the Month. (Of course, the real reason he's the new Flavor of the Month is that the press needs to turn this into a horse race.)

  • I have slowly come around to the opinion that Ron Paul is a geniuine, thoughtful libertarian (isolationist subtype), rather than a chihuahua with 'roid rage. This forces me, somewhat sadly, to realize that I'm a lot more authoritarian/statist than the utopian flavors of libertarian. I'd love to live in a Robert Heinlein novel. I don't. Bummer.

  • Fred Thompson's gotten better and is communicating well but he's still the person least prepared to be President that I've ever seen.

  • Romney faltered badly. He was OK on his issues and he'd clearly become proficient with some Giuliani-slams. But he only reinforced my feeling that he'd say anything for political advantage. Furthermore, he didn't say it very well. He reminded me of John Kerry.

  • Finally, I was most impressed--by far--with Giuliani. I have lots of trouble with Giuliani for his lack of concrete domestic ideas and the nagging feeling that he'd be perfectly happy to send me to Guantanamo for spitting on the sidewalk. But the man knows the issues, knows what he thinks about them, isn't afraid to say what he thinks, and communicates his thoughts with a concision that's brilliant.

At this point, of the Republicans, I could vote for Giuliani or Romney. Romney would be competent, but Giuliani would be competent and able to lead. Where he would lead is another story.

Here's the new Radically Moderate Candidate Scorecard:

Note that I added a column for "communications skills."

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