Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm Starting to Lean Towards Newt

At the beginning of this race, I really didn't think I would consider supporting Newt Gingrich for the nomination.  He had to resign as speaker, seems to want to reach across the aisle at random moments (like the commercial with Pelosi on a couch!), has a sordid personal life (with multiple marriages and affairs) and even put down the Ryan plan as "right wing social engineering" and "too great a leap".  However, two things really have changed my mind.  First, his performance in debates.  He has extensive knowledge on what seems to be all issues and even gives historical examples as to why he believes what he believes (wouldn't it be great to have a candidate that the media doesn't automatically paint as stupid or uneducated?).  He is the type of candidate who might actually convince people to become Republicans, unlike most of his competitors, who can't really say why they believe what they believe (or in the case of Romney, don't actually believe in anything but sound bytes that get them elected).  I think if he gets the nomination and faces Obama he will absolutely cream him, by pointing out the fallacies and inconsistencies in his arguments & policies.  Another thing he did in the debates that I really liked was that he constantly stayed above the fray, not attacking his fellow Republicans and instead focusing, and trying to keep the other candidates focused, on Obama.

The second main reason, I'm thinking about supporting him is just the process of elimination.  There are really only three candidates who can articulate their positions and not stare blankly at the camera when given a complicated question, Romney, Gingrich and Santorum.  Romney is polished but I have ZERO confidence he will actually enact conservative principles.  When he was Governor of Massachusetts, only 25% of his judicial appointments were even Republican.  With a court at 5-4, we can't afford a single misstep there.  Also, I find it hard to believe he will fight tooth and nail to repeal Obamacare.  He will try to "fix" it, taking out certain provisions and adding others.  Not my idea of what needs to be done.  Santorum wouldn't be a bad choice, he is definitely conservative and can explain why he believes what he believes.  Unfortunately, he comes across as mean and has been a bit too much on the attack in the debates which I think is holding him back in the polls.

The other candidates have become a joke.  While I like Herman Cain on a personal level, he is absolutely horrible at thinking on his feet (which is something I would think a President would have to do from time to time).  Heck, he even has trouble thinking about the right way to deal with things with 10 days notice (Politico gave him 10 days notice before going public with the harassment story).  It just boggles the mind how his story could change 3 times in one day when he had so long to prepare for it.  Also, in the debate with Newt Gingrich he passed on the question about "premium support" or "defined benefit" plans for medicare.  The problem with passing is that this was a debate on entitlements and so he should know what those terms mean.  Even if he didn't, you should be able to figure it out right?  It's not exactly rocket science.  It's a good thing Newt was so gracious or he would have pointed out that someone who wants to be President of the United States should know such things.  Also, given his lack of experience in government, it really is theoretical as to how he will act when in power.  When given actual choices that will effect others, will he consistently choose the conservative one?  His answers on abortion and the Palestinian right of return make me nervous.

Rick Perry really is starting to remind me of W especially when he does that deer in headlights impersonation when he gets a question he doesn't know how to answer.  It really doesn't inspire confidence.  Nor did his attempt to disqualify Romney on the basis of his landscaper using illegals.  I'm also not convinced as to how conservative he really is.  He just had to be conservative in Texas to be elected, who knows what he will be like with blue staters in the mix.  Bachmann, while a relatively good speaker, is very gaffe prone and has a strange propensity to make up stuff as she goes along.

So there you have it.  Newt definitely has his issues, but when it boils down to it, he is a great speaker with a much more conservative record than Romney (I'll probably only be pissed off part of the time with Newt).  And that might be all it takes.  I wouldn't want perfection to be the enemy of the good.

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