Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Candidates

Huckabee bothers me. I really hate these staged hunting photo ops.

Presidential contender Mike Huckabee bagged a pheasant Wednesday, offering Iowa voters the image of an experienced outdoorsman on the hunt, shotgun blasting and dogs braying.

Just a campaign gambit? "Maybe it will show that I certainly understand the culture of being outdoors," Huckabee said. "It's not something we had to go out and get a primer in. It's very much ordinary to me."

Who cares? You're a politician, I don't actually believe you're doing anything but trying to buy votes with this. If you were out hunting and were found out by the press it would be one thing, but this is just pandering that smells suspect.
His waving his religion around doesn't impress me. I'm not thrilled by a minister for president, but it doesn't bother me much either. I'd prefer a candidate who was less dependent on religion as a message.

Taxes? Not sure I'm caring a bit about his stand on removing income or payroll taxes. The Dems have both houses, and they love to redistribute wealth, and frankly, I find it highly improbable that he could move the topic an inch.

Energy Independence? Not likely. Thinking we can be completely independent in the next decade is unrealistic. Forward motion could well begin, but full independence is a long long way off. His ethanol dream is a joke. Ethanol may be a fuel solution, but it still take far too much energy from other sources to produce it and it fails to address other economic factors such as food prices.

I think he's realistic about Iraq and having to finish correctly there. The war on terrorism I think he's a bit askew on. Quoting the Powell doctrine bothers me in that it's not really applicable. Terrorist groups are ephemeral and you can't just throw large numbers of soldiers at the problem. (Not to mention I'm not a fan of the Powell doctrine, since it is a completely antiquated doctrine considering that most wars will be in the fourth generational or later forms.)

Mitt Romney. Find a stand and stick with it. I find it improbable that he'll get any southern support with the Governorship of the People's Republic of Massachusetts on his resume. His stand on Guns is very wrong. And his reputation in MA merely substantiates that he doesn't get it.

He does strike me as a clumsy politician. His "life NRA membership" and his "father marching with King" strike me as amateurish. He needs to stop trying so hard and stick with reality.

Personally, I'd like a president that has his own opinions and sticks with them. He has nothing major to be ashamed of from his business life and even his governorship wasn't horrible. He should work with that and not try to talk about things he isn't.

Rudi Guiliani.
Hmm. Don't like him. His answers on gun control and abortion were non-answers. I don't disagree that they are in some senses local or states rights topics. Gun rights though have a primary enumerated right in the constitution. Either he agrees with the individual right or not. I still don't like where his record leaves him there. As for abortion rights, take a stand, stop quibbling about where the right stands.

I'm also not wild about how he comes across on personal rights. He strikes me as being supportive of only those rights he likes.

He did perform quite impressively on 9/11 and most of those saying he was the cause of some of the problems don't have a convincing story.

Fred Thompson
Not happy with the performance to date. He's not convincing me that he really wants the job. You have to participate more than what we've seen.

Second Amendment Slam dunk. His debate answer was what I would have said.

Don't know much of his stand on Iraq. Last I heard he was on with continuing to success.

I've read some of his opinion pieces and have been quite impressed. The problem I have is that I'm not quite certain that they are his positions and not just write ups for him. I'm feeling uncertain about his actual participation. Interviews and press coverage hasn't shown him as being very strong on his feet on topics. He's an actor for god's sake, you'd think he'd be able to perform better.

John McCain
I do like most of his stances. His position on Iraq is very noble, preferring to win there rather than be president. That is closer to what I'd like in a candidate.

He does have a problem like Rudi on rights though. The McCain-Feingold suppression of political speech act was a very poor piece of legislation. Giving 527s voices and suppressing other special interest groups was just wrong. This is a case where full and detailed disclosure would have been the solution. Instead they chose suppression of speech.

His stand on illegal immigration is likely more realistic to the present political environment. Not very fond of it, but its better than what is happening. (That would be nothing.)

Ron Paul
His is an odd candidacy. I've been reading his stands on the issues and frankly, I like the majority of them.

I don't like his stand on Iraq. I find it to isolationist and completely misses the point that completing Iraq successfully is in the best interest of the US. Immediate withdrawal will again send the message that the US is weak and incapable of finishing anything. I also don't like that his stand doesn't view the US as being required to play in international affairs. You can dislike why we got into Iraq, but at this point that is completely irrelevant to the fact that a successful solution is the only way to move the global economy and the US primary interests forward.

I'm a bit puzzled how he qualifies stem cell research with his Pro-life stance, but I can see ways of getting there.

His stands on rights and liberties is refreshing. None of the other candidates will even step up to this level. I'm not certain they are all realistic, but that doesn't mean that they aren't where we should stand ultimately. I think a bit more realism on the Patriot Act would be nice, but he does point out some of the really lame section.

His media presence has been amateurish though. Being seen with white supremacists is pretty poor policy. Sadly he won't be able to scrape off their filth because some people assume that because he spoke to them then he must support them. Sadly too much of the media has effectively made him look like a kook.

It's going to be a tough decision. And a lot more research.

No democrats you ask? That's right. They are so far from reality of foreign policy that I just can't see voting for them. Then add their stance on rights and liberty, and I'm completely nauseous. That doesn't even get me to whether I could trust any of them.

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