Presidential politics parse a man or a woman’s fitness for elected office, but I propose that there is also presidential physics. While the physical body may be the top quark that is on display, it is the je ne sais quoi — the soul, that inspires. We cannot see “soul” therefore, do not know much about it, so we depend on the body, mind and emotions to make evaluations about others, inclusive of many factors.
The candidate meter: Here is a list to size up the candidates. Who will be the nominee of the GOP? For an answer we must consult Heloise’s famous checklist (see The Meaning of Oprah) to figure out how hot is the candidate. Let us count the ways:
Full head of hair—check
Elected to high public office—check
The “I care” factor—check
Race—WASP (big) non-WASP (small)—check
Both parties have candidates that would score points, but only a few would move the meter to red-hot. Romney and Edwards come to mind, followed by Obama and Huckabee. Despite the polling fact that the Republicans are less satisfied with their candidates than are the Democrats, both will nominate someone. Democrats tend to nominate (and elect) the best looking of the field, while the GOP tends to nominate the best connected of the field. So, which party is the party of the people or the Populist Party? Probably neither one is even close. While the Democrats have the best looking field, this time and last, they are up against Republicans, who collectively have more public office experience, and that’s key. The “I care” factor however, seems deficient.
The frontrunner is the good-looking Mitt Romney (YouTube clip). Where were you Mitt 8 years ago? I predicted early on that Romney was going to be a front-runner or the choice of the GOP. He ranks high on Heloise’s checklist. He compares with Ronald Reagan in many ways. Name wise, both begin with an “r” and have six letters in last name, and both were governors. Romney is a clone, rather than an innovator. He “feels” the Bush doctrine.
The Debate: George Stephanopoulos played master of ceremonies to the nine Republican Candidates for Sunday’s debate: Mitt Romney, Rudy Guiliani, and Mike Huckabee, make up the top tier. The front-runners placed in the front with the spoilers on the fringe. The debate format included only two video questions, one from a woman and one from a man—not a YouTube debate.
I chose four areas of the debate to focus on:
Fair tax or flat tax: It would eliminate all taxes and replace it with a 23% sales tax. They split agreement on this issue, about half for and half against it. Let us dispense with the rhetoric. If, the Republicans were for the business sector, how would a flat tax affect them? The flat tax would flatten many professionals whose bread and butter depend on the complexities of the tax code. Would the GOP or a president in 2008 from the GOP (God forbid), invoke revoking the present tax code? Tom Tancredo a major supporter of the bill. Gov. Huckabee had a comical response. He said flat tax amounted to catching pimps, drug dealers who would be unable to evade taxes. He said, “This would eliminate the underground economy!”
Abortion: I find this issue interesting in terms of the Right and the Left. A deal-breaker if the candidate-to-be fails the pro-life, anti-abortion test. Contentious because black women are the greatest users of abortions and many (pundits) feel its target (via Planned Parenthood). The staunchest supporters of abortion are on the Left, where most African Americans place their trust. Warbling on pro life started the debate with a direct ad attack on Mitt Romney. After the discussion, Romney looked visibly shaken by an exchange that placed him on the pro life side of this debate. He should. If this logic holds out, then Guiliani is also in trouble with the Party. He is plainly too liberal.
Islamic extremism: Ending the war in Iraq was a question posed from a video. Ron Paul was livid in his response of “just come home!” There were some cheers. Duncan Hunter said: “It was a race (by Democrats) to see who could stampede for the exit.” He continued, “Not a single Democratic candidate paused in their rush for the exit—to say good job!” As Kennedy believed: “Democracies don’t like defeat.” McCain supports the surge—what else is new. He believes that “they are winning on the ground.” He predicts genocide and blood filling the streets if we cut and run. “We will not set a date for surrender, as the Democrats want.” Wow.
“In four Democratic debates,” Guiliani said, “not one Candidate said the word ‘Islamic terrorism’—that’s taking political correction to extremes.” Romney said, “It was critical for us to win this conflict…it is essential.” Yes, the Republicans are all in a cave addressed “war mongers.” Romney was projecting power when he said, “Obama said he would have tea with our enemies and bomb our allies (Pakistan)!” I think that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats know anything about a “real” enemy. Why, because clearly the U.S.A. makes and break countries, nations and people over in some image that allows eventually for bombing them (once friends) into stone-age submission. This is a battle royale of words. In addition, the Republicans took this opportunity to turn Obama’s words against him.
Iraq: Tom Tancredo spoke, as I believe: “Iraq has to take control of Iraq.” I said that three years ago; when it looked like U.S. troops were about to pull out and leave Iraq to Iraqis. As we all know, that never happened. Ron Paul (Texas) was the only one among them that told the truth, with a capital T. He complained about the lies, “oil was going to pay for the war, we’d be out in six months.” He was on fire, but he did not have anything to loose, tough talk from a non front-runner—too bad.
There was even a clip of Obama. He seems to have a target on his back. Romney was his biggest critic. Romney reminded everyone that Obama does not know the difference between our friends and enemies. The Candidates wanted to squash Obama to establish them, as experienced, so it came up. However, I ask is experience really the sine quo non for voters? In America where religion, regions, and races fly under the radar for most readers, it seems a moot point. Why, the main reason is that we expect our president to possess strengths or characteristic that we ourselves do not possess as a people. We remain blissfully ignorant of world cultures, mores, and foreign languages. Why are we in other countries nation-building, democracy-dowsing, and capitalism-pushing?
The meaning of democracy: George W. Bush’s speech in January of 2005 was reviewed for comments by the candidates: Nation building, his point. The candidates were ready for this one. Guiliani gave a lengthy argument: “one has to develop the bedrock of democracy…people are afraid to live their lives…buy groceries…education…have a job, safe streets, You have to have a certain quality of life…be comfortable. Then elections start to mean something in the full picture of what a democracy means.” I think that within this mini-speech by Guiliani, there is a kernel of truth. Nevertheless, the glaring gap appears in that he has clearly defined the meaning of capitalism, more than democracy. Goods, services, quality of life made freely available to all. It is the old “pursuit of happiness” that is the bedrock of our society. Romney continued the argument to wage a “campaign of values,” would be the right way to pursue. Tom Tancredo said, “My job as president is to protect and to defend this country, not to give free health care.”
Ultimately, the candidate who made the most sense overall had the least chance of winning: Ron Paul. Republicans were strong on degrading Democratic candidates in general and Barack Obama in particular.Powered by Sidelines