Although we are still 15 months away from the next Presidential election, it is never too early to begin sizing up the long laundry list of potential Republican Presidential candidates. Last night in Ames Iowa, We got a chance to kick around the tires and shop around for what will hopefully be the vehicle that drives us through the horrible economic road that we seem to be stuck in. We warned you about giving the keys to the new car to a novice driver.
The list of hopefuls included current sitting Congressmen, Ex-Senators, Ex-Governors, current Governors, a former House Speaker and CEO's. They offered their ideas on everything from fixing the economy to immigration reform and reigning in the deficit. Obama who once appeared as invincible as a young Mike Tyson did in his boxing heyday, now appears to be on wobbly legs and about to to go down for the count.
Absent from the list were notables like, Rudy Guliani, & but the candidates that showed up made it clear that this country's number one priority is to fix this broken economy and put Americans back to work. Something that current President has forgotten about. Or could it be that he may just be suffering the after effects of being concussed by the continous slaps across the back of his head by the Tea Party who want him to wake up and start showing some leadership.
The consensus amongst those that were there and watched the debate, is thatemerged as the winner with & Michelle Bachman maintaining their status as the frontrunners. Gingrich - who's campaign staff issues were questioned by Chris Wallace, fired back at the media in general and berated them for concentrating on "the minutia" of the campaing instead of the real issues at hand. This to me was a veiled message to the mainstream media in general who has rarely questioned this President nor any of his failed policies.
The Ex-Governor from Minnesota,- seemed more intent on bashing Michelle Bachman and her record instead of going after Mitt Romney who by all accounts seems to be the leading contender at this point in time. Rand Paul appeared to gain some traction with his idea about Auditing the Fed but unexplicably was insistent about letting Iran move forward with their plans to build a Nuclear weapon. His rational being that when super powers like Russia & China were building their nuclear arsenals, the US never made such a big deal about it. That's because we had our own Nuclear weapons and strong Presidents that would not hesitate to put our military power on display. As opposed to this President who thinks that sitting across the table from terrorists and engaging in dialogue is the way to radicals from hating us.
Herman Cain who claims to be all about jobs and growth kept his answers short and measured but lacked in his Foreign policy knowledge and at times was questioned about his comments related to other religions. He has been criticized for comments made about Muslims and more recently about Mormons.
Michelle Bachman found herself on the defensive most of the night as she had to continously defend her record from Tim Pawlenty's verbal jabs but overrall did a good job of stating her case as being tough and a fighter who stood up to Pelosi, Reid and Obama on many issues like, Healthcare Reform, Abortion, and Immigration. The issue of Migraine headaches was brushed to the side by Tim Pawlenty who said that the biggest headache we face today is called Barack Obama.
Others like John Huntsman andwere credible but appear to be lacking the star power and organization that will be needed for a national campaign. Huntsman who claims to be proud of and is running on his record, came under fire for his stance on the issue of Gay marriage vs. Civil Unions as well as his record of oursourcing jobs to other countries.
Overrall, most of the candidates did well but in my opinion, Newt Gingrich was the winner with Mitt Romney a close second and Michelle Backman following. I'd like to hear more from Huntsman and definitely from Rick Perry as this campaign evolves.
On the other side of the fence, I am dumbfounded as to why there aren't any other Democratic hopefuls willing to challenge Obama. It seems to me that this would be a perfect opportunity for a Blue-Dog Moderate Democrat to step in and distinguish himself as being a President willing to really sit down with Republicans and get to work on turning this economy around.
I think the country could support having a Moderate Democrat in the White House that could work with both houses versus getting four more years of Obama and stagnating progress until 2016 when Chris Christie would have a clear path to the White House.