Primaries are getting closer and closer, so I thought I would give my first take on the Republican field as I see it currently. I have not decided whom I am voting for yet, but this is how rank the candidates currently, in order of preference:
Giuliani: If voting on the challenge of the Islamic-Fascism alone, this would be the man I would vote for. Tempered by the events of 9/11, he has the clarity and vision which is needed to engage in the protracted struggle which we face. He also has an honest in your face NYC style about him, which I like. However, on social issues he’s out of step with the base; anti-gun, pro-choice, and soft on illegal immigration is three strikes___but he’s not out. Still might have my vote on war issue alone.
McCain: By coming out hard for amnesty for illegal’s, he killed his front-runner status; a fact which many in the base will never forgive him for (including my dad). I however think he’s very strong on the war, recognizing early on that we needed a new strategy in Iraq, is a fiscal conservative, and is pro-life. Plus he can beat HRC, which several of these candidates I don’t believe can. He’s against tax reform, and he sponsored the disastrous McCain-Feingold act which with the amnesty bill makes him a tough pill to swallow. But its a pill I’m considering.
Thomson: Here’s the conservative candidate which the base really wants; Pro-life, Pro-border fence, Pro-Fair Tax, Pro-gun-rights, and understands the historic struggle we are in; to bad he as the energy of slug. Uninspiring and limp so far, he could win me back if he downed some Red Bulls and woke up.
Romney: It’s remarkable to me the Romney has positioned himself as a frontrunner from what I remember of him in his ignominious Senatorial race against Ted Kennedy in ‘94. In that race he fell all over himself trying to dissociate himself with Reagan/Bush years; Kennedy clobbered him. It was a duly unimpressive performance, and disheartening for us conservatives living is Massachusetts. I will say he has much improved as a candidate since then, but in my gut I can’t get rid of the lingering feeling that he’ll say whatever he needs to say to get elected.
Huckabee: Will not vote for this guy. He’s a tremendous speaker and very likeable, but looking at his record as governor he’s soft on crime, fiscally fat, and has puritanical tendencies (Nationwide ban on cigarette smoking….give me a break.) On top of that he has pro-illegal streak too and cant possibly beat Hillary. He’s getting a lift now from the evangelicals leaving Thomson, but when his record on crime gets out, look for the support to evaporate.
Tom Tancredo & Duncan Hunter: If he had a shot, I would vote for Duncan Hunter, he’s a good speaker, he’s right on all the issues, and he’s likable. But his campaign has gained no traction, so he and Tancredo are irrelevant at this point.