Last night for the second time in less than a week, the Republican nominees met for a debate. This time it was the Tea Party Nation debate on CNN. This time, CNN didn’t insult our intelligence with “Coke or Pepsi” and “Scope or Listerine” questions. I also have to give them some credit…the debate wasn’t filled with gotcha questions. I was surprised. Wolf Blitzer did a pretty good job of being a legitimate moderator. They also did a pretty good job of spreading out the questions to give more equal time than the MSNBC Debate did last week.
Just like last Thursday’s debate on MSNBC, let’s talk about whose stock I’d recommend buying, selling, holding, and in a new addition, sold (already sold out and not buying back in).
Michelle Bachmann (Buy):
I still like Bachmann and I expected more out of her in this debate, especially because it was the Tea Party debate. Partially because the Media is pushing her out in favor of Perry and Romney, her star seemed to be on the downturn.
Last night, however, she turned it back around and stood on some strong conservative policies, like “The Federal Reserve needs to be shrunk down to such a tight leash that they’re going to squeak.” She really took a step forward going head to head with Perry on the HPV Vaccine issue and other issues. Bachmann remains in the hunt and I think she moved herself back into the top of the debate last night.
As of now, Bachmann is one of two choices for me right now in the field, when it comes time for me to cast my vote in the Republican primary.
Herman Cain (Hold):
Once again, I like Cain very much and I think he’s a very qualified candidate. However, I do not think he could win the nomination based on his poll numbers. He would make a great Vice President, and he’d also make an excellent Secretary of Commerce. He’s got a great chance to be in the Executive Branch in 2013, just not as the President.
Newt Gingrich (Hold):
Gingrich again is strong and does well in debates. He’d kick Obama’s butt in a debate, but he’s not going to get the nomination. He scores well in debates, but he doesn’t do well in polls. I’m leaving him as a hold for now, because there’s a small chance he turns it around, but for now I don’t expect him to go far. He is, however, another person who could find a place in a new Republican administration in the cabinet.
Jon Huntsman (Sold):
Seriously. Huntsman is a joke. He spent tonight quoting Nirvana songs and waxing intellectual as a biased moderate. I’m not even bothering making a joke about how much of a non-issue Huntsman is at this point.
Ron Paul (Sold):
It occurred to me since the last debate that, in the strictest sense of the term, Paul is a RINO. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, that’s “Republican In Name Only.”) Now, Paul isn’t the moderate, wimpy, half liberal sort of RINO. Not in the slightest. But Paul is a Republican by default, because the political term that most applies to him is Libertarian. Now that’s not a bad thing, my friends. As I’ve said before, I agree with Paul on about 75% of issues. However, he’s not in line with the mainstream conservative Republican party, and that’s why he won’t get the nomination.
Rick Perry (Buy):
Perry beat up on Romney last night, but got beat up on by the rest of the field. I think he kicked Romney’s butt on the “Social Security is a Ponsi Scheme” statement…because he’s right. He showed himself to be a legitimate conservative so far.
He did have a tough moment with the discussion of his HPV Vaccine executive order. I respect the fact that he admitted he was wrong. He let Bachmann back into the debate in a strong way last night, making it back into a three person race.
However, he was overall quite strong. The biggest thing I think Perry did was he pushed Romney out of the debate spot lead. Perry was debating with Bachmann as much as anyone tonight, and not as much with Romney. He really is establishing himself as the frontrunner. I, for one, am seriously considering giving Perry my vote when New York’s Primary comes, and I think I’m a very typical conservative.
Mitt Romney (Stock – Sell):
Romney is losing ground. With a candidate like Perry who has the ability to raise money on par with Romney (and for that matter Obama), who has Tea Party credentials and an honest, straight talk style that I think overshadows Romney’s overly polished style. He’s still the GOP Establishment candidate, and in a year where the Tea Party is going to choose the Republican nominee, it’s not going to be Romney’s year.
Rick Santorum (Sold):
Santorum is done. I’ve said it before. He’s just not strong enough. He’s a Washington insider and he’s just not standing out. Sorry, Rick. I like you as a person, and I’d gladly watch a football game with you. But I don’t want you as my President.
So far, I’d have to say the winners were Bachmann and Perry. I’m glad to see that, although it makes my decision harder, because, barring Sarah Palin joining the campaign, my decision is down to two people. (Palin enters my decision becomes a choice between three people.) To those who read Biblical Conservatism regularly, you read several months ago that the GOP field was not weak. Last night, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann proved it. We’ve got two serious, conservative candidates in Bachmann and Perry vying for the nomination and a third blue blood Republican in Romney. All three of them would be a better President than Obama.
Right now, all I can say is game on. It’s going to be a fun campaign, and in the end we’re going to have the best possible candidate.