Saturday, October 31, 2015

From the Cheap Seat: My Republican Picks as of Today 10.31.15

 I need to clarify again that I am not a Republican, so I have no party loyalty to the Republican party and will never hesitate to throw the party under a bus when necessary. That said, I ID myself as more of a Constitutional conservative and the Republican party tends usually to have a better pick of candidates that lean that way. Also, my main focus is on First Amendment issues like religious liberty and free speech. I have stated many times over the years that I dislike politics as a general rule....but will deal with it when it encroaches on religious freedom and free speech.. So, I look for the candidates who I think are most apt and able to address and protect that.

1) Ted Cruz. Before the CNBC Debacle they called a debate,  I was thinking Cruz would likely not be in 1st place. I was kind of frustrated with what appeared to be a "lead from behind" mentality with the idea that IF Donald Trump drops out that he stands to gain. Trump may not be dropping out any time soon and more likely not at all.  If he did in the future at all it will be too late for Cruz to mount an offense..based on money more than time. However, when he called out the moderators at CNBC for their debate debacle I think he caught a second wind and changed the direction of the debate and the audience knew....even the audience across the country.

2. Donald Trump. Still a wild card, but he has done enough shaking up of DC with just his campaign that I suspect he could do the same in DC. The common enemy most of us face right now is the DC machine and the way it is run year after year after year after year. Anyone going to DC who promises the same old same old should be ignored immediately. Would Trump shake DC up good or bad? I don't think there's any such thing as a good or bad shake. A shake is a shake. The alternative would be to tear it all down and start over. And though that would probably be the best option...a good shake up would work as well.

3) Ben Carson. The top three candidates on this list could be interchanged based on the strength of various subjects, but Carson has my interest for religious liberty issues and as an outsider from DC he would be an asset. He may be soft spoken, but I think he has hard convictions.

4) Mike Huckabee. He's probably a long shot in the scheme of things, but for his stand on religious liberty he is one of the best. There's still some uncertainty on his Common Core position based on some things he has said in the past. However, in a presidential market where a  candidate like Hillary Clinton can change her position on an issue within a matter of minutes in the same debate, a change over a few years by Huckabee is politically  laudable (at least to me)

5) Marco Rubio.  He's very likable.  He's just wrong on some issues, like amnesty. His CNBC Debacle remarks were well thought out and his counter against Jeb Bush's attack was successful.

6) Rand Paul. I  cant separate him from Ron Paul and I was not a fan of Ron Paul. Rand didn't try any misguided attack this time around, so he is teachable.

7) Bobby Jindal. I was gong to put Jindal and Santorum at the bottom of the list.  Not because I don't like their positions on many things, but just because they are long shots at this fact more likely impossibles. However, I am rating all the candidates and once I get past #8, it would take some convincing to support any of them.  So #8 is, in many respects, the bottom of my list. Jindal is strong on religious liberty. In may respects right up there with Huckabee. I had high hopes for him and waited for his entrance into the campaign, but I dont think he is going anywhere.

8) Rick Santorum. Same as Jindal, just not quite up there with Huckabee. Jindal is a bit more personable.

9) Chris Christie. He is still here based on his performance at the CNBC Debacle. Otherwise he's still the same.

10) Carly Fiorina.  I don't trust her. She has taken positions initially and then changed them when it appeared the conservative trend was going another way. .The media, even at the CNBC Debacle were throwing soft ball questions at her. Being a media darling comes with it's own warnings.

11) Jeb Bush.  I cant figure out why he would admit to modeling his campaign after John McCain's campaign. Does he remember that McCain lost???? He tried a cheap shot at Rubio, but Rubio blew it off. Rick Perry's failed campaign sent him RNC establishment clone Austin Barbour from here in Mississippi, which by itself is enough to "just say no" to Bush.  But there was already plenty of other reasons to just say no to Jeb Bush.

12) Lindsey Graham.
One of the worst Republicans I know, but he  got in a few humorous lines at the early debate. He's here for entertainment value.

13) George Pataki.  Pataki-who??

14) Jim Gilmore.  See comments at  13