With all the . . . .ahem . . . excitement over Representative Anthony “Tony the Pole” Weiner (Pervert – NY) I missed commenting on former Senator Rick Santorum’s announcement that he was running for President. Unfortunately Santorum gets fed into the mix as he isn’t a game changer. My picks at this stage for declared candidates:
1. Governor Tim Pawlenty – Pawlenty gave a major economic speech last week and he gets it. President George W. Bush cut taxes and revenues to the government actually increased year after year. That’s the economic calculus that Democrats just don’t get – but Pawlenty does.
2. Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain – I have heard a great deal more from Cain and generally like what I hear. I still worry about his folksy ways and glib responses to tough questions. His business acumen and conservative ideology kept him in second place.
3. Senator Rick Santorum – A lawyer and career politician – not a good combination. Santorum is more “in-your-face” than your average Republican and I like that. He generally is always on the right side of every debate and he stands up to the “moderate” wing of the Party. He is a tight third right behind Cain.
4. Governor Mitt Romney – the only good thing that I can say about Romney is that he would be better than a second term with Barack Obama. Of course it’s hard to imagine any Republican who wouldn’t be better than a second term with Obama.
5. Speaker Newt Gingrich – I really wish he would go away. Gingrich would do a much better job manning the helm of American Solutions and sniping from the sidelines. Certainly having his campaign staff bail on him this week tells me something about Gingrich.
Within the realm of “declared candidates” that is the end of the serious ones.
I could vote for any of the top three without reservation. I would have to hold my nose while voting for Romney. Fortunately, I don’t think that Gingrich is going to make it to November 2012.