Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Debate Assessment: Romney Again.

In the last debate, a few weeks ago, I was hoping the governor of Texas would really come on strong with a good performance and be a major challenger to Mitt Romney, giving us two strong candidates to choose from to take on Obama.  That didn't happen.  In fact, Perry's performance was so weak that it just about took him out of the race.  In this debate last night, I was really hoping Herman Cain, who was already coming on like gang busters, would even shine more than he has already been in the debates. I really like Herman Cain. He did give a good performance but not quite as good as the last debate.

I will give my honest, and as objective as I can, assessment of each candidate in the debate.  I will give the candidates in the order of their performances.

 Warning: For all of my twitter friends who don't like Mitt Romney [for the GOP nomination], you may want to stop reading now.

Mitt Romney:  The clear winner.  As in the other debates, Romney was confident, knowledgeable, and presidential.  You can see this man as the next president of the United States.  He gave the strongest defense yet of the difference between Romney care and Obama care and why his plan was right for his state and his state alone, but that Obama care is so wrong for the nation. This time he said he will not just give waivers to states on the first day he is in office to stop Obama care for their states, but then on the second day he will work to completely eliminate Obama care.  There was one other trait Romney showed, that he did not show in the other debates. He gave the appearance of the inevitable winner, and with his answers he is already looking toward the general election. 

Newt Gingrich: I am really liking Newt Gingrich in these debates and hoping he stays on no matter what his poll numbers are.  What I like most about Newt is that it seems like it is his mission to build up the rest of the candidates to make the GOP look strong no matter who the winner is.  He did not have one negative thing to say about any of the GOP candidates and focused all of his fury on president Obama.  I think you can tell the audience appreciated that.  Again, as in the other debates, Newt was the smartest man on the stage, and had the qualities that Romney had: confident, knowledgeable, and presidential.  The one trait he didn't project, that Romney did, was the aura of inevitability.
Hang in there Newt! You probably will not win the nomination, but you are a grand asset to the Republican field and the eventual nominee.

Herman Cain:  Another good performance by the most likable candidate, but not great.  I think he was nicked a little bit by all of the attacks on his 9-9-9 plan and for the first time showed a little defensiveness.  He makes a good strong defense of his plan, one that I originally was excited about.  He did give another good defense of his plan last night.  But, from the questioning last night, I now am a little worried about his plan.  I love completely removing the current tax code, having the low flat rates, and making sure everyone has some skin in the game. But a good point was made last night that the 9-9-9 plan, with an out of control congress, could become a 15-15-15 plan, or worse.   Herman Cain says that he would make sure it would take a two thirds vote in congress to change those numbers. But what could a future congress under Democrat control do.  Then Cain says anyway, if congress did change the numbers, he would veto it.  But Herman Cain wouldn't be president forever. Who knows what another president would do.
Also, Santorum hurt him, when he asked the audience, "how many of you would like a federal sales tax added to all of the goods you buy?"

Tie: Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann: Both were strong and attacking. Michele Bachmann was really strong starting off, but faded just a little as the debate went on.  Rick Santorum gave some good answers, but to me gave a bad appearance of being angry.  I think these probably were the strongest performances by both, but they didn't give you the aura of being winners, like Mitt, Newt and Herman projected.

Rick Perry:  It's over.  For someone who I was really excited about entering the race, I think this performance probably ended all hope of him winning the nomination.  For a long time in the debate, you forgot he was even on the stage.  He looked out of it, resigned to the fact that he will not win.  This is  probably just me, but in this debate it looked like he has thrown in the towel.

John Huntsman:  Maybe it's just me, but almost every answer he gives seems snarky to me. He makes good points in some of his answers, but it is hard for me to listen and not to turn him off.  I think this is the reason he is near the bottom of every poll.

Ron Paul: was Ron Paul    Sorry, I just do turn him off and don't consider him a serious GOP candidate.
Last night Governor Johnson was not invited to the debate, and just the one less person made this better that the other debates. I think in the next debate they should eliminate John Huntsman and Ron Paul and then we can really have a great debate next time.

Out of this debate, unless something weird happens, I think we can say that Mitt Romney will be the GOP candidate and the next president of the United States.


bradley said...

agree with your comments, but most importantly, as gingrich pointed out, this country cannot survive 4 more years of BO--romney is the only candidate truly electable based on his appeal to moderates, who WILL decide this election--- if the tea party wil jump on the bus, i see a romney/christie or romney/cain ticket!!

Big Mike said...

Good comments Brad. The tea party will be there. Even though Romney is not the tea parties favorite, they will keep their eye on the prize. That is to make sure we do not have another 4 years under Obama. That would be a disaster for this country. They care about this country and will make sure that Obama is defeated this next election.

bradley said...

as our grandma sophie would sometimes say, "from your mouth to god's (or voters in this case) ears!!

JoeBillScott said...

Let's postulate that Romney is electable whereas Perry is not. This also what I believe.

Based on these axioms, the behaviour of the midstream media (vis-a-vis Perry vs. Romney) will be quite telling and will provide insights into their motivations.

What I'm waiting for is how they are going to attempt to destroy Romney or even promote Perry.

By the way, Mike, when are you going to follow @JoeBillScott on Twitter? That my new handle. The KosherWineGuy bequeathed all of his followers to JoeBillScott (except you for some reason . . .)

All the best,

JoeBillScott (rafi)

Big Mike said...

Okay Rafi, I didn't realize it was you with that handle. Thanks.

AST said...

This is flataffect.

You pretty well saw it as I did, but I continue to be puzzled and annoyed by this anybody-but-Romney attitude among so many conservatives, especially Tea Partiers. I'm getting close to dropping out of the blogosphere because of all the stupid attacks on him. He's a brilliant analyst and manager with proven competence.

I was more impressed by Cain in his earlier appearances than this one. I'm kind of annoyed by his unwillingness or inability to give answers beyond his assurances that everything he says will happen, like Congress passing his 9-9-9 plan and not start raising rates, or that it will be revenue neutral.

I think someone needs to interview his economic adviser Rich Lowrie. A growing number of people who have examined his proposal are saying that it won't work as claimed or that it's a "monstrosity."

Of course, our current tax system isn't really a model of efficiency and fairness, but the country is running under it. The worst thing about Obamacare was the shock it has been to the health care industry and to employers. Nobody's really sure how it will work as the new bureaucracies and taxes it creates start kicking in. Now Cain proposes to tear up the tax code. That sounds appealing, but when I think about it, I can't see it working without more uncertainty for businesses as they start having to become tax collectors of the national sales tax. I don't know what Cain proposes to do about the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare. We're talking about major changes in business software. It could be like trying to turn an oil tanker on a dime.

What we all want is to get people back to work ASAP, but I can't see how another big change will get things running smoothly again. It can only be done in stages. Nothing in the government is as simple as he describes all this.

Anyway, I began to tire of his repetitions of 9-9-9 without knowing anything more about it than that he's touting it.

I'd be happy to give up on Romney and tell his critics to have it their way, but their problem so far has been that each one has turned out to have feet of clay. I thought in the beginning that the best candidates would be Pawlenty, Daniels or Romney, but Daniels didn't run and Pawlenty just couldn't catch fire with donors. Bachmann had her moment, but it fell apart after the blowback on her statements about HPV vaccine. Meanwhile Perry stepped in with great fanfare only to be a disappointment. Now Cain is leading, but as his proposals get more scrutiny and people start asking about foreign policy, his weakness will start to show.

And that leaves us with Romney. I don't know how many people actually read Hugh Hewitt's book about him in 2008, but I did and it was then that I learned about his time at Bain and Company. He got paid well for giving the kind of advising that he's now offering to the nation. When he was governor of Massachusetts, the commonwealth was his client and it wanted a universal healthcare plan. He developed one and they adopted most of it.

If he gets elected, his client will be the whole nation, and he'll lead it back to prosperity. That's what he does. He's not a socialist or a big government advocate. His thing is efficiency and cost cutting. If we were to hire a management expert to solve our problems, he'd be one of the best. But we've had our minds poisoned against him because he's from Massachusetts and he's a -gasp- Mormon. But, we're not hiring a religious adviser. We're hiring a manager. I wouldn't care if he were a Hindu, as long as he was a good manager. I've never given a candidate's religion a second thought (at least until I heard some of the clips of Jeremiah Wright's sermons).

If we let this chance slip through our fingers, future generations will look at us and wonder how we could be so stupid.

Big Mike said...

Great, great comments Flat!!!

Thanks for great contribution.

bradley said...

AST, you hit it on head--just cant fathom why chritian conservatives worry about romney's mormonism--that intolerance is what is so sickening about islam in general!!

JoeBillScott said...

Excellent review and summation AST! What I like about Romney is that he's electable. This is really his most important attribute. If elected, I believe he would be flexible enough to work with his new colleagues the TEA-Party/Republican majorities in both the house and Senate.

Let's get rid of this last gasp of the Democrat Party. Once we get rid of the parasitic public employee unions and the private union thugs have strangled their last corporate mugging victim, there will be no more Democrat constituency.

G0d willing, we will return to a more fiscally responsible and austere Federal Government.

The way it was meant to be.

All the best and Chag Sukkot Sameach!!