The most recent Florida debate bore witness that almost all the candidates agree on the most important issues that will confront a new president in 2013. Consequently they are spending most of their time trying to find newer and more clever ways to make themselves stand out for voters. While the front runners can rely on polls and free news media to do this for them, the pack must find new ways to gain notice.
Same oh, same oh for these campaigns, and one which, in 2008, saw our two best candidates bow out early, while arguably, our worst, won.
How’s that conventional establishment-GOP thinking working for you?
We also know that each of the candidates are saddled with baggage which, for most voters, still falls short of being deal breakers, such as RomneyCare, Perry’s immigration stance, Cain’s lack of government experience, Gingrich’s poorer experiences in government, Bachmann’s fact-checking and Santorum’s lack of name recognition. While we may use those things to grade the candidates, none seem to be disqualifications.
Based on stated policies alone, all these candidates would seem to make a fine replacement Barack Obama.
So how do we find separation between them? How do we determine the good, better, best replacements for Obama?
Leadership and the Intangibles
This is one way, for to my mind, it is a major concern to voters since, for over a year we’ve heard the cry, “Give us a Leader!”
Of these candidates, who can best deliver on what they say, which requires enormous skills beyond merely identifying a problem? Marking a path forward, and then executing a plan, both require extensive c0llaboration and coordination in all sectors of government and the private sectors.
Who can best lead? Who can voters best trust to keep their promises? And who gets it, who really gets it? Who has that ability to step back and see the expanse of history, and America’s major role in changing it two hundred and thirty years ago, and the grave danger to America today?
The Rating system:
Below I have asked a series of questions about those intangibles. We will compile responses and continue to report them, and refine the poll as candidates drop off or new ones are added, until a single candidate is selected. The first primaries are in December.
We’re comparing only six (6) here: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Perry, Romney, and Santorum (listed here alphabetically). I won’t include unannounced candidates. Sorry.
Sorry, too, for you armies of Huntsman fans, but Huntsman is a Democrat-in-drag, and you Ron Paul fans, but his foreign policy is a non-starter to most Americans.
The System is simple: For each question, rank these six, 1 thru 6, as to who you think will perform the task best. In cases of a tie, say for No 1, give each a 1, but the next a 3, not a 2, just like rankings in a golf tournament.
1. Of the candidates, who do you believe will do best in a face-to-face debate with Barack Obama?
2.. From their speeches and debates, and from their past track records, who seems most able to lead; i.e, inspire others to follow:
a: in the Congress (i.e., presidential policy is no good unless the President can bring the Congress on board.)
b: The Private Business Sector
c: Ordinary Americans across the national spectrum(i.e., who can take his/her case directly to the People)
The President is the Chief Executive of the federal bureaucracy and has extraordinary powers in managing its policies, size, powers, and costs.
3. Since all the candidates have promised to reduce the size of the bureaucracy:
a: Who is most apt to keep their pledges?
b: Obama is famous for not being a finisher, i.e, finishing something he starts. Who is most able and apt to go the extra mile to find out where, and how, to reduce the size and power of the bureaucracy, since it is a multi-step process, requiring constant oversight?
c: In the final analysis, who is really able to fire tens of thousands of federal workers, which is the logical end to shutting entire departments down, emptying their buildings, and locking the doors?
4. Which candidate is most apt to have strong coattails to turn his/her election into another wave election, by listing all other GOP boats for the House and Senate?
5. Who best understands the true nature of where the American republic now stands vis a vis its history, its place in history, and the future of Liberty?
6. Who has the greatest vision for how America must innovate and move forward, in both the near term (4-12 years) and long term, over 1-2 generations?
7. Who most clearly understands the important link between American culture and American politics.
8. Who best understands American federalism, and the respective powers of both the federal government and the states, and is most insistent on governing by it?
9. Who will be most forceful in bringing to justice true criminal conduct in past administrations and Congresses?
10. Who is most apt to continue (or re-assert) a relentless pursuit against radical terrorism until it it finally brought to heel?
11. Who will be best at re-asserting American values and sponsorship of freedom and democracy worldwide?
12. Who will be more likely to stand up to hostile foreign leaders and foreign threats?
13. Who would be most likely to cut at least some funding to the United Nations?
1: 1. Gingrich 2. Cain 3. Romney 4. Santorum 5. Perry 6. Bachmann
2a: 1. Perry 2. Gingrich 3. Cain 4. S antorum 5. Bachmann 6. Romney
2b: 1. Romney 1. Cain 3. Perry 4. Gingrich 4. Bachmann 4. Santorum
2c: 1. Perry 2. Cain 3. Santorum 4. Bachmann 5. Romney 6. Gingrich
3a: 1. Cain 1. Santorum 3. Gingrich 4. Perry 4. Bachmann 6. Romney
3b: 1. Cain 2. Santorum 3. Perry 4. Bachmann 5. Romney 6. Gingrich
3c: 1. Cain 1. Santorum 3. Perry 4. Gingrich 4. Bachmann 6. Romney
4: 1. Perry 2. Cain 3. Bachmann 3. Romney 3. Gingrich 3. Santorum
5: 1. Santorum 1. Cain 1. Perry 1. Gingrich 1. Bachmann 6. Romney
6: 1. Cain 1. Gingrich 3. Santorum 4. Perry 4. Bachmann 6. Romney
7: 1. Gingrich 1. Santorum 3. Cain 3. Perry 3. Bachmann 6. Romney
8: 1. Gingrich 1. Santorum 1. Cain 1. Perry 1. Bachmann 6. Romney
9: 1. Santorum 2. Cain 3. Bachmann 3. Perry 3. Gingrich 6. Romney
10: 1. Perry 2. Gingrich 2. Santorum 4. Cain 4. Bachmann 6. Romney
11: 1. Perry 2. Santorum 3. Cain 4. Gingrich 4.Bachmann 6. Romney
12: 1. Perry 2. Cain 3. Santorum 3. Bachmann 3. Gingrich 6. Romney
13: 1. Cain 2. Perry 2. Gingrich 4. Bachmann 4. Santorum 6. Romney
Analysis of my scoring:
My final total scores (below) : Cain 31, Perry 38, Santorum 40, Gingrich 47, Bachmann 61, Romney 89
This is a poll of your biases, only asked in a different way, calculated to make each of us stop to see if our answers are consistent.
The Inspiration Scores: 2a-2b-2c:
Perry 5, Cain 6, Santorum 11, Gingrich and Romney 12, and Bachmann 13.
In my mind both Perry and Cain get the highest marks for actually being able to inspire confidence among voters, Cain seemingly more able to attack the bureaucratic mess in Washington, while Perry more broadly capable to also face down foreign threats.
As you can see I gave Romney a string of 6’s, which to me represents a “business as usual” presidency offering no meaningful shift in public policy or national direction one way or the other. He strikes me, like GWB, as a big government “conservative”, which in my view we cannot withstand much longer. I fully believe Romney can and will get the economy under control, but will pass much of the hard decisions onto future administrations, and of all the candidates, he has the greatest willingness to compromise with the big government ideologues. He conveys no sense whatsoever that he really appreciates the historical significance of the financial or overall political and spiritual crisis in this country. He seems to want the job, no more, no less than Warren Harding wanted his job in 1920. He is as un-urgent now as he was in 2008. Nice guy, he just doesn’t get it, in my view.
Still, he will be a vast improvement over the current occupant. I’m simply hoping we can do better.
Newt Gingrich was the toughest to score in many respects for he is spot on in everything he says and says it so very well. His matter-of-fact way of speaking would decimate Obama in debate. But his history indicates an inability to actually direct, lead or manage large, multi-tiered tasks, especially to be able to finish them. So his promises of results ring a little hollow. In a show down, I think he blinks.
Bachmann and Santorum are both qualified, but in almost every category there are at least two people who outshine them. Personally there is nothing about Congressman Bachmann that inspires me. For everything she says that needs to be done there are at least three on that stage who can do it better, first and foremost among them, defeating Barack Obama in debate. Of the candidates, she is the one I fear most could lose to him.
Herman Cain and Rick Perry, to my mind, are the top two choices. And yes, I have included in my thinking the other three who still may yet get in.
Now, let’s see how you do.
If yo want to comment, feel free. If you want to take the poll: Please do so in the comment space provided, in much the way I have, above, 1 thru 13, etc.
We’ll keep a tally.