Wednesday, July 11

An engineer attemps political analysis

I think things are on the rise for Ron Paul, especially after last week when it was revealed that after a Q2 donation boom, he's got more money on hand than John McCain. Furthermore it seems that McCain is on his way out as yesterday, four of McCains top campaign people quit.

I had a little fun putting together a table about the candidates:

Candidate

Asset

Liability

Hillary Clinton

already been president

she’s a Clinton

Barack Obama

youngish/hipness?

no experience

Al Gore

seasoned and well-known

sound of voice/one issue

John Edwards

dashing good looks induce the vapors in voters

all style; average people don’t care for rich guy who says he’s a poor guy

Bill Richardson

got the credentials and executive experience

he's quite Fred Flintstonesque

Candidate

Asset

Liability

Rudy Giuliani

America’s mayor

going to get swiftboated with 9/11 response mistakes and personal life

Fred Thompson

an actor, therefore very Reagany

Watergate, not very smart “but he’s friendly” said Nixon

John McCain

War experience

bet on success of failed immigration bill and Iraq, compromises too much

Mitt Romney

was a governor

GOP’s John Edwards

Ron Paul

fiscal policy

anti-war

Tommy Thompson

several term governor, cabinet secretary

“generic older white man” campaign has failed to excite voters


Like I listed, I think for Paul his 20 year record of low taxes and small government make him stand out. As I recall, Republicans are always talking about making the taxes low and the government small. He dominates in cyberspace, but he/they/us need to figure out how to turn that into name recognition in meatspace.

For Republicans that have heard his stand, I think the anti-war thing turns people off. Excluding him, it's black and white between the GOP and Dem candidates on Iraq. I'm not for any kind of immediate withdraw but Paul makes the case that for the past 50 years, when something over there goes wrong, we stick our hand in deeper, intervening, and then when they get upset and do something, we wonder why it happened. That's what he was saying when Giuliani confronted him during one of the debates.

From among the other candidates, Rudy is hanging by a thread--all of the positive feelings from 9/11--while people have overlooked his personal life. On MSNBC they were starting on him by talking about how they put the command center in the bottom of the World Trade Center, they sent in people to help without worrying about air quality, etc.

There's no love here. He's said some pretty discomfort-inspiring things:

We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

"Freedom" says wikipedia, in case you're curious, "is the right, or the capacity and ability, of self-determination as an expression of the individual will." I guess at least he's against socialized healthcare, though if we're going to go totalitarian, what's the point of holding out, I'd rather have it with a side of socialized medicine anyway.

John McCain tied his campaign to supporting the president. It's obvious that the support the president had is eroding considerably and sinking with it is his candidacy. I can't tell what the main support driving Romney is exactly. Isn't he the 'double Guantanamo' guy? Besides going on vacation with his dog in a cage tied to the roof, belonging to a, how to say without offending anyone, non-mainstream religion, and a little flip flopping, there really isn't anything too big holding him down.

I think Fred Thompson's still got the glow since he hasn't announced yet so he hasn't had to take a stance or answer questions. Also being an actor, he's likely somewhat good at telling people what they want to hear in a way they want to hear it. His skeletons are from Watergate and apparently Nixon said that he wasn't very smart. Perhaps people like him because he seems like a nice, simple guy who couldn't do too much harm. That really hasn't panned out with the current administration.

It's been floating around the past few days, especially on Drudge, that the White House is floating around how to get out of Iraq. Once we're on the way out of there, the war wouldn't be much of an issue. (That's why the democrats are so pushy about it. They want it lost by the election, so it doesn't impair them.) If it happens soon, I think it would benefit Paul because then his major barrier for a typical republican would have evaporated.

So then, the only thing is that Ron Paul needs to get his name out there somehow, so far it seems like most of his support growth is coming from word of mouth and not just hearing his name like the other candidates. It's a little disappointing that the media ignors all but the main few candidates. They don't talk about them because they're fringe candidates yet they wouldn't be fringe candidates if they reported on them more. But, this'd be the perfect time to talk about all the candidates.

On the bright side, Ron Paul stands out and his support seems to be solid. I think the differences between the McCains, Rudies, and Romneys are small and for the most part superficial.

I hope I don't sound like I've been sipping kool-aid. Like Ron Paul says, "Freedom is popular."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I hope I don't sound like I've been sipping kool-aid."

Not at all. A very well-reasoned, logical post. I was also wondering how our withdrawal from Iraq would affect the votes. But I don't know if it'll help the pro-war candidates because I'm sure they knew we were pulling out before the elections and their "tough stance" may appeal to many Republicans. However, getting the "war stance" factor out of the debates would probably enhance Dr. Paul's position quite a bit because, compared to the others, he is the only genuine fiscal, small-gov't conservative. I think the latter sounds more rational.

Erik Opsal said...

I like most of your few word answers on assets and liabilities. I think Obama's asset is also little experience (not "no experience," he has been in politics for 11 years -- Kennedy was for 14 years, but in the House instead of state Senate).

Bill Richardson liability is that he's just a moron. Fred Thompson's is that he's lazy. He did nothing in the Senate at all. Glad to see you realize the potential for swiftboating Giuliani for being a complete moron.

Anonymous said...

And this is how we elect our first black president of amerikkka.