Monday, August 1, 2011

Slim Pickings? (Part III)

Rudy Giuliani (Odds to win the nomination: 15:1 – 33 points) is not a favorite of social conservatives, but he is a favorite of independents. Giuliani has name recognition and his entry into the race will make things that much more difficult for social moderates, such as Gary Johnson, to win the nomination. Giuliani could arguably do the best of all contenders with independent voters. Giuliani is also the best candidate to lead this country in times of crisis as he showed with handling of the 9/11 situation in New York City. And for this reason, Giuliani will be a hawk on terrorism policy to keep the U.S. safe. Giuliani, to certain extend is damaged goods based on his dismal performance in the 2008 nomination process, but he may have learned from his mistake to place all his eggs in the Florida primary. Giuliani is a proven executor and has shown the ability to govern effectively in a blue state. Giuliani is fiscally sound and that bodes well for him since the 2012 election will be run on the economy and our fiscal debt crisis. If a Giuliani nomination would bring New York into the conservative win column; that would be huge – but highly doubtful.

Rick Santorum (Odds to win the nomination: 40:1 – 17 points) is a strong social conservative and feels these issues should be front and center. Santorum spent 4 years in the House of Representatives and 12 years as a Senator representing the state of Pennsylvania. The Santorum Amendment proposal to “No Child Left Behind” legislation best describes Santorum’s ideology. The amendment would have required schools to discuss the controversies around for example, the theory of evolution. Santorum also coined the phrase “Islamic fascism” so it is no surprise that he is for enhanced interrogation techniques and even feels taking military action against Iran should be on the table. The problem with Santorum is that he is not that polished and comes off as being angry in debates and discussions. This will undoubtedly turn many voters off, as will the fact that Santorum has minimal experience as an executor or as a business owner.

Gary Johnson (Odds to win the nomination: 40:1 – 29 points) is a social moderate candidate who believes in a woman’s right to choose and is in favor of the decimalization of marijuana. As Governor of New Mexico Johnson had a great record on cutting taxes, bureaucracy, and spending. Johnson vetoed over half of all bills in his first year to cut spending. Johnson’s competitiveness, drive, desire, ambition, and overall willingness to succeed can be seen in his outdoor interests. He has run dozens of marathons and even climbed Mount Everest. Johnson may be the antithesis of Santorum both politically and socially, while Santorum is confrontational, Johnson is much more reserved. In fact, if Johnson is to have any chance during the nomination process he will need to be more aggressive. A Johnson nomination would put New Mexico in play for the GOP.

Rick Perry (Odds to the win the nomination: 8:1 – 33 points) is another Tea Party favorite and can attract social conservatives. Perry has been successful running the Texas economy over the past 10 years with record growth. Businesses and individuals continue to flock to the Lone Star State because of its “business friendly” laws – less regulation and lower taxes. Perry should be a favorite to win the nomination, but he has a lot of negatives to overcome. Perry must overcome his past remarks about succession from the union – those are not the words of a problem solver. Perry must differentiate himself from the unpopular George W. Bush – many wrongfully view Perry as the second coming of Bush. And finally, Perry must answer to some of the budget and fiscal problems facing the Texas legislator. However, Texas, unlike many states facing fiscal crisis, has a slush fund.

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