Here's my take on MA Governor Mitt Romney - Romney is no worse than any other politician. By that I mean, he tailors his speeches to the audience immediately in front of him, and he tends to favor big business interests (over those of the workers who MAKE big business successful) because he IS a part of "big business". Throw his religious belief system into the mix - which many devotees of our assorted "mainstream religions" consider to be a "cult" - and, his public image, which is perceived as all too malleable, and you have the recipe for failed acceptance at the national level. Romney polls at around 20% today.
Socially, Romney may be a really fun guy! I wouldn't know, since we've never partied together. But, IF he runs, it won't be for the office of "Entertainment Director"! He fails to project either the COMMITMENT or the STRENGTH which we so badly need in our national leadership. As a garden- variety Republican, he is also hampered by the public perception of the GOP - which is best described as "The Party of Gutless Wonders". And... there's not a nickel's worth of difference between Obamacare at the national level, and Romneycare in Massachusetts. If Romney turns out to be the GOP nominee, I am greatly tempted to NOT waste my time voting in 2016. I must have SOME level of confidence in a nominee before I will vote for him/her.
Dr. Ben Carson
Dr. Ben says all the right things that conservative Americans want to hear… but, he has a few things working against him.
1. Dr. Ben is black, and our perception of a black president has been woefully "colored" (no pun intended) by His Imperial Highness, Barack (Hussein Obama) I. Rightly or wrongly, it will take a significant amount of time for the stain of Obama to fade from our collective memory.
2. Dr. Ben is a political "dark horse" (again, no pun intended). He has no experience in what I refer to as "power politics". Yes, there is politics of some sort involved in almost every field of endeavor. Large hospitals are quite political, but the level of political experience compared to national politics, is like comparing a AA minor-league baseball farm team to the major league pennant holders.
3. Until 2014, Dr. Ben was absolutely unknown outside the medical field. He is polling only in the 6%-7% range today.
However… someone who is not a professional politician, may be exactly what this country needs to get us off the fast track to Socialism, and back to our Constitutional roots. It doesn't look at all promising for Dr. Ben at this juncture… but, "it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings." I would vote for Dr. Ben over almost any of the other so-called "GOP frontrunners".
Governor Bush - I'm sorry… but, I believe that the USA has had all of the Bush family that it needed. George H. was fairly competent, and George W. was… different. "Gee Dubbya" as he became affectionately known, was seen as more… human, more approachable, more down-to-Earth than were his predecessors. He impressed me as the "guy next door" type, who would loan you his lawnmower, and then invite you in for a cold beer when you were done. He was reelected, but then, incumbents rarely lose - only 9 ex-presidents (who were not assassinated, or otherwise incapable of seeking a second term) share that distinction. Jeb was notably unremarkable as the Governor of Florida, and would probably be equally, if not more - unremarkable in the Oval Office. He is polling at between 10% and 23%, so let's call it at mid-point -16% - just to simplify things. Jeb leans noticeably to the left, and I therefore see him as an unlikely victor.
Governor Christie's name is recognized, but his actions - or failures to act - have not been (at the national level). This could work either for, or against him. Physically, he is somewhat gibbous - we have not had an obese president since William Howard Taft. His political career has been somewhat less than stellar, and he will be remembered no longer than the previous Governor of New Jersey (whoever that was). His eight year tenure is most remembered for the wide-ranging corruption probes which eventually led to the convictions of 130 officials from all levels of the state government. That will be his "legacy"… which was heretofore unknown outside of New Jersey. Christie is polling between 6%-13%, so let's call it 9%.
Senator Rand Paul (R -KY) is a self -professed constitutional conservative, who launched his Senatorial campaign in 2012, and within 24 hours of his announcement, created political online history in Kentucky when his campaign collected over $430,000 in donations. Paul is a relative newcomer to politics, and somewhat of a "maverick", who tends to drift away from the "party line" when he is so moved. Personally, I like the idea that he is a constitutional conservative, inasmuch as there are too damned few of those in our national legislative body! His father, Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), has a reputation of being somewhat unpredictable, which makes him a political maverick also. "Mavericks" are not well-received in national politics because of their tendency to "march to a different drummer", which - in many instances - limits the "GOP establishment" support for their efforts. Rand Paul is currently polling between 6%-9%, so I'm calling it 8%.
Other Potential GOP Nominees
The recall elections were held June 5th, with Walker defeating Barrett. Walker was thus the first U.S. governor to continue in office after facing a recall election.
The recall election was just the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history and the only one in which the incumbent was not defeated.
Anybody that has the cojones to take a stand against the AFGSME, and their voracious appetite for more money and benefits at the taxpayers expense, is OK in my book. Walker is considered a "sleeper" for the 2016 Presidential Elections. We could do a lot worse!
My "Bottom Line"