Monday, January 07, 2008

Ranking the GOP candidates

Here's my preference for the GOP candidates as of right now.

1. Thompson
2. Romney
3. Rudy
4. McCain
5. Huckabee

Despite my disagreement with the nativist positions of Thompson and Romney on amnesty for illegal immigrants (which I think is a losing issue for the GOP), I like the Thompson package of policies and personality the best. Romney would be my second choice and I could see him as an attractive general election candidate.

I still don't see how a pro-choice candidate like Rudy can ever get the GOP nomination. And if he does, I think a lot of the social conservatives will be demotivated in November. Still, if it were up to me he's my third choice.

Despite my deep differences with some of McCain's positions in the past, I admire his persistence and essentially I trust him more than Huckabee the Huckster who I think is a chameleon that's using an odious anti-corportate populist message. We already have one candidate like that on the Democrat side, John Edwards, we don't need one in the GOP.

By the way I think all of this talk of "change" is vastly overrated. Regardless of who wins in November there will be significant changes. Plus it's a tactic that's been used over and over again. Bush ran as a governor and an outsider to the beltway. He was going to raise the level of the discourse and work in a bipartisan manner. He has lived up to his end of the bargain and worked with people like Ted Kennedy to pass huge expansions of the federal government and liberals still hate him like poison. They aren't capable of saying, "I disagree with the war but I liked the Medicare Drug Benefit and the Education bill." So why bother trying to appease those blowhards. You need to attract independents to youe base by making convincing, rational arguments about the merits of conservative ideology, not try to water down conservatism in an futile attempt to appear "moderate". The moderates will sense the insincerity and the base will label you a traitor. Stand for something good and people will come around to your way of thinking.

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