Thursday, June 07, 2007

Presidential Sweet

I already mentioned the amazing video of Giuliani's response during the lightning round of questions, now I will try to bring out more detail of the other candidates from the New Hampshire debate.

Once again, Ron Paul's internet presence is being felt as he is sweeping the debate scorecard (the meaningful ones anyway) winning the votes by 58%. I wasn't as impressed by Dr. Paul's performance this debate. His knowledge of actual issues is unmatched, and is one of the few believable candidates. But he turned in what looked to be a one-trick pony for this show. His answers were good, but when he said the undeclared war was the greatest moral issue of our time, that seemed a bit over the top.

However his answer on gays openly serving in the military was dead on. It isn't about orientation, but about disruptive behavior. See my post on military conduct for more details. The military has the right to ensure the safety and readiness of their soldiers. Immoral and disruptive behavior work against that readiness.

Romney was very disappointing even for someone who already dislikes him. He should have been part of the Democrats debate (yes we watched that too, at least the half of it we could stomach.) He blathered on and on turning most every question into a black hole about how the Republicans were the party of the future. Don't ask what I mean because I couldn't figure out what he meant, other than he had little to say and took too long saying it.

Giuliani continually went over the time limit and ignored the moderator with more of his politico-speak. Not much substance and everything seemed related to him being the most capable of protecting our nation. McCain was on the defensive most of the night because of the amnesty bill he co-sponsored with Ted Kennedy. Someone pointed out that he had more in common with Kennedy than with the Republicans. So he stumped and he whined about that every chance he got.

Jim Gilmore finally got something of substance right when he was asked about global warming. He pointed out that the Kyoto treaty was more about financing Russia and China than protecting the environment. Tancredo has some wonderful points, but I pity him when he has to speak. He stammers and pauses and winds his way around some great ideas, but by the time he is done, the concept is mostly lost. Tommy Thompson got an infusion of charisma and actually looked comfortable on stage.

Excluding the rest of the candidates giving Rudy "sparky" Giuliani a wide berth, the best lines of the debate were between Huckabee (or Hucklebee as my kids say) and Hunter. Huckabee was asked whether he believed in evolution or in a 6 day creation as the Bible says. The former minister proved his credentials by giving a 60 second sermon on what most Christians believe. Namely that we don't know the "how" of creation, but we know the "Who" and the "why". Did God make it in six literal days, or 6 millennial days? Huckabee said he didn't know. But he did know that there is a God that loves us and that created us for his purpose. Amen to that pastor!

Hunter is still the king of the hawks, but I would say maybe more of a mother hawk. He is genuinely concerned for the security of OUR nation. He would be a great Secretary of Defense. But his line came when asked if he would pardon Scooter Libby. He responded that he had not read Libby's transcripts, but that he had read some others, those of border agents Ramos and Campion. He said he would immediately pardon these two who have been jailed for doing their duty and protecting our border.

Brownback also had a worthwhile comment. When asked about evolution, he showed his well researched Catholic roots by mentioning that the college hosting the debates was named after St. Anselm and one of the things he was known for was seeking faith through reason. Brownback stated that faith and reason are not opposed to one another. If we find that they are, we need to check either our faith or our reason.

Too sum it up, the big three were unimpressive to downright worthless. Ron Paul was good if somewhat limited and many of the others continued to bring out great points. Hopefully this will resonate well and help shape the platform for whomever is nominated.

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