Y’all have been hitting an older debate post today, so let me scramble a few thoughts.
I want to think this might be the go-round for Ron Paul. I want to think his message is resonating. I want to think he has a realistic shot at the nomination. I want to be excited about supporting him. See, though, I thought all of that stuff last time, and he got pasted. I think I remember that Lea and I were two of 14,000 people in the entire state of Alabama who voted for him in the primary.
I thought Rick Perry would shake things up, and he did make some racket for a couple of weeks. But do you really think his heart’s in it? His most lasting impact may be his enabling Michele Bachmann to damage her chances so severely. Rhetorically, she went much too far—really, flirting with self-parody—with “government needles” and “little innocent 12-year-old girls.”
Newt…sheesh. Newt’s Newt. He’s the smartest person in most rooms, but remains much too tarnished by personal static and pomposity to be a credible candidate. (Still pretty much on board with this, which I wrote more than four years ago.) I hope this is the last time he runs, but I hope we continue to hear from him.
My favorite Herman Cain is surging lately, both on the popularity of his 9-9-9 plan and his Herman Cainness. (Wow, you just try not to like that guy.) Alas, his increased support is, of course, only the latest evidence of the seething racism underlying the Republican Party. (See also its misogyny in running Sarah Palin as a candidate for Vice President.)
I think today, Cain has the best shot of seriously challenging Mitt Romney. While I’ll certainly take a Romney presidency over four more years of The One (actually, I think I’d take a Hasselhoff presidency over four more years of The One), I’d rather Cain get the nod. That still feels uphill to me, though. What do you think?