Monday, October 22, 2007

Florida Debate Debrief


For the most part on here, I've been quietly protesting the way to early start of the Presidential horse race by not really posting much about it. I've made comments on other blogs, but not too much here. Now that we are less than 75 days out from the first votes, I decided it is time to start engaging in the debate.

I still haven't decided on who I will support yet for the Republican primary b/c I'm still working out a couple of issues between my current top two choices. Last night's debate (two nights in a row with a 3am wake up and both worth it...GEAUX TIGERS!!!) definitely helped me in that endeavor. One thing is for certain that no matter who I decide to support in the PRIMARY, I will support the eventual nominee (I can say that knowing that Ron Paul has no chance b/c if he did, he would be the only one I would have to think twice about due to his foreign policy position).

Here is in order how I think they performed in last night's Fox News debate:

1. Rudy Giuliani - In my opinion, Rudy hands down won this debate. He was very clear, articulate, funny, and commanding. I could easily see myself following him and having complete trust in his leadership. What he did in NYC is amazing and he continues to do well by highlighting his accomplishments there.

His best line of the night was how he set up the agreeing that we can't afford Hillary answer. He totally sold it as if it was something serious and then nailed her on her comment that America can't all her ideas.

He is very consistent and even though I don't agree with him 100% on the social issues he is very solid states' rights and judicial appointments which is where those two issues need to be fought.

2. Mike Huckabee - Huckabee continues to surprise and has had a very good weekend starting at the Value Voters summit and now with this debate. He has some positions on illegal immigration and big government run health care issues come up recently that I'm needing more information on. After the debate Hannity started to press the illegal immigration issue, but unfortunately the answer got off topic.

As far as last night's debate, if he would have been given equal time as the top tier, I believe he would have won the debate, but he still did very good with the little time he had.

3. John McCain - McCain had a very solid performance and definitely delivered the most memorable and most powerful line of the whole debate. He said, "In case you missed it, a few days ago, Senator Clinton tried to spend $1 million on the Woodstock Concert Museum. Now, my friends, I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time." Obviously referring to being a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He rightfully got a standing ovation from the audience for such a masterful line, but also as a show of great respect for the tremendous price he paid so that those at Woodstock could do what they were doing.

In my opinion, all three of the above candidates gained ground from last night's debate. The next two candidates I think stayed about the same...no big gains but no big loses either.

4. Mitt Romney - After sleeping on the debate I really couldn't think of anything that Romney said. He was polished as always, well except for the hair out of place before the first break, but just didn't in any way stand out to me. He also completely dodged every question on his major flip flop on the social issues. That could have hurt him but that is what he has been doing the whole time. I really think the only reason he has any shot in this is b/c of his ability to self fund the race.

5. Duncan Hunter - I want so much to be able to support Hunter. The only slight issue I have with him is his trade policy ideas, but I could get over that. He just is getting no traction and at some point you have to face reality.

The rest of the candidates lost ground as a result of their performance.

6. Fred Thompson - While I don't think the late entry was the death blow, for his style of campaigning it may have been. He is just doing nothing to inspire me at all. He says all the right things and has all the right positions (well except TORT reform apparently as Rudy pointed out last night). He came off as very petty in his attacks during the debate. I know it is only his second debate and he is still getting his feet wet, but if he doesn't do something soon to get some major momentum, I think Huckabee is nipping at his heels to replace him in the top tier of candidates.

7. Tom Tancredo - He had a very good line that Pelosi is a bad Speaker of the House and would be an even worse Secretary of State, he really didn't have a chance to do much due to so little time. I so appreciate the focus he continues to put on the illegal immigration issue, but he just is overshadowed by the rest on all the other issues.

8. Ron Paul - He just keeps digging a deeper and deeper hole with his foreign policy stance. Pre 9-11, I may have been more inclined to give him a slight pass, but that just isn't a position I can support now. I really hope that he doesn't try a 3rd party run when he drops out of race. (oh oh...my first mention of RP...get ready for the invasion CT fans)

Well, there you have it. CajunTiger's quick and dirty take on last night's festivities. Hope it was as fun for you as it was for me =)

CT's blog friends also weighing in:

16 comments:

Mike's America said...

"I've been quietly protesting the way to early start of the Presidential horse race by not really posting much about it."

I've felt the same way. I didn't even bother to pay close attention to the first debates which were moer of a dog and pony show with too many candidates on stage.

"One thing is for certain that no matter who I decide to support in the PRIMARY, I will support the eventual nominee."

And unless those representing various candidates can do the same, I won't give them the time of day.

Flag Gazer said...

Great summation - I think you speak for many of us!

Emily said...

I haven't watched any of the debates- I just don't enjoy them- but I did see several of the candidate's speak at the AFP conference. I don't care for Rudy, but he did really well. As did Romney- whom I could at least see myself voting for if need be. I love Fred, but he continues to fail to impress. Huckabee did awesome at the conference, which I found surprising. But it appears that he is on an upswing- so that could be interesting.

Rob N. said...

sorry to say CT... but you are way off on Ron Paul...

RP is the only TRUE conservative of the lot. He may not have a chance because the rest of America wants big government, big American empire... but he is the only true social AND fiscal conservative that supports less government.

Go Ron Paul!

Cajun Tiger said...

Mike...I agree

Flag Gazer...thanks for dropping in

Emily...all definitely valid thoughts. Still time to decide but main thing is no matter who the candidate ends up being is that we all unite behind him to defeat the Dem.

Rob...first he is libertarian and not conservative to be more accurate. second i agree he is great on fiscal and social issues and I have no problem with him on those except wanting to make drugs legal. however, i fundamentally disagree with his foreign policy position post 9-11 and think it would be extremely dangerous and my opinion on that has only strengthened more this time over here due to stuff i'm seeing that unfortunately i can't talk about freely. I really hope you aren't going to support him if he goes 3rd party. I'd like think i know you a little better than that despite this very big surprise support of RP =)

Dee said...

Cajun:
I actually don't think we disagree that much. We totally agree on Rudy, and the fact that I was impressed with McCain at all shows how good he did seeing as I come into every debate with a huge chip on my shoulder against him. Our main disagreement is on Huckabee, which I have to say I am not getting his appeal AT ALL!!

I think it is interesting how everyone has a little different take. And like you the only person I wouldn't support is Ron Paul, I am horrified at how anyone in their right mind could have anything favorable to say about him.

This morning when I was talking about his cult following is all over the internet on the radio show my producer said that alls you need to be popular on the internet is money. It is a bizarre phenomenon.

Dee said...

Also, kudos to you for your commitment to get up at 3 am to watch this, extremely impressive and dedicated ;-)!!

Nick said...

Duncan Hunter IS the most qualified candidate in this race. In my asinine opinion, no one can argue different, plus I do have a few facts to back up that claim.

If not Hunter, then I want McCain. We need a REAL warrior to win the War on Terror, not another actor and/or career politician.

Rob N. said...

CT,

imho, it would be horrible for our country to have a pro-choice republican win the presidency. Giuliani will not get my vote. I would rather see a Clinton presidency than a Giuliani presidency, unless he ran as a democrat...

RP is getting my primary vote because many of these guys are democrats in republican clothing... You are correct about the Libertarian comment... I think that is even better.

He will get my vote in Nov if he runs 3rd party & he is running against Giuliani. Did you know RP has gotten the most donations from those in the military? He loves the Constitution... He doesn't like nation-building; I love Ron Paul! (I'm not delusional though, too many people love big gov't)

In Rob's order, I like: 1)Paul 2)Hunter 3)Huckabee 4)Tancredo 5)Thompson 6)McCain

Cajun Tiger said...

Dee...all good points as usual and yeah only major disagreement is Huckabee. You should watch his speech at the Value Voters conference this past weekend.

Nick...Hunter is my favorite candidate and I wish he were doing better. Now I'm hoping maybe he will get a VP nod to raise his name ID for a possible future run or maybe a SecDef position. And while I'm not as high on McCain for other reasons, the last speeches I've heard of his has ticked him up a little on my respect radar and would have a little less hard of a time voting for him if he were the nominee.

Rob...I'm very disappointed to hear you say that. We will definitely need to have some offline chats my friend =) There is no way that Giuliani can be worse than Hillary. I'm sorry but that is just not possible. His judges and states' rights positions are far superior to hers and that is where the most damage she will do to social issues we care so much about.

Rob N. said...

ct,

we know Giuliani's track record on social issues and they are not in alignment with ours...

not sure why you think his judge appointments are going to be good for the social issues we care about... don't be duped...

look forward to offline chats w/ the CT...

winning the party over to RP, one vote at a time...

Cajun Tiger said...

well i can promise you that you won't win me over to vote for RP. My only real goal is to get you to reconsider supporting the candidate no matter who it is b/c any vote for a 3rd party is a vote for Hillary.

And Hillary's position on social issues is better?

For judges, Rudy has said his model is Scalia, Roberts and
Thomas. Considering he doesn't pander on any other issues I absolutely do trust him on that were he to get the nod.

Rob N. said...

ct,

Back in April, Giuliani was interviewed by CNN reporter Dana Bash:

BASH: And many people see that as code to conservatives who say that means that he is giving me a wink and a nod saying he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. Do you want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

GIULIANI: Dana, I don't wink and nod. I'm a very direct person. I tell people what I think. Sometimes I get in trouble for it.

BASH: So what is the direct answer?

GIULIANI: The direct answer is, a strict constructionist judge can come to either conclusion about Roe against Wade. They can look at it and say, wrongly decided 30 years ago, whatever it is, we will overturn it. They can…

BASH: But what is your personal deal on Roe v. Wade?

GIULIANI: They can look at it and say, it has been the law for this period of time, therefore we are going to respect the precedent. Conservatives can come to that conclusion as well.

If Giuliani gets elected, pro-lifers can't complain that he lied to them about appointing "strict constructionist" judges. He'll be able to say that as he understands the term a judge can be a strict constructionist and still believe--as he does--that a woman has a constitutionally protected right to abortion.

Quoted from Joe Carter's blog: http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/archives/004009.html

Giuliani will not get my vote... and republicans should know that there are millions like me who will never vote for Giuliani, thus he can not win the general election...

Cajun Tiger said...

That has nothing to do with the judges personal belief...it has to do with their view of precedence of prior case law.

If those "millions" carry out their threat then start saying President Hillary Clinton, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid and say good bye to every thing we hold dear. Where did "sitting out" or protest voting get us in '06?

There is no way Giulani will be worse than Hillary and that is way more than just social issues. He will not decide social issue b/c he believes those issues should be decided by the states. Then you on top of that you add economic issues like taxes, you add foreign policy, you add personal liberties and Hillary will actively work to take away every right we hold dear and tax us into oblivion. Say hello to the fairness doctrine...say hello to no more secret ballots for union elections...say hello to federal gun bans...say hello to the UN deciding our foreign policy...you can stop me any time you are ready as to one area that Hillary will not be far worse than Rudy.

While I have major fundamental issues with RP, if you want to fight as hard as you can for him in the Primary that is fine. What I don't agree with is that any Repub candidate is worse than Hillary or any Dem and if RP were by some miracle to get the nomination as much as I disagree with him I would support him as the nominee and not go with a 3rd party or sit out which would hand the election to someone far worse.

Rob N. said...

CT,

I love your passion & explanation of the issues :)

However, I think it would be worse for the Republican party in the long-run if Giuliani were to win the presidency.

If what you say is true and Clinton wins and all that happens. It might be better in the long-run, because I think there would be a strong reaction just as there was in 1994. Remember? President Clinton... a Democratic Senate & House... and look what happened...

Our republicans blew it.. and that is why 2006 happened. The republicans abused power, and their control of the nations coffers... That is why they got their butts handed to them...

I will not pull the lever for someone like Giuliani. I respect his leadership, he did a great job in NYC during 9/11. But I cannot vote for him.

A lot can happen in the next 12 months... so there may be many surprises between now & then...

I'm not delusional... I know that RP won't win... but I'm not excited about any of our other choices. That being said, I don't think the dems have much to be excited about either... (Psalm 42:11)

Cajun Tiger said...

That argument makes a lot of sense and under most other circumstances I'd be inclined to not be so hard against it however I have two reasons I don't for this election.

First, we cannot afford to look weak right now in foreign policy especially as I've said in a post 9-11 world and there is not a single Dem that will be as strong as any Repub and especially not against Rudy.

Second, if the candidate were Bill Clinton or someone like him who was more concerned with his image, again you may have a point. However, Hillary is a true believer in all the left wing socialist ideas and she will fight to her last breath to see them all enacted unlike Bill who would compromise in a second if that is what the polls said the people wanted just so he would be liked. Hillary will care nothing for the polls once she is in office.

So, because of those main two reasons I think handing the election to Hillary by voting 3rd party is too dangerous for our country and our beliefs at this time in history and that is more important to me than the Republican party if as you say electing Rudy would ruin it.

I'm not sure I agree with that either though b/c it would show that we aren't a one issue party and that there is room under the tent for you even if you don't tote the line on EVERY issue but do still believe in the majority of issues then you are still welcome. The Republican party can't win with just social conservatives. It needs the fiscal, the neo, the strict constuctionist constitutional, and all the other conservatives and some help from the libertarians in a lot of places to be united and defeat what we all agree is the overall worst choice on the other side.

As I asked another RP supporter who very adament about about voting for 3rd party if Rudy is the nominee, would you have voted in '80 for Reagan? If you say yes, then you are being very hypocritical b/c as governor of CA, Reagan signed the most liberal abortion law in the nation at that time. So if the Republican party can "survive" Reagan, I think we will be ok with Rudy if he is the nominee.

Last point on this comment. As much as I'm giving support for Rudy in this thread, I have not once said I'm voting for him in the Primary yet b/c I haven't made up my mind yet. The point I'm trying to make is that no matter who the nominee is, including Rudy, he will be better than Hillary and voting 3rd party in protest will hand the election to the worse candidate. So the plea I always make is support whoever you think is best in the Primary as hard and as passionately as you feel led. However, after the primaires, admit defeat and work for the greater good of the country and not just the party.