The Day The People Debate

Today (well, tonight) is the “big event” here in Iowa.

Last week I went to CompUSA because they are closing the store shortly, and were having a big sale to close out their inventory.  My wife and I went with anticipation of finding some great deals on software and equipment that we could take advantage of only to be disappointed in two ways.  1) Many of the things we came to buy, some of which I would have paid full price for anyway, were already long gone.  2) The discounts at the store were pathetic.  At the door, the sign said “10-20% off original prices”.  Most items were, of coursse, 10% off.  But the computers themselves were only 5% off!  I’d have complained or even contacted the BBB, but what good would that do when they’re closing their doors?  I almost bought an Office 2007 upgrade, but I think I can wait for a sale at Best Buy and get a better price.  Needless to say, we walked out disillusioned, disappointed, and did not buy a thing.

That’s kind of how I feel right now about the Republican field of candidates.

I don’t have the time today to go into all of the thoughts I have about all the candidates.  And I say this knowing full well that 10 months from now, I could be in the position of voting for one of these guys.  With two exceptions, I am simply not impressed enough with any of the candidates to stand up and support them with this time (and frankly, I feel a need to point out major foibles to make cases against them).  I think Giuliani, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are simply bad for the party and the country.  I honestly don’t know know enough about John Cox and Duncan Hunter to support them… lacking a substantive campaign infrastructure makes it hard to know much about them or see them as being ready enough experientially to take on the Presidency.  Alan Keys is right on a lot of his positions, wrong personality (he just doesn’t communicate well… and he was an ambassador.  Go figure).

Mike Huckabee has said some good things, I think he is a sincere Christian man, he lacks credibility with people and doesn’t always know what he’s talking about.  There’s a good chance he will come out on top tonight.  I don’t think he’s ready to be president.

John McCain has also said some good things, and his campaign kind of hit me blindside (the Des Moines Register endorsement really surprised me, although it makes me suspicious too).  He is not as focused on domestic issues as I would like to see him.  I appreciate the fact that he does not easily cow-tow to the party.  I am not sure he is conservative enough for me.  I am a little concerned about his age.  John’s military experience is a definite plus.  John is my second choice.

Fred Thompson has said some good things, but has appeared to be quiet.  The press has not focused on him as much and at times ignore him.  I think the only reason they ignore Fred is because they’re afraid if people could get a good look at him, they’d support him.  He is perceived by some (including myself) to be the most or only real conservative voice in the debate right now.  I think Fred is right on most areas I’ve seen him speak on.  He is extremely thoughtful, does not tend to just react with the first thing that happens to pop into his head (something most of the others seem to do routinely).  When I think about the president, I think about two key areas: Foreign Policy and the Military.  The President is the ultimate negotiator with other world leaders.  The President has direct control over the deadliest military power in the world.  I always have to think “Do I want this person having their finger on the button?”.  “Do I want this person dealing with the President of Russia?”.  Fred has what appears to be the levelest head and the experience in the Senate to know what he’s talking about and the right thing to do.  Fred doesn’t lean very hard (it doesn’t seem) on his staff when it comes to what he says or does.  He will probably not hit the numbers well.  He polled in at 9% (as did Ron Paul) in the final Iowa Poll.  I think you have to be flashy and say things people want to hear to get noticed.  Fred says and I think would do the right things.  Fred is my first choice.

Thank goodness polls are just polls.  The good news is that anything can happen tonight.  The bad news is that anything can happen tonight.  I’m a little disappointed in the fact that most people I know aren’t planning to caucus… and these are people I’d really like to see contributing to the debate.  Unfortunately, it seems the tone of the campaign and the sheer volume of annoying phone calls and mail pieces for support or polling are driving people away from the process.  It will be interesting to see who is at my precinct caucus tonight.
However it turns out, I think it will be an eventful evening.  And tomorrow will be even more interesting as the media tries to decide what the results “really mean”.

If you live in Iowa, please caucus.

About the Author

Mr. Smith is the Publisher of The Conservative Reader. He is Partner/Owner of Ambrosia Web Technology as well as a Systems Architect for Wells Fargo. Art hold a degree in Computer Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a political blogger at the Des Moines Register. Art's views are purely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wells Fargo.


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