Well, the 2008 Iowa caucus has passed into history, and I find myself yet again casting about for a candidate…and the GOP field, while all have multiple strengths, has yet to excite me. Well, except for Rudy, and after Iowa I think he be in more trouble than he realized.
I had settled on Rudy as a result of his strength in the days of 9/11, his crime busting record, and his time as Mayor of NY. After reading Prince of the City, I thought this guy has the stuff to step into a situation and take control of it. I know the record was not pleasing to everyone, but I liked what I saw.
But I was unsure of his strategy of essentially taking a pass until Florida. It was the old inside straight strategy, a risky contrivance at best. Then you read even high level analysis of the Florida electorate (such as this one by AIAW), and my concerns become less about his political ability than his political viability.
Then came Iowa…and when a candidate scores 3%, you have to wonder. We always knew Rudy was going to take it in the chops in the Hawkeye State. Rudy claims to be running ahead in lots of big states…and that come February 5 he will leap into the lead. So, at some level all is well.
But 3%? That is below what I thought he would do.
But while ruminating on the way in this AM, I realized that while my concerns about Rudy are bothersome what is equally bothersome is that no one else in the field really leaps out to seize my attention as a #2 choice.
Huckabee will be impressive on the stump, but his tax ’til you drop view of government is not consistent with GOP doctrine. Also, I remember Mike Dukakis and Willie Horton. I suspect Huckabee’s pardon’s and the deaths that followed will be grist for the campaign mill both in terms of leadership qualities and judgement. Can you say “Willie Horton”?
Romney’s Mormonism does not not concern me…his seeming lack of genuine commitment to any idea does. He seems to have had so many changes of opinion that they out to call his campaign busses “Saul”, “Road”, and “Damascus”. He is incredibly lucky-his “tar baby” comment could have been as devestating as his father’s “brainwash” comment in 1968.
That leaves Thompson and McCain. The former doesn’t seem to be running for office…genially strolling is more like it. I tend to like folks who, once they commit, want to take the hill. McCain…well, he didn’t excite me in 2000, and he really doesn’t do it for me now…except for his brief stint as a SNL host.
Rudy can clearly still do it, but by putting off serious heat until 2.5.2008…and if his strategy combined with early losses leaves me Rudy-less, it also leaves me rudderless.
I can vote for any of these guys, but they aren’t as yet firing me up…and I have to wonder if that is the case with other folks, too.