Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Great White Hope? Nope.

Well, so I watched the Fred Thompson debate yesterday (at least that's what the media were calling it), and I must say that were I a Republican what I saw would have given me little comfort. It was Fred Thompson's moment in the sun, or at least it was supposed to be. And yet it really turned out more like the Mitt and Rudy show (which one was the cat and which the mouse, I'm still not sure).

The simple fact is that when you take away the slow zoom, the gel lens and the patriotic background music, Thompson just doesn't have all that much stage presence. He's certainly no Ronald Reagan. Most disheartening was probably his answer to Maria Bartiromo's question about the negative effects of a weak dollar on the U.S. economy. Fred seemed pretty clueless... not quite Miss Teen South Carolina clueless and not quite George Bush explains Tribal Sovereignty clueless, but certainly at a loss for words. In fact, he was only able to enumerate the benefits to the export sector of a weak dollar, but not the negatives, which is what the question was about (for the record, a weak dollar makes imports more expensive and makes the U.S. less attractive to foreign investors).

As for the other candidates, I continue to be impressed with Mitt Romney. I find his political views pretty much abhorrent, but the guy does exude an air of competence. And he's not a pie-in-the-sky ideologue or a confused theocrat. Had he been president these last four years I have little doubt that we wouldn't be in anything like the mess we're in today (of course you could say that about a Spongebob Squarepants presidency, too, or just about anybody). It's just too bad for the GOP that they've built their party on religious and ethnic bigotry, because Mitt the Mormon hasn't got a snowball's chance if he turns out to be the nominee. You can't win an election by appealing to unaligned voters and a handful of defectors from the other party but without the support of your base.

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