The time has come for Rick Santorum, John Huntsman, Michele Bachman, and Ron Paul to go home and wait and see if they get the phone call from the nominee to be the Vice Presidential nominee. Santorum has great substance and I think would be a very good and moral President but he is not going to win in Iowa and jump into the fray. Hunstman just needs to go home. He is way to the left of the Republican party and although he may have a good economic vision, it seems as though he sees the United States through the lens of a foreigner. Michele Bachman is smart and knowledgeable but is going nowhere. Herman Cain had a nice spike in the polls but the debate going on right now is showing that the President can’t approach the world the way a manager attacks his payroll.
It has become abundantly clear tonight that Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are the clear leaders in this debate. However the ticket should shape out, Gingrich/Romney or Romney/Gingrich, would be an excellent start in recapturing our drive and focus as a country. I think Speaker Gingrich has real grasp on the issues but to often he comes across as the college professor that he is. His command of history is impressive and he uses it well to guide his arguments but I am not yet convinced that he has changed his view of government. I think he has positioned himself well in the debates and has used the debates as the source as his surge, but as the media pressure begins to swell I wonder how well he can stand up to the assault that is getting ready to hit him. Simply putting out a website to answer the blitz is not a solution.
As to Governor Romney, I don’t know that it is so much that he can’t rally the Republicans to his side, I think it is more that the Right is really honing a platform for the final nominee to run on. His speeches on the stump and his November 4 speech really put his platform out there. The last debate (prior to tonight) saw Republican voters begin to warm to him. The difference between Gingrich and Romney is that Romney knows money. Newt knows policy better than Romney, but Romney is not foreign to that because of his time as Governor. I believe that Romney is running a national campaign and if elected will govern from the Right. If he can get the Tea Party to understand that, he wins the nomination and then the election. Gingrich doesn’t have the ground game that Romney has so that is a nod in the Governor’s favor.
I watched Newt today on C-Span discussing his campaign with an Editorial Board for a leading New Hampshire newspaper and he is cool and speaks in broad strokes. In that regard he is an idea man and that is reflected in his foundation. His grasp of the issues is strong but I think there is an issue of governance with him. Being Speaker of the House is not governing, it is legislating, and that is a different approach to policy and spending money. Romney has the managing experience as both the CEO of a company but also as the CEO of a state. That is experience that is invaluable when leading.
We shall see what shakes out from this debate tonight but I think the smoke is beginning to settle.