Rather than go into a long diatribe about every detail of last night’s GOP debate on Fox News (as I may do something related this weekend, for Monday’s column), instead I’m going to point out my ‘take home’ impressions of each of the candidates from last night.
John McCain: Right-on with the idea of improving the economy by cutting $400b in cash to terrorism sponsoring countries (unless we’re talking Iraq reconstruction, which the US is obligated to do, lest it turn into another Taliban-run post-Cold War Afghanistan). Needs to shut up about “global warming” and take a science lesson, though. Or maybe move out of Arizona, where he’s probably getting tired of 120F summers. Said to Hannity and Colmes in an interview afterwards, “It’s always nice being with you jerks.” And you know he means it, which is charming. But a 100 year old dude can get away with anything.
Fred Thompson: A friend of mine from Jersey messaged me while watching the debate recap, saying he had to get to bed because he had to get up early. I told him to leave the TV on because Fred was about to speak, and he’s Ambien in human form. Actually, more like general anesthetic. Elect this guy, and the terrorists will just go beddy-bye. He also needs to memorize more stuff so he doesn’t have to look at his notes all the time. Come on, Fred! You weren’t allowed to do that on Law and Order. Memorize the damn script! He did take a great shot at Huckabee, though, saying that HICKabee wasn’t citing Reagan principles, but rather those of the Democratic Party. Oh, burn!
Mitt Romney: Unfortch, Mitt’s the GOP’s John Kerry. Mr. Blow-Dry. He’s a smart guy, but there’s something stepfordesque that I can’t quite put my finger on. My friend in Jersey says Romney reminds him of the evil corporate guy in every single Japanese cartoon. That being said, I agree with many of his ideas — I’m just not convinced that he’s the type to actually carry them out, if elected. I just don’t see the same fire in him that I do in, say, Giuliani. But then again, a five-alarm blaze can’t match Giuliani.
Mike Huckabee: Sorry, but I just can’t get enthused about a guy who thinks women should be subservient to their husbands. Someone should ask him what he thinks about Hillary running, as a woman. Or even, given his remarks, how he feels about Condi Rice being Secretary of State. That would be interesting.
Rudy Giuliani: Has a mind like a Ferrari and can riff on any topic, off the top of his head — from the economy to foreign policy (an area in which many argued, at the outset, that he lacked experience as Mayor of New York). Wants to cut the corporate tax from 35% to 30%, which would be great for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Also would make the tax form a SINGLE PAGE. If Giuliani’s unable to connect with GOP primary voters, then there’s something seriously wrong with the way in which the leader of the free world is chosen. And in a night when Reagan was mentioned at least once by pretty much every candidate, Giuliani takes the coveted “Most Likely To Get Invited To The Gipper’s Ranch To Ride His Pony, Wendy” prize for reminding everyone that he actually worked for Reagan — as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. (Incidentally, Reagan really did have a pony named Wendy; I pet her myself at the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, and she’s a real sweetheart. But Reagan’s favourite horse was El Alamein — and I doubt he would have even let Rudy ride that one. Wow, maybe I should run for president!)
Ron Paul: Great on economic issues; clueless on foreign policy. Pollster Frank Luntz said he’s never seen the dynamic polling meter go as low as it did when Dr. Paul started talking about how Iran’s harmless. In an interview I did with Paul on Fox News last year, he went as far as to say that he didn’t see the problem with Iran having nukes. Yeah okay, bye bye.