cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
There is an interesting thing going on in the Republican Party as the candidates desiring to be nominated to run for the presidency debate. Gerald Seib discusses it in his Capitol Journal piece in today’s Wall Street Journal and validates what I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks.
Rick Perry, who has been the leader in polls virtually since he announced his campaign, has been reminding me of Ronald Reagan. Reagan was assailed by his party opponents but was popular with the people of his party. Perry has been subjected to the same and, so far at least, is popular with the people of his party. Perry isn’t a Reagan, but he is certainly reminding some of that conservative orator.
I wonder if Perry has begun to think of himself in the same way. He was less strident in his style during the debate on CNN last evening. He had a softer tone while tempering his earlier message on Social Security no doubt in reaction to the criticism from within his own party over the “Ponzi Scheme” comments of the preceding weeks.
Perry is obviously the leader in the eyes of his opponents since all continue to take their shots at him in their attempt to wrest the limelight. Romney is trailing markedly in the polls I see. The CNN poll shows Romney trailing Perry by 11 points, 32% - 21%.
Certainly there is much time remaining for gaffes that could change the dynamics, but there has been a real separation of the top two from all the rest. Huntsman will be out before long. Cain isn’t getting any traction that I can see. Gingrich was never going to get traction. Paul will hang on to his customary low double digit position as he has for several campaigns. Bachmann is struggling to the gain standing. Santorum is not making any progress.
Perry has some issues to overcome; among those are the STD (Gardasil) shots he brought into being by Executive Order for young girls in Texas. There were very sharp barbs aimed at him by Bachmann and Santorum last evening on this issue. Perry has baggage to be dealt with on immigration issues since he has been directly on that firing line governing Texas. He hasn’t had the ability to dodge those bullets during his tenure as governor.
If Perry’s momentum remains at this level or increases, he will be very difficult to defeat before Republicans select their presidential candidate.
The style differences between him and President Obama are stark and would certainly be exposed over and over during a presidential campaign. I find myself hoping to see the two fighting it out for the next term. I have not been able to warm to Mitt Romney and don’t believe that will ever be possible for me.