Reaction to Florida’s Primaries

Well, Giuliani’s big gamble did not work. He spent all his efforts in Florida and some of the Super Tuesday states only to have his early poll lead chiseled away by McCain and Romney. I’d be highly surprised if he did not drop out of the race by the end of the week. While I previously posted about how I didn’t feel that I could trust him, after researching his stances on issues, I learned to at least respect him more. I still disagree with him on issues but I think that he had good ideas for economic policies and would have done well in the international scene.

Huckabee did not do well in Florida. He got some of the evangelical vote but overall did poorly. I’m glad that members of the Republican Party see through him (well, a lot of us do). His one-liners and quips revealed that there is not a lot of substance to his platform. I heard him make a comment after the Florida results were in that his supporters should make sure they all go out and vote and that they should keep people who are not going to vote for him in their driveways. I know it was said tongue-in-cheek but that was not one of the more brilliant things that he’s said. He plans on staying in the race for some unknown reason. He’ll do fairly well in the South but nowhere else. He certainly would not compete well against any of the Democratic candidates in a general election. It’s time for him to drop out of the race. Maybe he thinks he’ll have a come-back but the cynical part of me also thinks that he might just stay in the race because he takes votes away from Mitt Romney. That is probably not true but I can’t deny the possibility that anti-Mormon bigotry is playing such a large role. Anyone who thinks that the LDS Church would suddenly control Washington should Romney win does not know LDS theology. Anyway, Huckabee also could be staying in to try and be in a position to be chosen as a running mate.

McCain had a big win in Florida. He jumped into 1st place in the delegate count; he’s ahead of Romney by about 20 delegates now, which is not a lot but he is polling ahead of Romney in California. Also, with Giuliani’s endorsement, he will take up a majority of Giuliani supporters. I have a lot of respect for McCain and for his even-mindedness and “gut.” I think he’ll do well against any of the Democratic candidates should he receive the Republican nomination. I do not like the personal attacks he made against Romney though. Romney started the negative campaigning but it was always negative about candidates’ actual past performance and their stances on issues. McCain started the personal attacks on Romney though (Huckabee was involved as well). McCain was the first to use language that questioned Romney’s character or his integrity (for example, “if you wrestle with a pig you only get dirty” referring to Romney as the pig. That statement was way below the belt. Romney is by far the most squeaky-clean of the candidates). He was also the main candidate who called Romney a “flip-flopper,” which is completely untrue. Romney has changed stances on issues (although they were mostly when he was still governor or even before then) but to “flip-flop” you have to repeatedly change back and forth. Romney has “flipped” on some issues but that’s it. McCain has done the same and should not be pointing fingers. Of course, many people involved in the mainstream media also can’t resist trying to paint Romney as a “flip-flopper.” It’s disingenuous at best and slander or libel at worst. Campaigns tend to be ugly, unfortunately, but there’s no room for outright lies. Granted, Romney shouldn’t be calling McCain’s policies “the liberal Democrat way” but that certainly is more accurate (McCain is moderate and thus has a lot of policies that are “liberal”) than calling Romney a flip-flopper.

Now to Mitt Romney. He’s still in the race. He had strong support in Florida – not as good as would have liked – but he came in a solid second. He also solidly won the conservative vote. McCain won the majority of liberal and moderate Republican votes but Romney won the conservative majority. Romney will do well in a number of states on Super Tuesday. He has Utah in the bag. I think he’ll do well in the other Rocky Mountain states, the Midwest, and in the Northeast. It looks like McCain will win California and Arizona, although this win in Florida will certainly give him momentum. McCain will be tough to beat. Whats hard to understand though is why the conservatives in the Republican Party (who are a majority) aren’t widely supporting the one candidate who espouses the range of conservative values – Mitt Romney. I also don’t get why so many more people think that McCain is more likable than Romney. McCain is likable but I don’t think he’s any where near as likable as Romney. Of course, I’m biased but I also try not to be swayed by media’s portrayal of candidates, which in Romney’s case is generally negative.

The Democratic contest was just for show. Clinton was the overwhelming winner but her win was symbolic. Hopefully Democrats see through her and stop voting for her. She has had too many scandals in the past and has been involved in too many underhanded maneuvers to be completely trusted. I think that people support her in part because they are nostalgic for her husband. I don’t think that that many people are really all that nostalgic for Bill Clinton as they are for the 90s. The 90s was relatively peaceful and prosperous. People associate that with Pres. Clinton and Hillary gets to bask in the reflected glory. Bill Clinton gets all this credit for the prosperity of the 90s when it really was not his doing. If people give him credit for the prosperity of the 90s they also have to give him credit for the recession that started in 2000 and continued for a couple years into Pres. Bush’s presidency. Economic forces are bigger than the Presidency. So, I think that people like Hillary because they think that she would be another Bill Clinton. It’s a misguided nostalgia. I think that Obama has so much more to offer than Clinton does. Democratic voters need to see that. Of course, part of me wants to see Clinton nominated because I think she’d be easy to beat. That’s not what I really feel though because I think the best candidate should be nominated and for me that’s Barack Obama.

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