Wednesday, October 19, 2011

THE SHOWDOWN IN VEGAS: Bachmann - "Taking Care of Business"

The  biggest advantage  Barack Obama has over the current crop of GOP Presidential contenders is that by running unopposed for the Democratic nomination, he doesn't have to endure initial intra-party mud that is currently being slung by Republicans vying for their party's nomination. While Mitt Romney and Rick Perry exchanged a barrage of personal insults at last night's Republican debate, President Obama (for now) has the advantage of standing back and at least appearing Presidential.
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Like many pre-primary showdowns over the years, last night's Republican event in Las Vegas was less of a debate and more of a high profile, last gasp commercial for candidates considered to be "dark horses" and to offer a knockout opportunity for the perceived front-runners. Ultimately, I don't believe that either objective was accomplished.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum administered a few significant jabs, however, he failed to harness a (much-needed) "Hermanator-like" opportunity.

Following what some consider to have been a couple of lackluster recent debate performances, Texas Governor Rick Perry needed to appear strong, confident and "Presidential" in order to regain his "mo." He accomplished neither -- unless you believe that appearing mean-spirited and bullying one's opponent is indicative of being strong, confident and Presidential.

Former Massachusetts Governor and longtime GOP favorite Mitt Romney also failed to the "close the deal." And although he walked unscathed to a degree and in my mind ultimately will get the nomination, certain demon issues such as immigrant lawn workers likely will continue to haunt him throughout the campaign.

Businessman Herman Cain has surprisingly soared recently in the polls, due in part to his con- troversial "9-9-9" tax plan. However, under closer scrutiny, that plan is seemingly becoming less appealing. And with his rambling about "apples and oranges" last night, Cain just may prove to be this year's "Ross Perot" -- hot for a moment, only to fizzle out further down the road.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul continued laying out specifics regarding his bold vision for the nation's future. However, despite the initial appeal of Paul's rhetoric, the perception remains in the minds of many that his message is simply too radical to connect with mainstream America.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came off calm, cool, knowledgeable and very "Presidential." Unfortunately, perception is reality. And in politics, as with all aspects of show-biz, perception is of paramount importance. In the 2008 Presidential race, Republicans nominated an experienced political leader and American hero. Unfortunately, when compared side-by-side with his young, svelte, rock star-like opponent, the perception of John McCain was that of a pasty, out-of-touch, old white guy. I doubt the GOP will want to relive that 2008 experience. 'Nuff said.

(President-elect Michele Bachmann!)
As for Michele Bachmann, the Min- nesota Congresswoman appeared strong, confident and experienced. She was focused on the issues without slinging mud and she too remained calm and cool throughout the two-hour face-off. In short, while the boys threw rocks and engaged in name-calling, Bachmann looked and sounded VERY "Presidential."

So who won last night's debate? Sadly, given the nasty bickering and back-biting among the candidates, I'd say that Barack Obama won hands-down!

-Christopher Long
(October 2011)
 

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