Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Watching the Republicans

I know this is almost heresy, but the Republican campaign is pretty interesting. You have five candidates still in the race after the first 3 primaries (4 if you count Wyoming, but no one does) and each of them is not quite the ideal Republican candidate. Each has strengths and weaknesses and plays to different elements in the Republican Party. You have (in alphabetical order):
  • Giuliani - the tough guy;
  • Huckabee - the preacher;
  • McCain - the maverick;
  • Romney - the businessman;
  • Thopmson - the 'heart throb'.
Of those five, Thompson is the one who appeals to the heart of the Republican Party, which is why I say he's a 'heart throb'. He says the right things, he looks commanding, he has presence, but ... Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like too many Republicans believe him or in him.

The others, however, all have defects that make them less than desirable to the Republican base. There are clear differences in each of them, differences in experience, emphasis and ideas. And these differences in emphasis and ideas make the campaign both entertaining - who doesn't like a close race? - and educational - the emphasis on the issues varies by region and by state, which allows us to learn something about what each candidate would do.

The Republican race doesn't have the sex appeal of the Democrats' contest, but for political junkies I think it's the better one to follow.