random thoughts on ames: part 1

Ron Paul sounds more like he’s lecturing the country than he’s motivating the country.  Some of his good ideas get lost in the bizarre presentation. The problem is that the hard truths don’t usually come from the candidates who can win.  Activists don’t usually win elections as candidates.  Ron Paul sounds like an activist, as does the other unknown candidate, John Cox.  Ron Paul says America is becoming a tyranny.  There’s a difference between being a realist and being a scare-monger.  Ron Paul sounds a lot like Kucinich in his views on trade.  The Paulites are kind of scary.  I agree with Paul and Neil Boortz that we are becoming less free due to increased government bureaucracy. There’s a logical argument that we should focus more on the problems we face domestically than on foreign policy.  What sympathizers of Ron Paul’s seem not to understand is that we need a muscular foreign policy to allow us to stay free and prosperous, and to live the life that we are used to as Americans.

I love Mike Huckabee’s speech, even though he did rip off Newt’s Fed-Ex analogy on illegal immigration.  It’s more pep talk than lecture, and filled with enough one-liners to pack any campaign article.  He is missing his true calling – motivational speaker.  The audience absolutely loved him, and I hope that he sticks around until the end and shows well in Iowa today.  I don’t know why those who are supporting Huckabee are not concerned that he might be one of those “compassionate conservatives” who show compassion by the way they allocate money to federal programs and bureaucracy.  With all of Bush’s strengths, he has been weak on controlling spending.  If you are a person who is serious about that issue, Huckabee might not be your guy.  On the other hand, I’m not sure any of the top three are committed to reducing government spending either. Rudy is probably the most likely to do that, but do we really know for sure?  I don’t think we have that kind of candidate.

It’s a shame that Duncan Hunter hasn’t gotten more traction.  For conservatives, he’s the closest we have to everything we want.  He is a social conservative, and he’s strong on defense issues, including border security.  I’m not sure why his speech is focusing so much on trade and China.  The applause by the audience seems to be even for just about every candidate.  It’s hard to predict the results of the Iowa straw poll based on audience applause.  His best moments in this speech are when he talks about his area of expertise: border security.  Duncan Hunter ends with a shout-out to the military.  Always a quality option in Republican-friendly towns.

I missed Romney’s speech, but I’m sure there was nothing in it I hadn’t heard before.

Romney may win, as everyone is predicting, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a few surprises coming out of this straw poll.

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