Republican Runners and Riders – My Guide

With the New Hampshire Primary underway I thought it might be nice to take a (semi) serious look at the runners and riders for the Republican nomination and make a punt at who I think will be going head to head with Obama in the Autumn.

Mitt Romney

Smoother than a smooth thing in smoothville could it be second time lucky for the former Governor of Massachusetts? The early frontrunner and presumptive nominee Romney’s electoral strategy is to not say too much about anything on any given issue – thereby not upsetting anyone in the process. It is working for him so far – he was the narrow winner in Iowa and has a commanding lead in the NH primary, though expect the whole Mormon thing to hit him hard in the more ‘devout’ states.

Key policies – Low taxes, low government spending and teaching children sex is bad in schools (Abstinence education to give it it’s proper name)

Most likely to say – I am the only one who can beat Obama

Least likely to say – Anything that hasn’t been tested via at least a dozen focus groups

Michele Bachmann

Former darling of the tea-party and supposed successor to Sarah Palin is having a tough time of it. In fact so tough a time that, after scoring a paltry 5% in the Iowa caucus, she gave up and went home. So not strictly a runner or rider – but she was there at the start so I thought it polite to include her.

Key Policies – You have to remember that there is nobody, not even Norman Tebbit, in the UK that would stand on this platform. But here it is – The teaching of creationism in Science classes, banning of abortion – even in cases of rape or incest, phasing out medicare and social security, banning gay marriage or any legal equivalent.

Most likely to say – “(Gay marriage) is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, thirty years. I am not understating that.” I say most likely…because she did actually say it.

Least likely to say – I am giving up politics and leaving my husband to set up a commune with Wanda Sykes

Newt Gingrich

Old, tough, seasoned campaigner most famous for making Bill Clinton’s life a misery in the early 90’s. Was responsible for breathing life back into republican politics after George Bush Snrs surprise defeat but has perhaps over-egged his support in running for President. Is currently sitting fourth in the polls has a lot of ground to make up, fast. Ooh – also apparently. Bit of a ladies man. Yes, really.

Key Policies – Pro-Oil, Global warming sceptic. Is pro-life and has come up with idea to reward high-schools girls who graduate with their virginity still in tact.

Most likely to say – In the middle of a recession no tax increase is justified because it kills jobs, and any tax increase is a job-killing measure and should be defeated.

Least likely to say – The stain on Lewinsky’s dress? There’s probably an innocent explanation.

John Huntsman

After taking just 1% of the vote in Iowa, you think the former ambassador to China would have got the message, but he is made of sterner stuff. Just as well, he has an outside chance of picking up second in New Hampshire. Too dull to win though…

Key Policies – Surprisingly liberal by modern republican standards and is pro civil-partnerships (though not full-on Gay marriage). Other than that more of the same low tax, low spend policies advocated by the rest of the nominees.

Most likely to say – Who cares? Nobody is listening anyway…

Least likely to say I am honoured to become the 45th President of the United States

Ron Paul p

Intellectual powerhouse behind the Tea-Party movement and the libertarians libertarian, Paul is the maverick of the pack, and one to watch. He came a not-too-distant third in Iowa and is currently second in New Hampshire. Of most interest is his appeal to first time voters and non-republicans, suggesting if he did manage to get himself on the ticket he might be a worthy foe for Obama. Recently a tad embarrassed when it was discovered he wrote a series of ‘racist’ pamphlets in the 1980’s.

Key Policies – Obviously low-tax, low-spend but also anti-Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, voted against the Patriot Act and would oversee US withdrawal from UN and NATO. Is pro-life, but believes it is not a federal issue.

Most likely to say – If its not written in the constitution I am not voting for it.

Least likely to say – Now Iraq has had it, let’s do Iran

Rick Perry

Came fourth in Iowa and almost withdrew from the race before God had a chat with him whilst running (Rick that is, not God). He is currently Governor for Texas and is on the right of his party (which is saying something). Loves hunting apparently. Is effectively skipping New Hampshire for a last ditch attempt at respectability in South Carolina. Will be history before the end of January.

Key Policies – Big climate change denier, and wants to abolish Department of Energy, passionately anti-gay marriage (and gays full stop one would imagine), he has also signed reams of pro-life legislation into law whilst Governor.

Most likely to say – “there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, and your kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas” (actual quote)

Least likely to say – You’re Richard Dawkins? I love your work! Could you autograph my buttocks?

Rick Santorum

The former Pennsylvania Senator is the dark horse of the race, only losing to Romney in Iowa by eight votes – the smallest winning margin in republican history. Looking solid but unspectacular in New Hampshire, he is likely to do better in the more ‘God-fearing’ states. Has become the focus for the ‘anyone-but Romney’ republicans, so don’t write him off.

Key Policies – Not many to be fair… But describes himself as a ‘full-spectrum republican’ so expect to see and hear a lot about low-tax, pro-life, anti-gay etc etc

Most likely to say – I might not be the most exciting politician, but at least I am a proper Christian (whilst staring at Mitt Romney)

Least Likely to say – And my policy for *insert any major political issue here* is…

So there you go, the complete list of would-be republican Presidents. For what it is worth all sensible money has to be on Romney to win the nomination and to then lose badly to Obama. However watch out for Paul and Santorum, if they get the Mo then the race could become very tight very quickly. then it’s anyone’s game.

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