Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: GOP Presidential Candidates from Shaving Cream to Toweling Off and Patting Face Dry.

      Applying Gillette Shaving Cream from Squirt Top Can.  Funny but for a guy who values absolutes, I’m absolutely uncertain as to whom would be ideal to beat Obama….especially now that Pres is benefiting from a mild upsurge following the Lame Duck.  Unlike me to be like this.  In 1979 after a 3-hour lunch at O’Hare with then private citizen Reagan I got sold on him quickly and stuck with it during the hard times…his early primaries losses, the firing of my friend John Sears (as campaign manager), the replacement by Bill Casey (a needed change although I was very close to Sears) and so on.   That was my most decisive year.  Why is it so difficult now to settle my mind on an acceptable candidate who my gut tells me he/she can win?
       Taking the protective shield off the blade and beginning to hack, drawing it smoothly from the hairline on the right side, over the jowl to the neck.  Well, the choice was easier in 1980.  I couldn’t be for G.H.W. Bush, who struck me—rightly—as an elitist preppie and who was a pro-abort at the time (he switched to pro-life overnight when chosen for veep)…John Connally who the Quaker management team supported but not me because he was pro-abort… but who I always pictured as LBJ’s illegitimate son, complete with Texas swagger…
         …Howard Baker, pro-abort and a liberal and hence unacceptable to me  but whom I knew for years when ol’ Ev Dirksen touted him as son-in-law…Phil Crane, pro-life and bright enough but who always surprised me by his inactivity and passivity in the House…Bob Dole, pro-life but a waffler with whom I had a disagreeable experience over an honorarium payment…and believe it or not  Harold Stassen, terminally optimistic, liberal, pro-abort and four years older than Reagan which meant he was 73.  Easy choice there.   No sweat: Reagan all the way.  Not nearly so easy to choose now.
        Pulling the razor up along the same territory—right side—to catch all the surviving beard follicles.  Now…and this tells you something…every candidate is pro-life.  Romney has been adjudged the likely choice since Republicans usually follow primogeniture—but he’s awash in contradictions with RomneyCare in Massachusetts.  He can’t very easily escape that.  Then Huckabee…
      Moving to the left side of the face, starting at the hairline, taking long downward strokes over the jowl to the chin.  There’s much about Huckabee I like.   I feel for one thing that the person who runs against Obama has to be able to speak—and when I last saw Huckabee in person at the Illinois Family Institute whereas I came into the hall as a doubter, I was edified at his ability to spellbind.  But his Baptist preacher softness on releasing criminals from jail where some of them went out and killed others dismays me. Still if it does come down to Huckabee he’s likely to make Obama look tongue-tied.  But there’s a kind of Junior Gilliam Hee Haw the TV show about him that kind of makes me see him in bib overalls.  
         Pulling hard down the chin (the chin being the most resistant). Exactly the same with Haley Barbour except he’s far less eloquent than Huckabee.   The Mississippi Citizens Council thing makes him an easy foil for Obama and I wonder if Barbour wouldn’t be struggling to get the Deep South flavor sublimated.  The simplistic news media…average reportorial age 38…. would picture this as reenactment of the civil rights days of the `60s which was enacted long before most of  them were born.    Also Barbour said he wants to set aside social issues—a sure tipoff to me that my prime concerns will be ignored.
         Now up the chin being sure to scrape it thoroughly.  Long ago I decided Palin isn’t right for the presidency because of her Calamity Jane style—although paradoxically I love it (not her screeching way of delivering speeches though).
          Lord knows, she has a gutsy record as governor the media don’t and won’t recognize, starting when she was at one time the darling of Alaska Democrats when she took the governorship away from Frank Murkowski whom she labeled as a charter member of “the corrupt bastards club”…her brilliant fight with the oil companies which regarded her as a traitor…her devising a new system of splitting the oil profits she called “Aces”…her courageously paring down a list of pork projects, selling the governor’s jet, dismissing the private cook, returning the state limo, declining use of most of the state security force since she packed heat herself, ordering Exxon to either get started  drilling on Point Thompson which it held under lease for 30 years or she’d revoke it.   But when all’s said and done the screeching does it for me.
       Here’s the touchy part: the upper lip, being very careful not to flick the blade so it cuts…ouch! There I did it.  I was very much interested in Mitch Daniels because he’s so anti-charismatic, short, bald but all brains and a good economist as well—a guy you’d hire for president. But he up and said let’s shelve social issues and concentrate on the big things—the budget.   Can’t go it.  He’s tried to repair it but he’s not conning me.  What he said he meant: and that means one thing to me…Country Club.  One guy I’d like to meet is Pawlenty because of how he tamed the public unions.  I like his blue-collar approach.  Probably the most exciting is Newt but he botched Speaker so badly, viewing himself as a prime minister makes me think coupled with all that brilliance is a disaster.   (They said that about Churchill, though, remember.  Thirty years ago when I was a Fellow at St. John’s College, Oxford I sat at High Table with an old guy who was a member of his war cabinet who said Churchill would come in to meetings with seven ideas every morning—three were impractical, two were out and out crazy, one was not logistically possible and the remaining one was brilliant. “It was our job,” he said, “to knock the others down and consider the brilliant one which was likely a gamble that could well either win the war or defeat us.”).   Sounds exactly like Hyde’s description of Newt—50% genius, 50% nuts and the trick is to decipher which was which.
         Now applying a wet cloth to the bleeding upper lip, then carefully…c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y concluding. John Thune has no right to be considered. Nor does Rick Santorum. Ron Paul?  Too old but I’d like to see somebody running who applies the moderate non-interventionism of Bob Taft—but not go to extremes as Paul and want to abolish our CIA, saying like the Left  “what we got on 9/11 was our fault!”  That’s rank sedition and unpatriotic.
       Patting dry with a fresh towel. You know,  I’m really coming to the view that we’ve got to have a large dose of excitement on the ticket.  A really large dose.  Like a 280 lb. governor of New Jersey Chris Christie!  Don’t know if his going to Disney World in the snowstorm was fatal but of all of them I’d like to hear him more.   He’d be fun.   Yeah, I think he’d be my favorite for now.  For now. See, I told you I’m undecided—but I’d really feel good if Christie got into the race.


  1. Christie is anti-gun. That leads to other questions...

    You don't consider Herman Cain? Interesting lacuna, Tom.

  2. Seems you have finally come to realize that Sarah is the only candidate capable of wearing the mantle of Ronald Reagan, but you still do not like her because she is a girl with a feminine voice -- unlike Hillary and Janet Reno. "We the people" really like Sarah's excited voice happily proclaiming that Conservatism is no longer confined to the elitist conservatory.
    Plus: an oft overlooked plus to a Palin presidency is her rock-solid Conservative spouse, unlike Laura, Barb, Betty, and even Nancy.

  3. Completely aside from the previous remarks, an interesting possibility I find more far-fetched than I care to admit to myself (but can't seem to let go of) is the prospect of whether Newt could pair as the lead with Mitt (or, is this likely to never be). It says a lot about the party's ability to forge healthy coalitions - esp. for the future of the party. Isn't one of Obama's biggest vulnerabilities his choice of Biden? I feel you must look at this with that as a real factor. (How might Hilary play a part into that thought) Also, at only the primary stage of the issue - perhaps it is more important to recognize whether it would be something Sarah and tea party supporters would rally around. Hmm, what would Peggy write in her column about a prospect like this? How might George Will or Stephenopoulos spin it?
    Ah, the beginning of the next race - Love it! Happy New Year! I even think Chi-town's mayoral race will contribute to the unfolding backdrop.