Tuesday, October 18, 2011

As per the current GOP Field, it is possible for Rick Santorum to become the new Frontrunner?

This is neither an expression of support for Santorum nor a prediction as to who will win the nomination. It is simply an overview of the GOP presidential field in advance of the eighth debate which will take place tonight.

The GOP presidential scene has been a constant seesaw of action. Potential voters watched as Bachmann rose to the top only to lose her momentum after winning the Iowa Straw Poll because of Perry’s entrance onto the scene, her lack of executive experience, and her debate gaffes which she chose to repeat and stand by. Her appointment of Ed Rollins as campaign manager only caused her trouble, first causing many in the Palin camp to oppose her, and now having Rollins badmouth her and shrugging off all blame for her campaign’s failures while placing it squarely on her shoulders.

Perry too experienced the frontrunner experience immediately after the launch of his campaign, although it fizzled out just as quickly. His diminished status is largely due to his awful performance at the debates and also because of the big blotches on his record such as Gardasil, immigration, and crony capitalism.

Despite the downs the Perry and Bachmann campaigns have recently experienced no candidate should be ruled out, as the McCain campaign has taught us in 2008. Both Bachmann and Perry can still experience a comeback via a victory in one of the first states such as Iowa or South Carolina. Since there’s still over two months until the Iowa Caucus, there’s still ample time for the candidates to take turns in playing the frontrunner role.

Gingrich carries personal baggage and suffered a strong hit when he called Paul Ryan’s plan “right wing engineering.” However, with Perry and Bachmann performing so poorly in general and especially at the debates, Gingrich’s excellent performances have caused his earlier comments to be forgiven or forgotten by many. The last few weeks showed a continuous rise in Gingrich’s poll figures, and he has recently overtaken Perry for the spot in third seat. If Cain takes a hit, Gingrich may possibly be the one to benefit.

Romney is the only candidate who’s been amongst the frontrunners since the start of his campaign without losing his spot, thanks to the establishment’s complete backing. It’s important to note though that which Michael Barone pointed out; that Romney’s poll figures topped 25% in only three out of eighty polls taken this year, thanks to tea party conservatives’ staunch opposition against the flip flopper. However, his presidential demeanor, loads of money, and many endorsements continue to make him a serious player with strong chances of winning the nomination. As it appears right now, one will have to wait for the actual primaries in order to determine whether the establishment will once again have their way.

Paul’s foreign policy which is equal to or worse than Obama’s will keep him from winning the nomination especially in such turbulent times despite his economic talk.

This leads us to Herman Cain, the current frontrunner. Cain is a successful business executive who talks the talk in regard to conservatism. On the flip side, he has proven to be hasty in judging events and others such as at the Perry rock incident, and more importantly, has no record to prove he could walk the walk. True he was extremely successful in the private sector, but the private and public sector although interrelated are very different, and many former businessmen became terrible or corrupted politicians. Many are therefore wary of handing the presidency to someone who hasn’t yet held any political office where one is tested whether they are truly loyal to the ideals they spouted during the campaign or whether corruption and cronyism can affect or overtake them.

Now that Cain is in the spotlight, his ideas, proposals, and comments are being placed under careful scrutiny and thorough questioning. He will probably be grilled tonight over his joke/non-joke regarding an electrified fence at the border, and about the details surrounding his 999 plan. Time will tell whether he will be able to remain in the lead or share a similar fate as those before him.

This brings us to the final candidate in this discussion, Rick Santorum. Santorum is the only conservative who hasn’t had yet a turn in being frontrunner. Although Santorum is not an option for many conservatives because of his endorsements of moderates such as Spector in 2004 and a host of other RINO’s in 2010, His record is quite conservative. He doesn’t seem to have any serious baggage, though perhaps because it has never been dug up or brought to center-stage since he’s never been the frontrunner or anywhere close to such a position. Santorum is quite articulate and has had some good moments during the brief time-slots he was allotted at the debates such as when he took on Ron Paul for his comments on Iran’s nuclear programs and his entire approach to foreign policy.

So far, the process of the current primary has been; have someone shoot to the top, dissect him or her, and then throw them down to the dogs. Bachmann’s campaign is seriously derailed with Ed Rollins, her former campaign manager, badmouthing her as is typical in the political world (think Steve Schmidt.) Meanwhile, Perry’s numbers hit an unbelievable low with him polling at three percent in Florida and in the single digits in Iowa. Not surprisingly, a Perry Iowa Operative jumped ship and thrown his support behind Santorum. It therefore seems as though Santorum’s chance has arrived to take a stand in the limelight and have the focus turned to him. The right ad, campaign message, plan, reaction, or debate performance can all be the catalyst of a sudden Santorum surge. Similarly, a Cain collapse could result in voters looking around and taking a look at the candidate standing in the side. If a Santorum surge indeed occurs one would then watch to see whether he will remain standing, or fall like his predecessors.

Now we’ve got to let tonight’s debate take place and see how each candidate performs.

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