For a smart businessman Donald Trump is a horrible politician. His campaign flamed out quickly because it was foolishly focused on the citizenship issue and was easily dispensed. He has never held political office. He is all show and ego and has no acceptable political credibility.
Herman Cain, also a business man with no experience in elected office, also proved politically inept. He not only showed poor knowledge of political issues but saw no need to gain any. He is just far more likable and humble than Trump.
Newt flamed out quickly in his early entry, but has had a re-emergence that appears to be quickly running out of steam. Newt has political experience and has thought and written much about political issues. But Newt has tragic flaws. He thinks out loud, which is a severe liability when you have the bully pulpit. He has some great ideas and he has some bad ideas, and he floats them all. He flamed out early by attacking Paul Ryan. He claimed he was quoted out of context and I believe that was true, but Newt is always being taken out of context because he talks too much. Yes he is bright and clever and great on the debate stump. Ideas however are a dime a dozen. Getting better laws passed in the face of stiff opposition is a unique skill. While he has displayed this in the past I think those days are gone.
Bill Bennett made an observation of Newt that he has a need to be the smartest guy in the room. He throws out more ideas in a day than most do in a year. Both of these observations are lethal in a president. His latest in a string of idea grenades is to strong arm judges who he judges to offer unfit opinions and rulings.
Newt is opposed by the editorial board of the arch conservative National Review and by conservatives such as Ann Coulter. Newt tosses so many idea grenades that one was likely to go off in his hand. I think that the last idea about controlling judges was that grenade.
Ron Paul should not be taken as a serious candidate. His rise is temporary and likely the result of a strong effort focused in Iowa that cannot be repeated nationwide. His views on foreign policy and the Federal Reserve are just too far out there. While we have certainly made more than our share of blunders in foreign affairs, that does not mean that we should avoid it to the extent he suggests. And while he finds fault with the Fed he should remember that the Fed was started because of previous recessions. With Ron Paul I am reminded that even in the face of irrefutable evidence you can still reach the wrong conclusion.
Paul had a history of associations with elements that cause concern. In The Company Ron Paul Keeps in The Weekly Standard , 12/26/11, James Kirchick writes:
While Paul’s views on Israel certainly place him outside the American, never mind Republican, mainstream, there is an even more elementary reason the RJC (Republican Jewish Colaition) was right to exclude him from its event. It is Paul’s lucrative and decades-long promotion of bigotry and conspiracy theories, for which he has yet to account fully, and his continuing espousal of extremist views, that should make him unwelcome at any respectable forum, not only those hosted by Jewish organizations.
All of these candidate rose and fell in public opinion. I think that the Tea Party is new to the political game and quick to fall for anything that appears to be different from whatever we currently have. But they haven’t matured enough to know what they do want nor how to obtain it in the real world of political opposition. When they do mature, and I do believe it is happening as I write, they will be an awesome force to be reckoned with.
They may not like Mitt Romney for sound reasons, but he is the only one with government and private sector experience and unlike all the rest he has maintained a stable position while the rest rise and flame out, some more than once.
The only thing I think that will unseat Mitt is some dark horse candidate. Mitt may not be perfect by a long shot, but with a solid VP (spelled Condoleeza Rice) he has the opportunity to not just defeat Obama, but to do it with a margin big enough to justify a mandate to undo the disasters this administration has unleashed.