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Strengths and Weaknesses of candidates

1Historygenius
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1/8/2012 9:46:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Luckily Elephant Watcher has analyzed the candidates' strengths and weaknesses.

Here is what the candidates are strong and weak in:

Newt Gingrich
Strengths:
1. Gingrich has name recognition and is very comfortable on television. Early national polls led to the view that he is one of the top contenders. Combined, these factors mean Gingrich should be able to get the attention he needs to make his case.
2. Although somewhat prone to gaffes, Gingrich is highly articulate and able to give the impression that he is serious and informed. He excels at debate.
Weaknesses:
1. Baggage. Gingrich left office well over a decade ago and as many Republicans remember his failures in the 90s as they do his triumph in 1994.
2. Personal baggage. Gingrich has been married three times, and the transition from one marriage to the next has not always occurred under ideal circumstances.
3. While out of office, Gingrich attempted to reinvent himself as a moderate on some issues, and expressed his belief in the danger of climate change. Many conservatives are weary of moderate Republicans.
4. Each time Gingrich makes a gaffe, the media will be eager to highlight it.

Jon Hunstman
Strengths:
1. Huntsman has credibility with the Republican establishment as a serious, electable candidate with plenty of experience.
2. He has a solid reputation as a conservative on many economic issues, particularly tax policy.
3. Uniquely, Huntsman has extensive foreign policy experience.
He looks and sounds like a president.
4. As with Romney, his family was prominent in the Mormon church dating back to its founding. If he were to defeat Romney early, he would do very well among Mormon voters.
Weaknesses:
1. Huntsman lacks credibility as a conservative on a number of issues, especially due to his support for gay rights and environmental legislation.
2. After the Republican defeat of 2008, Huntsman stridently urged the Party to move to the center. Instead, it moved to the right, formed the Tea Party, and won the overwhelming victory of 2010.
3. Huntsman has a tendency to speak like the diplomat he is. While this will help him avoid mistakes, he's starting from behind--he needs to speak forcefully.
4. Outside of the Republican establishment, Huntsman is largely unknown. This leaves him vulnerable to being characterized in a negative light by his opponents before he can define himself.
5. While being chosen by Obama to be ambassador to China may not directly harm him, he penned fawning letters to Obama; this may play into the idea that he is not a genuine conservative.
6. Huntsman's Mormon roots will not endear him to evangelical Christians already alienated by his views on gay rights. He's also been wishy-washy about his religious beliefs.

Ron Paul
Strengths:
1. Paul is a symbol of the libertarian movement. His followers are loyal and enthusiastic, and they have donated generously to him in the past.
2. Paul's view on foreign policy (either "non-interventionist" or "isolationist," depending upon whom you ask) enables him to appeal to a group not reached by the other candidates.
Weaknesses:
1. Paul is viewed by many voters as, at worst, a joke or party-crasher, and at best, not a serious candidate. Even many Paul supporters believe his purpose is to influence the debate rather than win the nomination.
2. Though many Republicans are skeptical of America's role as "policeman of the world," Paul won many enemies during his 2008 campaign by suggesting that American foreign policy was to blame for the September 11th attacks.
3. Paul is in his mid-70s. He would be the oldest man ever to win--or lose--a presidential election.
4. Paul's unusual speaking style generally does more to hinder, rather than help, his cause.

Strengths:
1. Perry has a long record as a fiscal and social conservative, and was an early supporter of the Tea Party movement.
2. Perry can claim more executive experience than anyone in the field.
3. A canny politician, Perry has often defied expectations by defeating his opponents when the odds were against him.
Weaknesses:
1. Many voters are immediately dismissive of another Texas governor running for president, especially one with ties to George W. Bush.
2. After many years in the public eye, Perry has had to endure controversy, such as his remarks about secession.
3. If Perry puts forward Texas as a success story, he will be forced to defend any negative aspects of the state.

Mitt Romney
Strengths:
1. Often viewed as the "next in line" for the nomination, Romney has name recognition and the support of the Republican establishment. The Republican party has a history of nominating the candidate whose "turn" it is, based on the previous election's primary.
2. Romney looks and sounds like a president. He appears intelligent and well-informed. He is disciplined and is not known for making gaffes.
Realizing that the economy is likely to be of prime concern in 2012, and with a long career in business, Romney has successfully made himself into the designated "economics guy" of the field.
3. The Romney family's prominence in the Mormon community dates back to the early years of the religion. Many Mormons believe the election of a Mormon president would be a unique opportunity to raise awareness and acceptance of their faith. Mormon voters supported Romney overwhelmingly in the 2008 primary and gave him a landslide victory in Nevada.
4. If the past is any indication, Romney's campaign is likely to be well-organized and well-financed. Romney is extremely wealthy and has shown a willingness to spend millions of his own dollars for his campaign.
Weaknesses:
1. Romneycare. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney instituted healthcare reform. Both conservatives and liberals have suggested Romneycare bears many similarities to Obamacare. It includes an individual mandate (a law requiring citizens to buy health insurance or face penalties), the most well-known and hated component of Obamacare. Obamacare's individual mandate (though a federal law rather than a state law like Romneycare) has been ruled unconstitutional. The question of Obamacare's constitutionality will work its way through the court system during the primaries, guaranteeing Romneycare will be discussed continually.
2. Many voters have serious questions about Romney's sincerity and conservatism. While running in 2008, Romney took much more conservative positions than he did as governor of Massachusetts. Though he has been consistent since then, conservatives are wary of "moderates in conservative's clothing," to say the least.
3. Romney's campaign in 2008 revealed a tendency to rely on attack ads. This, combined with perceived elitism on the part of Romney and his campaign staffers, made many enemies among Romney's opponents. Obviously Romney must defeat all his opponents to win. But a primary with many candidates benefits those who can gain support from competitors as they drop out.
4. Many evangelical Christians fear, just as many Mormons hope, that the election of a Mormon president would raise the stature of Mormonism throughout the world. They may not be absolutely opposed to electing a Mormon, but would prefer to avoid it. Others find tenants of the Mormon faith baffling or offensive.
"The chief business of the American people is business." - Calvin Coolidge

Latest debate - Reagan was a better President than Obama: http://www.debate.org...
1Historygenius
Posts: 1,639
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1/8/2012 9:47:17 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Rick Santorum
Strengths:
1. Santorum's credentials as a conservative, particularly on social issues, are unquestioned.
2. Santorum has shown a willingness to speak his mind on controversial issues. This may enable him to carve out a territory of his own.
Weaknesses:
1. Santorum is largely unknown, and will likely be discussed as a second-tier candidate--when he's being discussed at all.
2. He is the only senator in the race, and for good reason: Opponents can point to his voting record, and he cannot point to any executive experience while running for the nation's chief executive office. Senators generally do not perform well in presidential races, except against other senators.
3. Strategic voters may view him as unnecessarily polarizing, and an unwelcome reminder of the disastrous Republican losses in the 2006 mid-term election.
"The chief business of the American people is business." - Calvin Coolidge

Latest debate - Reagan was a better President than Obama: http://www.debate.org...