Friday, September 9, 2011

Perry Earns His Spot on Stage, Obama Stimulas: DOA

Rick Perry Turns in an Acceptable Performance
The first GOP Presidential debate featuring Rick Perry was at times a boring affair, but one that ultimately served its purpose for front-runners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney as it clarified a clear choice between the only two candidates at this stage that have a realistic shot at the GOP nomination.

Perry didn't exactly set the world on fire with his debate performance, but he showed that he can hold his own on the stage with Mitt Romney, who had been running over the rest of the field in the previous two contests that he had attended.  Perry hit Romney hard on his job creation record in Massachusetts (a factually dubious claim, given the very low unemployment rate when Romney left office, but an effective talking point nonetheless), the similarity of Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts to Obama's national plan (a very true fact, and it's a shame that Romney won't defend the success of that plan) and generally staked out his turf as the more conservative alternative.  He didn't come off as a wing nut or a slave to the Tea Party, but his red meat barbs at President Obama should be enough to satisfy that wing of the party.

Romney, for his part, made no real mistakes, but also didn't break any real new ground or necessarily effective refute Romney's position, which is, in essence, that Romney is too moderate for the average GOP primary voter.

As I said before, my money is still on Romney in the long run - I just feel he is a better politician than Perry and that Perry will ultimately be prone to say more things that will alienate mainstream voters.  But Perry did well to solidify his standing in this depend.

My last thought on the GOP debate is -- who the hell did the make-up for the candidates?  Every candidate appeared to have an awful case of John Boehner orange skin disease.  You'd think they could get these things nailed down for a national television appearance.  One candidate looking oddly orange would have been interesting, but the whole field looking that way had me scratching my head.

Does Anybody Really Expect This Thing to Pass?
The GOP controls the House and has a large enough minority to effectively filibuster in the Senate.  President Obama's new $400B+ stimulus package, consisting of lower-income and middle-class tax breaks, infrastructure spending, extended unemployment benefits and aid to states is an interesting policy paper.  But does anyone expect that it will even get to a vote in either chamber?

The only piece that might gain some traction is continued payroll tax reductions.  After all, the GOP loves to cut taxes.  But those pesky taxes on the rich?  Forget it.  More spending of any kind?  Deader than dead.

This will be an interesting speech that ultimately means nothing.  It was as much about staking out ground for a campaign as actually trying to get something done.  Pay attention to the deficit super committee, ignore this piece of DOA legislation.

If you like this site, tell your friends.

No comments: