Last night’s Republican debate on PBS was short and to the point.1 Fortunately, the top-four candidates decided not to show, which I predict may affect them negatively in the long-run. The debate dealt with economic issues, issues of race, health care, the death penalty and some other topics. The six candidates were given one minute to respond each question.
Former Ambassador Alan Keyes was energetic and filled with theological vigor. He continues to shake his head and extend his arms in his remarks like an old Southern preacher. Though he is generally correct on most issues, his entrance into the race was merely to put him back on national television. Alan Keyes is also a supporter of the war in Iraq; he offers nothing new, except a dynamic personality, which may add some interesting moments in future debates, should he be invited.
Congressman Duncan Hunter is probably the most unnecessary voice in the debate. He adds nothing of any value to the debate. I hope that in the end of this quarter (30th of September) Hunter would quietly step out of the race.
Congressman Tom Tancredo continues to be an insignificant voice in the debate. His central issue has always been Illegal Immigration. He stresses that forcefully and to some extent I find it helpful, in light of the ambiguity of most candidates. Nevertheless, he is a poor communicator and lacks a more comprehensive approach to this campaign. One-issue candidates are only here for the show and more recognition.
Senator Sam Brownback continued to echo his desire to restore the family. He adds little insight into the debates. I also hope he drops out after the end of this quarter. He contradicted Ron Paul’s continued assertion that the US did not declare war. Brownback is disqualified for not understanding Congress’ responsibility in declaring war.
Governor Mike Huckabee is always at his best when he communicates. Unlike most of the candidates, he has experience that most resembles the president’s. On the question of the death penalty he gave a moving testimony about how difficult it is to sign a document that gives the right to execute. I have plenty of disagreements with the governor, but I think he is saner than most of the candidates. On a negative note, Huckabee is more statist than the other candidates. He has supported tax-funding for various unconstitutional programs.
Finally, the honorable Ron Paul, who will shock the media on the 30th with his remarkable fund-raising ability. On the Paul website there is a ticker with the amount of money they have raised this week. It has surpassed their expectations. Over 500 thousand has been raised in less than one week. They are now shooting for 1 million before the 30th.
Paul’s performance was solid and filled with conviction. He is versed in economics, Constitutional law, and various other issues. On an interesting note, Paul objects to the Federal death penalty. According to Paul, the Federal Government is biased towards the rich and the poor always gets the maximum penalty. I concur with Paul, though we are to fight for a righteous society where this form of injustice does not occur.