As a smart investor, I've been watching the continuing melodrama called
the GOP Presidential Debates and trying to decide who would be good for
business. As a registered Republican, while I'm at it, I also hoped to
gain some insight into who best represents the heart and soul of my
The so-called debates haven't helped much.
A mini-series of five forums running over six-weeks between
September and October, they take place in a variety of venues. My
favorite was the one at the Reagan Library, which looked like an airport
hanger with the Boeing 707 Air Force One presidential plane hanging
from the rafters, ready to drop campaign literature on the audience, if
the debate did not go well.
At first glance, the eight candidates standing on the stage look
like a police line-up. You expect to hear the moderator's voice,
"Candidate No. 4. Please step forward. Look to the left. Look to the
right." Any moment somebody in the control room might be yelling, "He's
the one who molested me in the Green Room."
These so-called debates are more like a series of dramatic presentations, like a college production of A Chorus Line, with the candidates telling us why they wanted to be President when they grew up.
The show didn't really catch fire until the premiere appearance on
September 7 of the last man to throw his ten-gallon hat into the ring.
The Waiting for Godot candidate, Rick Perry, had an inflammable
record, and the other candidates served as a kind of volunteer fire
department, wetting him down on Ponzi schemes, immunization of
grade-school girls, crony capitalism corruption, and other pressing
Only thing wrong with the current format of debates: you can't tell
where The Gang of Eight stands on the same issue. Questions and answers
bounce all over the place like a Latino jumping bean, as candidate Rick
Santorum might put it.
So far, the most qualified person to be President seems to be the
moderator. Wolf Blitzer, this past Monday night, struck me as the most
knowledgeable about the issues, the most articulate, and the most in
command in moments of stress, with the kind of attitude you would want
in a President. He's also the most experienced, having served in the
debates since the last century.
Don't get me wrong. You do learn something in these so-called
debates. For example, judging by his misuse of Galileo to illustrate a
point during the Regan Library show, I wouldn't want Governor Perry in
charge of my space program. Ron Paul saying Monday night he would rather
let a man die than force him to use government-mandated medicine --
while it brought the Tea Party-sponsored house down in Florida, and said
something about where the heart and soul of the party might ultimately
be -- gave me a chill.
By and large, I'm still undecided.
Fortunately, The Gang of Eight will try again in a third episode next Thursday night on Fox News.