Sunday, August 12, 2007

Winnowing the GOP field

So former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has been true to his word and is dropping out after finishing sixth in the Iowa straw poll. I don't know if Duncan Hunter, who never seems to have met a war he didn't want to start and who did abysmally, will drop out as well. He strikes me as a stubborn sort, but I doubt if he can raise enough money to stay in.

Having gone to the first forum, at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, and met and talked briefly with most of the candidates, it's interesting to me that those who might be viewed as qualified in a conventional sense are doing so poorly. Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore was the one I liked best besides Ron Paul. After him Tommy Thompson may have been the best-qualified in a conventional sense, having been Wisconsin Gov. and HHS Sec., but there is something rough-hewn and clumsy about him, physically and verbally, that probably disqualifies him in the television age.

Of course I'm disappointed that Ron Paul only finished fifth, but he had enough votes to put him in the not-completely-hopeless category. The comments on Kent Snyder's staement at Digg are rather interesting.

Perhaps most significant was the small showing of straw voters. They expected up to 40,000 and got maybe 14,000. I suspect it shows a lack of enthusiasm among Republicans for the candidates put forward. It's hard to imagine any Republican winning in 2008.

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