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“Monty, I’ll take what’s behind door #3”
Posted by: McQ on Friday, July 28, 2006

***Guest Blogger: Billy Hollis***


The mainstream press, the pollsters, and Internet political sites are already awash in analysis of the 2008 GOP primaries. McQ noted this a while back, as have others all over the blogosphere. The consensus of the punditocracy seems to be that it’s down to Giuliani vs. McCain.

My own position on that contest is simple. I’m not enamored of Rudy, but I won’t vote for McCain, period. To quickly summarize, I (and Jon, among others) think he has a “great man” complex. I literally have no idea what he would do as president. I consider him quite capable of, for example, nationalizing healthcare ala Canada, just because it would make the mainstream media swoon for a while and give the historians a tagline for his biography in the history books.

Rudy doesn’t light me up, but I wouldn’t be any more distressed over a Giuliani election than I felt about Bush. I’m not that crazy about Bush, but to me he was clearly better than Al “Tree Hugger” Gore and John “I voted for it before I voted against it” Kerry. It would probably be about the same with Giuliani, especially if Hillary is the opponent. I think he’d probably get the war on Islamic fundamentalism more-or-less right, and that’s his biggest plus.

If you detect a noticeable lack of enthusiasm, you’re right on target. The punditocracy seems quite content to let it come down to Giuliani vs. McCain (with the winner to take on Hillary). Me, I’m hoping for door #3.

Some say George Allen. Others say Mitt Romney. None of them make a particularly strong case. Allen talks a pretty good game, but has a patina of insider politician that makes me a bit skeptical. He looks better than the front runners, but nothing to get excited about. Romney appears to be one of those candidates liberal journalists think should be the GOP’s candidate, but he looks like another Lamar! to me.

Look, there are three hundred million people in this country. Can’t we do better than this?

Let’s think outside the box for a few minutes. Hmmm, Bill Gates is planning to retire from Microsoft in 2008…. Nah, forget it. I can already hear the Blue Screen of Death jokes, and from what I’m able to tell, politically, Bill is more-or-less a simple “goo-goo” (good government type), with no strong philosophical positions on politics except he wishes the Justice Dept and the EU would leave him the heck alone.

How about Bruce Willis? Our last actor-president didn’t do too badly, and if Bruce would be one tenth the terrorist fighter in real life that he was in Die Hard, then we’d have no worries there. Oh, and he is rather conservative by Hollywood standards.

If we could set the anti-aging nano-machines loose on Charlton Heston, he would be an even better choice as an actor-turned-president. He certainly sounds presidential. But I don’t think those nano-mites are out of the lab yet.

I considered listing Ann Coulter just to tweak some folks. But Dale did that so effectively, it’s probably best to give that particular stratagem a rest for while. Besides, I think she’d be better suited to Secretary of State – just kidding, just kidding.

One thing I’d really like to see, though, is a president with a sense of humor. That was one of Reagan’s better attributes, in fact. For example, he loved the scene in Back to the Future in which Marty tells the young Doc that Reagan is president in 1985, and Doc’s response is “Ronald Reagan, the actor?!? I suppose Jane Wyman is first lady, and Jack Benny is Secretary of the Treasury!” Reagan like the scene so much that when the movie was shown in the White House theatre, he made them replay it.

So who fits the bill there? Dennis Miller? I’ve always thought he was funny, even in his early, kind-of-liberal days. I also consider Miller about as close to what I think of as “QandO libertarianism” as any other major public figure. (The proprietors of this site prefer “neolibertarianism”, though I’m afraid that word has about three too many syllables to really catch on.) Miller’s already said he won’t run for the Senate, but if we dangled the big kahuna in front of him, I wonder...

I think Jack Bauer would win in a landslide, except for the unfortunate fact that he’s a fictional character.

Well, that’s about it for my ideas. But (and here comes the gratuitous kissing up to the site regulars) I think QandO has about the best commenters around, so surely you folks will have some additional ideas. Let’s hear ‘em.
 
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Newt Gingrich.

He’s a "big idea" guy. He can eloquently explain why he believes what he believes (unlike Bush). We know what he believes (unlike Bush). He was around for the 1994 Republican Revolution, but got out of the game before they started acting like Democrats. And he’s got name recognition.

Newt is the only Republican currently in the field that I would actually be enthusiastic to vote for.
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
I won’t vote for McCain, period. To quickly summarize, I (and Jon, among others) think he has a "great man" complex. I literally have no idea what he would do as president. I consider him quite capable of, for example, nationalizing healthcare ala Canada, just because it would make the mainstream media swoon for a while and give the historians a tagline for his biography in the history books.
This strikes me as an odd objection to a presidential candidacy. I’m fairly sure that most of our great presidents had "great man" complexes. If you are intending to lead the most powerful nation in the world, a country of 300 million people, I think a fair amount of hubris is pretty much a job requirement. Why else would someone run for president? Further, McCain is about as close to a genuine hero as we have today in national politics, based upon his personal saga in Vietnam and his relative independence from partisan bonds. Finally, I’m not even sure I agree McCain is the egotist you claim he is; from all I’ve read, he is not.

I was a tremendous McCain booster in 2000. I still think this country would be much better off today had he been elected instead of Bush. But — and I think someone mentioned this already on this blog — McCain’s time has probably passed. For one thing, his reputation for integrity and independence has been severely diminished by his obvious obsequiousness in the hopes of enlisting the support (or at least minimizing the active opposition) of those who savaged his candidacy in 2000. Also, his resolute support for the Iraq War is a negative with me, and probably with many other voters.

Still, I do find it odd to object to a presidential candidate because you suspect might he want to do great things.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
McCain authored and pushed McCain-Feingold, and still thinks its a good idea.

I cannot forgive him that.
"Still, I do find it odd to object to a presidential candidate because you suspect might he want to do great things."
Big things. Not great things.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
David,

While I may agree McCain might have been better than Bush, he’s still not someone I want to vote for. As Tom mentioned above, the McCain-Feingold thing is enough for me to jump ship on him.

The argument against him wanting to do "great things" is that I perceive he is willing to toss limited-government principles by the wayside if he thinks he can remain the media’s darling. McCain-Feingold "sounds" good, but isn’t. Nationalized healthcare "sounds" good, but isn’t. If McCain is willing to jettison our rights to free speech in favor of the political expediency of further protecting incumbents, just how far is he willing to go with other rights?
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
Big things. Not great things.
Yes, well, that distinction suggests a difference of opinion as to the substance of the accomplishments, and, of course, it is fair to disagree over policies. I interpreted the original post as an objection to big goals generally, not specific disagreement with particular positions.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Still, I do find it odd to object to a presidential candidate because you suspect might he want to do great things.
As long as leftist leaning media get to define what’s "great", I do indeed object to a president who wants to do "great things".
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Maybe it’s just me, but things sure do seem rather grim around the blogosphere (including QandO) lately. This post was partially intended to lighten things up a bit.

Didn’t work, apparently. We’re right back to dreary debate on peacocks such as McCain.

By now, I expected someone to bring up Arnold, at least. (Though if the Constitution were amended to allow naturalized citizens to be president, I’d prefer Mark Steyn...)
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
The argument against him wanting to do "great things" is that I perceive he is willing to toss limited-government principles by the wayside if he thinks he can remain the media’s darling. McCain-Feingold "sounds" good, but isn’t. Nationalized healthcare "sounds" good, but isn’t. If McCain is willing to jettison our rights to free speech in favor of the political expediency of further protecting incumbents, just how far is he willing to go with other rights?
Why do you say that McCain’s motivation is to "remain the media’s darling"? Why do you say that McCain’s motivation in campaign finance reform is "the political expediency of further protecting incumbents"? I mean, it’s one thing to disagree with the positions, but questioning the legitimacy of the motive, I think, is unfair.
As long as leftist leaning media get to define what’s "great", I do indeed object to a president who wants to do "great things".
Well, I wasn’t looking at it from the "leftist media’s" perspective, I was looking at it from the view of the candidate.

By way of full disclosure (and to incur some wrath on this Friday morning), I do believe that health care should be nationalized, though I had no idea that McCain favors it. Also, I agree with the concerns recognized in McCain-Feingold — namely, that money has grotesquely corrupted American politics — though I have doubts about the constitutionality of most efforts to "reform" the system. Gotta run now but I’ll check back later to read all the favorable responses . . .

 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
"(Though if the Constitution were amended to allow naturalized citizens to be president, I’d prefer Mark Steyn...)"
Pshaw! Ben Stein, and no amendment needed!

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
David,

It doesn’t have to be about motives. There are two options:

1- McCain believes that campaign finance reform simply requires that free speech be infringed. He believes that the system is so broken that we simply can’t allow people to say things 60 days out before an election.

2- McCain doesn’t believe that he’s infringing on free speech at all. After all, he’s not stopping the freedom to dissent or of the press, right? Political ads on television aren’t entitled to 1st Amendment protections, much like the Supreme Court seems to think "commercial speech" isn’t protected.

Either option is unpalatable to me. I can’t accept a candidate who (in #1) believes that campaign finance reform trumps freedom of speech. And I simply disagree with #2, and don’t trust the judgement of McCain to be my president if that is what he believes.

And when there is a third possibility, that the motive was to increase the power of incumbency, it’s a trifecta. I won’t vote for McCain if he gets the nomination. I don’t know if I’d vote Democrat, Libertarian, or just stay home, but I won’t vote for McCain.
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
What, nobody has any comments about Gingrich? I thought it odd that he was left out of the original post, so I figured I’d have to bring him up...
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
My mom always said you shouldn’t complain about something unless you’re willing to do something about it yourself.

That being said, in 2008 I’ll finally be old enough to run for President! :)
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
Brad, I don’t have a take on Gingrich. On one hand, he was a driving force in the transformational 1994 election. On the other hand, he didn’t do that much with the result.

And, for better or worse, there’s a widespread perception that he got his chance on the national stage and muffed it. I think he was treated shabbily by the press, but if what I think was important, we would have seen at least one decent presidential candidate in the last twenty years.

Can he come back? Nixon did, and somehow I think the press never forgave themselves for allowing that to happen...
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
"1- McCain believes that campaign finance reform simply requires that free speech be infringed. He believes that the system is so broken that we simply can’t allow people to say things 60 days out before an election."
And when 60 doesn’t work, why not try 90? When that doesn’t work, why not try 900? Heck, 561 days more and the whole issue’s nailed down.

Mr. David Shaughnessy’s expressed "concern" that McCain-Feingold may be unconstitutional in fact (not that the Supreme Court felt that, dammit) leaves me unconvinced he understands that the principle abused by it is far more fundamental and important than the document written to preserve it.

The enforcement of McCain-Feingold, or, the worst interpretation of election finance laws the FCC proposed WRT to blogging—the enforcement of such laws justifies violent rebellion—but for the implausibility of success. Period.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
That being said, in 2008 I’ll finally be old enough to run for President! :)
Well, what are you waiting for! www.wackyhermitforpresident.com is still available.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Pshaw! Ben Stein, and no amendment needed!
Tom, that’s the best suggestion so far, and I’m ashamed I didn’t think of it. Ben is a smart guy.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Love Ben Stein - but could he still host ’Win Ben Stein’s money????’

Like the idea of Newt being in it. Newt’s got more of Reagan in him than anyone else running around these days. It would at least make it interesting.

16 posts so far an NO ONE brought up Condi???
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
I’m leaning toward supporting Allen right now, but I think Rudy’s more likely. I would not vote for McCain. I also have to agree that Newt is at least perceived as "damaged goods", whether or not he can recover is pretty hazy. I’m also suprized no one has said anything about Jeb — he could very well get drafted as a Veep pick even if he doesn’t run. I like him more than George.
 
Written By: kalthalior
URL: http://guerillaspot.blogspot.com
If the Republicans come close to nominating Jeb for either seat on the ticket, they’re a lot farther off the deep end than I thought.
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
16 posts so far an NO ONE brought up Condi???
I don’t know that I’m any more enthusiastic about Condi than about Rudy. She’s obviously very, very smart, but I don’t have a feel for her philosophical core, if in fact she has one.

But I will say that, if she were nominated, I don’t see how she could lose. I don’t see any erosion in the GOP base from her candidacy, but there would almost certainly be some erosion among traditionally Democratic black voters. In our 50-50 nation, if Condi took an additional 6-7% of blacks (a conservative estimate, I think), that would equate to an overall increase of about 1% of the electorate, which in the last two elections would have swung several states to the GOP.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
’knee-oh lib-err-tair-e-an’ too many syllables, yet ’queue-and-oh lib-err-tair-e-an’ ok? At least neo tells you something about it ("this ain’t your daddy’s libertarianism")
Ok, you got me
 
Written By: anomdebus
URL: http://
If the Republicans come close to nominating Jeb for either seat on the ticket, they’re a lot farther off the deep end than I thought.
Yep. I sympathize with those who prefer Jeb over W, but BDS would be far too easily transferable to Jeb.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
All-in-all, I’d say it’s safer not to risk another actor as President. For every Ronald Reagan, there are a thousand Tim Robbins. The odds are against us.

But, strictly adhering to the world of fantasy, I cast my vote for:

Pres. = Tom Selleck (possesses that articulate and charismatic world-leader look that the Left adores; will tower over foreign dignitaries; and while he didn’t serve in the military, he played someone on TV who served in the military. ;-) Also: Hawaiian Shirt White House Fridays)

VP. = Janine Turner (garners the Alaska and bush-pilot vote; hot)

Secretary of Defense = Clint Eastwood (’nuff said)

U.N. Ambassador = Drew Carey (speaks for itself)
 
Written By: rammage
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
’knee-oh lib-err-tair-e-an’ too many syllables, yet ’queue-and-oh lib-err-tair-e-an’ ok?
I was thinking that it’s two words vs one, and "libertarianism" alone has too many syllables to suit me. I write a lot of technical books and articles, and I tend to notice that sort of thing, I guess. Certainly I’ve seen lots of technical writing that was polysyllabic goobledegook to its intended audience. Political writing sometimes has the same problem.

But at least political writing has not yet succumbed to extreme acronymitis.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
For every Ronald Reagan, there are a thousand Tim Robbins.
That is a frightening thought.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Jeb’s been a decent governor of Florida, but there’s no way people are going to vote for another Bush for the White House until/unless a Democrat comes in and completely hoses up the office (not that I’m expecting that, but it’s what I think would have to happen). 3 members of the same family in the Presidency in a short time frame smacks too much of royalty for Americans.

However, I wouldn’t mind seeing him nominated for head of FEMA. He’s done an excellent job at handling disasters here in Florida, mainly because he’s worked hard with local governments to make sure THEY’re prepared, and to move in to help after the fact. If he can do the same thing on a national level, THAT would be a much better lasting legacy of the Bush family than him trying (and most likely failing) to be Prez/VP.
 
Written By: Bill W.
URL: http://
But at least political writing has not yet succumbed to extreme acronymitis.
There’s an acute case of soundbititis though.

Yours, TDPm, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Brad, I don’t know if you saw it, but Gingrich was mentioned prominently in
Cillizza’s article in WaPo today. I think he is probably the best bet the Republicans have for rallying the conservatives who are tired of the ballooning government. I think the “damaged goods” perception may be more of a centrist and leftish thing… I just don’t know anybody who is a registered Republican and dislikes Gingrich. He would have to make a clear contrast between what he stood for in ’94 and what the Bush administration has been about, but heck, how hard would that be?

However… credentials aside, if there is a worse name for a president than “Bubba”, it would be “Newt”. Tell me that he doesn’t sound like a henchman from an Ayn Rand novel.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
mmmmm

John Bolton?

Jack Higgins?

Dr. Phil?

Ellen Degeneres?

Toby Keith?

Repairman Jack (as long as we’re tossing around imaginary people)?
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
if there is a worse name for a president than “Bubba”, it would be “Newt”. Tell me that he doesn’t sound like a henchman from an Ayn Rand novel
Newt could also be the once and future king ;^)

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Repairman Jack (as long as we’re tossing around imaginary people)?
Nah. I prefer Larry the Cable guy.

"Git ’r done".

What a great campaign slogan.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
However… credentials aside, if there is a worse name for a president than “Bubba”, it would be “Newt”. Tell me that he doesn’t sound like a henchman from an Ayn Rand novel.
Or a little girl in a science-fiction movie.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Newt could also get better.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
That’s a different Monty than Billy’s referencing in the title, Tom. ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Newt could also get better.
Sure, but what would he turn back in to when he did?
I’ll vote for Wackyhermit if we can do her a nose....and a hat.

So far all of the suggestions leave me cold.
Newt on serious reflection in the hopes of limiting government.
Jeb, nope, non-starter, "no more Bushes".

Rudy - I could live with. How bout Rudy and Powell? Rudy and Condi?
You know I’d probably feel better about the possible Republican Presidential candidates if we had a resonable slate of people in the House and Senate (yeah yeah, I know, ’My senators’ are okay, yours could refurbish trailer hitches)
to pair Rudy or Newt up with.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Jeb, nope, non-starter, "no more Bushes".
I’ll bet ten bucks that by the end of the 2008 campaign, some talking head type on national media will express nostaglia for the Bush years.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Jeb can’t be the guy - talk about a ’royal family’ if he was elected. Father in the Navy, CIA, Senator, VP for 8 years, Prez for 4, older brother Prez for 8 years... wow, can you imagine the fireside chats they must have?

Are we at a point where a non political politician is electable? Probably not. Which means no libertarian candidates. Of the Repubs I thought as far back as a year ago that a Rudy/Condi ticket would be hard to beat.

Didn’t Next get run from office because of a book deal? I seem to recall a lack of ’concern’ when Hillary got her deal while in office. So maybe his ’dirty laundry’ ain’t so dirty anymore.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Hey don’t discount Jeb. He has done a pretty job in FL. The state is an amazing place as far as taxation and law and order are concerned. Jeb would (hopefully) bring the same kinda fiscal discipline to the federal government. Hell, he might even carry NJ and NY in the polls given how fiscally irresponsible those state governments are...

About the "Bush Factor", Iam sure that after a month of campaigning, people would be able to see that Jeb is vastly different from the prior Bushes. He speaks fluently and from the heart in 2 languages (the present one can’t express himself in 1). He comes across as a very centerist Republican. Moreover, have you noticed that Jeb hasn’t been seen around GW lately :-)

Regarding Iraq, a lot of water would have flown down the Eupharates by ’08...

Go Jeb.....

 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Jeb’s son?
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
As I wrote elsewhere; Funny what a difference time makes. In the 1980’s I loved Senator McCain, and thought him the intellectual heir to Goldwater’s Libertarianism. While I despised Giuliani as an ambitious DA who was persecuting men of commerce to make a name for himself.

Now, I see I was pretty much exactly 180 degrees wrong on both of them.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Go Jeb.....
Sorry I got a deal going with all the lefties, No more Bushes, no more Clintons.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
The problem with Newt is he is one of those 3rd Way politicians. Meening, he believes in a one world government, no borders, increased NAFTA, etc....

If McCain is the one then they can count my vote being placed for some 3rd party nobody.Rudy/Condi I’m more then open to that one but would like to hear more from them. Rudy/Powell no way may as well vote a democrat in.
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
Clint Eastwood.
Milton Friedman.
Dave Barry.
Virginia Postrel?



 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Virginia Postrel is an interesting idea. Especially if we get her husband in the bargain. (I’ve met him - he’s pretty smart, not least because he married Virginia.)

Same story with Milton Friedman, because he’s got Rose. What a great pair! And we need Rose because she’s the one that backs the Iraq effort. (Milton has his doubts.)

Maybe we need to start thinking about great partnerships as potential presidential material - maybe the job has grown beyond one person.


 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
(The proprietors of this site prefer "neolibertarianism", though I’m afraid that word has about three too many syllables to really catch on.)
If you were anywhere but North America you would be called neoliberal. But I like your description better, makes positive allusion to the word liberty.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Off the top of my head I can only think of one libertarian voice on TV right now. And, succeeding the controversially prominent Cheney, he could bring along a vice president who would restore that office’s reputation for being seen and not heard.

Penn-Teller 2008.
 
Written By: Bitter
URL: http://qando.net/
"he could bring along a vice president who would restore that office’s reputation for being seen and not heard."
*snork*

Three points.

But does he clot?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://

 
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