Ron Paul really should pack it in but won't. After all, this is his last political hurrah, he is enormously popular with both the young voters and the older ones. He is making his points heard to such a degree that whoever wins won't, or shouldn't, ignore him. He's a good man with a couple of ideas that aren't so good but overall an inspiration and the perfect example of what sticking to principle is all about.
The wife factor: Mrs. Paul is rarely seen but appears to be a good fit with the Mister.
Newt. I had to chuckle at a clip this morning that had him saying he's still the true conservative alternative to Romney. He won his own state but didn't even pull 50%. This is probably his last hurrah too. His financier won't keep pouring money down a dry well. Whatever it is about him, he has lost his momentum. It isn't all negative ads. As he might say himself, there is just something fundamentally lacking.
The wife factor: Mrs. Gingrich is rarely not seen. There appears to be little warmth between them, she so perfectly dressed and coiffed. He with his hair often ruffled and his suit jacket straining over his ample girth. An odd pair.
Rick Santorum is the surprise. He is really more conservative by my definition than Newt, but then my definition is always changing as I try to sort out just what a true conservative really is. The 'true' conservatives seem always to have a 'God' factor tied to everything they espouse. It makes many people uncomfortable though there are far more who aren't than I had expected.
He knows his subject matter though I think at heart he's for more government involvement than I'd like to see or he is willing to admit. Can he beat Obama? Good question but I have my doubts. He's too prone to gaffs of a sort different from Romney's.
When his supporters say what you see is what you get, I wonder if it's enough.
The wife factor: Though she's mostly in the background, she is a presence. She demonstrates a great deal of affection for her husband by patting his shoulders or rubbing his back as they mingle after a speech. With seven kids, it's a safe bet they have a loving relationship.
Then there is Romney. We all know his resume by now. He knows big business and how to run it successfully, to wit the turn around of the Olympics. He needs to quit apologizing for who he is and the fact that he is wealthy. It shows me he is a man of achievement, not an empty suit. If it takes some new advisers to freshen the dialog than he should take heed.
The fact that he's been calm and steady throughout this bruising contest shows me discipline. That his policies aren't all shock and awe, we need to remember whatever changes that are going to be made will be made gradually. It took time to get into the mess, it will take time and prudence to get back out. Not drastic pie in the sky promises. I don't mind a bland personality if the hand on the tiller is steady, having an experienced touch.
The wife factor: She is always there and is engaged with the people around them as much as he is. They hold hands, they hug. They like each other and I like them. I've always watched the dynamics of the couple to help determine the make up of the man.
Can Romney beat Obama? If voters look at everything, not just the improving economy, I'd say yes. If the economy falters again, I'd say yes. If it surges I would expect the voters to turn a blind eye on everything else, especially foreign policy.
That could be disastrous, in more ways than one.