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Archive for January 22nd, 2008

This is how it is shaking down at one Florida household a week before the primary, a primary at which only one of our two votes will count toward delegates. Thank you, RNC. It could be worse; we could be voting in the Democratic primary and neither vote would count.

When I say our vote is shaking down, I mean shaking down. We have put the candidates in a big sieve. We shook the handle early on and several fell right through the holes that were our strongest personal negatives (Guliani, Romney, Paul, McCain.) Thompson just skimmed around but stayed in, as did Huckabee and Hunter. At one point we read Ron Paul’s record. Darn! He shouldn’t have fit through any of those holes. We threw that sucker back in the sieve. Then Hunter bailed out on his own. We got a good look at Paul’s manner in a debate and reluctantly shook him out again through the hole of un-electability.

Originally issues about foreign policy, illegal immigration, gun control, and social issues figured strong, but no one candidate agreed on all our views. We had to prioritize those views. But a funny thing happened on the way to decision day. The economy moved front and center.  We put them all back in and shook the sieve again with that issue in mind. Those with puny real life financial experiences came tumbling out: McCain and Thompson. Guliani as mayor hung on, as did Huckabee as governor. Paul got a few points running a medical office, but not enough. Romney came to the top on this one, way to the top. We threw Guliani out on principal and jettisoned fellow Baptist Huckabee after his remarks with the scent of theocratic leaning. In case I lost you, only Romney stood with every hair in place, like a cardboard figure in the bowl of the sieve.

Then this morning I am reminded of Huckabee’s embrace of the Fair Tax. I’ve read the book and some of it scares me, especially as a retiree, but I cannot dismiss its promise as a tool to a more competitive global economy. We are using economy as sole criteria here, so Huckabee hops back in. Thompson meanwhile withdraws.

Am I pleased with the two candidates standing after the shakedown? No. Will they still be there this time next week? I don’t know. Will Bloomberg jump in and change the whole dynamic? Who knows? Will I ever again snicker at an undecided voter? NO.

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