October 21, 2007

Brutus Buckeye Says...   -clip 'n save!

As a middle-class Midwesterner living in a swing state, I guess my bona fides as far as being able to discern viability are about as good as anyone's. So, as a public service, I offer you these viability ratings free of charge:

Viability (scale 1-10, from least able to defeat Hillary Clinton to most able)

Giulliani = 9
McCain = 8
Romney = 7.5
Huckabee = 6.7876
Thompson = 3
Ron Paul = 2
Everyone else = 0

  • If the socially liberal Giulliani is popular in the Republican primaries, as he seems to be, he'll be wildly so with swing voters.

  • Romney would get a slam-dunk score of ten except for his Mormonism, which takes him to a 7.5 unfortunately. The Mormon issue is a true wild-card though and I can't back this number up. I think a couple one-on-one debates with Hillary and the voters will forget his religion. Flip-flopping also a problem, but he seems to sell it better than John Kerry did.

  • Ron Paul, the only candidate with two first names, gets only a "2" because America, like it or not wants a smiley, happy-faced president, not a "Dr. No". But his libertarianism is certainly bracing and who doesn't like the idea of a little wholesome American isolationism given recent events?

  • Thompson gets the low grade because it's not that he doesn't have the fire in the belly, he doesn't even have smoke in there. Or maybe even a belly.

  • Huckabee is by far the most difficult to rate in terms of viability. He'd play well on Oprah given his earnest, aw-shucks manner and inspirational weight loss story. I gave him a 6.7876 in order to make it look like there is more accuracy in these viabilities ratings than there really is. Huckabee's savior might be soccer moms who want a kindler/gentler Republican but aren't ready for the cut-throat Hill-cat yet.

  • On the Democratic side, Biden is by far the most appealing, but Democratic primary voters tend to consistently nominate the candidate most repulsive to midwestern sensibilities (i.e. Gore, Kerry, etc...).

    I don't have to tell you that it's extremely difficult to discern how much to give away in terms of "purity" in exchange for viability. Everybody's got to draw their own line there. Giulliani is a non-starter for me but everyone else except for Ron Paul & Thompson are on the table since candidates with viabilities of 6 and up I consider viable. I take no pleasure in seeing Sen. Brownback's run end since he was pretty darn pure in terms of social conservatism, but it was obvious he was not even close to being able to upset Hillary's apple cart.
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