Where the Candidates Stand Now
By Ed Hoffman
Now that the final debate of 2015 has taken place, it’s time to narrow our focus when it comes to the candidates we support. Just like many of you, I had a pretty broad list of contenders on my personal list; I wavered back and forth a bit on who I intended to support. After meeting a few of the candidates in person – namely Rick Perry (no longer in the running), Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina – I found myself liking a lot of them. But at this point, the question is no longer whether we like any particular candidate; it’s whether we believe they are presidential material, period. After the debate last night, here’s where I stand on that.
Carly Fiorina: Yes, yes and yes. Once again, Carly showed that she truly has what it takes to be the leader of our great nation. Through her polished answers to the small handful of questions she was given, Carly reminded us of her international relations savvy – something that can be easily translated into foreign policy acumen. Donald Trump may have international business experience, but he lacks the high-level knowledge that Fiorina has an abundance of. I can’t say enough good things about her.
Donald Trump: I just don’t know anymore. What can be said about him that hasn’t been said thousands of times already? “He’s not politically correct, but maybe that’s what we need right now.” Sure, I agree with that. But is he presidential? Not when he says things that make no sense, like “close up that Internet thing,” and then has to go back and explain what he’s talking about because his words are being used against him. George W. Bush, who I’ve also met, was a caring, intelligent president – and sadly, he had a terrible time convincing skeptical and uninformed Americans that he wasn’t a hillbilly with half a brain. Donald Trump needs to start saying things clearly enough the first time to avoid that kind of scrutiny – but unfortunately, he’s well past the point of being scrutinized.
Ben Carson: I liked him before, I still like him now, but I’m not sure he comes across as strong enough. I’m not even sure his supporters think he’s strong enough. His struggle to communicate “energy,” that quality that has become so important this time around thanks to Trump, is getting a little bit painful to watch. And nobody wants to be in pain when they look at the president.
Marco Rubio: He’s the exact opposite of both Trump and Carson, in that he’s a polished politician who not only has good ideas but also knows how to tell people about them. Finally, as of this week, he stopped telling the story of his parents (thank God!). Beyond that, I’m still not sure about him – although I know a lot of people are.
Jeb Bush: Just stop. Really, just stop.
Rand Paul, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Lindsay Graham, Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Mike Huckabee: They all need to quit. The end.
Ed Hoffman is host of The Main Event on AM590, which airs Saturday 9:30 AM- 10:30 AM and Sunday 4:00 PM- 5:00 PM. Follow him on Twitter @EdHoffman, and like him on Facebook by searching The Main Event 590.