For the first time, I decided to tune into a Republican nomination debate. Normally, I try to avoid American politics as much as possible. Let’s be honest, it’s messy, nasty and somewhat teeth-grinding. Watching American politics debates and speeches is like watching a movie filled with foreshadowing, where you the audience know something that the characters do not. All the while, you just want to yell at the characters to let them know the truth.
The interesting thing about the candidates, and then there were four, is that each of them is a character in his own right.
1) Mitt Romney is that guy you know is an a-hole, but you can’t say it because he takes great care to cover his tracks and not make you think he’s an a-hole. He’s very polished as a person and businessman, so polished, you just don’t trust him. He does and say the things you expect him to say, but something under the surface just reeks, and while you can’t exactly smell it, you know it does. His slick back hair, pearly white teeth, all of it bothers you, because you know what it represents; yet you just can’t smack it off his face.
Of course, it’s laughable that Romney believes he’s the man to represent the working class and the middle class, and insists he earned his millions himself. In reality, Romney was born to a wealthy, granted self-made billionaire, but Romney expects people to accept that he did not benefit at all from having a wealthy father. He “pulled himself up from the bootstraps.” Sure, Mitt, also known as a the “Wall Street” candidate. But, of course, there was the “tax issue” last night, which caused the audience to boo him dearly. When asked about releasing his tax statements, he fumbled verbally, leaving people to speculate he’s hiding something. Is that the skeleton people have speculated about all along? The thing about him you just don’t trust? After all, Romney’s net worth is estimated to be half-a billion dollars. He has bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, a place sleazy people who don’t want to pay taxes or who want to hide their wealth, put their money.
2.) Newt Gingrich is just not likeable… at all. He’s grumpy and hot-tempered. He’s desperate and he’s a slob.
3) Rick Santorum is the most honest, and the most awkward. In a way, he’s like the male version of Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin, but not as explosive or stupid. He says what he feels and believes what he says. This makes him naive, because who says what they really feel? Certainly not Mitt, whom he kept taking shots at for exactly that last night.
4.) And then there’s Ron Paul, the libertarian rambler who simply fires off his mouth when he feels. He says what people are thinking, and so comes across as undisciplined, untrained, because he goes off topic and it’s hard to follow his brain trajectory. Yet, he’s likeable with a cult following of young people, essentially because he’s an outsider, and was treated as such at the South Carolina debate. During the debate, the host, John King, kept forgetting him, and at one point, the audience had to yell for King to go to Paul.
At the end of the day, it will be Mitt Romney who wins the nomination. While Gingrich has the a-hole attitude, also, he’s not as polished and sly as Romney. Americans, particularly Republicans, like their leaders to be a-holes, and Mitt has that quality (a la Reagan and Bush Jr.). Romney has been winning essentially because he’s managed to keep every scandal either non-existent or under wraps; after all, he’s been running for president since he was born.