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Memo to 2016 GOP Candidates ... My Power Rankings

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With just two weeks to go to the first GOP Presidential Debate, I thought I'd give my first impressions of the lineup of declared GOP candidates.  

Carly Fiorina ... she's been crushing it lately, gives a great speech, and handles interviews with aplomb. I like her ideas and her wry sense of humor. She would've been made a great governor for California, I think. But without having that experience, I find it harder to consider her for President of the United States. Sure, she ran HP, so she has executive experience, but she also nearly ran it into the ground.To the point where she was removed as CEO. But I'm paying attention to her, to see what her ideas are and if she can crack into the top 10. 

Chris Christie ... I love that he pretty much tells reporters off when they ask a stupid question. He's not afraid of the fact they buy ink by the barrell. And I dig that. It's refreshing. But even though he's a Republican that's gotten elected in a state that is dominated by Democrats, he hasn't done all that well as a Governor. His hype is way better than his track record. But he should be fun to watch on the campaign trail.

Lindsay Graham - One minute he's a valuable conservative asset, the next minute he's part of the gang of eight selling us out. So frankly, he just can't be trusted.

Ted Cruz. I love Ted Cruz. And that's why he needs to stay in the Senate. He takes bold stances and isn't afraid of ruffling Mitch McConnell's feathers. He's an excellent foil and at the very least gives conservatives that Mr. Smith vibe. So I think he should stay right where he is. In time, he could become the new lion in the senate.

Marco Rubio. After a hiccup with immigration reform, Rubio has been doing really well taking principled conservative stands.  But at this point, if he left the Senate to run, he'd likely end up being in a similar fashion as Dan Quayle as VP. And I think he can do better than that. So I'm looking at him down the road. He should stay in the Senate for while longer or run for Governor before going after the big chair at 1600 Penn. But he could be a very good president some day.

Rand Paul. Though he's a conservative Republican, he listens to his dad WAY too much. And that gives me pause. Plus, I'd rather stand with Rand in the Senate. Still, he's about the best looking candidate in a pair of ray bans since Kennedy.

The Donald. He may be a successful business man (who filed bankruptcy at least twice, btw), but as a public figure, he's a buffoon. I like that he's willing to say things that nobody else has the balls to say, but that's a two way street and there's likely more skeletons in his closet that would make him more ofa  liability than an assett. He also said in an interview that he "identifies as a Democrat," which leads me to believe his political philosophy is like his business ... he'll go where the wind blows. I also haven't discounted that he's part of what I call Clinton's Perot strategy. Get an outspoken popular business man who has a nacissistic ego to run, and when he doesn't get the nomination, decides to go third party and split the GOP vote, giving the Democrat the win with less than a plurality. It worked for Bill, it could work for Hillary.  So Trump has to go, brutally, and quickly. 
And who the hell says that if his daughter wasn't related to him, he'd probably be dating her?! Please, Donald, go away. Your fired.

Sarah Palin. Please god, don't let her run. She's not only a distraction, but she quit when the going got tough. She may be a fun annoyance and a fireball for delivering the red meat at CPAC, but if you nominate her, you may as well just give the Democrats another four years.

Dr. Ben Carson. Not even. I like his voice as a talking head, but the last thing we need is another candidate with no experience trying to learn how to run the most powerful country on earth through on the job training. That's what we got the last time and we all know how that has ended up. He just doesn't have it. He can learn to have it, sure. Run for Congress. Run for Senate. Run for Governor.  Would I want him in my head saving my life? Absolutely. Would I want him going up against ISIS or being strong standing up against Putin? He's not the guy.

Mike Huckabee. I'll never forgive him for what he did to Mitt Romney in 2008. That pretty much guaranteed Obama was president. 

Bobby Jindal. We need strong governors, and the fact that he's popular in Lousianna, a largely blue state means he should stay there and be a driving force in the party. At best, he'd be a VP and he may be running for that. But he'd do way more good staying where he is.

Jon Kasich. I like him. But I like Walker better.

Rick Perry. Though he's done well bringing jobs to Texas, my understanding is that he wasn't very popular with the people I know who live there. And that tells me something. Still, I liked his stand on the border, and I like him in the race. But he's kind of a stuffed shirt.

Jeb Bush. He kind of has an entitled attitude about him. He's a Bush, that should be enough. Well, sorry. Please, no more Bushes. But outside of his name, everthing you need to know about Jeb can be summed up in two words ... common core. He helped craft it and still believes in it. That's enough for me to say no thanks.

Rick Santorum. While I like his stance on abortion, I really don't want a repeat of the New York Senate race. Hillary knows how to beat him. Let's not go there. Also, he's been out of the game for awhile and I don't think he could gain that kind of momentum.

George Pataki.  I've always liked him. Was elected twice in the bluest of blue states. Good fiscal conservative. But I'm unsure about his social stands. he's also been out of the game for awhile. But as a VP, it could be a good choice.

One choice I would love to see in the mix ... Nicki Haley. She's awesome. Successful governor in South Carolina. And I'm torn to keep her there. She's got a future, to be sure. Another ... Alan West. Love that guy. Wish he had won his congressional race. Tough conservative. Marine. He'd definitely have our back. Also, Tim Scott. but again, we need him in the Senate for at least another term. Good guy though.

But so far, here's my pick ... Scott Walker. He's the guy. He stood up to the most powerful union in Wisconsin twice ... and WON. He has proven he can take the heat in the kitchen. He took a deficit and turned it into a surplus and was relected for his trouble. He's got the skills, the track record, and the experience. Couple his conservative bonafides with the mettle to fight the fight, and in a perfect world, this election would be his to lose.

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