Campaign 2012: Tom Fiedler grades the GOP candidates
With the presidential election one year out, we asked our Campaign 2012 experts to grade the slate of GOP candidates.
Below are the mid-term report cards for the Republican candidates. The grades are based almost entirely on their ability to make it through the starting gates in Iowa and New Hampshire while remaining viable. A top grade means the odds are excellent of being viable for the long run; a failing grade (and there are many) means their January will be rougher than the Red Sox’s September.
Romney — A. His debate performances showed a new-found ability to be able to fake gravitas, and to avoid stuffing his Johnston & Murphy’s down his gullet. Plus he’s rolling in money, is being matched against a field of midgets, and is happy to change any unpopular position he may have taken in his past.
Perry — C. He’ll do just well enough to hang on until South Carolina, where he might get his boots under him. Then he’ll stalk Romney through the rest of the primaries like a zombie – walking dead, but still threatening.
Cain — F. He’s deflating faster than the Greek currency…As they say in Germany, “Nein, nein, nein.”
Gingrich — D. Newt just lumbers onward, powered by just enough money and verbal gas to make the early cuts. But there’s no state where he can win.
Bachmann — F. Although she was the darling of the Iowa State Fair’s poll last summer, her message had the nutritional value of cotton candy.
Paul — D. There are just enough libertarians in each of the early caucuses and primaries to keep covering his bets. But he’s out after Florida.
Santorum — F. Do I really have to explain this? He wouldn’t even win the Pennsylvania primary if it was among the early contests.
Huntsman — F. Huntsman’s only chance would have been to transform himself backward through time and run as a Rockefeller Republican in the 1970s. He’s too educated, too rational and too principled to succeed in a GOP primary today.