After watching the gathering of desperate fools on stage sully the name of Ronald Reagan Wednesday night, I tried to imagine that I was a Republican.
Not an easy task, but certainly a confusing spot to be in.
I am here to help my GOP brethren and sisteren.
Obviously nobody could possibly make a decision on voting based on what these people say or how they look (except for Scott Walker’s bout of Nixonian upper lip sweat) or how they act or how they pander. This has been so old fashioned. So, I have a new idea, based on fantasy sports.
Playing fantasy sports is a national obsession. You draft a team at the start of the year and on you go. You have a draft board with strengths and weaknesses of each player, and you put them on the board in the order you’d like to draft them.
So let’s treat the Fab Fifteen as a pool of athletes. Let’s think of the debate like the combine where the jocks show off for the teams. Let’s create our draft board.
1. Donald Trump
Biggest strength is that he has absolutely no filter and will say anything that comes to mind. Biggest weakness is that he has absolutely no filter and will say anything that comes to mind. Also a high draft pick because he will keep us laughing in the locker room.
2. Marco Rubio
About the only person in the field who seems like a nice guy. That old thing about a guy you’d like to have a beer with seems to fit with Rubio. Biggest weakness is that he’s really got no backbone. He just seems like he could be pushed around pretty easily.
3. Ted Cruz
He’s the only guy who seems like a true believer. He went to Harvard, but we can’t hold that against him. He must have been the loneliest guy on that liberal campus. The big weakness for Cruz is that he is a true believer who thinks he’s a genius and won’t listen to anybody else. For example, he says he is going to make the Supreme Court behave. Really, Ted?
4. Scott Walker
Walker is our guy, and we want to believe he’s a good candidate. But who would have thought he would have that Nixonian upper-lip sweat thing going on. Under the glare of lights and Fiorina (who was standing next to him) he seemed to wilt like a ten day old daisy in a vase. During the debate, Walker used the words "Kurd" and "Sunni." Nobody asked him if he knew what those words meant.
5. Ben Carson
His big strength is his sense of calm. Nothing seems to bother him, which is probably part of his training as a pediatric neurosurgeon. Cool under pressure. But his big weakness is that he has absolutely no experience that might make him a logical candidate for president. Do we really want Dr. Drew Pinsky running this country?
6. Carly Fiorina
Big strength is that in her first crack with the big boys, she did a pretty good job. She was trained but tough. She obviously has passion and wasn’t afraid of anybody. I think she surprised people with how much she knew. Her biggest weakness, of course, is that she presided over one of the most blatant and dishonorable business failures in the history of the computer world.
7. Jeb Bush
He speaks Spanish. Big plus in his column. He can also call his brother and dad for advice. His biggest weakness is that he can call his brother and his dad for advice. Plus he doesn’t seem like he really wants to be here, but he’s got so much money he can’t avoid running for president. Plus he wants to put Margaret Thatcher on the $10 bill.
8. Mike Huckabee
Strength is plays bass pretty well and has been known to knock out a good line for "Louie Louie." His big weakness is that he thinks being a Christian gives you the right to only obey the laws of the country that you like.
9. Rand Paul
He seems like a smart guy even though it’s hard to figure out what he’s talking about. His biggest problem is that people can’t figure out if he’s his dad or if he is who he is. He calls himself a Libertarian and nobody knows what that is.
10. Chris Christie
The pit bull of the field. He growls. He frowns. He drips saliva (I made that up, but it’s probably true). If you watched the debate, it looked like Christie couldn’t even stand up. He kept leaning on the podium, and you could almost hear the podium screeching in protest. You would think the alleged dignity of the situation required each candidate to stand up straight. On the "Who do you want on the new $10 bill?" question, he almost said the Addams Family (I could picture Morticia) but then he said it was John Adams he was talking about. Phew.
11. Bobby Jindal
He should be a much more appealing candidate. He’s got a good story. But nobody can ever forget the performance in his response to the State of the Union speech in 2009. It might have been the worst television speech by a politician in history and no matter how hard he tries, it’s like a tattoo on his forehead.
12. John Kasich
Ohio. He lives in Ohio and says that he has engineered a turnaround in the finances of Ohio. But finances are not the biggest issue facing the president. He seems to have only a nodding acquaintance with the world outside Ohio.
13. Rick Santorum
He seems like a guy who shows up every now and then before disappearing into the hills of Pennsylvania. He keeps saying that he couldn’t stand the Washington bureaucracy so he left. He neglects to mention that it was the voters of that state who told him to come home.
14. George Pataki
The biggest problem with Pataki is that it’s almost impossible to figure out why he is running for president. The only answer seems to be is that he’s in need of a job.
15. Lindsay Graham
I know it’s tempting to say, "Who?" when you hear his name. But we can at least feel a little sorry for him. He makes a big deal about being the only bachelor in the race. But he’s really like that little kid looking into the window, wondering why he can’t get a piece of candy.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.