Plus or minus: the Presidential candidates

An unofficial, layman’s take on some of 

the candidates’ pluses and minuses

Jeb_Bush_at_Southern_Republican_Leadership_Conference_May_2015_by_Vadon_02Jeb Bush (R)

Floridians, both Democrats and Republicans, often say he ran a helluva good state as governor. He has experience and would enter with a built-in infrastructure. But many view him as bought and paid for by the big money Republican establishment and its pet interests. Reality check: Anyone who says “I’m putting on my big boy pants” and “I’m my own man,” raises the question in the minds of voters.


Ben Carson (R)

Outsider, calm demeanor, sense of humor. The worst they could find is that he wasn’t as bad of a kid in middle school as he’d once said? Nobody doubts his intellect. But Americans wonder if a doctor has the leadership skills and brand of smarts necessary to run the country.

Chris_Christie_April_2015_(cropped)Chris Christie (R)

Plainspoken and direct; praised by some Democrats as a fair boss. Pragmatic. Been-there-done-that as a state chief executive. Some Repubs don’t consider him conservative enough on key issues. Some view him as a bully who’s full of hot air.

Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_cropHillary Clinton (D)

In many ways, the most experienced politician in the field. A survivor. Knows all the players. Moves easily in the right circles. Cool cucumber and smooth operator. Has a loyal core of supporters. Attracts the big money. Knows whose closet, besides her own, has skeletons. She’s bogged down by real, not imagined, missteps. Americans most frequently think of her as a “liar.” Her inside polling shows most Americans do care about Benghazi. Reality check: For her, the best headline at the end of the FBI investigation still isn’t good: Hillary not indicted for her rogue email practices and allegations of endangering national security and circumventing public information laws.

Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_CongressTed Cruz (R)

Intellectual. Relishes going against the grain. Skilled at making his case and answering tough questions with better answers. Sometimes it’s too rehearsed–like a Baptist preacher. His own party is working against him.


Carly Fiorina (R)

Business sense and confidence. She’s right: a debate between her and Hillary would be fiery. She makes passionate and well-thought out speeches, and gives intelligent answers to questions on complex issues. But they can sound like lectures and diatribes.


Mike Huckabee (R)

A pleasant demeanor; all around nice guy. Experienced as a state chief executive. The former Arkansas governor isn’t as well known as one might expect, especially after his years on Fox News.


John Kasich (R)

Also an experienced state executive as governor of Ohio. Proven to take on tough conservative issues such as welfare reform and balanced budget. But viewed as supporting Obamacare, and some don’t like his past ties to the banking industry.


Martin O’Malley (D)

He’s 53 on January 18: the youngest in the field of top Democrats (15 years younger than Hillary, and Bernie is old enough to be his father). Dems like his social positions. Like the other two top Democrats, he’s a career politician. Another former governor with state chief executive experience. His governorship is nothing to brag about.

Official Portrait

Rand Paul (R)

Viewed as an outsider. It takes guts to buck the crowd and invite the ire of your colleagues for what you think is right. As a doctor, he has a more diverse perspective on some issues than a typical politician does. Some of his libertarian views set him apart. They also make him unpopular among many Repubs. He registers low on charm and diplomacy.

Official Portrait

Marco Rubio (R)

Great at explaining his positions clearly and in a nutshell. Many like the idea of a Rubio. Perceived by some as not too far inside the party, not too far outside; juuuust right. He’d be 45 when taking office; some say it’s too much too soon (Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest incoming President at 42.) Some view him as shaky on the trust scale.

Sanders-021507-18335- 0004

Bernie Sanders (D)

Not for sale, so don’t bother. Says what he thinks. Self-deprecating humor. Many Americans like the free lunch he offers up. He’s the antithesis of a corporate interest candidate. He doesn’t hesitate to take on big money powers. He’d be 75, the oldest incoming president by about 5 years (Reagan was 16 days shy of his 70th birthday). Americans unlikely to elect an elderly white male socialist, but you never know. Even his supporters know deep in their hearts that the free lunch really does come with a bill. Reality check: Bernie is a career politician, having spent 45 years in politics– though most never heard of him until this campaign.

Rick_Santorum_by_Gage_Skidmore_8Rick Santorum (R)

Speaks with passion on his passions. Lawyer by training. Early to recognize the Islamic extremist threat. Expresses family values that his Repub supporters love. But he’s not well known, and many who do know him consider him too much of a Republican party insider.


Donald Trump (R)

By far the most captivating, dynamic presence in the field. How did a billionaire convince so many that he’s closest to being a man of the people? Voters believe he’ll get it done and work for them, not paid interests. Appeals to Democrats, Republicans and independents. Also offends constituents in all three groups. If he makes bad decisions, it won’t be because he’s on the take. Some think he’s too dictatorial. Americans wonder would he be too brash or rash on globally crucial matters?


7 Responses to “Plus or minus: the Presidential candidates”

  1. gary rose
    January 18, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    no green party candidate, revealing. good little toby.

  2. Edga Allan Lawson
    January 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    If Jeb had everything to look at, He would not see it. He is without vision on the necessary.
    The next president will have to fight on at least twenty fronts at once, He cannot be as deliberate, As patient as Ben Carson.
    A picture of the future, Excludes Chris Christie.
    Hillary Clinton has overcame all that was good in her. She is the same age as I am, People like her and I are guilty of everything. The next president has to be a better person , Than Hillary Clinton.
    Ted Cruz Is like an actor that over acts, He detracts from the quality of the film. He could add to the background of this historic episode if not allowed to move about.
    I love Carly Fiorina, I love listening to her speak, She is a classic beauty, I approve her run.
    Rand Paul came, We saw him, He did disappoint us.
    John Kasich is a well worn ghost of elections past.
    Marco Rubio Where will the life ,Moral, And Normal experiences come from, When, At what time is he to obtain them?
    Bernie Sanders Faithful adherent of Lycurgus and his Communism, Appearing young to the young of every age, You go Bernie.
    Donald Trump Sheltered life, Trophy wife, What is in it for us?

  3. surf salterpath
    January 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    There’s only one choice.

  4. Andrew Curlutu
    January 19, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    A fair and honest appraisal of the candidates. Let’s hope The Iron Czarina doesn’t win the general, ,though, of the SHTF.

  5. Bill McArthur
    January 23, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    Thank you, your website and Full Measure show have become my #1 go to for news. Thank you for factual, tough, but professional investigative reporting.
    I have stopped watching Fox, and never did watch the networks (George Stephanopolis, really?) I do like Newsmax and occasionally visit Drudge; But your refreshing reporting is my favorite.
    Thank you again and keep up the great work (like F & F and Benghazi).

  6. Jane Peters
    January 28, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

    Whoever wrote this leans right.

  7. JJ Fleming
    March 17, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

    If Cruz seems ‘rehearsed’ it is because he has clearly thought the issues out. He is not an entertainer with slick rhetoric tickling the ears of his supporters, casting names and demeaning his fellow candidates.

    He loves America and wants to save America. This is serious business for him and it should be for ‘We the People’ too. He is the one telling it like it is, even if people do not want to hear the truth. I can’t say that for the rest of them.

    Cruz has the moral character, the intelligence with wisdom, and the courage to stand for right even when it means pushing against his own party and interests. He is an outsider to the establishment. He knows and loves our Constitution and the Rule of Law. He wants America restored and protected. He is a man with a record of doing what he says he will do. He exhibits calm strength – not that of a bully and manipulator. Cruz is the closest candidate to Reagan since Reagan.

    I am hoping America will not make the same mistakes as they have for the last 2 presidential elections. However, it seems they want to rush down the same roads like mice towards the trap only wanting the cheese and not seeing the danger.

    May God bless and save us.

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