The one-word Republican

27 March 2012

Written by: Erdem Koc

Recently, The Washington Post and Pew Research Center conducted a poll on the Republican candidates with a difference.

The poll was designed to garner ‘quick, off-the-cuff public impressions of the four top GOP candidates’, according to the Post.

In reality, the poll specified that those surveyed gave a one-word response to each of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination.

It would be easy to question the laughable legitimacy of judging a candidate with one word, or even if such a poll is indicative of a group of voters worn-out by an incessantly long process, but instead lets give this whole one word thing a shot…

NEWT GINGRICH

Inconsequential.

Not too long ago, ‘frontrunner’ could have been the word used to describe Gingrich, but a litany of highly publicised missteps led to an agonising fall from grace for the Pennsylvania native.

Whether it was his incredibly contradictory discussion points on the family values – considering his own track record – or his statement of intent to make the Moon the newest member of the United States, Gingrich lost his way on the trail.

However, the ever-defiant Gingrich will in all likelihood remain defiant and continue to talk up his prospects of securing the nomination.

Lets just hope he’s not holding his breath.

RON PAUL

Libertarian.

The list of Paul’s policies and beliefs that go against what would be seen as the traditional ‘Republican way’ could stretch far beyond this column.

He voted against the Patriot Act twice (2001 and 2005), doesn’t believe that religious teachings and prayer should be compulsory in public schools, supported the rights of same-sex marriage in a 2007 interview, is against capital punishment and has been highly critical of the Iraq War.

Paul has successfully captured much of the younger Republican vote, but that doesn’t appear set to transfer into a successful nomination campaign for the Texan.

RICK SANTORUM

Doomsday-ic.

If you believed everything Rick Santorum has said lately, you’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe the Mayans may have been onto something with the whole ‘end of time’ prediction.

Santorum has been incredibly effective is turning every election topic into a seemingly survival-altering issue.

While I would love to say that such a scare-tactic approach to politics wouldn’t be successful, Santorum’s rise up the polls, and the historic examples of Republicans past, attests otherwise.

MITT ROMNEY

Indecisive.

Romney’s changes of heart – or flip-flops as his opponents have coined them – have dominated the negative attacks on him during the campaign so far.

The former Massachusetts governor has made contradictory comments on: abortion, stem cell research, and raising the minimum wage in a number of his attempts to connect with his audience, whichever one it may be at that time.

With that being said, Romney still appears destined to secure the nomination and try to traverse the road to the White House.

Ironically, however, even though he may be the overwhelming favorite at the moment to win the Republican battle, it appears highly unlikely that he would win the Presidential war.

Liam Quinn is a second-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University.  He is currently on exchange at Michigan State University, and is covering the 2012 US presidential elections for upstart.  You can follow him on Twitter: @liamquinn23