I watched the first Republican Primary Debate on May 5th, which was set for those candidates who have confirmed a run for president, formed exploratory committees, paid a $25,000 fee, or garnered at least 1% in five polls. Only five participated in this debate, including Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Gary Johnson. The debate covered topics from various fields, from foreign policy to social issues to the economy to the candidates that either didn't enter the race or didn't participate. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich were among the front runners who didn't participate.
Herman Cain seemed to be the one who shined the most. On the speaking end, I agree with this. He answered his questions clearly and gave concrete details as to what he intends to do. I still liked Ron Paul's performance at the debate the most, as he returned to complete unfinished business from the 2008 campaign. All of his answers were followed by applause from the audience, which is great to see such a small name candidate from 2008 finally getting the recognition and respect he deserves. Gary Johnson, on the other end of the stage from Paul, expressed the best sense of humor. He was the least recognized of the candidates, thus received the least amount of speaking time. However, I do like his personality. His highlight question had to be what his reality show would be like if he had one, which had to do with the fact that Donald Trump had yet to throw his hat into the ring. Tim Pawlenty came off as a typical politician and Rick Santorum basically came off as being an old-fashioned and typical conservative. If I had to grade the performances in the debate, I would give Cain and Paul A-'s, Johnson a B+, and Pawlenty and Santorum C+'s. This debate was held by FOX News in South Carolina. The next debate will be on June 13th and will be held by CNN in New Hampshire.
One week later, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have confirmed they will be running for president. I watched a portion of Ron Paul's announcement that he made in New Hampshire, and it seems like he's got a fire to win the presidency. Paul wants a smaller federal government, more devotion to the U.S. Constitution, and more rights for the states. When he entered the race in 2008, he received a morsel amount of percentage points and barely any recognition. He eventually gained recognition as the year went on, and finished in fourth place in the Republican primary, only behind John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee. This time around, with his devotion to smaller government and a push on Libertarian views, Paul may have himself a better year than before. He is a founder of the current Tea Party movement, which made its mark in several ways during the 2010 elections.
Ron Paul may very well be the best candidate in the race and may very well hold this position by primary season. He has garnered a great deal of recognition and I very well hope that he continues to gain recognition. He has excellent plans that will surely help the country. I'll be looking forward to seeing Paul at more debates as the primary season rolls along and I really hope that he gains the support he deserves in order to make a good run at the presidency. He will surely be a different kind of president, a kind of president that we haven't had in a really long time. For him, he may go down a path that no president has gone down before, and it very well may be the best one.