In a previous post, I explained which Democratic candidates for President I liked, and why. Today, I'm going to provide the same kinds of thoughts about the major Republican candidates.
Once again, this is not intended to be any kind of prediction about who will be nominated. Just my thoughts about who I would prefer to see as President if a Republican had to be elected for some reason (e.g., another strange Supreme Court ruling).
Mike Huckabee - Huckabee is admittedly conservative, but he has some experience running a government (as governor of Arkansas) and in the interviews I have seen, he comes off as honest and likable. So I would like to think he's not going to continue torturing people or invading other countries for ego reasons. And I'd like to think he won't lie to us more than what is absolutely necessary.
Mitt Romney - Like Huckabee, Romney also has administrative experience as a governor (Massachusetts). Probably more liberal than Huckabee, but that is canceled out (perhaps overwhelmed) by his current pandering to the religious right. Bottom line is that he's intelligent and competent, but not very honest, and I'd actually rather have an honest conservative in the White House than a dishonest moderate.
John McCain - Too old, too conservative, and no administrative experience. Comes across as likeable in interviews, but that only gives him an edge over Giuliani.
Rudolph Giuliani - Giuliani's sole claim to fame is that, after the attacks on 9/11, he didn't hop onto an airplane and head for Nebraska but actually tried to do his job. He has little experience with national issues, no judgment on personnel matters (e.g., Bernard Kerik), and his views on foreign policy are frightening. He was not well-regarded as a mayor before 9/11 and, given the opportunity, he could be the second-worst President in American history. (Second only to George W. Bush, of course.)
Fred Thompson - I don't know much about him, but everything I know I don't like. He is inexperienced, inarticulate, and hoping for the support of the religious right. Add that up and it sounds to me like trouble.
Ron Paul - An honest and likable man with views that are absolutely opposed to mine (except perhaps on the issue of Iraq) and absolutely no visible aptitude for the job of President.