Commentary by Bob Thomas: GOP has strong stable of presidential candidates

"Anybody that wants the presidency so much that he'll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office."

- David Broder

It's time to take a curmudgeon's look at the forthcoming Republican spectacle. Let's examine the more obvious pluses and minuses of the better-known candidates.

MITT ROMNEY: He is well-equipped from the standpoint of executive experience. He has a business background and has demonstrated outstanding leadership. He is strongest where our present administration is weakest. However, he will never be elected because he is a Mormon (LDS). No one can be elected president without the South's huge Baptist vote.

TIM PAWLENTEY: As a former governor of Minnesota, he has lots of executive experience and a good grasp of what the job-producing sector is all about. He strikes me as a guy who is determined - if he wins - to take our country to new heights while restoring fiscal integrity. I don't know if he has any personal baggage, but with George Soros and his goons lurking about, you can be sure that Republican character assassination is in season.

NEWT GINGRICH: This man is by far the brightest of the lot when it comes to politics. Unlike Libertarians, he knows what is achievable and what isn't, and how to get things done. He lacks executive experience, but has tons of legislative experience, having been speaker of the House. He is a precise historian, a prolific author, and the best debater of all the candidates. But can he be elected? He has baggage, none of which has anything to do with his performance as speaker.

SARAH PALIN: This lady has it all together when it comes to knowing our nation's needs. And she has executive experience, having been governor of Alaska. She is a super strong woman in just about every way. But weak women (voters) who rely on the National Organization for Women or unions to get ahead, fear those who don't, and they won't vote for Sarah.

MICHELE BACHMANN: This woman should be the sole Republican candidate for vice president, running with whomever wins the primary. While she doesn't have executive experience, she has a business background and lots of legislative experience. When you listen to what she says and the way she says it, she's got it all together, but not quite enough yet to be president. Truly a classy lady.

MIKE HUCKABEE: He's a nice guy with great values and lots of executive experience, but not with a forceful enough personality to be the dominant, dynamic leader we need. Huckabee would do very well in the South but not in the North.

DONALD TRUMP: If he's truly running, don't underestimate him. He has the best genuine executive and leadership experience of all presidential candidates, and better yet, he's not a politician. Trump has the foresight, the private sector experience, and the knowledge it takes to create a climate for the widespread economic development and job creation we so desperately need. What a contrast to Obama! Here is a guy who would not be dependent upon others for solutions. He has the answers from personal experience. Any negatives? Yes, his personality will scare many faint-of-heart voters.

Personally, I think the above represents an excellent stable of candidates. It will be interesting to see if the Republican party learned anything from the last time around. Will they opt for an aggressive campaigner this time, one who can get tough and has fresh answers? Remember, you Republicans are famous for pulling your wagons in a circle and then shooting inward.

• Bob Thomas is a former Nevada state assemblyman.


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