Donald Trump dominated the comic material at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday night and last week’s campaign coverage, but on Friday I asked readers which of the actual and potential candidates they think is doing best in the pre-primary primary.
Many readers took the chance to take a swing at Trump. Baldino writes: “Of the actual candidates and those who aren’t yet in the race, who do you think is doing best in the pre-primary primary?”
Iowahawkeye makes a smart point about Trump’s profanity:
I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty: the 40% of the Iowa Republican caucus who self-identify as evangelicals are sincere evangelicals, and they don’t say f**k at the dinner table. They don’t say f**k in the locker room, and they don’t say f**k on the tractor or in the boardroom. Trump is probably so self-involved he thinks he should still go wander around Iowa for a while, but that guy is going to have some stony silences to deal with now. Literally, he will have trouble getting any invitations to anything.
As for the real candidates, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) fared the best among readers. Dr. Berkeley remarked, “Mitch Daniels has been getting very favorable attention recently, particularly since Haley Barbour dropped out. (In this case, I will equate favorable attention with “doing the best.”) This favorable attention will probably change, particularly if he enters the race.”
And DonMega had this to say about Ryan:
Assuming Paul Ryan has not privately ruled out running for President, I’d say he has done the best thus far. Not only is he the leading Republican on what is likely to be the biggest issue of the 2012 campaign — the imminent fiscal crisis — but his Path to Prosperity has withstood Democrat criticism fairly well. Ryan is generating a lot of enthusiasm at his town hall meetings with constituents, and it is easy to see why. He is affable, yet serious. He is firm in his positions, yet respectful of his political adversaries. He is well-spoken and his positions are well thought out. Additionally, he exhibited considerable political skill during the roll-out of his Path to Prosperity. All other GOP presidential prospects pale in comparison to Ryan at this time.
It is noteworthy that no one selected the purported front-runner (Mitt Romney), mentioned Sarah Palin or considered Trump a serious contender. Given that, do we suppose the media might wean itself off non-stop Trump coverage? No, unfortunately not.