Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Presidential Power Rankings # 20

May 16, 2007


1. Hillary Rodham Clinton (1)
2. Barack Obama (2)
3. John Edwards (3)
4. Al Gore (4)
5. Joe Biden (5)
6. Bill Richardson (6)
7. Chris Dodd (7)
8. Dennis Kucinich (8)
9. Mike Gravel (9)
10. Wesley Clark (10)

No changes here, but feel free to use the comments to tell us your own John Edwards beauty shop joke.


1. John McCain (1)
2. Mitt Romney (2)
3. Rudy Giuliani (3)
4. Fred Thompson (4)
5. Mike Huckabee (5)
6. Newt Gingrich (9)
7. Sam Brownback (6)
8. Duncan Hunter(8)
9. Tommy Thompson (7)
10. Tom Tancredo (new)

Quite a few changes this week for the GOP, based primarily on last night’s Fox News debate in South Carolina.

Giuliani clearly had a better debate than his first one and his dust-up with Ron Paul may go down in political history as one of the reasons he will ultimately capture the GOP nomination, if indeed he does, but still, the hits that Giuliani is taking over abortion and the fact that McCain seems to be improving against him in some polls leads us to rank them 3 and 1 respectively again.

As for my guy Mitt Romney, he had another solid debate performance, although perhaps not quite as good as the first one. That may have more to do with some other candidates being better and Fox News seemingly having it out for him. However, the latest polls still show Romney ahead in New Hampshire, and new Zogby one out today shows that while McCain and Giuliani have both lost support in Iowa, Romney has kept gaining it and now actually has a slight 19-18-18 lead over the other two frontrunners.

Gingrich made comments this week that there is a good possibility that he will indeed run. I happen to be a little skeptical, but based on his name recognition and showing in polls as a non-candidate, that means I have to move him up.

Huckabee had a pretty good debate and probably helped himself the most out of any of the second tier candidates, while Tommy Thompson had another very poor debate and looks quite out of place on stage with the other candidates.

I am kicking Ron Paul off the power rankings though, not just because I disagree with him, but because his statements in the debate saying that our policies caused the attack on 9/11 is something that will anger about 99% of Republicans and relegates him to the fringe category. Giuliani should send him a check for allowing him to respond to such an outrageous statement the way he did. Even the semi-nutty Tom Tancredo got in the mix and went after his friend Paul, in a way that actually made Tancredo look statesman-like by comparison. So, Tancredo is on at number 10 and Paul is off the list, and there is nothing you Paul spammers who troll the internet day and night looking to talk him up and attack anyone who disagrees, can do about it.

But feel free to leave your comments as to why Ron Paul is the only decent person running for President or something like that. Let me know you are out there!

American Idol- Final 3

Last night was a very busy one for t.v. viewing with the terrific victory over the one left for dead Chicago Bulls over the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals. After all that, I had to stay up very late to watch both American Idol and the GOP Presidential Debate, so this American Idol entry is coming just a few hours before the final contestant is sent home before the finals.

Last week, nobody was at all surprised when LaKisha Jones was eliminated, even though I strongly maintained that she was better than Blake Lewis.

Going into this week, I fully expected both Melinda and Jordin to outperform Blake for it to be a clear-cut choice (if the voting public went along) for an all ladies’ finale.

But song selection played a very important role in last night’s competition as in my opinion, one contestant was able to exceed expectations, another was able to meet them, and one might have fallen a little short at times.

The first of three rounds saw songs selected by the three judges. Nobody was bad this week in any round, but here is I how ranked this one:

1. Melinda Doolittle
2. Blake Lewis
3. Jordin Sparks

Simply put, Paula Abdul picked a much better song for Blake Lewis to succeed with than Simon Cowell did for Jordin Sparks.

Round two saw songs selected by the mysterious producers: Once again I had it:

1. Melinda Doolittle
2. Blake Lewis
3. Jordin Sparks

They were all really good in this round, and Jordin certainly did well, but it seemed like she had a couple slightly subpar moments in the song “She Works Hard for the Money.”

Finally, round three saw songs that the contestants themselves were able to pick. While Melinda and Jordin both did numbers that they had done earlier in the season, and were widely praised for, I do not remember Blake doing the song he did. Perhaps, he should or will get points for taking that route at least. This time I had it as:

1. Jordin Sparks
2. Blake Lewis
3. Melinda Doolittle

Melinda certainly was not bad here, but it seemed like she may had run out of gas a little doing her third song of the night, while Jordin was clearly at her best and Blake was very good in a contemporary sort of way too. He is a much better singer when he sticks to his natural voice instead of trying to totally change things around.

So, when you add all the positions together, and with the lowest number being the strongest, I had:

1. Melinda Doolittle- 5
2. Blake Lewis- 6
3. Jordin Sparks- 7

It is a surprise to me, and perhaps one that I am not necessarily happy about, but I think Blake may have earned a spot in the finale. Jordin has a lot going for her at the age of 17, but maybe just did not do what she had to do to blow people away in the first two rounds. Then again of course, she didn’t pick those songs. Perhaps, all those Hollywood liberals got wind of her Pro-Life activism and strong conservative views, and tried to sabotage her.

I do not think we should be surprised if any of the three are sent home. Melinda clearly deserves a spot in the finale, but her supporters may be lulled by overconfidence. If I am absolutely forced to pick who will be eliminated, I think it may be Jordin.