According to this article, Halter “positively oozes charisma”. I’ve watched some videos of him on Youtube, and I have to say I’m not feeling any charisma from him, but perhaps I need to watch more. Sen. Lincoln didn’t look to be terribly charismatic, but she’s not anti-charismatic either. It should be interesting. It’s an anti-incumbent year, of course; and I think that, in general, women are less charismatic than men to most people.

Also, the article says “[Halter] is actually seen getting out of a pickup truck at one point in the campaign ad (is this the Scott Brown formula??)” I do wish people would understand it was not Scott Brown’s truck that won him the election. It was the charisma gap. Brown could ride a Segway around and he would’ve won.

Generation Zero is a new documentary about the financial crisis. Apparently, it claims that the baby boomers caused the stock market crash in some way that I can’t figure out yet. I haven’t seen it, but it’s stocked with so many mainstream Republican/neo-con types that it makes me suspicious of just how much new information is in it. Based on the trailer, it looks a lot like Zeitgeist for Republicans.

It’s really good. Much better than the first, as I said. I did think the last mission had too many chances for big speeches by Shepard, though. The final battle was like the end of The Terminator on steroids. It’s not quite back to the level BioWare was at with KoTOR, but the plot is more engaging and the characters are way more likable than the ones in the first ME. I was truly concerned for my party members at the end, but fortunately everyone I cared about made it through.

Hutchison‘s a very liberal Republican.

Medina‘s from the Tea Party.

Perry is the most charismatic.

Perry will win.

UPDATE: And, by the way, what I said in January about charisma being less meaningful in primaries is still true. But it is still a big factor, especially when the candidates differ as much as these three do.

I haven’t finished Mass Effect 2 yet; but it seems to me that there are a hell of a lot of quests that involve parent/child relationships. Miranda and her dad, Jacob and his dad, Thane’s son, Samara’s daughter, Tali’s dad…

Just an observation; I’m not sure yet if it’s a brilliant thematic device or laziness.

I’m sure other people have discussed this, but I’m not reading anything about ME 2 until I finish it.

Gene Schwimmer thinks so:

“Barack Obama is a one-term president. If present trends continue, the next president will be a Republican. Mitt Romney, Scott Brown, your Aunt Petunia.

Or Sarah Palin. Whoever the Republicans nominate in 2012 becomes president in 2013. And that’s the key word: “Republicans.” Whoever the Republicans nominate.”

In my opinion, this is absolutely not true. There are very, very few Republicans who can defeat Obama that I know of. Mitt Romney hasn’t got a chance. However, it might comfort Schwimmer to hear that Sarah Palin has by far the best shot at defeating Obama. (Scott Brown also has a slim shot, but I don’t think he’s conservative enough for the base.)

Obama is a two-term President unless the economy stays at this level of unemployment or worse and  Palin gets the Republican nomination. As I see it, if the economy is still bad and Obama is up against Romney or someone like that, Obama’s charisma will enable him to make everyone forget about real issues. Likewise, if the economy improves much at all (as I expect it to) and Palin is the nominee, Obama and Palin will cancel out each other’s charisma, and Obama’s edge in experience will enable him to win.

Their battle has already made for a weird ad, but how are the non-charismatic three doing lately?

Well, apparently, they’re busy arguing over who will do what to Israel. It seems to me that this is unlikely to be an important issue with the voters of California, given the shape it’s in, but maybe I’m wrong.

In any case, this is what happens when there is no charismatic or anti-charismatic candidate in an election for everyone to love or hate. (This is the majority of elections, by the way.) They just sort of meander from issue to issue, scandal to scandal, and external factors determine the election.

In my last post, I mentioned Marco Rubio and this idea that he is the Republican’s answer to Obama. Having watched his CPAC speech, I have to say I’m not terribly impressed. Sure, he’s sort of good-looking and fairly witty, but he doesn’t seem to have that intangible charisma that Obama, Clinton and Reagan all do. He sounded–and this is my opinion only–sort of whiny and weak. He seemed, at times, like he was whimpering.

Still, I wouldn’t write him off on the basis of this one speech, and he has many good qualities, but I just don’t see him as capable of going up against Obama.