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WHO’LL DO THE LEAST DAMAGE?

If there was a landslide victory in last week’s Quick Poll, the laurel would go to Rudy Giuliani as the candidate likely to do the least damage (with 27% of the vote.) The poll, which purposely mixed Republicans and Democrats among the choices, took in a record 729 responses and placed Mitt Romney in the Number Two spot (pulling 20%). Barack Obama garnered 14% of the vote, narrowly shouldering past Hillary Clinton (13%) and Mike Huckabee (12%). The only single-digit candidate was John Edwards, who’s 6% of the vote couldn’t even overshadow the generic write-in “Someone Else,” who, though anonymous, managed 9%. The results–or more accurately, the choices–don’t thrill Commentator Stephen Siegel, who, when not providing political analysis, chairs global brokerage for CB Richard Ellis. Here’s what a disenchanted Siegel has to say:

“The saddest part of this election for me is that I don’t have anyone who jumps out at me or causes enthusiasm. Never have I been this unexcited. At one point, I thought Fred Thompson might be my candidate, if he had jumped in sooner and more powerfully. And of course he came in like tepid water in a bathtub.

“Edwards to me is a non-event. McCain has flip-flopped back and forth so much, I’m not sure what or who he is any longer. I just can’t get my arms around Romney, although he is Central Casting’s choice for president of the United States. But he too has some serious issues.

“Rudy Giuliani . . . from Mayor to president is a real leap of faith. There is no real foreign policy and he’s been out of politics for six years, not apolitical but out of politics. Also, he’s riding one wave–as the hero of 9/11–to shore, and I thought people were getting to the point where they would be asking if that’s all there is. But according to your percentages he’s actually doing better than I thought. Prior to 9/11 his popularity as mayor was low. He is the law-and-order guy, but he does have a record of being abrasive and divisive.

“Hillary Clinton is a very bright lady and has all of the political experience, either through osmosis or direct experience as US senator. But there are aspects of the Clinton years and the Clinton decisions–basically related to national security, defense and intelligence systems–that I have concerns about. We have serious issues along those lines and we have to be tougher and stronger than we’ve ever been.

“I’m surprised at the way your votes have fallen out and that Giuliani had this wide a spread. I thought Clinton would be closer and Romney would be third. The sentiment is clearly Republican and I would have thought the Bush backlash might have caused it to be a little more evenly divided.

“The choice in this election is between those who have no experience and those with too much. I’m hoping someone will emerge more clearly and answer more of the issues and make me more comfortable.”

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