With the many Republican debates, it seems best to avoid knee jerk reactions. It’s also best to avoid some of the media talking heads who pontificate after them. If there is one thing I would implore Republicans to do it would be to watch the debates yourself, form your own opinion and decide who you like best.
Who’s got the right message for you is what matters.
After Thursday’s debates, many said Newt held his own. Some said Mitt did better (I liked Erick Erickson’s snark comment “better debate performance than this past Saturday. The software upgrade must have worked.”). Others said Newt was damaged by Bachmann; others opined they were both Newt and Mitt were “leaky buckets” in their arguments.
Many claimed that Perry had his best debate. I concur. He spoke less haltingly and more authoritatively. All his answers were good. The humor he displayed also worked. Perry seemed the only one up there who’s ego would let him poke fun at himself – a very American and endearing trait.
I never knew how much Romney’s eyebrows bothered me until the last debate. Something about them gives him a slight sinister quality. My husband clarified it. “They look like Brezhnevs’,” he said of the brows. Exactly! Someone tell him to thin those things quickly. It’s not good to look like a former Soviet premier.
Other impressions on Romney: he still seems slick. He praised the Ryan-Wyden new Medicare proposal maybe a bit too much for me. It just underscored his unwillingness to be a firm conservative. He overdid it on the judges, too; perhaps he doth protest too much?
Newt was again Professor Newt. In one answer he proposed that he knew more because he was a professor or words to that effect. After Woodrow Wilson you can’t help but frown on professors in the Oval Office. It added to his condescension – already a problem for me. Gingrich sometimes hides behind continual talk as he did with the abortion issue. A little bit more direct answer would be better.
Ron Paul showed again that he is useless when it comes to foreign policy. He called it the “useless war in Iraq.” It’s easy to say that now. Because we didn’t witness an attack here by Saddam doesn’t mean it might not have happened. Paul knows that you can’t prove a negative so he thinks this tactic works for him. Declaring that Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons that would harm us is beyond naive. It would be scary to have him as Commander in Chief. I do give him points, however, for mentioning the Community Reinvestment Act as one of the sources for our current economic woes.
Bachmann was great about the courts. Her voice is just a little too whiny though. I think that makes attacks on her stick more than they should. I like her strong conservative voice. Santorum had good answers, but he just didn’t seem to score any points. Ditto Huntsman.
Fox did a better job at this debate than their previous one.
It’s fortunate that we will be spared any more debates for a while. Let’s let the candidates go out and stump, talk to the people and make their case.
If people in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina actually listen to the candidates rather than the pundits, the outcomes might be more surprising than the polls now indicate.