Thoughts on the Debate

According to the morning’s headlines, everyone at the debate ganged up on Mitt Romney. Didn’t seem so to me. If you think asking him to turn in his tax info is mean spirited, then his skin is too thin to be president. The others could have done a lot more.

Romney didn’t score a big win, but he was adequate. He needs to speak a little more slowly – especially in the South. He always seems to want to zip through an answer, peppering it with too much information, perhaps in a diversionary move.

If Mitt looks smug, Newt looked a little sour. Clearly, he’s still steaming about his hammering by Romney in Iowa and New Hampshire. Still, he got the most sustained applause for his tete a tete with Juan on jobs. I wish he’d stop saying “First of all” when he starts a question.

Gingrich gave solid, conservative answers. When asked about Social Security after Romney’s turn, the difference in the two’s ideas was stark. Newt gave a much more substantive answer.

Ron Paul needs to control his laughing. It makes him look like a demented little elf. I was surprised he couldn’t pronounce Khalid Sheik Mohammed and that he insisted on drawing a distinction between the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Seems like a minor difference when they both want us dead.

Paul’s an air hog, too. His mouth just keeps on going. Perry was right when he said they needed a gong for him.

Blessedly, Rick Santorum left the sweater vest at home.

Did anyone miss Huntsman? Didn’t think so.

I liked Perry’s answer on foreign aid (none to our enemies) and on Tinklegate – the Marines urinating on dead Taliban. It’s appropriate to bring up Danny Pearl, who was brutally beheaded in contrast to a few Marines making a mistake.

Interestingly, Romney said he agreed with Perry four times.

Gerald Steib of the Wall Street Journal couldn’t resist throwing a turd in the punchbowl, i.e. SuperPac ads. Romney’s answer to Newt made me think “he doth protest too much.”

Fox can drop the twitter graph. It was just a vehicle for the Paulbots. Ditto the punditry. People listening for two hours to the debate can make their own decision without the panelists butting in.

If Romney wins South Carolina and Florida, what will the networks do for viewership in the time until the conventions? They’ve assured that the lack of competition will drive away any interest. For the party, it will also mean that 46 states now have to sit by and just sign their names on the paper that’s already been written for them. Not something that garners enthusiasm.

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