Thoughts on the CNN Debate

I think this is the 17th debate so far. How many more will we have to endure? Probably it depends on what happens in South Carolina tomorrow.

Newt did a good job smacking down moderator John King. King seemed nonplussed about it, however. I do like that there was one moderator instead of a panel. When they have a panel, often they are too busy trying to best their fellow panelists and get some limelight to ask penetrating questions. King did have an irritating habit, though, of asking a question and then giving a prologue to the answer himself. He needed to butt out.

Better, too, that they had only four “contestants.” They can give longer, better answers. Don’t you love how candidates kow tow to the state they’re in? Suddenly they are experts on the teams, foods, expressions and habits of a state and try to work that into a conversation whenever possible.

After King attacked Newt on his ex-wife’s blabbing, Ron Paul brought up an interesting point. He noted that we’re always trying to divest campaigns of money and influence from corporations, but what about the corporations that own the media? That is the dirty little secret the media never wants you to think about: who monitors their fairness? Of course, the answer is no one.

Somehow a man from Sevier County, Tennessee, managed to sneak in among the South Carolinians and ask a question. He was skeptical that candidates would actually repeal Obamacare. Newt’s answer was spot on. “If you have ever watched Washington and you are not skeptical, you haven’t learned anything,” he said.

Mitt gave that smug smile he has and the mask slipped when discussing Romney/Obamacare. He said “having been there on the front lines, showing that I have compassion for people who don’t have insurance…” Very elucidating! It’s not so much that he wanted a good system, rather the appearance of compassion was something he wanted to give, not true, free health care reform.

Good that the main issue of concern to many of us – Obamacare – got more play. Santorum focused on one of the most important aspects of it when he said, “it’s not a free market health care system. You (Romney) do not draw a distinction that’s going to be effective for us” in the coming campaign. Exactly true. How can we have the higher ground when Obamacare was fathered by Romneycare?

Throughout the evening it seemed the applause for Romney was tepid. The Paulbots were screaming, whistling and catcalling in the audience. They are just annoying.

Gingrich scored by having it revealed during the debate that he had just released his tax info and it is available for all to see online. That was a good gimmick that contrasted well to Romney’s appallingly bad response on his. King noted that Romney’s dad had revealed 12 years of tax reports when he was running; would the son do the same? Mitt uncomfortably stuttered and was not convincing. Maybe it’s the eyebrows. They give him an ominous presence. Someone, please, get some clippers on him!

Romney was weak and defensive all evening. Interesting how many times he said he agreed with others on the stage.

As for Ron Paul, he doesn’t want to release his own tax reports either. He said it would be embarrassing how little income he makes. Puhleez! Not biting on that one.

I was surprised that Rick Santorum got away with an “untruth.” He said he was the only candidate to win a swing state. In all fairness, what was Massachusetts to Romney? Hardly a Republican stronghold, but he did win the governorship.

We’ll find out tomorrow who really won this week’s debates.

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