This was, by far, the best GOP debate--partly because Diane Sawyer and George Clinton (the former Clinton press secretary) virtually slelep walked thrugh the debate. I often found myself nodding off as Sawyer asked a question in her best Martha Stewart voice. Donald Trump could not ossibly do worse than THIS Stil, that is what "journalists" are supposed to do: ;; give the CANDIDATES a chance to make the news, rather than having the "joournalists" try to do that with "gotcha" questions. Sawyer and Cliton lpretty much let the candidates talk for themselves, and the restult was a much better picuture of whee the cnadidates actually STAND.
For once, Romney---who had pretty much not had a glove laid on him in previous debates, altthough he made the mistake of always talking like the "politics as usual" candidate--LOST a debate. I am serious. While Romney did not actually make a "gaffe", he was LAST in this debatge. While everyone else was making points about their conservative positions--even Gingrich--Romney just kept saying tahtat his usiness experience made him the clear choice. It was not enough. Romney failed to say anything reallyl good, and mainly said the same onld things. Again, jsut not enough No, I dont think Romney needed to HAMMER Gingrich. That would have been a LOSING strategy. But Santorum reminded voters how CONSRVATIVE Gingrich once was (as a fire breathing conservative), while Romney only reminded people how LIBERAL he has been. While factually correct, Romney's rather hypocritical defense of RomneyCare gets more tired every time he goes into it. But ti is not anything that Romney really said that makes me say he LOST the debate. It is what he did NOT say. He really gave peopl--that is, conservatives--NO reason to vote for him, except that people don't think he is conservative enough to LOSE to Barack Obama. That "vanilla", cautious approach is also looking more tired the longer Romney runs. As I told my older daughter, who told ME the same thing when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, Romney does NOT CONNECT WITH PEOPLE. Taht could be fatal, and definitely caused him to lose this debate. People feel SAFE with Romney--that he is unlikely to do something absolutely stupid--but he inspires no one.
Gingrich got off a one-liner aboutr how Romney WOULD have beeen a "carreer politician", except he LOST to Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts (in a race where Romney said all of those LIBERAL things, which I belive Newt was referencing without saying so). Newt's problem was that "one-linters" wre not enough this time. He did okkay, but he was necessarily exposed as NOT all that "conservative" since his days as a firebrand revolutioinary bringing the "Contract wtih America" too the American people. This, of course, comes with being a "frontrunner", but Newt did NOT really do all that well explaining his long support of an "individual mandate" on health carfe, his "citizen review boards" on illegal immigration, or his other real positions. Gingrich was at his best EXOSING the other candidates as not as clever as he is, in previous debates, but Gingrich is NOT so good atg explaining REAL POLICY. As stqated, he had a one-liner or two, but you could not call him the "winer" (except gainst Ropmney, which may have been his only real goal--perahps to his regret).
Rick Perry ddi better than Gingrich, in what ws, by far, his BEWST debate. Perry was at his bery best in explaining how the MEDIA had taken a Gingrich statement out of all proportion, in an attempt to SMEAR Gingrich as too "dangerous" to be President. Gingricy said, in an interview with a Jewish "journalist", that tthe Palestinians were an "invented people", whose claim to an ancestral "homeland" is pure fiction. Gingrich is right. The question is whether it accomplished anything for Gingrich to SAY this, when the Plaestinians clearly now exist (mythology and all). I go back and forth on this one, although I tend to lean toward Gingrich's view that even a politicina should occasionally TELL THE TRUTH (withotu worrying to much about how INSANE Palestinians will take it (or even how Israel will take it). My problem is that I know that Gingrich regularly, over the past decases, has NOT "told the truth". Gingrich, by the way, throws out a "zero capital gains" tax, and 12% corporate income tax, as if we can now AFFORD those fraudlulent icons of the GOP relition. Remind me to again tell you what is wrong with a capital gains tax, and corporate tax, which ENCOURATE game playing with the FORM of transactinos (as individuals who are NOT corporations are not able to play games). The GOP cannot even get to a 25% tax on income for BOTH corporations individuals, and it is impossilbe that President Gingrich would be able to pass a ZERO capital gains tax, and extreme difference in the corporate and individual income tax. People say I do not live in the real world. What should scare you is taht I obviusly live more in the real world than GOP politicians/Wall Street conservatives who regard the capital gains tax and the corporate income tax as a religious challenge to eliminate. But don't get the idea that my bias agianst Gingrich, and many of his ositions, affects my judggment. Gingrich was NOT as good defending his policy positions as he was as a "guerilla fighter" in previous debates. And he could not be. But that made him NOT the obvius winner of this debaqte, after this blog had called hm the clear WINNNERF of a number of previous debatges.
Michele Bachmann did "win" teh debate, although not by a knockout, with Ricik Santroum a close second. For the first time since her initial debate performance, Bachmann actually EXPLAINED her positions fairly well, and even shoiwed some humor. She worked in her life story well, and generally came acorss as a likable person with command of the issues. If sehe had done this well all along, she would still be a major factor. She did especially well on that fraudulent "payroll tax cut". But so did Rick Santorum, who exposed BOTH the GOP and Democrqat HYPOCRISY on that deficit increasing, Social Security destroying BRIBE. Yes, for me that alnone would have made those two MY "winngers" of the debate. Rcik Perry also did well on that issue. Romney did not do well, and Gingrcih (who ddi not explain his position) is i the same fraudulent place as Romney. But this analysis is NOT jsut about ME. Bachmann and Snatroum BOTH did VERY well at explaining how they were the CONSISTENT conservatives in the race (along with Ron Paul, on domestic issues). Bachmann e ven got off a great jab, lumkng Romney and Gingrich together as "Newt Romney". The way she did it was really effective, for a conservative, adn may have done more to damage both Romney and Gingrich than anything anybody else said. And she is RIGHT. As this bog has told you, Gingrich has more obviusly changed his position on MORE things than Romney. And they were BOTH for that disgraceful Wall Street bailuot known as TARP (which was not even debated honestly, but based on assertions that turned out to be FALSE, such as that Copngfress was not giving a blank check to the Preisdent). This blog told you then that I would NEVER suport anyone who supported TARP, and that is A reason I cannot support Romney or Gingrich (along with the "payroll tax cut" and so many other things). But the point is that both Bachmann and Santorum, in contrast with other debates, actually made it STICK that they have been real conservatives, while Gingrich and Romney have been all over the map. Santorum, for once, even made valid oints about hoe he actually GOT CONSERVATIVE THINGS DONE as a member of the minority in Congress.
Ron Paul was Ron Paul, but had an even better debate than usual because ALL of the other candidates said nich things about him. And he was better than Gingrich or Romney on the questions asked.
So Romney was the loser. While i appears now that Gingrich was "a winner", because Romney was pretty much exposed as an "empty suit" unable to connect with people, I wonder. The seeds have been sown for Gingrich to have a fall. Can Perry actually come back from the dead? Bachmann? Santorum? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened like Gingrich's own resurrection).
This blog's position remains the same. I would endorse either Bachmann or Santorum IF I thought either was anwyehere near having a real chance. I have said essentially that ever since Cain withdrew, and even while I was endorsing Cain. I will not endorse anyone now, because it seems futile to endorse someonone who has not yet shown he or she can really make a move. What if tghe OTHER one makes a move. This blog still cannot support Romney or Gingrich--now or against Obama, even though I could never vote for Obama. I sitll don't think I can support Rick Perry, although he was pretty good in THIS debate. I leave a very small opening there. I don't belive Perry can make it. He just is not articulate enough to make up major ground, even as he does better. "Better" does not mean ' real good". Perry just fumbles around to much to convince people, even as I deplore the idea that we need a "debater" as Preisdent. Obama is pretty good at that, especaily the first time, before his act got old, but he was always going to be a disaster as President. McCain was BAD at it, and he, too, was going to be a disaster as President. Anser (lol): We can't vote in EIETHR a good debater or a bad debater. Believe it or not, there is a way out of that "Catch 22"!!!!! Vote for someone hwo REFUSES to debate!!!!! Especially in "joint news conferences" with "journalist" questioners..
There you have it: the definitive analysis of tonight's debate--complete with admission of this reporter's biases. I assure you that I have correctly set aside my personal bias, and told you "the truth" about the debate. You can argue over whether Bachmann and Santroum "won", but I don't think there can be any argument that Gingrich was not the "winner" he was in previous debatres, or that Romney was the LOSER. Romney jsut can't go on this way-sayhing not much, and acting like he does nto need to expalin why people should really vote for him (beyond simply thinking he is the most likely to beat Obama--which is probably not truee unless Romney can do better than this against Obama).
P.S. No proofreading or spell chekcing (bad eyesight). If there was no such thing as "foreign policy", by the way, I would probably vote for Ron Paul. As it is, I would still vote for Paul against Obama, even though he is certifiabley NUTS on foreign policy (and some realted aspects of domestic policy). Paul actaully supports that fraudulent "payroll tax cut", and even used the fraudulent argumetn that he would 'apy for it". But Paul, in a snese, actually WOULD "pay for it", since Paul actualy would DRASTICALLY dismantle the Federal Government. The ONLY way you can argue that we would "pay for' the "payroll tax cut" is if we are "payring for" the REST OF THE GOVERNMENT. Paul actually would. That makes him a little less objectionable in terms of these fraudulent "argumetns" for the "payroll tax cut".