The second Republican debate of the pre-primary season (and considering that more A list candidates showed up for this one, one might consider it the first) was eventful for being uneventful….All the candidates for the most part effectively hid their crazier views from the audience….Here’s a rundown of each candidate based purely on strategy
Mitt Romney – A lucky robot who didn’t have to defend any of his flip flops as no one called him on them. Totally programmed.
Michelle Bachmann – “Crazy eyes” filled with hyperbole (WE ARE GOING TO MAKE PRESIDENT OBAMA A ONE TERM PRESIDENT) was considered successful because she didn’t say anything completely nuts.
Tim Pawlenty – If there is a debate loser, it’s him. Didn’t make any effort to define himself.
Herman Cain – Hilarious! His answer to every question is “I’m going to get a bunch of experts together in a room and have them advise me what to do”. In over his head and an anti-Muslim bigot. Nice speaking voice though – very Darth Vader
Rick Santorum – More comfortable talking about social issues and also tried to score some anti-Obama points in the foreign policy area but weak in finance related questions. Will one day be arrested wearing women’s panties.
Newt Gingrich – Grumpy, surly, and full of gloom and doom except when he talked about space travel. Which is fitting considering his campaign seems to have largely gone into a black hole the last few weeks
Ron Paul – Didn’t get as much airtime in this debate. Seemed a bit rushed. As usual I agreed with his positions on foreign policy and the federal reserve board but the rest not so much.
Romney is a front runner but a very weak one (albeit with deep pockets and money can keep him going longer in the primary season). However, by not going after his life-long flipflopping Pawlenty (on healthcare) and Santorum (on abortion) effectively crowned his frontrunner status. In particular, Pawlenty, when confronted with quotes he had made on a Sunday talk show comparing the Massachusetts health care plan to Obamacare, really tied himself in knots not to criticize Romney. He looked weak and wimpy.
Personally, I don’t think any of these people can beat President Obama. No matter how hard they try to hide the scary mob the Republican party has become the last couple of years, this will still be a factor in the election.
What next? Well I still think Sarah Palin will not run for the same reason Huckabee didn't-life's too comfortable. I believe she’s been effectively scooped by Bachmann anyway. Jon Huntsman? Well as governor of Utah he believed in civil unions, cap and trade, and TAARP so he will be considered too liberal Rick Perry? Not sure I understand the appeal of this bellicose blowhard. What niche does he appeal to that isn't already claimed by another candidate?
I hope for more fireworks in the next debate. Considering Romney has recently said he believes in some manmade climate change and Bachmann and Santorum among the others believe climate change is a hoax, I would like to see a pointed question from the moderator with no wiggle room which will force them to combat one another – CAGE MATCH!!!!
Unless someone steps up and cuts the collegial atmosphere and attacks him directly, Romney could have an easy time getting to the nomination. We'’ll wait and see who takes up the challenge.