December 10th Republican Debate Review
December 11, 2011 Leave a comment
ABC held a Republican debate last night, this time in Iowa. It was hosted by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. Sawyer seemed amazed that the idiots in fly over country took Presidential politics seriously. She seemed even more amazed that there’s actually a pharmacy in Iowa. Her condescension couldn’t have been more obvious. As for Stephanopoulos why is a Democrat allowed to moderate a GOP debate? This guy is a former Clinton press secretary and life long Democrat. How is he acceptable but Donald Trump as moderator is an outrage?
Let’s start with Newt, who was the recipient of two Stephanopoulos gotcha questions. It’s pretty clear that George is getting his marching orders from the DNC and/or Clinton. Newt was lacking on a couple of things last night, not the least of which was clearly explaining why he supported the individual mandate in 1993. His error was that he never said that support was wrong. He didn’t do a particularly good job of explaining his work for Fannie and Freddie in the early 2000′s. While this is really an irrelevant issue, it still requires a decent response. That said, Newt did a good job of countering attacks from Romney and Bachmann. His answer to Stephanopoulos’ gotcha question about Israel was excellent. Newt did a decent job, he didn’t make any major gaffes. But he isn’t going to win votes based on last night’s performance.
Romney wasn’t steady eddie like he usually is last night. When asked where he disagrees with Newt, he struggled to spit out lunar mining before rattling off three other nervous responses. Lunar mining? Really? He also tried to make a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry concerning the first edition of his book. This may have been a major mistake and not just because he would probably lose. It’s unseemly to have a Presidential candidate try to bet during a debate. But beyond that, $10,000 is an awful lot of money and it makes him appear out of touch with the middle class. Otherwise, Romney did a fairly decent job. He attacked Newt, he defended Romneycare and he was otherwise rather boring. He also seemed to have to much bronzer on because he looked a bit like and oompa loompa.
Michele Bachmann had a terrific debate last night. She’s setting herself up as the conservative alternative to Newt and Romney. In fact she rattled off a list of issues where she’s the conservative and Newt-Romney were the liberals. She did a great job calling into question Newt and Romney’s opposition to individual mandates and Obamacare. She has a solid grasp of foreign policy and she has a solid economic plan that was well articulated. Her win, win, win line that she used twice was extremely cheesy though. Otherwise, last night has the potential to be a very big night for Bachmann’s campaign future.
Rick Perry has largely become irrelevant. He has a few good points here and there. He kissed up to Newt last night, which makes one wonder if he’s shooting for VP. But otherwise, Perry just seems so unsteady on stage. Some say this is just like George W. Bush but Bush was never as unsteady as Perry. When Bush made mistakes, it was more endearing than anything else. He always appeared to be two steps ahead of where he should be in his statements. Perry always seems to be two steps behind.
Rick Santorum is good to have on stage because he’s the only one willing to talk about the importance of the family. No one else is willing to highlight the economic difference between single parent families and families with a mother and father living at home. Obama wants to play class warfare games when he blames the rich for the poor’s problems. In reality the problem is lax divorce laws and a society that doesn’t think anything of illegitimacy. Otherwise, Santorum once again can’t make any headway. He would be a good VP candidate though for whoever wins the nomination. He does have some success in DC.
Ron Paul is as annoying as ever. Iowa is about the only state that Paul has a chance to get into second or third place. But nationally Paul has been at 10-12% for the better part of four years. He has the same problem Romney has: The inability to gain more support. Paul did nothing for himself last night. He made the same whiny, self righteous points that he always makes. The Ronulans will love everything he said, everyone else got up for a Coke when he was speaking because we’ve heard it all before for two election cycles.
Win: Bachmann. This is a tough one but I have a hunch Bachmann is going to go up in the polls based on her performance last night.
Place: Newt. Again, this is another tough call. Newt didn’t win any support last night but he didn’t do anything to lose support. When you’re the front runner, that’s not a bad thing.
Show: Romney needed to have a top of the line performance and while he did a good job at times he just didn’t have it. Newt countered his arguments against him and Romney made a handful of mistakes.