June 14, 2011 Leave a comment
Last night CNN held a Republican Presidential Primary debate. As Dick Morris said on Twitter last night “watching a GOP debate on CNN is like watching a NATO debate on Radio Moscow.” Some of the questions were just ridiculous and many were extremely loaded. Nevertheless any Republican candidate is going to have to deal with the left-wing media sharks if they want to win the White House so they better get used to it. There wasn’t a clear cut winner in the debate but some candidates helped their cause while others need to crawl back into the hole they came out of.
Let’s begin with those who need to crawl back into their hole. Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum, for the sake of the conservative cause, should drop out now. Those two appeared almost interchangeable last night. They lacked charisma, they lacked ideas. Pawlenty looked stiff most of the night, Santorum looked arrogant but dorky. Neither of them presented their positions with the sort of passion one would expect from a conservative. I agree with these guys most of the time but at the end of the day, there are other candidates that hold the same positions who will run better against Obama. It’s time for Tim and Rick to take a hike.
Let’s briefly talk about Ron Paul. Say what you will but the guy is consistent. He’s as whiney as ever but he’s consistent. But while he’s consistent he felt very 2008 to me. I don’t think he won himself any votes last night. His Ronulan groupies will no doubt stick with him until the end but he didn’t pick up any votes last night. His economic policies are largely echoed by the other candidates and Paul wasn’t able to separate himself in any discernible way. Ron Paul is a principle candidate, a man who is trying to move the party to the libertarian end of the spectrum. So I understand why he will stay in the race. But make no mistake, he has zero chance of winning.
I thought Herman Cain did an excellent job, for the most part, last night. The problem though is that it almost felt like we never heard from him. Was it just me or did it seem like CNN rarely asked him to speak? I also noticed that CNN cut him off after about half of his comments but never cut anyone else off, even the long winded. If I were going to play the race card I would suggest the leftists at CNN don’t want conservative blacks to have a chance to speak on their network. That said, Cain didn’t have the passion I would have hoped for but he nailed just about every question he was asked. His comments on Libya in particular were excellent. Cain certainly helped his cause, more Republicans know who he is now and I suspect they’ll like what they see.
Two candidates helped themselves tremendously last night. Michelle Bachmann came off polished, engaging, endearing and knowledgable. In the past she’s been presented like a loon by the media, in reality she’s a tax attorney, businessman, mother of five and foster mother of 23. Clearly she’s trying to separate herself from Sarah Palin by endlessly mentioning she’s a tax attorney. Bachmann had great responses on foreign policy, border security and the economy. She looked Presidential. There’s a quality about this woman that connects with viewers. Bachmann did herself a world of good last night. She’s the darkhorse conservative front runner.
Newt also helped his cause tremendously last night. He was, by far and away, the most intellectual and thoughtful of the candidates. He has terrific ideas on the border, the economy and foreign policy. He clearly understands the ins and outs of the Federal government. I think he may have tripped himself a bit by suggesting, at least on some level, loyalty tests for Muslims seeking jobs in a Gingrich administration. But even there, he clearly explained what he was talking about. The question with Newt is whether he can cobble together a staff so that he can continue forward with his campaign.
That leaves Mitt Romney. Romney is the frontrunner right now and his goal in the debate was different than the rest. Romney’s goal was to not make any major gaffes and appear Presidential. He did just that. The one potential gaffe he made, he quickly corrected. (he said he wanted to turn Afghanistan over to the Taliban army, he quickly corrected his mistake) Romney finally had a solid response to the accusation that Romneycare is Obamacare. But that’s still a major problem for him. I’m not sure if Romney won himself any votes last night but he surely didn’t cost himself the nomination. He was endearing at times, announcing the Boston Bruins score was a slick move. (for those who don’t know, New Hampshire is a big hockey state and the Bruins are generally the favorite NHL team)
I feel much better about this slate of candidates than I did before last night. We Republicans have a very solid group running. Don’t believe the left-wing media hounds who claim the GOP field is weak. It is anything but weak, it is very strong. I think we saw the next President debate last night and I was very impressed with her indeed.