The Republican Debate
Some bloggers are excellent at debate recaps. I'm not one of them. Instead of a nice long liveblog, I give one or two sentences for each candidate. But here is my recap anyway.
The candidate was the worst performance was Ron Paul. Not so much for what he said, which was his standard kooky drivel, but for his obnoxious supports, who booed the rest of the candidates. Of course, that is their standard tactic on the Internet- they spam polls, troll chat rooms, and are generally irritating. (Not all, but many).
Bronze would have to be shared between Romney and Giuliani. I can't say that I disagreed with Romney, but he didn't give me any reasons to support him either. He was hesitant to answer some of the questions, such as "do you believe in the Bible", "should gays be in the military", and "is waterboarding torture". Giuliani did not do particularly well- I thought he lost to Romney in the opening argument about immigration, and actually got booed when he tried to steamroll the moderator. (Anderson Cooper, who did a poor job). He lost his temper debating Romney, which wasn't good for him.
Thompson got silver- he said some good things, but his presentation could have been better. He doesn't seem terribly motivated. I do like what he has to about entitlements.
The runner-up for gold (my medal analogy is a little messed up) was John McCain. He is campaigning two familiar messages- "I served in Vietnam" (Kerry), and "I am the national security candidate". The first is irrelevant- his Vietnam service thirty years ago doesn't have anything to do with his Presidential quality. The second is strong. Very strong. He endorsed the surge long before anyone else did- and was criticized for it. And he turns out to have been right all along. That, in my mind, is a pretty strong qualification.
The gold winner... Mike Huckabee. He is easily the most talented politician there. On religious and moral questions, the only thought going through my head was that he must have been an amazing preacher. I am going to say it: Mike Huckabee could win the nomination.
After reading National Review Online's The Corner and Campaign Spot, the consensus seems to be that Romney, McCain, Huckabee, and Thompson all did well. The NRO people critizied CNN's format, which was pretty bad. YouTube doesn't have the best picture quality, but some these videos looked like they were made with a really cheap cell phone camera. The audio didn't seem to match up with their lips either, and the questions were pretty awful. On the plus side, no snowmen. On the minus side, one could be forgiven for thinking that all Republicans are extremists nutjobs.