I watched the Republican debate in Iowa this evening. To be honest, I had not intended to watch. Tonight was the first pre-season NFL games and my Baltimore Ravens were playing the Eagles. As it turns out, because of the BS “broadcasting rights”, here in North Carolina the game was blacked out. I despise blacking out professional sporting events. The idea that everyone has the ability to travel to the game is ridiculous. Same happens when the Red Sox play the crappy Orioles. They will black out the game for the national feed and the station that has the rights to broadcast the game will not be showing it. Drives me insane. But, since I couldn’t watch my football game, I decided I would watch the debate…
And boy was it interesting. I want so bad to write a lengthy article detailing the entire thing, but I simply don’t have time to do so this evening. The first time I may have the time to do so is this weekend, so I may do so. But I know some of you are going to want to discuss it now, so I figured I would offer my really quick thoughts on how each candidate performed:
Tim Pawlenty – Effectively ended his run this evening. He gave a poor performance, spent a lot of time attempting to make non-sensical points about Bachman, and didn’t appear in the least bit Presidential. Some of his answers weren’t so bad, but overall he just came across weak and unprepared.
Mitt Romney – Easily the most “presidential” candidate this evening. He stayed focused on what he wanted to discuss, the economy. He said a lot of the right things, but to be honest I wasn’t wanting someone to appear presidential, I wanted a clear vision for where we need to go. His “7 points” were the closest to a real plan offered this evening. I predict his lead will increase, but I am still not sold.
Newt Gingrich – You had to love Newt this evening. He was bold and his normal brash self. I thought he probably endeared a lot of people to him when he attacked the media effectively. He was looking to do so and leapt at the opportunity. He gained some fans this evening, but I don’t think he gave enough in the way of explanation to actually win people over to his side. For example, he several time called for repeal of the Frank-Dodd bill and Sarbanes-Oxley, but didn’t explain why that was important.
Michelle Bachman – I don’t think she hurt herself at all tonight. People were looking for her to appear crazy. On the contrary I didn’t think that she appeared crazy at all. She was pointed and quick to attack. She came across as someone who will stand on principle no matter what. And she handled what I thought was the most bullshit question of the night flawlessly:
Byron York from The Washington Examiner asked her about a quote she made in 2006, in which she said she’d become a tax attorney because her husband urged her to, and it was important for wives to be “submissive”. York asked, “would you be submissive to your husband as President?”
I thought it was a very sexist question and I lost a lot of respect for York for asking it. Do you think they would ever ask a male candidate a question such as that? And I thought that Bachman’s answer was classy and a very good answer to a question that should never have been asked.
Ron Paul – Ron said all the things I wanted to hear. The unfortunate thing is that Paul looked and sounded like a very old man. He appeared to sometimes stumble over words as he tried to say what he wanted to say. But the answers that he gave were tremendous, in my personal opinion. I especially liked his outlook on the wars abroad.
Tim Huntsman – I felt that he did a pretty good job this evening. There was a little too much “I stand on my record” instead of explaining why he was right and not others. He didn’t give a bad showing overall, but I don’t think he was personable enough or sounded effective enough to make any real progress against the field.
Rick Santorum – Perhaps the most surprising performance in my opinion. He was personable funny early on. I thought that his answer around rule of law versus state’s rights was dead on. Unfortunately he took a few positions that I simply don’t agree with. But not a bad showing. The way that he treated Ron Paul did turn me off some though.
Herman Cain – You know, I really like Mr. Cain. And I actually think that of all the people on that stage tonight he is perhaps the most down to earth, the most honest, and the most personable. He gave a few answers that I thought were really good and an answer or two that I thought showed that he might not be prepared for a role as the leader of the country. Then again, I am not sure that anyone else on that stage showed they were ready yet either….
So that is my quick down and dirty on the performance of the candidates. I will try to find time this weekend to write up something that talks about some of their positions that I found flawed. Not sure if I will have time or not.
So what did anyone else who may have watched think?