Thursday, November 10, 2011
GOP Presidential Debate 11/9/11
Mitt Romney. Everything I hear from the media says how wonderful Mitt Romney is, how polished, composed, and articulate he looks and sounds in every debate. Yes, they're right. However, Mitt is starting to look like a robot to me. He "never" makes a mistake, something that is, eventually, going to happen, or even has happened, to every Presidential candidate. Every one of them is human, and Mitt has so far avoided that fact. His time for mistakes will come eventually, and I think it would be better if it happened on a stage with other GOP candidates, rather than on a stage with President Obama. By making mistakes now, you become better informed of what you need to work on. Last night, Mitt did nothing to hurt himself, but did nothing spectacular. Most of what he said was general talking points. I still can't shake the feeling that Mitt is in this for himself, not for the next generation of Americans. Oh, and one of my all-time favorite lines in a Presidential debate: Asked why Americans could trust him not to flip-flop on issues as President, Mitt answered: "I've been married to the same woman for 25, oh, excuse me, I'll get in trouble, 43 years." Somehow, I don't see that making the cut.
Herman Cain. The Herman Cain we saw last night was certainly different from the one we've seen in previous debates. Instead of the happy, jovial businessman, we saw an unhappy, almost miserable, Herman Cain who only gave true answers to some questions. Many answers were simply brought back to the fact that America "needs" his 9-9-9 plan. At one point, after the third or fourth time of mentioning it, the audience started laughing; which shows that, in order to keep his plan in credible standing with the American people, mention of it needs to be scaled back a bit. Maria Bartiromo went out on a limb to ask Cain about the recent accusations against him (overall, was not a good night for Maria Bartiromo!). Between the booing crowd and Cain's denial of doing anything wrong, the matter was closed very quickly.
Newt Gingrich. It has been proved without a doubt that this man is brilliant. He finally found his niche when it comes to debating and consistently gives strong, solid performances. I always love to watch his banter with the moderators, sometimes even the way he scolds them for unnecessary or biased questions. Maria Bartiromo certainly got her dose of Newt's medicine when she asked him how, specifically, the media has been wrong about the state of the economy. I, honestly, do not believe that Newt can win the nomination. The establishment would never let that happen; which is a shame in itself. The establishment truly needs to get out of the nominating process and let the people choose their own nominee. The same goes for the media. Overall, strong performance by Newt, once again.
Rick Perry. Here we go. I'm going to get much disagreement over my opinion on this, but I'm going to say it anyway. Gov. Perry's "gaffe" was not that bad! Yes, it was a mistake. It could even be classified as a bad mistake. However, it was in no way "campaign-ending." Every single person on that stage is human. Most people already knew that about Gov. Perry before last night, but now it's been made official. Why is that such a big deal? With the numerous unnecessary federal agencies we currently have in place, it's no wonder it took the Governor a moment to bring to mind the specific one he was thinking of. The fact that people are using this to question Gov. Perry's ability to debate President Obama is, frankly, a bit ridiculous. President Obama has never worked to abolish any government agencies; rather, he's created many more. On that point, any candidate on the stage could debate President Obama. That is of almost no concern. Even news anchors are saying, "Memory lapse, we've all been there, haven't we?" Something that I have been waiting to hear from one of these Presidential candidates is the fact that they will fight for the next generation. I heard it for the first time last night, and it came from Governor Perry. He said, specifically, that he would fight for the next generation. Overall, good debate performance before and after his slip. During that slip, well...you make that decision.
Ron Paul. Rep. Paul was one of the two people on the stage last night who had virtually nothing to lose based on his performance (the other was Mitt Romney). Ron Paul has a steady stream of supporters who aren't going anywhere, anytime soon. Personally, I do not agree with many of Rep. Paul's opinions. The one line from him last night, though, that I agree with, was this: When asked, if the student loan program was abolished, how people were supposed to pay for their college education (again, asked by Maria Bartiromo!), Paul responded, "The same way they pay for their cell phones and computers!"
Michele Bachmann. Rep. Bachmann has mostly faded into the rest of the pack after winning the Iowa Straw Poll in August. Last night's debate performance was different from the previous ones, and I think she did better last night than she ever has before. She gave deeper answers and offered solutions to some issues, rather than just repeating talking points.
Rick Santorum. I think we are, sadly, nearing the end of Rick Santorum's campaign. His poll numbers are just not rising enough to sustain his Presidential bid. I am a huge fan of Sen. Santorum, and I wish his campaign had gotten more of a start earlier in the race. Many people have issues with the fact that he is such an outspoken supporter of traditional marriage and the sanctity of life. This is part of the reason I am a fan of his!
Jon Huntsman. For the first time, Jon Huntsman actually earned a bit of admiration from me last night. He was the first person to go after Mitt Romney-- however small the attack, after being prodded by the moderator to do it, and even after he almost apologized for it while saying it. He was the first person I have seen in a debate, outside of the fight between Gov. Perry and Mitt in the last debate, to truly go after Romney on something of huge importance. Other than that...I've got nothing on Huntsman.
Many are saying that last night's debate, especially Gov. Perry's memory lapse, will be shown on news reels for years to come. It is being called one of the worst debate moments in modern Presidential debate history. However, I think Mitt Romney's response in the last debate was a bit worse: "I can't have illegals, I'm running for office, for pete's sake!" I don't know about the rest of America, but I'd rather have a human who can make mistakes as my President, than someone who looks like a robot and will do whatever is needed to win the highest office in the land. I truly believe this needs to turn into a four-man race: Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry. Those are the only four I believe still have a chance. The rest...I like some of them. I just don't think they have a chance at the nomination, and it would take away some distraction and give the other four more time in debates if these bottom four dropped out. If we really want to defeat President Obama in 2012, conservatives need to get behind one candidate, not spread our support amongst four or five. Having a smaller field will help us do that.