The biggest take-away from last night's debate is that the GOP presidential primary is Rick Perry's to lose.
The comedic team at the debate last night was highly entertaining and illustrative of how mindless automatons can parrot tea party talking points. Then there was Ron Paul, who stood out for speaking truth to power. He was repaid, after the debate, by being ignored.
On Fox News, Sean Hannity had most if not all the other primary candidates on his show, with Ron Paul conspicuously absent.
On MSNBC, the anchors and pundits totally left him out of the discussions, though his comments during the debate, attacking the continued wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, questioning the efforts to block Iran from becoming a nuclear power, brought the loudest applaud.
Much of the debate seemed like a cat fight on the surface, with the debate moderators feeding accusations. But it also seemed like they'd been prompted to ask the questions, so the candidates could spin responses. For example, Byron York asked Michele Bachmann whether she was submissive to her husband. This was an issue that has come up, because of the marital relations policies of the Church she belongs to. While the crowd reacted negatively, Bachmann dove in with a response that appeared to be canned, that there was mutual respect in the relationship.
A commenter on the huffingtonpost posted this comment:
"Hahaha-- Subservien -t means respect?! I like how words mean whatever she wants them to mean. In case she, or anyone else was wondering here is the definition in reality;
sub ser vi ent/sÉbËs Érv"Ént/Adjective
1. Prepared to obey others unquestioningly.
- Less important; subordinate."
Two of the candidates-- Huntsman and Pawlenty-- were so bland and boring, they made Al Gore, who had a reputation while running for office, as being wooden, seem downright dynamic. It is clear they do not have the charisma factor needed to get ahead of the pack. Their wonky way of trying to prove they are competent hurts them. They are so boring, I'm sure a lot of undecided people stop listening after a few words.
Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were both pathetically whiny-- Gingrich complaining about tough questions, Santorum complaining about not getting enough attention. I think they're both, Gingrich in particular, trying to pull a Joe Biden. Biden never had a chance as a presidential candidate, but getting out on he trail made him a more visible "brand" to be considered as a vice presidential running mate. I think Santorum might have the upper hand in that category, since his name on the VP slot on the ballot might be seen as a way to improve the chances of pulling Pennsylvania, which is looking more and more like a swing state.
The more we see of Romney, the less he looks like a winner, the more he looks like a hack who is trying to say the right talking points. The problem is he has so much history as the former moderate governor of a blue state, he will never pass the tea party tests that are ruling all any and all moderate republicans. Only extremists may apply.
Cain is trying to sell himself as a businessman, talking about the nation as though it's a business. He suggested that all programs should be assessed for their efficiency. It made me wonder. If a program like medicare is inefficient, would he can it altogether? He is not a serious contender.
Bachmann. Michelle Bachmann is riding fairly high in polls, but what does she bring to the table? Pawlenty accused her of accomplishing nothing as a member of congress. She used a phallic symbol reply-- "I've been at the at the tip of the spear" fighting President Obama's healthcare plan and the debt limit increase. Pawlenty replied that with all her efforts, Obama's actions have still succeeded. Yet the pundits seem to have given her the victory... because Pawlenty was too negative and she had attitude.