For those not preparing for the big jobs speech tonight, last night there was another Republican debate. The media tried hard to shove Romney-Perry down our throats as half the questions went to them. The remaining field was again largely marginalized. The interesting thing is that the machine turned on Michelle Bachmann last night. The media darling for the first debate, this time around she was mostly ignored and when she was given a question, it did not play to her strengths. The result is she appeared far weaker this time around. The reason why is that the far right have selected their candidate and it is Rick Perry. There is only room for one nutcase at the podium. Now Romney, if he were smart, could offer the VP slot to Bachmann to solve his Mormon problem in the Bible belt. Assuming he wins the nomination.
But make no mistake about it. The nominee will either be Mitt Romney or Rick Perry. Bachmann stood a slim chance before Perry entered but there is still a large misogynistic stripe running down the back of the GOP, especially the Tea Party. This is the problem with the debate process. Questions are not given equally. Candidates are not treated equitably. Let's face it, there is nothing Ron Paul could have said or done that would have garnered him any positive media attention. Every time they bothered to ask him a question last night it was always disguised disdain and unbelief that he would truly eliminate various governmental departments. In fairness, Santorum, Cain, Gingrich and Hunstman are in a similar boat, although not as pronounced as Congressman Paul. Here is the handicapping from last night:
Romney - held his own, no major mistakes, avoided looking like a flip flopper as he usually does. Smartly denied being a tea party member, which he can use in the general election to his favor.
Paul - only one on the stage with real convictions. As usual they marginalized him. Kept asking him about if he would really eliminate this dept and that. But the set up for all his questions seemed to be predicated on the "are you nuts" premise.
Cain - his best performance yet. Didn't seem clueless as usual. Had a nice simple plan in the 9-9-9. I am not saying it would work but in terms of simplicity, the public would embrace that before Romney's 59 point economic plan. Cain kept all his answers on a solution level. I was actually impressed this time around. Of course the machine will not select him but he did well last night.