Tag Archives: Hunstman

ABC New Hampshire GOP Debate: Worst. Debate. Ever.

Saturday night’s Republican debate has to go down as one of the worst debates of the year, and maybe even in history.  It was hosted on ABC and moderated by Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopolous and some other dude who disappeared half way through; there was some question as to whether or not Diane Sawyer was actually sober.  Her speech was slightly slurred at times, her eyes not always focused, and in some points it seemed she wasn’t really even paying attention.  Perhaps there was something spoiled in their “pre-game” meal because her colleague, Josh somebody (McElveen, actually) asked one question of the candidates before he disappeared. He wasn’t heard from again for the rest of the broadcast, which mysteriously ended a full 20 minutes early.  It was unclear if that was planned or not, but the end came so abruptly it was jarring. The audio from the mics made each candidate sound like they were broadcasting from outer space and I’m not sure, but I think Sawyer may have forgotten to comb her hair before she hit the stage.  It was all extremely odd.

Apparently George has some insider information that Republicans will be selecting their primary candidate based on gay marriage and contraceptives.  That’s right: birth control.  Georgie grilled Mitt Romney over the issue of states banning contraceptives for minutes!  It was so bizarre even Romney was taken aback by the question…all four times it was asked.  By the last time even the largely subdued audience was booing Steph, and one heckler managed to raise his voice above the boos to chide Steph. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but if it was anything close to what I was yelling at the television it went something like this: “Contraceptives George? Really? Unemployment is sky high and national debt is at $15 trillion and rising and you’re asking about birth control? Shut up!”…I’ll stop there because it got a little blue after that. My apologies to my Twitter followers.

Gay marriage and birth control may be issues the larger population will want more answers on in the generals, but these are primary elections and it’s the economy, stupid!

The candidates were largely a let down as well – although I can’t tell if it was really them or if the moderator’s questions were so inane that the candidates could do little with them. Santorum was obviously the one to watch Saturday night coming out of Iowa. The first question was directed at him and he got off to a choppy start.  He seemed a bit nervous.  Santorum isn’t used to leading and it showed.  His performance got stronger as the night went on, but it wasn’t as strong as he needed it to be.

This was perhaps Rick Perry’s best debate so far.  Unfortunately he wasn’t given the opportunity to answer a question until 20 minutes into the debate, and he was rarely heard from the whole evening. Could that be why he sounded so much better?  In actuality, Perry had some very solid and stirring points on defense, foreign affairs and energy. If his heart is still in this thing, this could be the point where we see Perry start to gain some momentum. Clearly debates are not his strong suit, but Presidents are not elected on debates alone. Two words – George Bush.

The rest of the field seemed satisfactory, if not boring. Romney was strong but vague as usual and Newt made an applause-worthy point during Stephie’s sexy-time grilling about gay marriage and contraceptives. He pointed out the hypocrisy of forcing Catholic adoption services to close and leave orphans without this vital service because of their beliefs and anti-Christian bigotry. It was a great point that only Newt could have made with such sharpness and confidence.

Ron Paul actually played the race card and it was very strange. This may be the first time I’ve ever noticed Ron Paul responding to his media coverage. He’s been having a few issues with old racist newsletters he published (but did not personally write) many years ago and it was obvious he was sensitive to that.  I think Paul’s surge is over, despite ABC’s best effort by giving him more screen time than any other candidate. Will he go third party?

Jon Huntsman was there. Skipping Iowa, he seems to have put all his eggs in the New Hampshire basket; but if he was hoping this debate would give him the chance to surge I suspect he and his supporters will be disappointed. Huntsman seems like a nice man and he’d probably be a whole lot better of a President than Obama, but he’s not a serious candidate at this point.

Besides a couple of chuckles and one or two applause lines no one stood out Saturday night. No one stepped out to claim his right to the Presidency with boldness. The losers of this debate were clearly ABC, Stephanopolous and Diane Sawyer.  I was on Twitter and Facebook through the entire debate and the general consensus seemed to be that Diane was drunk and George was stupid. Why do Republicans let former Clinton operatives and liberal journalists who hate us all run these things? Its ridiculous. Saturday night must surely go down as the Worst Debate Ever. My professional conclusion? ABC sucks. Worst debate ever. Oh, did I say that already? Sorry.

Worst Debate Ever.

 

crossposted at kiradavis.net

CNN Debate Recap: High Stakes in Sin City

CNN hosted the latest Republican debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night and many are hailing it as the best debate yet.  Perhaps it was the mere spectacle of debating in a city famous for excess, championship boxing events and gambling that inspired the candidates.  At points the debate took on the feel of a sporting event with candidates shouting over each other and trading personal barbs.  The audience responded with great enthusiasm to that atmosphere.  Americans love a good fight!

 Here are the highlights and lowlights from Tuesday’s debate:

  • Anderson Cooper took time out from quest to be the next Oprah Winfrey to host the debate.  Cooper is a liberal and it’s obvious he holds some disdain for the viewpoints of the GOP field, but he is one of the few liberal journalists who are able project a professional air through his biases.  He is a lot like Brian Williams in that respect.  Cooper was an adequate host and pretty much stayed away from the typical liberal funny business that tends to arise when they host events like this.
  • In news that no one cares about, Jon Huntsman boycotted the debate.  He claims his boycott was in protest to Nevada’s “leapfrog” of the primary process.  However, rumor has it Huntsman was taking time out of the Presidential process to mourn the recent, tragic loss of Steve Jobs.  Jobs actually created the original Huntsman prototype in his makeshift garage lab back in 1974.  All production at the Huntsman assembly line has been halted until further notice.
  • Michele Bachmann had a stellar night with her “sexy-librarian meets Isaac from Loveboat” terrycloth jacket.  As usual the tiny, tea party tactician exhibited an experienced understanding of the tax system and the lethal effects of over-regulation on the American economy.  She was one of the few candidates who actually called out Obama’s policies by name.  She looked strong and confident.  It was a good night for Mrs. Bachmann.
  • Herman Cain put in another fine performance, although perhaps not his best.  His meteoric, almost bizarre rise to the top of the field now puts him in the position of having a higher standard to perform to.  He did not reach that standard in this debate.  However, the most interesting thing about Cain right now is his 9-9-9 plan.  There has been considerable debate over the merits of his plan – in the media and among conservatives specifically.  Anderson Cooper started the debate with a question about 9-9-9.  The candidates spent nearly 20 minutes grilling Cain about the plan.  It was mentioned dozens of times in the first hour of the debate.  It might not be the best plan in the world but everyone is talking about it.   Everyone.  Its classic, brilliant branding from the man who turned around Godfather’s Pizza.
  • Rick Perry started out the debate with the energy of a man who had his first 5-hour Energy drink 20 minutes before the event began.  It was refreshing to see him so energized, but he quickly faded back into the Perry of Debates Past, stammering and struggling to form his thoughts and responses.
  • Mitt looked as solid as ever.  As the media-proclaimed front runner he was the most obvious target for all the candidates.  At times Mitt was forced to chastise his opponents for talking over him.  His exchanges with Perry were particularly feisty.  Romney is an experienced campaigner.  He is nearly unflappable in debates, but a chink in the armor may have been revealed Tuesday night.  He did seem agitated at having to answer question after question regarding Romneycare.  His colleagues should note that pressing Romney continuously about the same issue seems to be the key to throwing him off his game.
  • Newt is still super smart, but will Republicans vote for him?
  • Ron Paul put in the typical Ron Paul performance.  His supporters were out in full force, as usual.  As a physician and man of faith, Paul is unparalleled in his rhetoric on healthcare reform and individual freedom.  He’s the type of man who can have every person in the audience nodding their heads and cheering when he talks about the need for every person to take responsibility for their own decisions in life, and not wasting tax dollars trying to prevent people from making bad decisions.  Then Paul starts talking foreign policy and makes it painfully obvious that he has very little understanding of the nuances of foreign relations. Republicans don’t like that.
  • Rick Santorum probably had his best performance to date Tuesday night.  He was strong and pointed.  It is obvious Santorum is courting the family values vote.  He spoke about faith and the family as the bedrock of American society.  He was the only candidate who addressed the issue of eroding religious freedom in America.  Santorum is so far to the back of the pack it’s puzzling as to why he continues to push forward.  Could it be that Rick Santorum is actually running based on his own concerns, and not the polls? Gasp!

The GOP debate train rolls on with the next debate scheduled to be hosted in Michigan by CNBC, November 9th.  It remains to be seen whether or not Jon Hunstman will be finished charging his batteries and updating his software in time to participate.