My Take on the Morning Debate of January 8, 2012

First, I have to say that even though I did not see last night’s debate and only heard little snippets here and there this morning, to have another debate 10 hours later is a little ridiculous. Granted, I think a morning debate would be good from time to time, but not on back to back days or in the span of 12 hours to where it almost has the feel of a day-night (or in this case a night-day) doubleheader in baseball. Also, now that Michele Bachmann is out of the race things might be a little quicker as far as not only the debates but we might also see some separation as to who has the ability to proceed deeper into the Primary Season and who cannot.

That said, the debate (which a transcript can be found HERE) on NBC’s Meet The Press today had the feel of a Sunday morning talk show, which it kind of was. Now while I did not tweet much during the Debate, I had followed Dick Morris’ Twitter feed and posted a few of his Tweets in my own Timeline as well as in one group I am involved in on Facebook. Morris says that his analysis is pretty much spot on, and he went on to say that though Newt Gingrich won the debate (which I agree with him on) that Mitt Romney did not lose any ground and might win the primary on Tuesday.

Fortunately, there was only one 10 minute (if that) block where the the social issue of gay rights was mentioned. As one prominent talk radio show host says, if the candidates spend a lot of time talking about social conservatism (ie. gay marriage and abortion) and not on jobs and the economy, then come November the independent voters and the women will all swarm to Barack Obama and we will be stuck with 4 more years of Obama ruining this country. However, I will say that the biggest applause line (at least to me) during that block was at the end when this interaction took place between Rick Santorum and Andy Hiller, Political Editor of WHDC TV 7 in Boston:

HILLER: What if you had a son who came to you and said he was gay?
SANTORUM: I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it. And I would try to do
everything I can to be as good a father to him as possible.

One of the things I noticed which happened at least 10 times during the debate was when one of the candidates would talk about what a failure Obama is as president and then David Gregory would steer the conversation away. Granted, this is the REPUBLICAN Debate, but what the Republicans are focusing on is the fact that whoever comes out of the primaries will have to face Obama in November. Now the one who I had seen try to focus on Obama and not on the other candidates in the past is Newt. If more candidates had followed the formula of going after Obama and not each other (keeping in mind Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment of not speaking ill of another Republican) then we probably would have gotten a little more substance from each of the candidates and not the style which the liberal media is trying to focus on.

My own personal report card and analysis of the candidates is as follows:

Newt Gingrich – Time and again Gingrich has shown why he is a master at the debates, and today is no different. Granted, he went after Romney on his record as Massachusetts governor but all in all he pretty much stayed out of the fray against the other candidates. His best line of the day came when he talked about the type of person who is most likely to survive against the kind of billion-dollar campaign the Obama team is going to run. Debate grade: A-

Mitt Romney – As Dick Morris had tweeted, Newt might have won the debate but Romney did just enough to maintain his lead in the polls in New Hampshire and should win the primary handily. I have to say that I agree with Morris. Most of Romney’s answers were just enough to keep him in the lead, with no epic failures. Same old basic average Mitt. Debate grade: C

Jon Huntsman – Some people had asked why huntsman is even running, and there have been a time or two in which why I was wondering as well. However, he has some high points on China (naturally because he was Ambassador to China) and his 4 years as Utah governor.other than that, he was relatively ignored. Debate grade: C+

Ron Paul – I do have to give it to Paul on some of his domestic and economic issues. His foreign policy is dangerous and, in my mind, would leave us wide open to an attack by Al Qaeda or some of the drug cartels in Mexico. While I do not want him as President, I could see him as Treasury Secretary or Chairman or the Federal Reserve during a Republican Administration. Debate grade: C-

Rick Perry – While I am not a Perry supporter, I have to say that he did hold his own during the debate this morning. If he had held this type of fire in the earlier debates, I think he might have survived his oops moment where he forgot the name of the third department he would eliminate (he had poked fun at that during today’s debate) and probably would have been the front-runner. His interaction with Paul over what the biggest problem is facing this country today was the highlight of the debate for him in my mind. In fact, I even channeled Silence of the Lambs and said that Paul just had his spleen eaten by Perry. Debate grade: B

Rick Santorum – His interaction with Paul in the middle about his congressional record (where it was brought up that Paul had over 600 bills introduced and only 4 made it to the House floor only to have one of those four passed and signed into law) as well as going after Paul’s foreign policy was one of the two highlights of the debate he had – the interaction with Hiller being the second. I had first channeled Silence of the Lambs where I had tweeted that “Santorum is having Paul’s liver with fava beans and a nice chiante for breakfast!” Outside of those two segments, Santorum in my mind was flat. Debate grade: C+

Again, the debate had the feel of a Sunday morning talk show, and we had not learned anything more about the candidates that we do not already know.


(cross-posted from

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