I missed the first hour of the Myrtle Beach debate but I gather from the commentary that Gingrich was on his game, Romney was not, Santorum was okay but kind of annoying, Ron Paul was very annoying, and Rick Perry's performance fell somewhere between his best and god-awful. A sampling of the analysis:
With conservatives finally moving in his direction, Mitt Romney picked Monday night to turn in a terrible performance. If somebody told him he just had to stand there and not make a gaffe, they were wrong. [. . .]Yes, unless God drops a miracle on him, Perry is irrelevant. Nevertheless, watch that moment here. More from Ms. Hays:
Newt Gingrich, by contrast, was on fire. A viewer who (unlike this one) could overlook his disgraceful recent behavior might have been moved to cheer. Gingrich repeatedly stated the conservative position better than anybody on the stage.
When panelist Juan Williams asked Gingrich something silly about whether his plan to put poor kids to work as janitors (gasp!) is condescending to minorities, Gingrich magisterially sighed: “No.” Only elites look down on earning money, Gingrich said. He made Juan look snobbish. [See clip below.]
Even the irrelevant but likeable Rick Perry turned in a better performance than Romney. Perry’s best moment came when Williams asked him about the Obama administration’s war on voter-ID requirements. Perry came out swinging and it was good.
Ron Paul was fine until the discussion moved to foreign policy and he went nutsy. We should have phoned Pakistan before going after Bin Laden? Oh, and what’s wrong with capturing him and having a trial?That's when Rick Perry rightly called for the gong. Ms. Hays has some good advice for Romney:
He also needs to drop the smile. Nothing wrong in looking serious in serious times.Yes, please.
As for Newt, his best moment of the evening is worth embedding:
And the crowd roared.
The talking heads' post-debate analysis I saw spent a lot of time on how well Gingrich did; how, er, enthusiastic are the Paulbots (no news there), who made a joke of the silly Twitter gimmick; and almost zero time on Rick Perry. Since I still like Perry and this is my blog, here's Bryan Preston's analysis:
A few scattered takeaways from the debate: Romney agrees with Perry more often than any other candidate on policy. I counted four times Romney used some variation of “I agree with Gov. Perry” versus one “Rick is right” nod to Santorum. Santorum opposes privatizing Social Security in any way and had to answer for past policy misjudgments. Gingrich is extremely intelligent but has a tendency to wander off into the weeds on policy discussions. He spent less time attacking the moderators of this debate than previous ones. Perry had his best debate so far, despite having little time at his disposal. He was deft on economic and foreign policy, strong on his defense of our troops and on border security. Ron Paul’s foreign policy consists of irresponsible attempts to create moral equivalence where it does not exist, and to blame America where it is not justified. Super PACs have done what seemed impossible, and made our politics less honest while giving politicians more incentives to lie to the voters.Least-substantive post-debate commentary I've come across is this bit from Lisa Schiffren:
Rick Perry was at his strongest and most presidential tonight. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich performed well at times but both reverted to their sour pre-Iowa personas more often than they will find helpful. Ron Paul will probably pick up more support from disaffected former Obama supporters, further distorting the Republican primary race. But in returning to the beginning of this article, Mitt Romney weathered the fire well and did not fumble the ball, but the pressure to release his tax returns will grow.
Watching Rick Perry jump in with his male-model looks and posture, and aggressive, canned, superficial argument, is kind of old. Time for Governor Perry to pack it in.That's the equivalent of "I don't like his face." I don't like some of their faces all that much, either, but that's not much of an argument, though it is certainly superficial.
You can watch the whole debate or various snippets of same at The Right Scoop.
As for the state of the race, #2 son, who will be voting in his first presidential election, looked at these ABCNews/WaPo poll results and commented, "So nobody likes Romney but everybody thinks he's going to win." Yes, call it the lemming effect.
Linked at MichelleMalkin.com -- many thanks!
Same to Doug Ross!
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