Thursday, September 8, 2011

Not Again.....

I watched the Politico/MSNBC debate at the Reagan Library. If you're interested, here are my impressions in no particular order:

1. Someone at MSNBC and/or Politico is in an office today saying "can you believe they let us host this thing? The media is trying to pick the GOP for us, again, just like they did with McCain.

2. It wasn't really a debate. Johnathan Harris from Politico could barely contain his contempt for Governor Perry, baiting Governor Huntsman to rebut Perry's RHETORIC (emphasis his). The best line I saw on Twitter all night came from Neal Boortz about Harris: "Who is this footstool from Politico?" For his part Brian Williams could barely contain his contempt for the audience when they applauded Perry's actual enforcement of the death penalty. With all the attacks on Perry, it was less a debate than it was hit job. Makes me wonder who the establishment is really afraid of.

3. The hosts directed almost nothing at Bachman, Gingrich, Cain or Paul. Santorum got more time than they did. Afterwards, MSNBC unilaterally declared Bachman's campaign "Dead", adding "but we already knew that." Hmmm....again, who are they afraid of? If I were the GOP, here's how I would mandate the next debate be organized: if there are 8 participants, you have 8 questions. They each answer them, with the first response moving down the row so everyone gets a chance to go first. Then you have a lightning round where the AUDIENCE, not the hosts ask questions of specific candidates. The audience will have numbers assigned to them and the candidates can pick a number (without seeing the question first) to minimize the chance of plants being selected. Then you have a 2 minute summation by each candidate on why they're the best option, and you shut off their mike at two minutes. This way the hosting network has to check their views at the door.

On to the candidates, again in no order:

1. Huntsman came on strong last night. The hosts threw a lot of softballs at him, letting his liberal side come out. I think the media would love to see him as our candidate because he has no chance of beating Obama, and even if he did, he's a climate change believer and evolutionist so he's halfway in their court from the outset. He lost me on those two issues alone, but his "Hey, Romney & Perry, I was a governor too!!" schtick got old. Plus the spray tan looked like it was about to run. On Twitter someone said he was the "Orange-American" candidate.

2. Santorum was like a potted plant. I honestly can't recall a single thing he said.

3. Paul did OK but didn't get any time to talk. When he did he was hard to follow. I know Paul has a lot of hardcore believers, but for me his Achiles heel is foreign policy. Anyone who is OK with a nuclear Iran has lost me.

4. Gingrich continues to be the smartest man in the room. He scored major points for calling Harris and Williams on their bullshit. I don't think he's electable, but he belongs in the White House in some capacity. He knows too much to keep him out, and I mean that in a good way.

5. Bachman did well when talking about health care and jobs. She's good at humanizing the topics, but like Paul she didn't get much opportunity to say a lot. After all, MSNBC already knows her candidacy is dead.

6. Romney actually did a capable job defending his healthcare mandate in Massachusetts by pointing out it's failures. That's really what needed to be looked at for Obamacare: "Look, here's a case where it's been tried and it failed. Going national with it is a bad idea." Romney seemed more electable than the others, which is largely due to his having been through this before. As The Daily said yesterday though, the only reason he's not a career politician is because he loses a lot. Big points for him though, when he said he'd fire Bernake on his first day.

7. Cain impressed me. A Twitter user said he takes Paul and translates him into English. His ideas are smart. His idea for Social Security is in line with what I've been saying for a long time, and he says it better than Perry. It's too bad he didn't get more time last night. Like Gingrich, he belongs in the next White House in some capacity.

8. Lastly, Perry underwhelmed me last night. I liked his double down on Social Security being a Ponzi scheme. Like a trusty pitching wedge, Social Security is one of the best clubs the left has in their bag. If they ever get in a fix, they just scare the hell out of the elderly who are held hostage by their dependency on it. For that reason alone, the left has to be terrified of a world where Social Security is not an issue. Perry was more direct about it than Cain, but rightly said that young people are being lied to about the safety of the Social Security system. If Perry wins, he should put Cain in charge of fixing it. On the downside, Perry seemed a little stuttery and halting in his responses about climate change science being full of shit. He got there eventually but not in a concise way. This led mental patient Chris Matthews to say afterward that Perry is "Anti modern technology." Ah Chris, ever the non-biased journalist.

So what's the outcome? I would expect to see Santorum drop out soon. The rest will hang in there, especially Huntsman who got a fresh breath of life last night courtesy of the Footstool.

One final quote from Twitter: The entire panel, on their worst day, would be a better president than Obama. Let's hope we can raise that bar at the next debate.

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