The debate over the debate tonight at the Reagan Library has begun, and there will be many different views of how the eight Republican candidates for President performed. What follows is this blogger’s view of events in ranked order:
BIG WINNERS–Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney
BIG LOSERS–Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul
NO IMPROVEMENT–Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain
Already, the author has heard Rachel Maddow say that Jon Huntsman lost an opportunity and is now thrown to the wayside. He could NOT disagree more! Huntsman was, in my view, very solid and substantial in his answers, seemed very Presidential more than anyone, and since he is lowest in the polls, has gained the most, and it should reflect itself in the polls over the next few days. If it does not, then it condemns the Republican Party to certain defeat, as Independents and moderates should be very impressed with his performance!
Mitt Romney also did very well, refuting Rick Perry in a solid and effective way, and showed a calm demeanor, as he demonstrated that being a moderate conservative, as Huntsman is, is the best road to victory for the GOP! The question, as with Huntsman, is whether Republicans will feel the same, and if they do not, then the party is doomed to a terrible defeat in 2012, instead of a good chance for victory with either Huntsman or Romney!
Rick Perry, the frontrunner in the polls the past two weeks, came across as defiantly extremist in his stated views, not bending at all, and yet having trouble defending the horrible record of governance in Texas in so many different ways! If there is any common sense, Perry should lose his front runner status, but we shall see, as a Perry candidacy would move the GOP so far to the RIght that they would lose in a massive way in November 2012!
Michele Bachmann slid further in performance, and was not at all inspiring or convincing, and is now obviously in rapid decline as a serious factor!
Ron Paul may have his followers, but he came across as totally extreme in his libertarian views, and way outside the mainstream. His suggestion that air conditioning be removed from troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that would cause their rapid return home, is one of the whackiest and craziest statements ever made in a Presidential debate at any time!
Newt Gingrich came across as very bright and knowledgeable, but did not improve his status as a person from the past, out of office for 13 years, and not to be seen as a serious candidate for the White House!
Rick Santorum may have improved slightly in his performance, but still cannot be regarded as a serious candidate. The fact that he is the only candidate to have served in the US Senate, as well as the US House of Representatives, is certainly a plus, but still there are too many negatives and shortcomings in his candidacy to take him as a likely nominee!
Herman Cain came across as what he has always been–a BLAH candidate, unimpressive, and having no clue as to how to run a government, so his performance was lackadaisical!
So the big winners in my mind are Huntsman and Romney, but I welcome commentary by those who read this blog, as the debate continues over who the GOP nominee for President might be!