Impressions of the CNN Youtube Republican Debate

Giuliani — held his own throughout the debate, though on a few occasions were slower or more gentle in response than I expected.

Hucklebee — displaying the best of a preacher’s rhetoric, the only time this Governor looked bad is after he pandered to a mission to Mars, immediately for Tancredo pointed out that was financially absurd

Hunter — a good man outclassed by the complexities of the world.

McCain — generally a slightly less animated version of Giuliani, it’s hard to believe that Romney ran cirlces around him on the subjects of waterboarding and torture. That’s what happens when you let your emotions get the best of you, though.

Paul — an eloquent, intelligent, and forceful advocate for a restoration of the Constitutional order of 1929. Analogous to a knock-out blonde who loves both Rand and Buckley, yet refuses to use any technology that doesn’t rely on the power of steam. Completely impractical.

Romney — a smart man who acts dumb, his repeat of the Bush strategy probably would be smart for a country that hasn’t been exposed to is since 2000.

Thompson — remarkably elderly, his attack ad against Hucklebee reveals him for the third-tier candidate he is

2 thoughts on “Impressions of the CNN Youtube Republican Debate”

  1. I watched the debate as well. For the most part I thought McCain had the best showing with Huckabee just behind. Giuliani seemed very defensive when he wasn't sniping at Romney. My wife had a great take on Romney's performance, “He's like a Republican John Kerry. He takes no clear positions except for the positions that are the opposite of the ones he's had before.”

    The rest of the field seemed to be single position candidates who added to the discussion but have no real chance of appealing to a broader audience. The exception was Ron Paul. He seems to have just enough support and/or volume to interfere with the front-runners.

    I agree with you about Thompson, Dan. From a strategic point of view in a race that had apparently not yet gone to negative ads, that Thompson would fire off the first attack during the debate is very suspect and shows more than a hint of desperation.

  2. Huckabee had an outstanding night. I thought his answers ably demonstrated to all his background as a minister and the humility and open-mindedness he brings to the table. Impressive about immigration, the Bible and the challenges of hard decisions in office.

    Rudy had an off night, I thought he came off once again as the 9/11 guy and the hypocrite guy (sanctuary city). He did put Romney in his place well enough though. I liked his answer about infrastructure, it showed his understanding (as Fred Thompson seems to have and nothing else) of what it takes to face “big” challenges.

    McCain was emotional, combative and feisty. Came off well most of the time though, I don't see how Romney got the best of him on the torture debate. Now look after the fact and you have Huckabee in Iowa saying he'd follow McCain's experience on the issue.

    Arherring's wife is right-on about Romney.

    Huckabee is surging it seems, and last night certainly added further momentum.

  3. Aherring,

    I agree completely.


    Agreed on Huckabee.

    If I recall correctly, Giuliani did not mention 9/11, apart from a question that asked him what his accomplishments were apart from the response.

    Wrt Romney, while the anti-torture faction is internally incoherent, one of the dominant sub-factions in it calls for us not to actually torture anybody while retaining strategic ambiguity, as the fear of torture can be a valuable tool. Romney embraced this position, categorically denouncing torture while refusing to take a stand on waterboarding, explicitly stating that this was because detainees should not know what we may do to them.

    That Romney, who spent the rest of the debate trying to act dumb, scores points on sophistication and thoughtfulness says little about him, and much about McCain.

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