The other day I was invited to write a personal review of the Republican debate that took place on Wednesday, February 22. The idea was to get some ‘everyman’ thoughts on each candidate and their views. Since my time was limited right then, I decided to decline the offer but here is what I might have said had I accepted.
Teresa and I watched the debate together and our common take was that Mitt Romney was the pretty clear winner. While there were a few moments where he was attacked very strenuously, he was able to answer quite effectively and put the others on the defensive. He seemed well prepared and I particularly liked his response to John King (the moderator for CNN) when an answer was challenged. Without missing a beat, Mitt said “you get to ask the questions any way you want so I will answer them how I want.”
Nice to see him stand up for himself.
Rick Santorum was the frontrunner so he got most of the abuse from the others. It was interesting that he admitted he had made some poor judgments in his voting while serving as senator and congressman. His dodging, by suggesting that politics is a ‘team sport’, really backfired on him – as it should. Probably the most concerning thing with him was his voting for “Planned Parenthood” when his personal ideals are so against it. He had a rationale for the vote but it seemed lame and really made me wonder how committed he is. I am unabashedly a Mitt Romney backer but if it turns out that Santorum gets the nod, I will still feel like we are in pretty good shape. But dumb votes like the one mentioned above make it harder for me to be totally happy. (Personally, I don’t think he can do well against Obama but I hope I’m wrong).
For the first time in all the debates we have watched, Newt Gingrich was solely an afterthought and jester amongst the others. He had a couple of good lines (calling himself Cheerful) but my impression was that he was relegated to the back of the pack by most folks. Sitting here, two days later, I can’t remember one idea he presented that was new or interesting so I guess that might be the biggest statement of his current standing.
My wife asked me why Ron Paul is still running in this contest and it took me a moment to find the right answer. There is no chance he is going to win this nomination so my only guess is that he is jockeying for power at the convention. He has yet to win any primary or caucus and most of his constituents are the Libertarian crowd – the ‘nut jobs’ of the party. I think his whole purpose is to get enough delegates to force one of the others to come to him for support and then he can get some of his own agenda on the platform. If that ISN’T the reason, then he must have a lot of money he wants to get rid of in a campaign.
Just a funny side note. Our son Joel and his friend Gabe were watching the debate with us. Both are young men, recently returned from missions, so they were trying to learn a little about the political process. During one of the breaks, Gabe and Joel went into the kitchen and Gabe whispered to Joel, “Do you understand anything that is being said?” To which Joel replied, “Not a thing!”
Here’s hoping things become clearer to them and others in a very short time so more effort can be spent defeating that guy who lives in the White House. We don’t need four more years of his silliness.