Tim Pawlenty gets an F. He tried to be snarky and raise his level of rhetoric and it didn’t work. He’s just too milquetoast and it’s killing him. I think the same would happen in the general election. Someone with real ability to raise his tone is going to have to be ready for the onslaught the progressives and Obama are going to bring, and T-Paw just isn’t the guy. Bob Dole thinks Pawlenty might have beaten Bob Dole in ’96, but this ain’t ’96.
I give an A- to Michele Bachmann. I think she did what she had to do and she did it well. Pawlenty’s jabs were below the belt and she called him on it. She seems to really know what she’s talking about. The one issue the liberal media will continue to haunt her with now is the debt ceiling issue. She’s right, yet she’s wrong on that issue. The Tea Party is correct in its core belief that we need to control spending, but the economy would not have liked at all the idea that we were forcing such a hardship so quickly, were we to not raise it then and there. It took a hundred years for the progressive spending agenda to destroy America to the point we are today; we can’t fix it in one motion. I also appreciated the fact that she answered the “submissive” question in a classy way. I see no problem with her marriage and no problem with the answer she gave.
I don’t see why everyone hates Newt Gingrich so much. I give him an A- and actually think he won the debate, to some extent. The only reason he is on the lower side of an A in my mind is because as he consistently lashed out, he did come across as a little angry... but why not? Should we be happy about where we are today? I think Newt had some of the best lines of the night. Nobody has and offers up ideas like Newt does, and his ideas seem very reasonable. He makes everyone else look like polished campaign-stumpers and nothing more.
And regarding the Chris Wallace question: Newt’s campaign left him because he has a new vision for how to run a campaign in the 21st century and they didn't agree with it. He’s said it over and over, in interviews on every network, yet Wallace just had to go there again. Newt was right about the question and FNC is becoming part of the MSM problem in that respect. They are too worried about ratings and becoming too much like what they say they are not. I still give FNC credit for offering a real left-right comparison of opinion on most shows and their straight news team is excellent, but gotcha questions are pathetic and Chris Wallace should be ashamed.
Ron Paul. I want to give the man a B, but I have to give him an F. He just doesn’t get it that Iran can not have nuclear weapons. That’s a total non-starter for anyone with a brain. Regarding fiscal policy Ron Paul is pretty brilliant. I am not sure we should abolish the Federal Reserve, but it definitely needs to be audited, and Paul is correct that the world is best served by free trade. Our issue is that we have a tax policy that fails in the free trade marketplace and it’s beginning to take its toll on us big time. Thank you, Woodrow Wilson.
Rick Santorum did well last night; I give him a B. He’ll never win the General Election and I don’t think he’ll even come close in the primary, but he did well in at least pointing out that there was a room full of people with ideas, not just T-Paw, Bachmann, and Romney.
Hermann Cain is a really smart guy when it comes to running a business, I can see that. He should be Secretary of Treasury, or Commerce, or something along that line. He needs to be recognized for his efforts to expend the discussion and bring ideas to the table. He’s not going to win the nomination because he’s just not ready for prime time, this time. Solid B+.
Jon Huntsman will never win this primary unless he develops a personality and starts answering questions. I don’t know enough about him to say what he stands for and that’s his problem. He kept saying “I stand on my record” but unless there was a turntable underneath him, that statement was meaningless. I don’t live in Utah, didn’t live there when you were governor, and I want to hear you tell me – right now – the answer to the question. I do like that he is knowledgeable about the Chinese, and for that alone he should be considered for a position like Secretary of State. But regarding this night? D-.
Mitt Romney gets a B+. He didn’t come away hurt, and I actually appreciated his explanation of how Massachusetts health care was a Tenth Amendment issue and he sees the national issue differently. I think hardcore right-wingers need to listen to him more and give him a chance on this one. Pride alone would stop a decent man from repeating so many times that he would repeal Obamacare. Mitt Romney seems to be a decent man, and he has definitely said more than once that repeal of Obamacare is on his agenda. My issue with Romney is that he comes across too polished, but what are we to expect of a man who’s been running since 2007 in the age of cable-news sound bytes and endless attacks for every last miscue?
Overall I think the debate was interesting. I learned a couple of new things and that helps, and I think we found out who the real players are. We are yet to hear from Rick Perry who will be an interesting addition, and of course there’s Sarah Palin, who just keeps hanging around. Speaking of Palin, here’s an interesting and very reasonable discussion between her and some reporters, mostly Don Lemon of CNN. Credit to Lemon for a fair and decent line of questions, and I think Palin really hit it out of the park in this discussion. If she could come across like this all the time, even some of her detractors would have trouble putting her down.
A Hat Tip to Kirsten Powers for the link to the video, via @kirstenpowers10 on Twitter.
Follow @wisdomofsoloman on Twitter