NEWT. Hands down the winner last night. I can't support him for a variety of reasons, but MY GOODNESS he was sharp last night. Passionate, articulate, reasoned, and he tore the mods a new one about the idiot kind of questions they asked... and did it more than once.
HERMAN CAIN. He is articulate and folksy at the same time. He manages to answer questions adroitly without actually saying much, which is theoretically an art politicians are supposed to master. I really liked his humility on one question where he said "I didn't know then, but I have studied, and I know now." He also disarmed people with his "You expect me to answer all that in a minute?" retort to the mod.
RON PAUL. Ron is the eveready battery. He keeps on ticking. Consistent, principled, articulate, rejecting the boogeyman of "the world will blow up unless we micromanage everyone's affairs for them," and going away the most PRO FREEDOM guy on the stage. Isn't that what this is all about in the first place?
MICHELLE BACHMAN. She acted like a 14 year old breaking up with her boyfriend in the exchanges with Pawlenty. She did handle the SHAMELESS question by Byron York with grace. How are you going to respond to a theological question on male-female roles in marriage and how that translates into activities in the public arena in 1 or 2 minutes??????? STUPID and clearly a "this is how we want folks to know they shouldn't vote for you, Michelle." That said, she came across as shrill, at least to me. I think I would have said " My team will prepare a paper for the public on the SUBSTANTIVE differences between my responses and Gov Pawlenty's. This issue is too big to be hashed out in this context. Let's leave it at 'we have a serious contention about the underlying facts, not just our opinions.' "
PAWLENTY Did better than last time, but he came across as a big government guy who said "elect me because I know best how to tell you what to do." Plus, I think he was on a contest with Bachmann to see who could model a PMS exchange the best.
SANTORUM - Came across as the angry evangelical and, again, another guy who believes that because he is right (and as a Christian, I DO BELIEVE HE IS RIGHT, AND RESONATED DEEPLY ON MANY ISSUES WITH HIM), that means there should be a federal law about it. His foreign policy was an extension of that. I love Santorum. He has been a champion of the unborn and we all owe him for that. His approach to government is a recipe for fascist totalitarianism, though. If not during his tenure, then the power will still be laying on the floor for the next guy to pick up and use.
as for the rest of them:
Romney is the slick wafflling greasy politico pretty boy. He is what he is. I cannot believe this guy is the "front runner." If Republicans nominate him, I promise I will vote Obama
Gary Johnson was not invited because he was not considered a serious contender. Instead, they invited Huntsman. Brilliant call.