Thursday, May 5, 2011

Notes on the South Carolina GOP debate

I just got through watching the debate.  I think this debate was Fox News' attempt to kick start the nomination process early. From a political standpoint, there really isn't a good reason to start early.  Starting the process early increases the chance of a candidate tripping up and giving Obama and the left their much needed distraction issues.

I tuned in mostly to watch Herman Cain's performance to finally see Gary Johnson speak publicly (I know his record, but never seen him speak).  Below are some of the notes I jotted down while watching.

Pawlenty's opening greeting and thanks seems so typically politico and tiresome.  I liked how the other just answered the question put forth without all the fanfare.

Fox has decided to do "The Hand Show"?  I thought Fred Thompson killed The Hand Show back in 2008.  I hate The Hand Show, because it leaves you clueless as to why a candidate does or does not support an issue.  Case in point, I would have love to have heard why Herman Cain would not release the Osama Bin Ladin photo.

Ron Paul is getting wild applause for getting out of Afghanistan.  Is that truly Republicans coming around to his position or did Ron Paul pack the house with his supporters.  My money is on the latter, especially after Ron Paul's answer to close Gitmo.

Gary Johnson finally speaks, my first impression -"mousy" ,"pipsqueak", "geeky", not good.  Johnson whines (rightfully) about the distribution of questions.  Seems like Pawlenty is getting the lion's share.

Santorum not apologizing for "English Only" stance, instead gives a very strong explanation and example.  Kudos.

Gary Johnson on giving out work visas easily.  With jobs drying up in this country, do we really want to hand out work visas like Halloween candy?  That certainly seems at odd with his believe that we are headed for economic collapse. If the economy collapses, wouldn't Americans want every possible job available even the menial ones?

Pawlenty busted for his enthusiastic support for Cap and Trade! Pawlenty fesses up and admits a mistake. Seems like a smarter way to go than what Romney is trying to pull with RomneyCare.

Lightning Round on absent candidates - this is Fox News indulging itself. Very bad idea, this could lead to nasty sound bites that the left would surely use.  Thankfully, none of them stepped in it. Gary Johnson tries a little bit of a Palin dig.  Foolish, she could eat his lunch while making breakfast for her family.

Here is my overall impressions of the various candidates.

Tim Pawlenty - He was the perfect first tier candidate - if this was 2008.  His style seemed so typically scripted from the faux aggressive tone to the robotic hand gestures.  This may have been the standard back in the day, but for 2012 we need authenticity.

Rick Santorum - The perfect 2008 second tier candidate.  Aside from his refusal to back track on his English Only comments, I wasn't really impressed.

Herman Cain - In this field of candidates, I expected Cain to completely blow these guys out the water.  Maybe I have seen too many of his speeches, but I was expecting a tad more. Judging from the focus group after the debate, Cain ran way with the show, so maybe I am being too critical.  He is still on my short list.

Ron Paul - Ron Paul was Ron Paul. The only thing new here, is that I think Republicans have moved a little closer to where Ron Paul has always been.

Gary Johnson - This guy will never do.  I have repeatedly warned on this blog that the GOP nominee is going to get the full Palin Treatment.  Does anyone think for one hot second that Gary Johnson could stand up to 10 minutes of that?  Hopeless! Pack it in Gary.

Via: Memeorandum
Via: Fox News
Via: The Other McCain


Pedaling said...

Out of this group, as a conservative, republican, woman--I liked Santorum the best.
Herman Cain--second.

Wasn't impressed with any of the rest.

Anonymous said...

Herman Cain told Hannity after the debate why he wouldn't release the photo(s).
Cain is still my favorite, but I'm glad "the usual suspects" had decided to Not appear in this debate. I got to hear more from Santorum, Pawlenty(sp), and Johnson. I wasn't very familiar with those 3 before the debate.

SB Smith

lilolady said...

Herman Cain - accomplished problem solver, calm and confident! Just what we need. I hope his experience as Fed Banker is put forward more as it rounds out his resume with a solid policy and political interface. He is no "one-note"

FIREBIRD said...

I rather agree with you on your assess ment - this was the first time I had really listened to Cain and I like that he's a businessman - we need someone to run this country like a business rather than a charity. I saw that a CNN poll was wildly in favor of Ron Paul - I'm sorry but I see that as an attempt to get the republicans to run a 75-year-old libertarian against Obama - the press picked McCain - we CANNOT let them pick for us this election

bd said...

great post, thank you

a great forum on balance because gives the "one-digit" contenders a chance to be heard and distinguish/position themselves

ref p: rs? a media whore in-waiting (a bit unkind, but only a bit)

hc: a go

tp: hope he gets your message - would fine be in a cabinet position

rp: demonstrates what a cult-like following can do (note just like bho who had greater cult-like support and the support of a legion of leftists); rp is no better than the rest of the self-important (harsh) media hogs who adore hearing themselves pontificate; remember "tone deaf"? rp makes a decent ideological principal sound like a scolding - don't need it

usa is right-leaning w/ some libertarian tendencies, but not libertarian-driven...

TheLoneConservative said...

Pretty spot on. Like the others, I really enjoyed Cain an am fired up about him. If he doesn't waver, I can see him as a strong candidate to go against Obama.

The Heathen Republican said...

Cain: liked him a lot

Paul: agree, his supporters were over represented, as demonstrated by the applause every time he opened his mouth

Johnson: mousy sums it up. I really didn't like his mannerisms

Hand show: die already! It's demeaning for a group of presidential candidates

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