Monday, June 13, 2011

A few notes on the CNN New Hampshire debate

I just finished watching the debate and I have one major complaint.  What was the point in asking so many questions?  By asking so many question, the candidates were forced to give the most perfunctory answers.  It was really stupid to ask questions like; "what would you specifically do to fix entitlements" and then expect a decent answer in 30 seconds or less. For future debates, I really wish moderators would learn that the quality of the questions is far more important than the quantity on the questions.

Oh and those completely asinine questions from John King like Coke or Pepsi?  Our nation is three steps from going to hell in a hand basket and this dumb MoFo wants to know who likes Coke or Pepsi! American journalism is dead, dead, dead!

Here are my notes on each individual's performance.

Mitt Romney:  Was it just me or did Romney seem a little tired tonight.  He did not come off as the man to beat to me. I thought he got a little hung up on the auto bailout question.  He certainly got off easy on the RomneyCare questions.  Despite CNN's over abundance of questions, they totally did not ask Mitt about climate change.

Tim Pawlenty:  I think Tim did himself a lot of favors tonight.  He seemed more like the front runner than Romney. If I were an establishment type, I would be switching from Romney to T-Paw now. Pawlenty totally wimped out on ObamneyCare.  If he is unwilling to clean Romney's clock, how is this guy going to mix it up with Obama and his leftist minions?

Newt Gingrich: Newt looked like a little boy who just found out his dog died.  What was up with that?  Despite the depressed look, he did give some very solid answers on the need to build majorities in Congress next year and fighting false assumptions on immigration.  Did he do enough to undo his self inflicted wounds?  I don't know.

Rick Santorum: Someone really needs to tell Santorum that every answer does not require an angry forceful answer.  The key to getting looking passionate is allowing your natural emotions to temper your response.  You cannot be angry and forceful over everything.  I think Santorum was clearly lost in this crowd and did not really distinguish himself in anyway, especially against his true rivals Cain and Bachmann.

Ron Paul: New Hampshire might not be Ron Paul country.  None of his Fed Reserve, or anti war rhetoric seem to have resonated with the audience like in past debates.  Perhaps CNN screened the Ron Paul supporters at the door.  Tonight, Paul seemed like nothing more than the crazy old man in the corner.

Michele Bachmann:  The gal stood out.  Aside from making her presidential bid formal at the debate, Bachmann came off very crisp, polished and sharp.  Dare I say first tier quality?  Again, despite CNN's flurry of questions they failed to ask Bachmann about her campaign manager's remarks about Palin.  They actually gave Pawlenty a Palin question.  Did her performance overcome Rollin's damage?  Time will tell, but sooner rather than later Bachmann needs to address that.

Herman Cain:  I was really hoping to see Cain run away with this thing like he did the last time.  However, Cain seem to fade to behind Bachmann.  Perhaps it was the questioned he got or perhaps at this stage of the game people are looking for deeper answers.  Whatever the case, I don't feel Cain held court. Cain had better start getting really tight on the Muslim question, because judging from how much time CNN spent on that issue, the left smells blood in the water.

Winners:  Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty.  I feel they both came off better than their poll numbers suggest.  Pawlenty came off much more aggressively than Romney.  Clearly, Pawlenty was working on not being dull.  Bachmann out shined her two conservative rivals Santorum and Cain. Her current Congressional experience easily trumped Santorum's past deeds and provided the details that Herman Cain lacks.

Losers:  Mitt Romney and Herman Cain.  Romney allowed Pawlenty to look far more aggressive than he did. As the supposed front runner and the  establishment's choice, that was a bad thing.  Herman Cain failed to build on the momentum he had from the last debate and allowed Bachmann to look more substantive.  Time to hit the books Herman, more details will be required.

What are your thoughts?  Who did you think were the winners and losers?

NOTE:  If you missed the debate, Left Coast Rebel has the full video up on his site.


Pedaling said...

I felt like Bachmann really out-shined them all tonight.

and yes, you are absolutely right...the lack of time given for the candidates to respond was frustrating.

Clifton B said...


It was hard not to notice Bachmann's performance. She did her homework.

I hope CNN won't be hosting any of the later debates, their format stinks.

madmath1 said...

Given that the alley cat that keeps me up nights could beat Obama right now, was this debate really necessary?

I wish CNN would get out of the news business as their product stinks worse than yesterday's diapers.

Just a conservative girl said...

I agree that Cain was a loser tonight, but for a different reason. I don't think he got enough questions. They seemed to give most of the time to Romney, Newt and Pawlenty. My thought is that is who CNN has decided will be standing at the end.

But, Herman does need to give more detail. I still heart him though.

ozzie said...

Glad to see you are posting a lot more often since I really like your insight. I agree with it most of the time :)

In response to your question about why Romney wasn't drilled on his health care, Romney is a media favorite which means they will take it easy on him until they get him where they want him.

Now, for the rest of the field:

I thought Pawlenty did the best because he took what was great about Santorum in the first debate and was able to integrate it into his presentation.

Romney did seem weaker than he should have been for being the "frontrunner".

Bachmann gets on my nerves so I can't criticize her fairly- My main criticism of her is that she seems to want it so bad that she becomes overbearingly obnoxious as the self-appointed queen of the tea party. Also, she went back and corrected/amended her answer to the gay marriage question which I didn't like because that was one of her answers that I did like before she fell victim to the pressure of most other candidates taking the opposing view.

Gingrich did fine, but not well enough for me to look over his establishment credentials.....neither him nor Romney will never get my support in the primaries.

Paul was flaky sounding as always, but really did well when he answered the question about the troops in Afghanistan, especially when Romney punted like a punk.

Santorum was toned down a little from the first debate, but he's still got a kryptonite effect on me because of his belief that social policy is a government issue.

Overall, I did like that the candidates had a good amount of cohesion with each other and did not fall into the traps set forth with the numerous baiting questions.

Clifton B said...

madmath 1:

They say that people's perceptions will be locked by Labor Day. Unless some miracle happens Obama is getting locked in as a loser.

Clifton B said...


Agreed, there were not enough questions for Cain and the RINOs got the lion's share.

Cain does need more detail at this point. His general answers were great for the first debate but those answers seemed too empty in this crowed field.

Cain is still on my short list too

Clifton B said...


Agreed on CNN going easy on Romney and I also agree with Pawlenty adding some of Santorum's passion.

Good catch on Bachmann, I almost forgot that part. I want to like her more but until she does something about Rollins, I am afraid my support will have to be tepid.

I totally agreed about this group of Republicans not falling for the MSM's sill memes. Far better than the weakling bunch from 2008. Perhaps the TEA Party has put lead in their pencils. LOL

Kartman said...

I think Bachmann did an excellent job last night. At some point the liberal press will destroy her if they think she is a threat. They love Mitt because they think Obama has a chance to defeat him so they will make him look good.

Newt, Paul, and Santorum should get out of the way and allow those who have a chance to present their views. I still like Cain and expect Rick Perry to enter the race and I believe that he will be a very strong candidat.

bd said...

abc - fair and balanced w/o agenda besides conservative analysis - thanks, the kind of opinion journalism i hope we all seek and respect

good/better/best assessments are all over the map (as should be expected); the cnn forum emphasized the presumed (probably correct) view of our limited attention span and obsession w/ show over substance;

still a chance for the "2nd tier" to stand along side some "1st tier"; let's face it, a good tv persona is all but mandatory to be a viable contender

now, for a forum wherein questions of substance are vetted - waiting for that one...

FIREBIRD said...

I kept notes during the debate and as I reread them this morning, nothing's changed, and I agree with you on most of your assessments. I was looking for more from Cain, too.... and Newt shocked me that he had his mess together after the lousy week he's had. My main conclusion is - I want Romney OUT... if he's our candidate, we totally lose Healthcare as an issue - and THAT is the MAIN issue in 2012.... pretty much anything else can be fixed down the road - but NOT a new entitlement of this magnitude.

FIREBIRD said...

Thanks for your comments - and my 'mini-recaps' are the only way I can remember things when it's that fast paced.

Romney has always seemed plastic to me - canned answers for every question - and he's a RINO... the fact that CNN's talking heads loved him is indeed the kiss of death in my mind. Perhaps they WERE watching a different debate!

An Ordinary American said...

I like Herman Cain, a LOT. However, I also think that Bachman ran away with it.

That's good with me--I'd LOVE to see a Cain/Bachman ticket, or vice-versa.

Herman has the business and economic sense and experience we desperately need, and Michelle has the political savvy and run-away Tea Party support.

What those two need is some good merchandising and brand-building, and I truly believe they would be unstoppable.


Nick said...

From the outtakes I saw, I think your description is very accurate. If I didn't know better, I'd think everyone agreed to go soft on one another and hit Obama hard.

It seemed like a pre-season game.

There are a lot more debates to go, and the after-action reviews are in progress.

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