Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Debate Wrap: Romney By A Length

. . . and the debates keep coming. Last night was the first of two debates this week from South Carolina. It was an interesting night and it will be interesting to see if this changes the race. Romney continues to roll and Perry helped himself a lot. Newt did well, sort of. The rest, not so much. Let’s discuss.

Loser: Juan Williams. Juan was the biggest loser because he proved he’s a race baiter extraordinaire. All he talked about was racism: cutting taxes is racist, being white is racist, not offering money to poor blacks is racist, telling blacks they need jobs is racist, the word “poor” is code word for “black” and is racist, repeating Obama’s words is racist, and criticizing Obama is racist. Juan even suggested that Romney betrayed his own race (he’s part Mexican) because he’s opposed to illegal immigration and won’t pander to Hispanics on that issue. Juan needs therapy.

Winner: Mitt Romney. Romney won the debate, hands down. Not only did he handle the other’s attacks on him well, but he continues to come across as increasingly more conservative (and thoughtfully conservative). For example:

When they attacked his Bain Capital record, Romney pointed out that Bain bought over 100 different businesses and turned most of them around (22 ended up in bankruptcy). The steel mill he shut down in South Carolina only closed after seven years of Bain trying to turn it around, it failed because of Chinese dumping of steel, and Bain later managed to open a newer mill in Indiana. This, he pointed out, gave him solid knowledge of how the economy really works and of the threat posed by China. He also mentioned that Bain’s companies created more than 120,000 jobs.

He then mentioned that his success as Bain led to him being asked to rescue the Olympics, which he did. And during his time as Governor of Massachusetts, the state had a 4.7% unemployment rate, a balanced budget, they reduced taxes nineteen times, and filled a “rainy day” fund with $2 billion. In effect, he went from success to success to success and proved he could succeed in the real economy, succeed at fixing bureaucratic messes, and succeed in running a state dominated by Democrats. That’s a solid sales pitch which easily defused the attacks on Bain.

In addition to defending his record, Romney continues to take solid conservative positions on taxes, regulations, deficits, foreign policy, military strength and even social issues. Moreover, he keeps making excellent conservative promises in each debate. This time he promised to (1) halt ALL “Obama era regulations,” effectively reversing Obama’s term, (2) push for voluntary self-directed retirement accounts, and (3) get rid of all campaign finance laws. It was another strong night for him.

Winner: Rick Perry. Apparently, Rick Perry has a retarded twin named Goober Perry. For some strange reason, they let Goober handle the debates up to this point. Last night, Rick stepped in and the difference was remarkable. It’s not that Rick said anything substantive, he didn’t, but for once he sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Indeed, he made it clear that he favors lower taxes and less regulation. He attacked the regulatory abuses of the EPA, Obama’s Labor Board’s attacks on Boeing, and the Justice Department’s interference in state voting issues. He attacked something he called Obama’s war against organized religion. He said Obama’s claim that the border with Mexico is secure is ludicrous and that traffic only slowed because this is the worst economy in 40 years. He defended the soldiers who urinated on the Taliban corpses by contrasting this with the Taliban killing and desecrating Americans. And most interestingly, he made the point that it’s not the government’s responsibility to fix housing and said (roughly): “the best way to get the economy going is not to think about how much we can push the government into the economy, but instead to think of ways to get it out of the economy.”

If this Rick Perry had showed up early on, he would be cruising to an easy win. But he didn’t. So now the question is, does this help Perry or not? Can he steal back voters who have fled to megalomaniac Gingrich or socialist Rick Santorum? It’s not clear, but Rick probably bought his campaign more life after the debacles of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Sort of Loser: Newt Gingrich. Gingrich is a frustrating candidate and last night really displayed why. He is capable of excellence in debating, especially at flipping sucker punches back onto hapless fools like Juan Williams and really taking them down. BUT there’s never any substance to his answers. Instead, he just makes a lot of noise attacking the questioner, mentions Ronald Reagan a dozen times, and then leaves an impression that he would do something different than Obama or the questioner. . . but he never actually tells you what he would do. Example:

Q. “Newt, should the government sell strawberry ice cream?”
A. “I find it insulting that you would ask such a blatantly biased question at a time when few Americans can afford ice cream of any type, and I certainly am not like Obama who doesn’t even realize that strawberry ice cream exists.”
Q. “But should the government sell it?”
A. “Look, I worked with Ronald Reagan and I’m not like Obama.”
Newt’s performance reeks of bread and circuses, but the clown act serves him well with a public that long ago lost the ability to spot substance. He was quite entertaining last night, but as you’ll see below, he lost because of Perry’s surge.

Loser: Ricky Santorum. Ricky again exposed himself as a socialist and a liar. He spent the night denying his own votes and pretending he actually led the charge against the things he voted for. In one particularly galling moment, he tried to deny his vote to force states to let felons vote by (1) attacking Romney for being a governor of a state that lets felons vote (something Romney did not support or sign into law), (2) somehow wrapping himself in the Tenth Amendment and declaring this a state issue, and (3) suggesting it was racist not to let felons vote. In effect, he denied his own vote, accused Romney of doing what only Rick himself had done, accused Romney of not being a conservative because he lived in a state which did what Rick tried to force upon every state, and then flipped it around and accused Romney (and conservatism) of racism for not doing what Rick now denies that he himself did. . . by hey, it’s a state issue. This happened all night on issue after issue and I’ve come to believe Rick is a pathological liar with no sense of shame.

Rick was also rude, as usual, and debates like an angry child. He also has a habit of flip-flopping in the middle of answers. And even beyond that, Rick’s a socialist. He does not trust you to invest in your own retirement, he wants the government to do it for you. He wants to micromanage the economy and stated very clearly that he believes certain companies should be given tax breaks and others not depending on which competitive forces he thinks are at play. But don’t worry, he assured us, he is all for capitalism once he and the government have fixed the economy.

Worse yet, Rick will latch onto any liberal attack and run with it. Last night, he played the race card twice, first when he attacked Romney for wanting to keep felons from voting, which Rick suggested was racist against blacks, and when he played along with Juan Williams’ equation that “poor equals black” and thus not giving money to the poor equals racism. Rick also suggested very strongly that he supports affirmative action.

There is some speculation that Rick is playing for the VP slot, but only a fool would pick the toxic Santorum as a running mate, especially with Allen West saying yesterday that he’s open to being on the ticket.

Loser: Ron Paul. Paul is insane and last night was just too much. Once again he suggested our problems in the Middle East were because we started it by bombing these countries. Then he played the race card by suggesting that the war on drugs is racist and that our criminal justice system is racist. So not only is Paul’s foreign and military policy suicidal, and his economic policy little more than extreme platitudes, but now he’s playing right into liberal smears on conservatism.
Conclusion
Last night helped Romney once again. Not only did he continue to seem presidential, but the anybody-but-Romney camp will remain split and in disarray. With Paul draining away 15% of the vote and Romney earning a consistent 40%, the only hope of the anybody-but-Romney forces is for one of the other three to emerge as the ABR champion. But Gingrich, Santorum and Perry are all horrid candidates, which is preventing any of them from becoming the natural challenger to Romney. Moreover, with Perry showing actual competence last night, he will likely steal back lost supporters from Santorum and Gingrich and thereby stop either of them from pulling ahead.

And in truth, I must say Romney really is earning the nomination. With each passing debate he becomes a better debater and sounds more conservative. He has slowly but surely raised my comfort level with him.

Thoughts? (fyi, there’s another debate Thursday night. . . ugh.)

61 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, for anyone who missed it, Scott has a Star Trek article up at the film site: LINK

Tennessee Jed said...

I thought they all did better. They are getting used to it, and the 5 people winowed field may have helped. Newt may have gotten the applause, but I came away more convinced than ever we ride Romney into the WH, get control of both houses, get rid of Obamacare, and start dismantling the regulatory bodies strangling the economy.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think the difference is that Newt is playing showman and Romney is showing he's presidential.

I may not like Romney's lack of conservative principles, but he is showing that he takes the jobs seriously and he's up for the task. For Newt, this is still a game.

Tennessee Jed said...

I am not convinced Newt won't act like a spoiled child and work to undermine Romney. I'd like to think not, but I get that kind of spoiled child vibe out of Newt when things don't go his way.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I've been getting that sense ever since he lost in Iowa. He has gone on a scorched earth approach ever since that loss and all he does is try to tear down all the other candidates. He should be ashamed.

T-Rav said...

Sigh.

I can't bring myself to praise Romney, BUT I will say that I think he had one of his best debate performances last night and if he continues in that vein, might be able to reconcile the conservative base. And except for Perry, who undoubtedly helped himself (though probably not enough to save his campaign), all the Not-Romney candidates looked inconsistent or worse. I think the only solution may be to get perpetually half-drunk from now through the convention, then pour my heart and soul into doing what I can to make sure Romney gets elected President.

Tennessee Jed said...

T-Rav; "My Fair Lady" "I think he's got it." Half drunk is THE way to go through the debates, and pouring heart and sold into defeating Obama is always a good way to spend your time. Look, since you decided not to run, we all have to work with the players we inherited. Compared with Obama, Romney is George Fricking Washington. See how easy it gets :)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I know the feeling. This debate process is disheartening enough when your guy isn't doing well and it's much, much worse when you can't even find someone you want to support.

But in all honesty, the more I look, the more I really think Romney is the most conservative guy on the stage. I know that he lacks principles, but so do the rest. And the things he is proposing are conservative -- unlike the others who are proposing all kinds of weird stuff or nothing at all.

And in the end, I do think Romney can beat Obama and make a very good President. Will he be great? I don't know. But he'll be much better than what we have right now and I do think he'll go a long way to setting the country on the right track.

Then we can work on getting a President Ryan/Rubio/West/Jindal, etc.

Also, drinking until the general election is not a bad idea. But stay away from the rubbing alcohol... that's only if Obama wins ago.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Isn't My Fair Lady the one with the song: "I've grown accustomed to her face"?

DUQ said...

Andrew, Your breakdown of Santorum is right on. I hadn't seen him as a "socialist" until last night. I thought he was just a big business hack. But last night he really was talking about the government micromanaging the economy.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks DUQ, I do think that's the case. He is talking about picking winners and loser and his reasoning was "some of these guys face Chinese competition and others don't" and then he started talking about how capitalism was good and ok, but now is not the time to try it?!! W.T.F.?!

rlaWTX said...

my coworker suggested (after she came to see why I was laughing) that "Apparently, Rick Perry has a retarded twin named Goober Perry." should bused by Perry to explain himself and that it'd probably do him some good. (if he left out the bad "r" word...) ;)

(yes, that song is in My Fair Lady)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, That's the only logical explanation I can come up with?! The change between how he did in the debate last night and how he did in all the prior debates was truly startling. If he had done this from the get go, I think he would be running away with this race. But by now he's injected so much doubt that I really don't know whether he'll be able to get a second look or not?


I thought that was the song. That seems to be a good way to explain how many people are starting to feel about Romney... it's not love, but it's getting accustomed to him.

T-Rav said...

Andrew and Jed, I'm not there yet. I don't believe Romney is a conservative, I think the "electability" claim is overblown, and I am very doubtful as to whether he'd be a good President or good for conservatism. But he would undoubtedly be a better President than our Teleprompter-in-Chief, and I guess I'll have to live with that. Meanwhile, I think it would be good to focus on electing as many conservatives to Congress as possible, so as to push Romney as far right as possible.

Ed said...

Andrew, Excellent breakdown. I concur. I have come to conclusion that I support Romney and this last debate raised my comfort level with that. I think he has the debating skill now to defeat Obama and I think he has solid answers to the attacks being made on him. I don't think the others are in that league. Maybe you have to run twice, I don't know, but he is much more credible that he used to be.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I absolutely agree about electing as many conservatives to the House and Senate as possible. I think that is where the agenda will be made in the next administration and that is vital to our efforts to remaking the government and undoing the damage done by Obama.

That said, I do think Romney will end up being a conservative president and probably a good one (as I've said in an article) and I absolutely believe the electability argument. But like you, I don't think he's personally a conservative.

And one thing that keeps re-enforcing this idea with me is that he keeps getting more conservative as the primaries go on. If he wasn't planning to channel the public (or wasn't reading us right) then he would be trying to moderate to win the general election. Instead, he's consistently taken rational, conservative positions. And I like a lot of what he's promising now.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, One of the things I've noticed is that there is a genuine difference in how they are all acting. Romney is clearly the most presidential. He spends his time trying to explain what he wants to do and explaining why Obama needs to go. The other guys seems to be attacking randomly and have yet to come up with any sort of sales pitch for why they should be made president. I do think that's a noticeable difference.

And of the rest, I think Perry is showing the closest to being on the right track. He seems to understand that this is an interview for the job... not a childish game of gotcha.

Santorum acts like a petulant child and I think is showing himself to be a pathological liar.

Paul acts like he's a frustrated professor.

And Newt acts like a know-it-all consultant, not a manager.

DUQ said...

I should also add that I'm concerned about Newt and Santorum in the way Jed is concerned about Newt. I have the feeling they don't mind destroying everyone else if they aren't going to win.

LawHawkRFD said...

I think that Romney solidified his position, even though I loved every minute of Newt reaming Juan Williams. Gingrich sounds like the Grinch who stole Christmas, and is working on Easter. I'm somewhat concerned that as Gingrich falls farther behind he'll get nastier and do some serious damage to Republican unity.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I think that's a real danger. But I also don't know that it will stick. Newt's attack on Bain Capital (joined by the others) failed miserably. Santorum makes anyone who argues with him look bad by association, but that doesn't really last beyond the debate itself. So in the end, I'm not sure it matters. BUT it certainly can't help and it is a concern.

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav: not to push you into a corner, but who if not Romney?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I loved that part of the debate too. Juan Williams is a disgrace and Newt did a great job of letting him have it. I was very happy with that. But I think Newt's biggest problem is that he can't shake Santorum, Paul and Perry. That will keep him from getting the numbers he needs to beat Romney.

And as Romney is solidifying his support more and more with each passing debate, there will come a point it won't matter anymore. In fact, I suspect that after Florida, this race will be over.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Careful, T-Rav's already on sockpuppet suicide watch!

Seriously though, that is a good question and goes to the heart of the problem. If a Paul Ryan jumped in, he'd have my support in a minute. But of the group up there now, I don't see anyone better than Romney.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. rlaWTX, What's the word in Texas? Is Perry's performance hurting/helping him at home?

Tennessee Jed said...

Lest we need further proof, on Rasmussen.com, we find Romney increased his lead in S.C. Now there may be other factors (Huntsman, etc.) but numbers are numbers.

CrisD said...

heh heh, missed the debate. Super preoccupied with family junk but report is much appreciated, Andrew.
Perry pulled his socks up? hahaha!

Its funny, my 25 year old daughter and 30 year old husband will vote R no matter what and they don't care about Newt or what he says. Maybe we can console ourselves that he is amusing us junkies at this stage!

T-Rav said...

rla, I'm writing Ryan's name in (in a primary that is entirely non-binding, since we do caucus, so it doesn't matter anyway). I will mark the ballot for Romney in November if I have to, but I cannot do it now.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, His numbers have started to rise all over the place. I suspect that the public is getting ready to be done with this, which is why I think the primaries will effectively be over after Florida... barring a major surprise.

I also think that bodes well that he is moving to the right even as his numbers are rising because it would almost make more sense to not say anything new and to see how far his numbers go first. So maybe he is feeling genuinely conservative?

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, That's something else to consider is that the majority of the public doesn't pay attention until October, so little that happens now can harm our people in the main election.

Yeah, Newt is amusing and he definitely has the ability to stand up to the MSM. I appreciate that a lot. If only he combined that with actual conservative ideas, he would have been very formidable.

Yep, Perry did very well for once. I don't know what happened. It was literally as if he had been on drugs and then decided to stop last night and suddenly had a huge moment of clarity. It's very strange and I can't explain it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Nice choice! :)

rlaWTX said...

Andrew, what little I've heard (anecdotally) is more about his wandering all over rather being in Texas doing business here and an occasional comment on keeping his mouth shut...

Most Tx R's I hear about are more interested in the US Senate primary race that has former TX Sol. General Ted Cruz hitting Lt Gov Dewhurst pretty hard.

T-Rav: thanks for the clarification. I was hoping you knew about a stealth candidate I had missed... sigh

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks rlaWTX, I know little about that Senate race, but let me just say that I hope the conservative wins... assuming there is one. :)

ScyFyterry said...

I agree with your assessment and I honestly don't know what the evangelicals were thinking deciding to back Santorum.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, That's actually a question many are debating. There is talk now of voting fraud and that some people were told there would be no third vote (which is when Ricky won it).

Others are saying they picked Ricky with the idea that they could use him as a litmus test by demanding that Romney choose him as a running mate. If that's the plan then it's a loser.

I wonder if they would have changed their mind if they'd voted today instead of last week and would they have picked Perry instead?

tryanmax said...

I already expressed my bafflement at some of the talkers and writers stating that Mitt had a bad night last night. Since then, I've also heard several declarations that Newt was the winner. Did these political "experts" watch the same debate we did? I'm beginning to think Commentarama got sucked into a parallel universe last night, and all of us with it.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, There are several reasons for this.

For one thing, they aren't grading like we are. We are looking for the best candidate. They are looking for most applause.

For another, they are all insiders who don't see the world like us peons. They judge the world according to who they think is most sophisticated. Romney isn't part of the club because he comes from the business world. Newt is. So they will favor Newt. And keep in mind, these are the same people who kept saying Cain was embarrassing himself at the same time the public was climbing on board... they are out of touch.

And don't forget, these are the same people who thought Obama/Perry/Gore/Clinton/Mondale/Carter never lot a debate.

Also, a lot of them are pimping candidates whether they admit it or not and that colors their commentary.

rlaWTX said...

Ted Cruz seems pretty great. Haven't spent a lot of time on it yet...

Try - I noticed that what others' were commenting on didn't seem to be the same debate y'all watched and commented on last night...

(I chose to flip between Die Hard and Armageddon then watch Alex O', I mean, Hawaii 5-0 instead...)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, If you hear anything interesting about the race, please let us know. :)


On the talking heads, I notice that all the time. The moment the debate is over, you see them go to work trying to reshape reality in ways that just don't fit. Some of it is bias (i.e. they've are pushing a candidate), but most of it is that they just aren't judging on the same criteria we are.

Do you remember how we all enjoyed the early debates because they were actually informative? The minute those debates ended, all of the pundits declared them a disaster and whined about the lack of "fireworks." And then when the debates got nasty, they all suddenly perked up. Their game is ratings, not substance.

ScyFyterry said...

Andrew, I hadn't heard that about there being a controversy in the voting. But I guess everyone loves to scream voter fraud these days, don't they?

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, That does seem to be the thing to do these days.

ScyFyterry said...

It does, there's a lot of sore loserism going around.

Patti said...

i didn't get to watch and appreciate the run-down. gave me a good lol at perry's twin brother. and juan. ugh. makes me want to trip him.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, That there does. If you can't convince people, cry fraud and sue!

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, You're welcome. Juan is an embarrassment.

The twin thing is the only explanation I can offer for why he suddenly did so well. Perhaps you have a better explanation?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, maybe Perry has one of those split personality things? Like, he drank some potion in the past and became Dr. Perry and Mr. Goober....

rla, at this point I'm just hoping we get Jindal or maybe Rubio or West on the ticket. I would personally prefer Jindal as Rubio and West don't have as much political experience just yet, but any one of them would make a great VP or cabinet pick.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, LOL! "The Strange Case of Dr. Perry and Mr. Goober." That actually sounds like an entertaining film!

I would take any of those guys as Vice Presidents and I think it would be an epic mistake for Romney (or Newt or the rest) to pick a white dude for VP. Jindal would be good because he's got solid credentials and Indians are leaning Republican. West would be good because he just kicks rear end. Rubio is good too though I would prefer the others.

If he picks a Santorum or Pawlenty I will start drinking.

AndrewPrice said...

Here's an interesting tidbit. The Romney campaign is thinking about not participating in future debates. That's actually not a bad idea at this point.


LINK

Kelly said...

I thought Romney did well, but I'm still not sure who to support. It won't matter because we vote late, but I still should figure out at least who I want to win.

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, I suspect this will all be over very quickly as well. As for whom to support, that I can't tell you.

Individualist said...

I will say that I thought Romney diod a very good job in the debate. I don't think any ofg them however have convinced me not to write in Herman Cain as yet.

I will say this, the only think I was disappointed with Romney about was his agreement with Santorum that now we can't afford the Chilean model.

They keep talking about paying out SSN as if they will be able to do so. I really feel that Newt was right about this particular issue.

That said I think Romney scored well on all the issues.

The other kudos I will give to Newt is his take down of Paul regarding Islamic Terrorists equating to Chinese Dissidents.

Paul is an ironic figure. If he would just state I will try to reduce our presence in the world without affecting stability I might be able to suipport him.

Oh well......

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I agree 100%.

1. I thought Newt had a couple excellent take downs. He took down Paul on his stupid terrorism statements. He took down Juan Williams on his obsession with race.

2. You are absolutely right that Romney should not have gone against the Social Security reform. That was cowardly and counterproductive.

3. What frustrates me about Paul is that he has some good ideas and he makes some good points, BUT he discredits them by mixing them with such lunacy that average people begin to equate his good ideas with the lunacy. We should absolutely reduce our presence in the world and try to stop the wars and bring home people, BUT we should not surrender and jam our heads in the sand. We need to rein in the government and get it back within the limits of the Constitution, but that's not a panacea nor can we enforce it in such a way that everything gets shut down.

In each case (and more) he's right in principle, but so wrong in execution that people begin associating the principle with insanity.

tryanmax said...

Yeah, it's not anything new that the spinmeisters want to reshape reality to fit their narratives. What gets me about this particular instance is that I can't make sense of the reversal on the Inevitable Romney storyline. I don't mean to think in terms of conspiracies--in fact I hate it--but I almost believe this is intended to soften his establishment image.

But there are also those who will take a single "um" and turn it into the gaffe of the century and there are others who will refuse to see anything good about Romney, even if he were to multiply loaves. So maybe it's just convergence.

But there was this article I read this morning (of course, I didn't bookmark it) that almost seemed like it was written ahead of the debate. It was critical of Romney, but it was so generic in its criticism, it could have been about any debate, or any event at all. And after reading that, everything that came after had sort of the same ring. I dunno.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That doesn't surprise me. It's possible they are just repeating tropes -- sportswriters do that all the time.

Or they did write it ahead of time because they knew what they wanted to say and then they just filled in a couple words to try to hide the fact they pre-wrote it... don't discount that possibility.

As for why they have turned on Romney, rather than seeing it as pro-Romney to make him seem less "establishment," consider these possibilities:

1. They want to weaken him to allow the horse race to continue. The longer this primary drags on, the easier it is for them to keep coming up with stories. So by attacking Romney, they help to keep the others competitive, which keeps the story going.

2. There is little "news" value in reporting: "everything went according to plan." People don't click on those kinds of articles. So it's better for them professionally to take an outrageous position because that gets readers.

3. It is always best to be the outlier. You see this on CNBC all the time. Whenever they invite on analysts, the analysts ALWAYS say something truly incredible and exactly contrary to what everyone expects to happen (the market will rise 50% this year). The reason is simple. If they are right, then they get a reputation for being a near clairvoyant genius. Careers can be made this way. But if they are wrong, no one remembers what they said a month later. It's like a free lotto ticket. They could be doing the same thing here. If they make an outrageous statement that becomes adopted as true, then they can brag that there were first. But if they are wrong, no one remembers in a month.

tryanmax said...

Makes sense. Unfortunately, when everybody says the same thing, then nobody is the outlier. But I never put it past the media to shoot itself in the foot.

AndrewPrice said...

Yep. That's why you have to be the loudest and the have the fastest knee-jerk. :)

Joel Farnham said...

Okay, I would have preferred someone like Allen West or any other rising star with Tea Party Credentials. The problem is none of them want anything to do with this election.

Having said that, I am beginning to think that the real Romney is coming out in these debates. In this last debate, he put forward a credible argument for removing Campaign Finance Reform. No one is controlling the SUPER-PACS that lie. Gingrich tried to lay at Romney's feet the responsibility to control them. Gingrich must know that some of us caught that gratuitous lie.

I also think that there are people behind the scenes who are finally getting the truth back to the Candidates. Their usual Washington area advisers aren't.

And I am starting to get the feeling that the Candidates themselves are getting extremely tired of the debate questions designed to color conservatism and by extension Republicans as mean-spirited war-mongers who want to take away lollipops from children.

From the last debate, Romney won. He was by far the most articulate and steady. I also am getting a sneaking suspicion that he is far more conservative than he has demonstrated. If he has a conservative congress, he will govern and lead by conservative principles.

rlaWTX said...

did I hear here that Allan West had made himself open to VP talks?

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Yes, he has. And that makes him the top choice in my book. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I am getting that same feeling.

For one thing, if he's not more conservative than people realize, then he's sure putting on a great act. Usually people who are trying to fake being conservative are good at repeating the slogans, but that's about it. He seems to go deeper in that his answers do genuinely seem to fit with conservative thinking.

And for another, he keeps getting more conservative even at a time when he could just remain quiet and see what happens. The fact he doesn't need to get more conservative but is, along with the fact that he seems to be speaking from a genuinely conservative position rather than just repeating conservative talking points, makes me wonder if he isn't really fairly conservative?

I agree with you about the debates. It sounds like some of the candidates are starting to realize that it's stupid to keep playing this game.

I also think Newt had to know that most people would realize he was full of it when he suggested that Romney could control the PAC. The whole system is a mess that needs to be fixed and I like Romney's ideas -- scrap it and let the campaigns hand their own spending again and be responsible for their own messages.

Koshcat said...

Thank you for the run down and laugh. Unfortunately, this will be over if Romney wins handedly in South Carolina, which is sad. I would have rather the debates to have started in November or December last year and continue through the primaries. At least with the multiple and early "debates" there has been some vetting of the candidates, but I would have liked to see it take at least half of the primaries before we settled on someone. Right now, only a very small number of people have really been paying attention and will have no say in this. But, the money is just going to run out especially with Bachman and probably Santorum. Gingrich might be able to hold out for a little while as might Perry, but Perry will probably leave soon primarily out of plain practicality. Only the truly ego-centric crazies will be holding on to the very end (Gingrich and Paul). -SIGH-

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I think you're right about how it will play out, though I suspect it will go all the way to Florida before it's really over.

I also suspect that Santorum will hang on until the end.

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