First off -- sheesh, another debate! What are these things -- weekly now?!
Second -- next person that mentions Gardasil is losing my vote! I am so sick and tired of listening to Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum sound off like Gov. Perry was condoning some sort of state sanctioned torture. Did I miss something? Is Gardasil poisonous? They use a phrasing in courtrooms -- asked and answered, so let's move on shall we?
In terms of an actual winner to tonight's debate? I don't think there was one. No one jumped out significantly. There were a few cute lines, some laughers and some groaners, but no WOW moments.
I did think there were times that Rick Perry looked a little off. Perhaps the constant attacks are getting to him a bit. These debates seemed squarely aimed at him. Something I've complained about before. I could be wrong, I don't know him well, but it looks to me like he's trying not to just go off on the other candidates when they keep bashing on him.
I do think Ron Paul didn't do himself any favors by repeating, as though he agreed with him, Osama bin Laden's rationale for the 9/11 attacks. It's in keeping with his cracked world view, but he isn't winning any points with the Tea Party crowd talking like that.
And I also wonder how he differentiates between defense spending and military spending. If he doesn't like the military building planes for defense, what exactly is he proposing defense spending be spent on? This inquiring mind wants to know.
Newt didn't have anything spectacular to say this debate except the jab at GE, which got good applause. I finally learned what Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is. My response -- meh.
Mitt's dead wrong about the FairTax unfairly burdoning the middle class. It doesn't, and that shows he's just pushing away at something he doesn't like. And besides, doesn't his tax plan include a national sales tax? Isn't that kind of like a consumption tax?
So my grade for the contenders -- C.
The debate itself wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. Wolf Blitzer has spouted plenty of negatives about the Tea Party, but I thought he did a respectable job moderating the debate. His questions seemed straight forward without much bias to them. I even liked his push on the 30 year old guy who needed catastrophic medical care. Pity he couldn't get a straight answer out of anyone on that.
I was disappointed that the debate degenerated into what has become an attempt to get the candidates to bash one another. And after the first few minutes, when he went to every candidate for an answer, Blitzer retreated to calling on the obvious candidates for responses to particular questions. The questions weren't evenly distributed and that's a pity.
Nice to see Tampa looking so pretty at night. And I got a chuckle out of the live feed at the bottom of the screen during commercials -- Blitzer getting his makeup touched up made me laugh.
Not sure when the next one of these is, but they've got to space them out a bit more as we, the voters, aren't really getting any new info from the candidates.
Perhaps a series of insightful interviews? Ahh, who am I kidding? No one would watch those.