Last night, the four remaining Republican candidates met for their first debate in a long time in Arizona. It’s been so long that you’re not going to remember the notes from the last debate. As a matter of fact, I’m going to refrain from putting in my notes from the last debate, since it was nearly a month to go.
However, since we last saw the candidates debate, much has happened, so let’s quickly review that: After winning South Carolina, Newt Gingrich has essentially tanked. He needed a really great debate last night. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum has surged. Senator Santorum has surged for the precise same reason that Gingrich had previously rocketed up: he’s effectively communicating conservatism. Real conservatism wins. Period. Ron Paul has…well…kept being Ron Paul. Finally there’s Mitt. Mittens has stayed where he’s been…an acceptable but not preferable choice. A lot of conservatives are still screaming that Mitt’s a liberal or a moderate…the later is sort of true, although what a “moderate” is has moved right since the GOP nominated John McCain.
So let’s play a round of everyone’s favorite debate game, Buy, Hold, Sell or Sell All:
Newt Gingrich Hold (Buy): Newt had the opportunity to do two the best things that he does. One, he got to slam dunk CNN for continuing to bring up the baloney about birth control. Two, he got the chance to be the above the fray wise sage in the debate. His best moment was talking about how the same media that is harrumphing about birth control ignored the fact that Obama voted against a law to say that an unborn child who survived abortion procedures, including partial birth abortion procedures. Once again, it’s another media double standard. However, I don’t think Newt got the type of screen time he needed to rebound. I hope I’m wrong. I think Super Tuesday is going to be Newt's last stand if he doesn't win a few states. We shall see.
Ron Paul Sold (Sold): Ron Paul was Ron Paul. He did make a good point on the contraceptive issue. He’s right, the problem in and of itself isn’t birth control birth control is a reasonable medical tool) but the way people use it to live a consequence free life. (I’m paraphrasing.) It’s a good point. That’s why I don’t have a problem with true contraception (while saying again and again that abortion isn’t contraception, it’s a simple difference between). I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I agree with Ron Paul on about 85% of issues. Tonight Paul highlighted that 85%.
Mitt Romney Buy (Buy): First and foremost, I want to say that it definitely sounded like Mittens had stacked the room. It was almost comical how the audience cheered at Romney getting his tail kicked for making terrible points. It was so out of line and cheering bad points. Often it was two people cheering at completely inopportune times. Not only do I think the Romney camp stacked the audience, they absolutely sucked at it.
Now to Mitt. He got his butt kicked early on. It was like watching Socrates debating a vacuum cleaner. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, Socrates was, at least in the writings of Plato, one of the finest debaters in the history of ever.)
Rick Santorum Buy (Buy): Santorum went back and forth between debating well and debating like a vacuum cleaner. He spent a lot of time giving Romney the same look that Newt was previously known for (you know that look…the one that says “What are you, stupid?” Then Senator Santorum found his swing and started hitting the ball hard. He also absolutely hit it out of the park on his previous statements about birth control and the sexual licentiousness that birth control does make possible, but yet stating that “just because he’s talking about it doesn’t mean he wants a government program to fix it. That’s not what (conservatives) do that’s what (liberals) do!”
Senator Santorum also took Mittens to the woodshed on his Obamacare attack. It was beautiful. Once again, Senator Santorum showed why he’s a very good second choice for me and for conservatives. I believe he will govern as a conservative, he will take the fight to Obama if he’s our nominee. Right now Santorum is my second choice…but it’s not by much.
Debate Winner: Rick Santorum
This race has heated up. It’s starting to look like a two man race, but that can change on a dime in this campaign. Either way, we must defeat Obama. So let’s allow this race to decide the best available candidate, but at the end of the day each of these candidates has one major thing in common: Every one of them will be a better President than the one we have now.