All in all, a fair debate put on by CNN. All though all the candidates gave some good answers to the questions asked, I believe Herman Cain came out on top. He gave answers to the questions instead of trying to slip around them, or go off on Obama like the other candidates, especially Romney. The primaries aren’t about Obama right now, but about separating the Wheat from the Chaff in the GOP. There will be plenty of time after the Primary election to go after Obama. I live blogged the debate…or tried to.
Remember, I said it first…Cain Wins!
Monica Crowley has some thoughts on the debate as well.
The announced or nearly-announced Republican candidates for president held their first major debate tonight, broadcast on CNN. We’ve got a long road to go before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, but the candidates made some initial impressions on me—all good.
1. They are far more impressive as a group than anybody—including fellow conservatives—has given them credit for. Some candidates are more conservative than others, but all are supremely qualified to be president of the United States. Each is hugely accomplished, smart, thoughtful, and engaged. Some have significant records of achievement in the private sector. Some have used their platforms in government to implement dynamic free market and limited government principles. Any of them would be a far better president than the current one, and any of them would set this country back on its traditional rocket path of growth and greatness.
2. Gingrich is brilliant and gutsy. Bachmann is fearless, poised, tough. Romney has been around this track before and finessed the questions and the stage. Pawlenty is the calm guy with the solid gubernational record. Cain is the straight-talking and blessedly non-politician. Paul is no-nonsense with a sense of humor. Santorum is the professional pol who navigated each question with ease. Some have certain strengths—good records of governance or job creation. Some have weaknesses—creating the template for ObamaCare, ahem. But tonight, all showed themselves ready for primetime.
3. CNN’s moderator, John King, seeped with more left-wing bias than a slime prank on Nickelodeon. He practically begged the GOP candidates to say something nice about Obama: “Can’t you point to one thing he’s done right on the economy?” “Um…no, which is why we’re all up here, John.” And what was with all of those waste-of-time “Beatles or Stones?” “tastes great or less filling?” questions. The country is going to hell in a handbasket, but King wants to know if they’re on Team Angelina or Team Jen. I wished that one of the candidates had told him to stop trying to “help” them with those ridiculous “humanizing” questions. They don’t need CNN’s help to show voters that unlike the current White House occupant, they’re actually normal.
From Mark Steyn at NRO, he thinks Michelle Bachman came out ahead in the debate;
The trouble is it’s all “This or That”. As Newt pointed out, most of the questions posit ridiculous choices: Are you in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants or are you in favor of deporting 20 million people? Are you in favor of seizing private property in New Hampshire for a Hydro Québec power line or are you in favor of continued oil dependency on psychotic dictators? The remainder fall into cutesie-pie stuff that John King lacks the personality to pull off, and the last embodied in its perfect post-modern stupidity the awfulness of these “debates”: “What have you learned during the past two hours?”
Hmm. What I learned is that John King makes Tim Pawlenty look like Lady Gaga. Other than that, I also got the distimct impression that this season’s debates seem unlikely to be effective forums even for acknowledging the profound and existential crises facing the nation, never mind addressing them.
But I agree with Rich that Michele Bachmann was very strong. (Here’s my favorite picture of her – I hope it doesn’t ruin her campaign.) I also agree that the answers on Afghanistan about deferring to the commanders in the field were pathetic – for a couple of reasons:
H/T to Joe over at TOM in comments section.