Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Des Moines Register debate; UPDATED and Bumped

OK, the debate is done, and many agree that this was the most boring debate to date. The moderator was excessively antagonistic (one FOX News analyst even declared her to be equal with the old schoolmarms of the past), and that she brought nothing to the debate. The comedic point was when she asked for a show of hands and Fred Thompson stood up to her, and basically told her to get stuffed; the applause from the audience of the debate was the tale of that tape in obvious agreement with her.

Let's go over some specifics that I found interesting. First FOX News was running a graph through most of this debate called "Voter's Voice." It was 28 people in a room with Frank Luntz, and they rated the debate as it moved along. Two candidates continually received low graph readings when they spoke -- Ron Paul and Alan Keyes. Aside from Keyes, which I'm not exactly sure why he was even on the stage. (He's been running for months, but this was the first GOP debate he's participated in, and he had a problem staying on topic. This was the fault of the moderator who repeatedly skipped him for his thoughts.) But the graphs on Paul were simply devastating. It shows that Iowans really aren't fond of him, and every time he brought up bringing the troops home (touched on three times by him), the graph dipped below the screen. Guess what, Ron? You're dead wrong on this issue, and these voters proved it. The polls prove it. Move off of this topic because it's killing you.

John McCain, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, and Fred Thompson had moderate success with the graph, usually keeping it in the middle. Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani had the spikes in the graph where it counts. The 28 people assembled with Mr. Luntz had their views of those they supported when they walked in the room. About one-third were Romney supporters when they went in, and nearly everyone thought Romney won the debate. Many of those in that room also believed that Rudy did a fair job, and liked what he said when it came to national security -- proving Patrick Ruffini's point about where his strengths lie int his race.

They also had videos of the candidates that they showed (minus Keyes, for some odd reason). Romney's and Rudy's were out of the park hits. Rudy talked about his credentials as a US attorney, and his efforts in NYC (same talking points we've heard before). Romney had a very optimistic message. Tom Tancredo's video was muddled; I couldn't figure out what his point was. Fred Thompson's was lifeless, much like his campaign is right now. John McCain tripped on his, talking about how we had to balance privacy rights while we continue in this war. Mike Huckabee's video was religious, again playing the card he shouldn't be playing. Duncan Hunter's was typical DC boilerplate bomb-throwing -- talking about the need to control Washington, DC, and control those in office. Ron Paul's wasn't half-bad. He recognized the 'Net as a modern tool for answers. Of course, the question he should have been asked in retrospect is where he gets his answers from given his more "colorful" remarks and ideas.

Why was Alan Keyes even in this debate. He seemed confrontational, at times, with the moderator, and due only to the moderator's plain, simple foolishness in ignoring him. I had a lot of respect for Mr. Keyes before this debate, but he killed that respect when he said he'd sign an executive order outlawing abortion. Mr. ambassador, that simply won't do. As a scholar of history, he should be aware that the Supreme Court would overturn that order just as easily as they did with Truman's executive order trying to federalize the steel industry. This shows, to me, and the nation, that the man doesn't understand some of the nuances of the government and how it works.

The questions in this debate were more on par with the domestic agenda, which is important, but in the long run really doesn't matter much to most. We are at war, and that should be priority number one. I repeatedly tell people this, and I'm going to say it again in the hopes it settles in:

If we lose this war, nothing else matters because we'll be fighting these animals here, or they will have succeeded in wounding this nation so grievously that we may not recover.

I know a lot of people think I'm stoking the fires, or trying to "scare" others, but the truth is the truth. Don't believe me? Let our enemies get a nuke, and see what happens. Speaking of nukes, another bad spot for Ron Paul was when he sided with the assessment of the NIE. He said that he accepted the findings of the CIA -- an organization that he's stated he doesn't trust, and would abolish -- over the conventional wisdom of other agencies around the world. Memo to Ron Paul: Our intelligence network doesn't stop at the water's edge with the 16 agencies here. It includes MI-5 and MI-6 in Britain, Mossad in Israel, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Central Directorate of General Intelligence in France, and the Federal Intelligence Service and Military Protective Service in Germany, just to name a few. Many of those agencies have stated that the newest NIE is a fallacy, and a pipe dream that Iran isn't pursuing nuclear weapons.

Overall, this debate was boring, and painfully so. there was no interaction between candidates really, and the moderator just kept trying to cut off candidates when they were answering. Like I said, this debate was focused on domestic issues. A few of them were fairly important, like education and taxes. (Yes, the Huckster was again hyping the Fair Tax, which economists have said is a disaster.) Duncan Hunter talked about dissolving the IRS, which many candidates agree is a worthless bureaucracy, but there's a fat chance that it'll be dissolved by any of these guys.

I wasn't impressed with the debate. The candidates, on the other hand, offered very little new insight into what they stand for and what they'd do, though I do compliment them for basically staying focused on the questions they were presented with.

The winner of this debate was clearly Mitt Romney. He sounded like he knew each topic he was hit with. He sounded the most presidential. Hell, he looked the most presidential. Rudy comes in a close second and McCain came in third. For once, Ron Paul didn't come in dead last; that spot is reserved for Alan Keyes, which once again I ask why was he even there?

Rich Lowry gives his thoughts here.

Jim Geraghty weighs in here.

The Politico's Jonathan Martin live-blogged it here; be prepared to scroll.

J-Pod live-blogged it here and here.

Michelle Malkin has thoughts about it here, and she's not kind:

The Des Moines Register’s Carolyn Washburn (a.k.a. Schoolmarm) is the moderator of the debate. She’s no plant, but she sure is a stick in the mud. Her line of the debate so far: “A little snappier, gentlemen!” An hour into the debate, there’s no pile-on on Huckabee. There’s no time for one. Schoolmarm won’t allow it! She did, however, find time to show time-wasting videos of the candidates answering questions from Register reporters–even though the candidates are standing in front of her on the stage.

Allah has video and thoughts here.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Actually, this is more of an observant afterthought. Throughout the debate FOX News kept putting up "Fox Facts" about the candidates. One that struck me as most interesting was the amount of money donated to candidates by Iowans, as of 30 September 2007. Huckabee, who is the so-called frontrunner in Iowa has received $21,000. Romney, on the other hand, has received $150,000. Sort of strange that the Huckster leads, but Romney is kicking his butt by $129,000. that's a ratio of seven-to-one.

Also, as I noted above FOX News was running their "Voters Voice" graphics throughout the whole debate. Granted, it was only what 28 people thought, and not the state, but Huckabee surged only once in the debate, and it came from a pithy line. Romney was surging through the majority of the debate.

By both of these sets of facts, I can assume that the surge of Mike Huckabee is media contrived, only. Sort of like the way that ron Paul supporters bomb after debate polls, and how they "rig" straw polls. The difference is that while many campaign supporters may have helped drive the faux surge for the Huckster, much more of it lies solely at the feet of the MSM. They're the ones trying to drive a loser to the nomination, and one that would be soundly beat by the Democrat nominee.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Wow. This is interesting. K-Lo has an interesting tidbit from the debate today:

That video they showed during the debate was from April.

What the heck where they doing showing part of an interview from April (I understand, they taped them when they had the candidates in, but...why bother?!). Seems so old and unnecessary. And in his case, looks like they were trying to cause trouble.

Seems to be that this may be exactly what the Des Moines Register was trying to do, given the Huckster's comments that landed him in seriously hot water today with the pundits

Publius II

1 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( samsonblinded.org/blog/we-need-a-respite-from-peace.htm )?

December 15, 2007 at 11:12 AM  

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