Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Post debate thoughts

Last night we watched a rousing debate between the GOP candidates in South Carolina. Today I look back on that, and score the candidates.

Fred Thompson -- He clearly won the debate last night. He was riled. He was on fire. He slapped Huck around, then did a bongo drum solo on his butt over his record as governor. He had the best witty lines -- “I think one more step and they would have been introduced to those virgins they’re looking forward to seeing" was the one that garnered the most cheering and applause of the night. He was obviously in an ornery mood, and it showed. I haven't seen any post-debate polls, but his performance should give him some sort of a bump. Surprise, surprise even The New York Times scored this debate for Thompson.

Rudy Giuliani -- He had a good debate. Nothing too memorable, other than a shot of praise from Fred because they have similar tax ideas. When asked about his conservative credentials, he cited aspects of his record that are in line with the party platform, and avoided any of the social con issues. (Again, social con issues won't win the day this election. That's why neither the Huckster or McCain have a shot.) Solid performance, and it's the sort we've come to expect from him.

Mitt Romney -- Another decent debate. Nothing big popped up other than a couple of answers that sounded way too much like stump speeches. (I sat in our usual chatroom last night while the debate was going on to gauge reactions. The biggest one was from a good friend that said Mitt has to do better on these questions. Details, governor. The people want to hear details, not talking points.) He didn't hurt himself, and given the fact that he plans on skipping South Carolina, I doubt many will recall this outing for him.

Mike Huckabee -- Poor performance. He was beat by Fred over his record -- Jim Geraghty had this to say about the Fred/Huck dust-up:

Thompson: Governor Huckabee's campaign manager is right in articulating the beliefs of their campaign. They think the Reagan Revolution is over... This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies and liberal foriegn policies.

Fred woke up, and unleashed a barrage in Huckabee's d

Hits Huckabee for his NEA endorsement! Finally! Hits him for nationwide smoking ban!

This gets a roar from the crowd!

The Huckster fell back on his liberal talking points -- "I raised expectations" and that was in response to the question about the tax levels when he left office, and the fact they were higher than when he was first elected. This will not do. The GOP base isn't going to vote for a tax-and-spend, liberal Republican like Huckabee. Being the "compassionate conservative" in the race isn't going to win him anything but the social con vote, and that may show a lot of support, but it doesn't translate to delegates, and that's the race we're in right now.

John McCain -- Jim Geraghty nails him on this point, a "distant cousin of the chickehawk argument" that should be beneath Captain Queeg, but obviously McCain doesn't care. there could have been a lot more hard-hitting questions on McCain, but obviously FOX didn't want to ask those questions. His answers were paltry. When asked about change, and what sort of change he'd bring, he fell back on the "I helped bring the surge around" stump speech. Hume, Goler, or Wallace should have followed up with his other ideas of "change," such as McCain/Feingold and the Gang of 14. Also, Fred's only stumble last night was in not confronting McCain on his disgusting immigration record. He backed off. Shame on Fred for not taking a shot at him.

Ron Paul -- You got to be kidding me. The throw away question about his electoral chances was a groaner because we all knew that he wasn't going to be honest about it. (Psst! Hey Ron! You haven't won a primary yet. Iowa was the only place where you picked up 10% or more. You dropped 3 points in NH. You viability is exactly ZERO!) Most pundits agree, and we concur, that he is simply a punching bag for the other candidates. His candidacy is little more than a joke.

This debate had a bit more fire to it, and the moderators let them dig into each other. that's what needs to happen. We need to separate the wheat from the chaff, and it's clear we have a decent amount of the latter left in this race. McCain, Paul, and the Huckster need to bow out. They won't win enough states to get the nomination. They can't gather enough delegates. The secret is out that their campaigns are based, for the most part, on emotion and not on substance. That isn't what voters will be making decisions on.

I said it above. Social con issues aren't in the forefront of this election. Fiscal matters, national security, immigration, and judges have point in this race, and it's time the social cons wake up to that. Maybe, just maybe if this nation wasn't at war, if we didn't have the illegal immigration problems, if Congress knew how to operate within a budget and learned how to cut a lot of the bureaucracy away, and we had judges that abided by the rule of law and the Constitution then we might have some social con issues that we could decide this election on. But we don't. We have serious issues to deal with, and we want the best man sitting int he White House that can deal with those issues. As things stand right now that leaves us only three candidates -- Mitt, Rudy, or Fred.

Publius II


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