And so tonight was the big Republican Presidential Debate.
For the most part, I thought it sucked ass. The whole format was stupid and I didn't feel I learned much of anything new. We needed fewer questions with longer, more in-depth answers so an actual debate of ideas can take place. As it were, there simply wasn't a lot I could take away from it. Except that Newt likes American Idol and Herman prefers deep-dish pizza. Or whatever.
Anyway, here's my take on the contenders...
- Bachmann. Inconceivable. Using the debate to launch her presidential campaign is about as cheesy as it gets. But, since that pretty much sums her up, okay. What's odd is that she performed fairly well in the debate despite her established history of being UNBELIEVABLY STUPID. Which can mean only one thing. This was a debate pandering to rehearsed soundbites instead of anything serious. It's early, so I guess CNN can be forgiven, but what a huge waste of time.
- Cain. Forgettable. The "I'm a successful businessman" rhetoric never works. Running this country isn't like running a pizza parlor, and anybody who says otherwise is campaigning for president. I'm not saying that smart business practices cannot be applied to government, but a president is not a CEO. There's so much more to the job than that, and I don't think Mr. Cain understands this... especially if a Muslim applies for a job in his White House (awwwwwkward!).
- Gingrich. Unstable. His entire senior staff bailed on him and nothing I saw tonight leads me to believe they made a mistake. Sure he took some valid potshots at President Obama, but he never sold me on them. Everything he says sounds like whiny sour grapes, even when he was on-target. But, worst of all, he's arguing for our country's limitations rather than inspiring us to rise above them (we're not a developed country?). Who wants that as their president? Especially when it comes with a laundry list of "family values" deal-breakers (like adultery) and numerous scandals.
- Paul. Miserable. It's kind of refreshing that Ron Paul has the guts to tell it like he sees it, but he comes off as a crotchety old man channeling Debbie Downer every damn time. I wouldn't give a shit about his bedside manner if I thought he had a prayer of fixing all our problems but, even looking at him from a Republican viewpoint, I'm not seeing it. This guy has -zero- chance of winning against President Obama, and I don't doubt that his declared party will remind him of this very soon now despite his rabid fan-base.
- Pawlenty. Regrettable. I can understand him not wanting to attack Romney directly this early by dragging out his "ObamneyCare" line, but his complete retreat on the matter left him looking weak and ineffectual. You said the shit, now stand up for what you believe or just go away. And seriously, just go away. You're wasting everybody's time. Nobody knows you... nobody wants to know you. I keep hearing about the "buzz" he's supposedly generating in the party but it didn't manifest itself tonight... even though he had a few good lines.
- Romney. Believable. I like Romney as a candidate despite abhorring some of his politics, but I have to wonder if there will be anything left of the guy once he's gone through the meat-grinder that his fellow Republicans are sure to run him through over "RomneyCare." Out of all the candidates tonight, he feels the most presidential to me. I don't know that I would vote for him over the President, but I feel he would be the best guy to go against Obama in a debate. Especially in those areas where I feel the Obama Administration has been failing.
- Santorum. Perishable. I personally feel that Rick Santorum is a repugnant piece of shit. In fact, I'd rather have a literal piece of shit in the White House than Rick Santorum. That being said, I really don't have anything to worry about here. He's simply not presidential material. When you are completely buried by the likes of Michele Bachmann and T-Paw Pawlenty, you might as well hang it up because there's no way you're rising to your party's nomination without an Act of God.
In summary... I'm not seeing it. With the exception of some glimmers of presidential material from Romney (possibly Pawlenty)... and some ridiculous saber-rattling from Bachmann (OBAMA IS A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT!) there was nothing to get excited about.
It's still very early.
And anything can happen.
If nothing else, it will be an entertaining ride.