For the most part on here, I've been quietly protesting the way to early start of the Presidential horse race by not really posting much about it. I've made comments on other blogs, but not too much here. Now that we are less than 75 days out from the first votes, I decided it is time to start engaging in the debate.
I still haven't decided on who I will support yet for the Republican primary b/c I'm still working out a couple of issues between my current top two choices. Last night's debate (two nights in a row with a 3am wake up and both worth it...GEAUX TIGERS!!!) definitely helped me in that endeavor. One thing is for certain that no matter who I decide to support in the PRIMARY, I will support the eventual nominee (I can say that knowing that Ron Paul has no chance b/c if he did, he would be the only one I would have to think twice about due to his foreign policy position).
Here is in order how I think they performed in last night's Fox News debate:
1. Rudy Giuliani - In my opinion, Rudy hands down won this debate. He was very clear, articulate, funny, and commanding. I could easily see myself following him and having complete trust in his leadership. What he did in NYC is amazing and he continues to do well by highlighting his accomplishments there.
His best line of the night was how he set up the agreeing that we can't afford Hillary answer. He totally sold it as if it was something serious and then nailed her on her comment that America can't all her ideas.
He is very consistent and even though I don't agree with him 100% on the social issues he is very solid states' rights and judicial appointments which is where those two issues need to be fought.
2. Mike Huckabee - Huckabee continues to surprise and has had a very good weekend starting at the Value Voters summit and now with this debate. He has some positions on illegal immigration and big government run health care issues come up recently that I'm needing more information on. After the debate Hannity started to press the illegal immigration issue, but unfortunately the answer got off topic.
As far as last night's debate, if he would have been given equal time as the top tier, I believe he would have won the debate, but he still did very good with the little time he had.
3. John McCain - McCain had a very solid performance and definitely delivered the most memorable and most powerful line of the whole debate. He said, "In case you missed it, a few days ago, Senator Clinton tried to spend $1 million on the Woodstock Concert Museum. Now, my friends, I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time." Obviously referring to being a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He rightfully got a standing ovation from the audience for such a masterful line, but also as a show of great respect for the tremendous price he paid so that those at Woodstock could do what they were doing.
In my opinion, all three of the above candidates gained ground from last night's debate. The next two candidates I think stayed about the same...no big gains but no big loses either.
4. Mitt Romney - After sleeping on the debate I really couldn't think of anything that Romney said. He was polished as always, well except for the hair out of place before the first break, but just didn't in any way stand out to me. He also completely dodged every question on his major flip flop on the social issues. That could have hurt him but that is what he has been doing the whole time. I really think the only reason he has any shot in this is b/c of his ability to self fund the race.
5. Duncan Hunter - I want so much to be able to support Hunter. The only slight issue I have with him is his trade policy ideas, but I could get over that. He just is getting no traction and at some point you have to face reality.
The rest of the candidates lost ground as a result of their performance.
6. Fred Thompson - While I don't think the late entry was the death blow, for his style of campaigning it may have been. He is just doing nothing to inspire me at all. He says all the right things and has all the right positions (well except TORT reform apparently as Rudy pointed out last night). He came off as very petty in his attacks during the debate. I know it is only his second debate and he is still getting his feet wet, but if he doesn't do something soon to get some major momentum, I think Huckabee is nipping at his heels to replace him in the top tier of candidates.
7. Tom Tancredo - He had a very good line that Pelosi is a bad Speaker of the House and would be an even worse Secretary of State, he really didn't have a chance to do much due to so little time. I so appreciate the focus he continues to put on the illegal immigration issue, but he just is overshadowed by the rest on all the other issues.
8. Ron Paul - He just keeps digging a deeper and deeper hole with his foreign policy stance. Pre 9-11, I may have been more inclined to give him a slight pass, but that just isn't a position I can support now. I really hope that he doesn't try a 3rd party run when he drops out of race. (oh oh...my first mention of RP...get ready for the invasion CT fans)
Well, there you have it. CajunTiger's quick and dirty take on last night's festivities. Hope it was as fun for you as it was for me =)
CT's blog friends also weighing in: