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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Debate recap -- winners and losers

Let me first address the criticism we received this morning about my live-blogging skills. I think I did a pretty decent job in keeping up with the debate, and yes I'll admit that there were a couple of things I skipped. I don't home row type, folks. I hunt and peck, so it's not as easy as some think. But if you'd like to compare my live-blog to the actual transcript I think you'll see I didn't do half bad.

A lot of people in the 'sphere are doing recaps like this. Dean Barnett's got a good one up. He also has one here immediately following the debate. I gave my brief thoughts on it at the end of the live blog, but I thought I needed about twenty-four hours to think about this.

Mitt Romney -- The clear winner last night. He was smart, savvy, and funny when he needed to be. By far, he seemed the most presidential of the group, and his charisma is very noticeable. I think he surprised quite a few people with his knowledge of certain things (such as his response to the stem cell question). The contributions he's about to receive today, tomorrow, and down the line until the primaries really get going should dwarf the others by comparison.

Rudy Giuliani -- I won't say his performance was a disappointment, but he did lack some of the charisma that he's capable of displaying at his campaign stops. I think he fumbled the Roe question, giving basically the same answer that he has been, which will not endear him to voters. He did point to his accomplishments as mayor. He did stand on the platform of optimism to continue moving the nation forward. And he did reiterate the fact that if the Democrats win in '08 that this nationis going back on defense against our enemies.

John McCain -- Done like dinner. He sounded haughty and arrogant. There were times that he appeared to be grandstanding, and even a moment where he questioned the time he had for a response. He occasionally blew the time by standing on a soapbox, and yammering on and on. That's a problem. It's called being too wordy. Just answer the damn question. Dean Barnett compared his performance last night to Al Gore's first debate with President Bush, and he's right. Furthermore, he made two solid mistakes last night with his answers. He touted the "bipartisan" immigration reform efforts -- the same ones he severed ties to just a few short weeks ago. And he also spoke up about judges, which thanks to his Gang of 14 deal hamstringed the president's appointees. All along, McCain has acted as though the presidency is his, and the rest of these guys are out to "steal" it from him again. Arrogance isn't fitting for a president, and his performance last night was terrible.

Sam Brownback -- He didn't do bads last night, but he didn't do as well as he could have. He's a good guy, but I think he lacks the overall presidential material needed to win this. I don't know if he's got enough fire in his belly to be able to take on Hillary, Obama, or Edwards. Lord knows he'll need some fire to take on Hillary because she's playing for keeps. While I'm not ready to count him out of the race, it's apparent that if something doesn't change, this horse won't make it to the finish line.

Mike Huckabee -- Another nice guy who didn't do bad. But like Brownback, he lacks the will to play the political game on a national level. Good governor and a decent conservative, but this isn't your daddy's presidential primary. This is a whole new animal in a post-11 September world.

Duncan Hunter -- This ma has the fire and the passion. The problem is he seems to have one issue he's going to browbeat the nation over: Immigration reform. Yes, Duncan, we know it's a problem. Yes, Duncan, we know we need to reform it. Yes, Duncan, we know you hate the Bush Administration's handling of it. BUT guess what? It's not the ONLY issue in the universe. With how he was talking last night, I could almost see him taking his eye off the ball in the Middle East, and focusing solely on the immigration problem. I get the distinct feeling that this is his pet project, and everything else can go to Hell in a handbasket.

Tom Tancredo -- Another one-trick pony in line with Hunter. He and Duncan Hunter really don't like the illegal immigration problem we have in the country, and I can't blame them. (Hello? We live in Arizona. We see it firsthand.) But no one is going to listen to these two go off on immigration 24/7, and discuss nothing else. In a run for the presidency you need to be familiar with more than one issue. Both Tancrtedo and Hunter seem to only have one issue, and the way they're handling it will turn voters off.

Jim Gilmore -- Who? This guy referred to his resume more than any other candidate last night. If we did a sort of "American Idol" last night where the viewers got to vote a guy off every 10 minutes, Gilmore would have been the first to catch the axe. He was nice, but boring.

Tommy Thompson -- This guy is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Yes, he was a governor (I'm sure most people who tuned in were unaware of that), and yes he served ont he president's Cabinet in the all important role of Health and Human Services Secretary (I'm betting most didn't know we had a Cabinet position like that), but he was about as bland as Gilmore. I was happy to see him called out on his Mormon baiting last night (as Dean pointed out), and it was fun to see him squirm over it, and try to weasel his way out of it. It was also neat to see Mitt take it in stride, and not make a big deal out of it.

Ron Paul -- Embarrassing. As I listened to him, I felt like I was in a junior high civics class listening to a lecture (yes, I felt like he was lecturing to the public) on the Constitution. "This" isn't in it. "That" was not how it was supposed to be interpreted. If we wanted to go to war, we should have gotten a declaration. (PSST! Ron? We did. It's called "Authorization for the Use of Military Force," which in the eyes of the Constitution is no different.) Give me a break. Dean says he reminds him of the eccentric Uncle we all probably have. Maybe, but I've never been talked down to by any of my relatives, be they eccentric or sane, the way I felt Paul was doing last night to viewers. Very condescending, and he doesn't resonate with the base at all. Or, if he does, it's a minority that Ross Perot could beat with his charts and graphs.

All in all, our top tier is set. Mitt and Rudy are on top. The center tier has McCain, Brownback, and Huckabee. The also rans aren't going to be pleased with the contributions they're about to not raise, and the support they're about to lose. One debate definitiely doesn't finish up the field, but it does put a spotlight on those with serious weaknesses in a national race. The center tier guys might be able to pull it totgether so that this race isn't a blowout, but I'm not holding my breath. I stand by my analysis of John McCain's performance. It was disgustingly terrible. Again, I'll use the word arrogant because that's what he came across as.

On a side note we were minus one possible candidate and that's because he still hasn't announced yet. That would be Fred Thompson. After seeing the debate last night, Fred might have his hands full with Mitt. While as savvy as the top tier guys, Fred has a lot of catching up to do. I cited the piece by Frank Cagle yesterday about Fred, and how he may end up running for president the way he did for the Senate in '94. That is, tossing the conventional practice out the window. That may make him the darling of the base -- to shed all the political mubo-jumbo -- but he would still have to play catch up very quickly. Would he have done well in last night's debate? I think he would, but if the responses weren't spot on perfect, he would likely hear it from the base. A lot of hope is riding on him running. After last night's debate I'm not so sure he'd be willing to throw his hat into the race.

Mitt shined brighter than the rest of the candidates. He's articulate, and full of ideas that many haven't even condsidered yet. He knows the issues. He believes he has solutions to those issues. Above all, he's guaranteed to surround himself with people that know what their job is, and that they'll execute their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Publius II


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