January 20, 2012

Another debate, another debate without any question about the biggest issue facing the United States of America today: the fact that we’re awash in debt to the tune of $15 trillion – that’s $15,033,607,255,920.32 as of two months ago. I myself don’t understand it, but evidently the mainstream dino-media elites think that money grows on trees, or that it’s not really a problem. Of course, when you spend all your waking moments inside the Beltway or in New York City, it’s easy to think the federal government can just go on and on and on printing money and the Federal Reserve and China buying up our debt as we kick the can further and further down the road to total economic collapse.

Certainly, Newt Gingrich’s prior marital problems trump anything like that when it comes to presidential politics!

But I digress.

While tonight’s debate was just as entertaining as Fox News’ Monday night affair, it continues to amaze how, nearly eight months after the first GOP debate (has it been that long?) the same questions are still being asked over and over: immigration, abortion, Obamacare. Not that these aren’t important in and of themselves, but this is all well-trampled ground by now. There were no questions about the federal deficit, no questions about the candidates’ plans to cut the size of the federal government, no questions about trade, no questions about energy independence (how Obama’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline wasn’t brought up as an issues astounds, but then again we are talking about the Clinton News Network).

Still, as good as all the candidates were – and I believe, by and large, they were all pretty good tonight – there were winners and losers.

1. Ron Paul – I can’t believe I’m wring this, but Paul won the debate by constantly focusing every one his responses, no matter what the question, to the fiscal mess were in and the misguided priorities and policies of this country. I liked his theme that the very cause of personal freedom is something that can bring people of various political and philosophical stripes together. Because of his continued focus on the gravity of our fiscal house, he’s a winner in my eyes.

2. Mitt Romney – Not as much of a winner, more of a draw, perhaps, but Romney I think did next best. Why he has such problems answering questions about his taxes is beyond me: you’d think he’s have a ready stock answer that was definitive and forceful by now. Still, he kept the focus of most of his answers on Barack Obama, so he’s more a winner than a loser.

3. Newt Gingrich – Unlike (I’m guessing) most conservatives, I didn’t think Newt was as good tonight as he was on Monday. While he was his usual glib self and had some good answers (especially regarding Obamacare and immigration), he looked and sounded old to me. Too many answers about what he did in the ’70s and ’80s, too much “inside baseball” political talk, and he never responded to Rick Santorum’s comments about why he was tossed out as Speaker only five years after being elected to that position. He might indeed win South Carolina, but he’s going to have a lot of trouble relating to young people and independent voters if he’s the nominee.

4. Rick Santorum – Newly crowned winner of the Iowa caucuses, again, too much talk about his positions and what he did when and where. Hard to tell what his actual positions are. Spent all his ammo on the other candidates (Mitt and Newt in particular) and very little on Barack Obama. Obviously bright and very intense, but it’s always about him and not about who he would be running against in a general election. I know he’s trying to appeal to the conservative base, but I think he’s running out of time and out of votes.

Final analysis: No one really harmed themselves tonight except Santorum. I expect Romney and Newt to virtually tie in South Carolina, with Paul a distant third and Santorum coming in last. Santorum will last until Florida, perhaps Nevada, and then there will be three.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:39 | Comments Off on The Final Four
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