I’ll update during commercials and more Thursday morning.
Thoughts so far: Huckabee is looking pretty sharp. His answers to questions should seem really appealing to the conservative Christian base that makes up a lot of the Republican party.
Romney keeps losing points with me for not offering definitive answers.
Still don’t like Rudy.
The candidates have just finished covering a broad array of topics from Rudy’s qualifications to the powers of the VP.
I actually really liked Rudy’s answer to the question of whether or not he was using 9/11 to catapult himself into office. His appeal to voters to consider his entire record seemed to be well thought out and prepared.
The “Waterboarding question” was fun. Watching Mitt Romney and John McCain go back and forth was great. For the record, I agree with McCain that allowing our people to torture prisoners pretty much flies in the face of everything that makes America a great country.
My favorite question of this round was the “Get out/stay in Iraq” question. Ron Paul (crazy bastard that he is) was basically blaming our military presence for 9/11 and Islamic terrorism. Tancredo had a good point in that people who believe that if we pull our troops out it will solve our problems are believing in a fairy tale. Fred and Rudy both had good points on this issue as well.
Thursday Morning Summary thoughts
I’m going to break it down by candidate because that’s how I took notes during the debate.
- Tom Tancredo: I didn’t get much from The Tanc, actually. The questions/answers that I did see from him were pretty flat, and he just seemed like he was phoning it in.
- Duncan Hunter: Same as Tancredo, actually. Didn’t get a lot of good answers in, and honestly, the debate focused more on the other candidates than it did on these two. After watching the debate, Tancredo and Hunter are basically out of the running for me personally, and I think they’re completely marginalized as well.
- John McCain: His best moments were when he was talking about our policy on torture, and when he was addressing the question from The Gay General. My problem with McCain is that I only like him when he talks about military stuff and foreign policy, everything else he talks about I want him to shut up. But I do give him credit, on the foreign policy issues and questions, he appeared to be the most squared away of the candidates.
- Ron Paul: His new campaign slogan should be “Ron Paul ’08, still nuts.” Seriously, when he talks about anything other than civil liberties, he comes off like an uneducated boob.
- Fred Thompson: I liked Fred on the Second Amendment section, but he seemed to kind of flounder around during the rest of the debate. I did like his sense of humor after the Cheney cartoon, but being affable isn’t going to win elections.
- Mitt Romney: I really don’t like Mitt now. After last night, I like him even less than I like Rudy. He just waffled back and forth on issues, and never actually had an opinion on anything. Some of the pundits thought that he controlled the debate – I don’t think those guys were watching the same debate I was watching.
- Rudy Giuliani: You know, he seemed very composed. It was funny when he got booed by the crowd during the 2nd Amendment question, but overall I think Rudy did a pretty solid job. He never seemed to flounder, and was able to reasonably address most of the questions that came his way. I’m still not voting for him in the primary though.
- Mike Huckabee: I think Huck actually had the best performance during the debate. Even when I disagreed with him on something he said, he was respectful and well spoken. I really enjoyed his answer to the question of whether or not he believes “every word of the Bible”, as well as his answer to whether or not he’d accept the support the Log Cabin Republicans.
At the end of it, I think that Huck’s campaign will actually receive the biggest boost from this debate. He really did perform well, and for the first time you could see the qualities that helped him get elected as governor of Arkansas.
Update: You can read Uncle’s thoughts here. Bitter has a ridiculous amount of coverage at her place, including the youtube videos from each candidate, as well as the youtube questions. I also agree that Fred’s “save his generation from my generation” comment should have gotten way more applause.
Double update: It seems that some of the questions were plants. I’d say that I’m surprised, but I’m not.