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    Republican Reagan Library Debate – Open (Tweet of the Night added)

    Republican Reagan Library Debate – Open (Tweet of the Night added)

    Not going to be “live blogging” it, but will make some observations.

    Your comments are welcome.

    Update 8:40 p.m. – at the first break, I can’t say there are any clear winners or losers.  Romney is doing well, dealing with his “issues” without any real problem.   Perry is, as someone who has never really seen him before, okay; I can’t say great, but adequate.  Newt had the lines of the night so far, refusing to take Politico’s attempt to play Republican against Republican and declaring universal solidarity in the goal of removing Obama.  John Huntsman is a positive surprise, but it doesn’t matter.  Herman Cain is good as usual.  The moderators are not focusing on Bachmann, so she’s not getting the airtime and prominence of prior appearances.  Santorum, Perry didn’t appear to know his name, referred to him as “the prior individual.”  Did I leave anyone out?

    Update 9:18:  Rick Perry stood fast on social security being a Ponzi scheme; that’s his position, and he’s sticking to it.  The context he said was promises made to young people that cannot be met unless there is reform.  Perry also took a shot (back) at Karl Rove, saying he’s not responsible for Rove anymore.  He was blunt throughout the night: ““For Obama to come to TX and say border is more secure than ever, either he has worst intel in history or he’s an abject liar.”  Newt was good, a glimpse of what he can be.  Romney was less of a presence, but no damage done.  The others were non-events.  BUT – Ron Paul fell off the rails saying a border fence may be used to keep people in.

    Added:  How liberal.  MSNBC brought in a Hispanic journalist to ask quesitons about immigration, leading to what is the likely Tweet of the Night:

     Final Update:  Final segment was a bit tired.  So were the candidates.

    All in all I think it was a good night for Romney, he came across as presidential, poised and conservative.  He was good on the Tea Party refusing to play the game of whether he was a Tea Party “member,” he said there is no card carrying involved but that he supports the goals of the Tea Party, smaller government and fiscal responsibility.

    I don’t think it was a stellar night for Perry.  He was okay, but expectations were high, and I don’t think he met them.  I can see Romney decimating Obama in a debate; based on tonight’s performance Perry has a ways to go.  And just as I wrote those lines, he came in with a forceful defense of capital punishment — if you come into our state and kill our children or citizens, you will pay the ultimate price; his best of the night.

    Newt was very good.  Forceful, on point, commanding.  Could he be the comeback kid?


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    I think with the Perry/Rove fracas we have now put to rest any charge that Perry is just another Bush. Perry just checked off a very important item off the candidate list – NOT George W Bush.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like W for the good things and disagree with him on other things like immigration.

    DINORightMarie | September 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I just watched some clips from earlier. The best of the night was Newt:

    “Every person up here understands ObamaCare is a disaster…..if this President had any concern for working Americans, he’d walk in Thursday night and ask us to repeal it – because it’s a monstrosity. Every person up here agrees with that!”

    Another home run: “…I hope all my friends up here are going to repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other to protect Barack Obama, who deserves to be defeated; and all of us are committed as a team – whoever the nominee is – we are ALL for defeating Barack Obama.” (Perry clapping.)

    Well said, Mr. Speaker. Excellent!

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall | September 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I saw Romney talking about his economic overhaul plan with Kudlow. He’s done alot of work thinking it through and putting it together. It’s pretty impressive. But he has flip-flopped so much, and he signed Romneycare into law, so I just don’t know if I can trust his conservative credentials. I like his economic plan but he has more to do to convince me about his conservativeness.

    I thought Perry was fine for his first debate. Not as polished as I would have liked, but the substance was good. It seemed to me he was trying to speak slowly and deliberately so he didn’t say something that came out jumbled. He’ll probably get better as he does more debates.

    Ron Paul is a perennial disappointment. I always want him to do well to advance libertarianism, but he always comes off as an angry, old, crazy, crank. Too bad.

    I agree Newt had a good night. I also think he won the last debate. But he’s about 15 years too late. People want fresh faces and he reminds us of another era. I don’t see how he can get any traction.

      retire05 in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | September 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm

      The problem with the Romney fiscal plan is that he had to put it out in book form. Who the heck is going to read it beside economic professors and Kudlow? Americans what it made simple. And it is; don’t spend all the money, don’t over regulate and over tax, and get out of the way of the private sector and let them do what they do best, create growth that creates jobs.

      Now, the Professor might think Romney looked “presidential, poised and conservative” but I think perhaps the Professors idea of conservative (being an East Coaster)might just differ a bit from us rubes in flyover country. Romney look just like he always does; a Massachussets bramain who seems just a bit uncomfortable around the “little” people.

      Governor Perry looked tired. But that has a lot to do with the fact that at dawn this morning he was flying over my county to assess the damage done by the fires and the loss of almost 800 homes (something Professor Jacobson hasn’t thought news worthy enough to report on).

      But hey, I guess if it doesn’t affect the East Coast, it’s not important.

        LukeHandCool in reply to retire05. | September 8, 2011 at 12:29 am

        The Professor is probably opposed to the fires.

        jimg in reply to retire05. | September 8, 2011 at 12:41 am

        You’ve reached the point of where I don’t even bother to read your posts anymore.


        OT We love the Cedar Creek-East Travis Hills-Bastrop areas and our prayers are with you and your neighbors, 05

        Weirddave in reply to retire05. | September 8, 2011 at 3:42 am

        Yea, all of us on the east coast, or the west coast, or the midwest, we just all hate Texas. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say in conversation “Let the Texans burn!”(sarcasm). As I said before, and you ignored, your attempt to play the poor, poor pitiful me card to deflect conversation about your Perry messiah has failed, and it’s a poor, POOR reflection on you and other Perry supporters.

        GUESS WHAT, JACKWAGON, I’M FROM TEXAS AND MUCH OF MY FAMILY STILL LIVES THERE! I’m worried as hell about them. You, on the other hand, seem to only view the tragedy of the wildfires as a political opportunity. You are a despicable person, not even worthy of disgust.

          retire05 in reply to Weirddave. | September 8, 2011 at 9:54 am

          Jackwagon, if you are “from” Texas, perhaps it is good you no longer liver here. My comments about Perry and the FIRE IN MY COUNTY, are two separate issues that you apparently are too stupid to grasp.

          There are now 1,387 homes totally burned down in my county. Don’t you think (as a “Texan”) that would warrent a brief notation by our web host?

          But as I peruse the web, there is very little mention about what is going on here with you trying to make it political. IT’S NOT.

          So how about contacting the Red Cross and donating 100 bucks to help out the Bastrop Country fire disaster instead of wasting your time slamming me?

            Weirddave in reply to retire05. | September 8, 2011 at 10:47 am

            No, they’re not two separate issues, because you won’t let them be. These last few days, every time you get pressed on your political views, you try to deflect it by whining about the wildfires. You need to grow, son. First grow up, then grow a pair.

          retire05 in reply to Weirddave. | September 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

          I see, so in your tiny mind, any mention of the wildfires that have devestated so many lives, is political?

          Tell me again who needs to grow up?

          And btw, if you check the records, I was not here, posting on this site until yesterday as I was without internet service. But be sure to tell me what state you live in so when a natural disaster hits you, and you are suffering, I can let you know just how little I care.

    PrincetonAl | September 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I thought Perry flubbed the Social Security question. He needs to improve there. First, he needs to open and close that discussion by assuring who won’t be impacted and what won’t change (current seniors and their benefits), and do so more forcefully. Second, I agree with the Ponzi Scheme statement, but he needs to have a better sound bite as to why it is. Third, he needs to emphasize that the sooner we act, the easier it is to protect current seniors or close-to-eligible, who otherwise will be at risk. I think enough the nation is ready for an adult conversation on SS. I agree with his sentiments, but I think the language needs to be nuanced very carefully for the broader audience.

    Not a terrible, but not a great night for him. However, he can’t assume he has lots of time to make up for it – if he gets defined early, especially by Romney, and ends up on the defensive its a harder path to hoe. I also know how hard it is to be fresh for these things when flying all around the country and worrying about the fires ravaging your state … But being President ain’t easy. You only get a pass once, and he just used it up.

    The death penalty was forceful. He’ll get asked again on it, though. I’m not sure what the exact path is, but I think there is a comparison to the drone stikes and innocent civilians killed that reminds people that Presidential actions has a lot of moral gray areas. It would keep the core law-and-order crowd fired up, but keep the issue positioned properly for the independents.

    As for the rest:

    I like Santorum, but he doesn’t project Presidential, and he’s finished at this point.

    I like Ron Paul on the Fed intellectually, but he is becoming just an angry old crank on the debating stage. Time to start hearing more from Rand in the Senate than from Ron at these debates.

    I like Cain, I really do. Too late to make an impact, but I hope he stays in for a while, I think if he continues to hone his style he could make it to the Senate on the heels of his exposure here. I would give to that campaign, although you could say it squanders his actual executive experience in a legislative role …

    Romney – solid tonight, but nothing is going to change my opinion of a technocrat with no real convictions other than managerial expertise solves problems. I’m sure he will sign a repeal of Obamacare if it lands on his desk. I’m not sure how hard he will fight for it to get there.

    Bachmann – Something is just a bit off with her for me. I think she does OK in these debates and is smart, but it doesn’t quite click for me. The lack of executive experience is a problem with Romney, Cain, and Perry in the race.

    Newt – Fun to listen to him debate, but I have zero interest in seeing this dinosaur run. I also think his motives in this run are too self-interested for my taste … a speculative comment, of course … but if I sense that aura, others will too, and we don’t need a whiff of self-interest, we need the opposite, to win against Obama (who reeks of self-interest).

    I’ll support whomever the nominee is … I have not made up my mind, but Perry, Cain (unlikely I know) lead the pack for me.

    Finally, can we get a different format, with some real conservative questioners, where the goal isn’t to generate sound bites for Obama’s team in the general election? “Just say no to Politico” and MSNBC in future debate requests.

      I don’t think Perry “flubbed” the SS question at all. In fact, his “maybe it’s time for provocative language” statement was dead on. Any system that directly takes money from one set of people to give to another set of people while promising the first set that THEY will get something in the future (from unborn people yet to steal from) IS, by definition a Ponzi scheme. Perry was specific that he is not talking about cutting off any benefits to people in their 50’s on up but – as Paul Ryan has said, as GW said before – the system cannot go forward. Period.

      Let me be provocative – anyone that claims Perry (or Ryan) is out to “end” Soc. Sec. is a liar or a willing dupe of liars.

      tiger66 in reply to PrincetonAl. | September 8, 2011 at 9:26 am

      Excellent summary, PrincetonAl. Succinct. Thnx

    StephenMonteith | September 8, 2011 at 12:30 am

    If Governor Perry’s best line of the night was about capital punishment, then he did worse than I thought. He and Governor Romney had a pretty interesting good twin-evil twin dynamic going on during the first part of the night (though it’s hard to tell who was the evil twin), and they seemed to justify their positions as co-frontrunners. However, Romney kept altitude throughout the night and Perry faltered. Jobs may be the most important issue in the campaign, but there are certainly other issues, and Perry couldn’t speak to them as well as he could jobs. Romney could, though, and did. Finishing “strong” with a statement in support of the death penalty may have worked in the ’80s if he were running against Mike Dukakis, but Romney is no Dukakis.

    Newt Gingrich doesn’t seem to get the point of debates; or elections, for that matter. The point is to make yourself evident as the best candidate to take on the president in 2012. If it doesn’t matter who challenges him, then why run in the first place? The moderators were (mostly) right to ask the questions they did. Candidates should be willing to say why they’re a better choice than the others. Gingrich got a good bit of applause in the last debate slapping down Chris Wallace, so he decided to try it again. Unfortunately, that trick won’t work twice.

    As for the others, they weren’t given much to work with, because frankly, MSNBC and the majority of viewers were mostly interested in the Perry-Romney Hour. Bias? Nope; just “good television”. Rick Santorum and Herman Cain were able to find ways to insert themselves, as was Jon Huntsman to a degree, so they all did well. To a lesser degree, so did Michele Bachmann, but she needed to do more than just get noticed; she needed to engage the frontrunners and demonstrate she was still one herself. She couldn’t find a way to do that. I hope she does in the next debate, or we’ll lose a good candidate down the road.

    Final analysis: Romney is still moving right along to the finish line, and Perry is starting to come down from his post-announcement pedestal. Unless Bachmann can regain momentum, it will be either Romney or Perry; that is to say, it will be Romney.

      Final analysis: Romney is still moving right along to the finish line, and Perry is starting to come down from his post-announcement pedestal.

      As of this writing, Intrade gives both Romney and Perry a 36% chance of winning the nomination. Soon after he announced, Perry took something like a 6% lead.

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