The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It was Gingrich's night at SC Debate

You don't see standing ovations at debates very often. The exchange here won Gingrich a standing ovation (which was edited from this).

I watched the debate from start to finish, the first I've watched from beginning to end (mostly because I considered Michelle Bachman to be insufferable) and I believed it was Newt's night.

I doubt Gingrich was able to close the gap between him and Mitt Romney by enough to win the nomination or even South Carolina. But, certainly his voice was heard, and it was his best performance in the campaign so far.

He capitalized on Ron Paul's extraordinary weak answers on foreign policy. He spanked Santorum on the economy, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Surprises came from Rick Perry, who made no egregious errors and was another crowd favorite with a couple of quick-witted swipes at Romney, Santorum and Paul. He also got crowd approval from his promise to secure the Mexican border within a year of taking office.

Romney's performance was second to Gingrich's in my opinion. But his answers about his experience in the private sector and the release of his tax returns were evasive and inadequate. His foreign policy answers were spot on. He appeared more presidential than he has throughout the process.

I believe that Santorum and Paul had the worst performances. Paul stumbled and stuttered through his answers on foreign policy, some of which were answered by boos from the audience. Santorum was on a milktoast attack and his targets were Gingrich and Romney. Too much time was spent on what was wrong with Gingrich and Romney and not enough on what was right with Santorum...probably because there isn't much right with Santorum.

Based on audience response in Myrtle Beach last night, Gingrich would win the South Carolina primary if the vote was taken today, with Romney a close second. I doubt that will be the actual case. Romney will win the primary. Gingrich will likely come in second. But, I do believe that the field will be significantly changed after the South Carolina vote. I think it will be time for Santorum and Perry to go home. Paul should have left after Iowa and New Hampshire.

That will leave a field of candidates that won't be the best of the best. Huntsman's lack of money and organization probably took the best guy out of the race. However, I believe that either Romney or Gingrich could beat Obama. Gingrich's ideas are bolder than Romney's. Romney wins the character battle with Obama. Paul doesn't have a prayer.

South Carolina is an important primary. It really sets the tone for the rest of the race.

20 comments:

BF said...

Based on audience response, Gingrich was performing to a roomful of racist southerns crackers. Their standing ovations were stomach turning. It was like watching the KKK cheering at a lynching.

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/17/145312069/newts-food-stamp-president-racial-or-just-politics

Michael Sanborn said...

What's wrong with wanting to teach people how to bring themselves out of poverty, Bill?

taco said...

You shouldn't criticize Ron Paul's foreign policy when you obviously don't understand it.

Would you have booed when he said we should follow the golden rule?

Bob Newland said...

I'm going to make an assumption that I don't believe is true in real life. Let's assume that the popular vote for president is reported to be somewhere near how we all voted. That, I believe, is how most of us would like it to be.

Assuming the outcome is yet to be decided, the incumbent president, unopposed by anyone in his own party, gets to look at hours and hours and hours of how the Last Republican Standing managed to remain standing, and how badly he was wounded in the series of slap/scratch that passes for candidate "debates."

The First Cat watches the hyenas chase each other until they all drop out from exhaustion or from injuries sustained in the chase. The First Cat licks his chops as the tired, cold, wet, muddy and limping hyena calls Him out.

Do you put your money on the First Cat or the Last Hyena?

Michael Sanborn said...

No, Taco I would not have booed Paul's golden rule remarks. I do indeed understand his foreign policy. I just don't agree with it.

I do not believe the world and our allies are ready for an Iran with nuclear weapons. And, I believe it is incumbent on the United States and its allies to prevent a nuclear Iran.

We don't live in the 1930s and Paul's isolationism would not be good for the United States or the world.

I do believe Paul has some excellent ideas on how to reduce Defense Department waste. He is an important voice in this campaign. He hasn't a prayer of winning the nomination or an election against President Obama.

This post was an analysis of what I witnessed in the debate. It is not a personal endorsement of any candidate.

No matter who the eventual candidate is, they will have a tough row to hoe against an extremely articulate and charismatic incumbent president.

Michael Sanborn said...

Nice analogy, Bob. A well-financed Obama campaign, even with his low approval rankings, should have little trouble defeating whomever wins the GOP nomination – especially if all the negative crap between Gingrich and Romney continues.

The eventual nominee will be battered and bloody before he enters the ring with a refreshed Democrat incumbent with a pile of dough.

Bob Newland said...

It really is too bad that Ron Paul doesn't get to explain his foreign policy views a little more in depth.

Paul thinks that the United States shoulders too much of the weight of defending most of Europe from most of the rest of Europe.

He thinks that the United States, in collusion with much of Europe, has created a great deal of ill will by having more or less arbitrarily chosen leaders (you know, people we could deal with) for oil-rich Middle Eastern countries, and having assisted those "leaders" in violently suppressing their own constituents.

He thinks that it is, at the very least, dishonest to deploy the US military to protect the oil that US (and European) corporations then sell to us. The true price per gallon might be $15.00 a gallon, after you factor in the security cost.

I think he would begin to disentangle the US from a number of entanglements that are just plain wrong. There was a story in "New Yorker" in December about the DEA's involvement with a bloody event in Jamaica in 2010 that illustrates this particular type of entanglement.

Paul is not very charismatic, somewhat given to corniness, although he certainly comes across as kind and gracious. Romney would not be the attention-commanding figure he is if he had Paul's voice.

Gingrich just makes me shudder. He's what would have happened if Tip O'Neill, Patrick Moynihan, Ted Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy had all banged Margaret Thatcher and the result incorporated genes from everyone involved.

BF said...

Mike, the way to bring people up out of poverty is to give them a job. To smugly imply that they don't want because they are ignorant and lazy is insulting.

So is suggesting the kids should clean school toilets on the cheap so they could fire the union janitors.

Gingrich is a cynical creep blowing racist dog whistles at an audience who by and large hate black people and still wish they could fly the confederate flag.

taco said...

Anyone willing to enlist to go to war with Iran? If not, please don't send our boys and treasure over there.

BF said...

Here's an overview of the racists concerns from those who feel the burn of the insults.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/newt-gingrich-rick-santorum-slammed-by-naacp-for-insulting-statements-about-blacks-66617/

taco said...

I read the article linked to and the comments by Gingrich and Santorum are offensive, to me. Why single out blacks?

Also, I appreciate Sanborn's position, but why does the United States have to meddle with Iran? For oil? For Halliburton? Israel does not need the help of the US, they can take out Iran weapons by themselves. Iran is not anywhere near an immediate threat to the US. You say it is "incumbent" on the US to prevent Iran from getting a weapon. What are we the world's policeman? We are in major debt and cannot afford to maintain a presence in every dangerous corner of this dangerous planet. This involvement overseas is wreaking havoc on our treasury and killing our soldiers unnecessarily.

larry kurtz said...

The President's stance on KXL will help soothe new voters, so will troop withdrawals. Expect some heads to roll in the banking industry and more calls to audit the Fed.

Ron Paul staying in the race is good for both parties and since he is the only earth hater in the race with Congressional power he knows he will steer the discussion.

Let the wild rumpus start.

Michael Sanborn said...

Of course, as always, Bill, you didn't answer my question:

What is wrong with wanting to teach people to bring themselves out of poverty?

BF said...

Nothing, Mike.

Assuming they don't already know how.

It's like me asking you (assuming you would like to be an artist who sells his work.) "What's wrong with just teaching you how to draw."

Your drawing ability is not the problem. The market is the problem. More people are on food stamps now because we are in a recession, and unemployment is high.

Architects, for example, have a higher average unemployment rate (14%+) than almost any other profession. And it's not because they don't know how to do the work.

BF said...

(Typically, as before, when I answer one of Mike's questions, he pretends I didn't answer it, only because he doesn't like or agree with the answer.)

larry kurtz said...

new age theology, no doubt....


alort

larry kurtz said...

Schizophrenia may be a sleep disorder.

Bill Dithmer said...

I really like Paul's foreign policy and the way he would like to see the countries borders protected. But the time has passed long ago that we can have a racist leading our country.

Mike you say I believe it is incumbent on the United States and its allies to prevent a nuclear Iran. I'm not sure that is possible without causing the exact thing you are trying to prevent. Yes they are dangerous right now but mostly to themselves.

I would tend to look at it as a stand off between Iran and Israel. Neither country could stand by themselves in a war but each would drag more countries into the conflict if one started. We could put an end to the game if we would just stop propping up Israel. That country stopped being about religion a long long time ago, but still are using their standing supposedly brought to us from God from Old Testament times, to fuel the outrage in both our country and others and to feather their own economy.

Right now were damned if we do and damned if we don’t so Paul's foreign policy would be a breath of fresh air as far as I'm concerned.

The Blindman

Bob Newland said...

I don't think Ron Paul is a racist, if that is what Dithmer was implying.

I also don't think he will be "leading the country," in whatever context you want to put that.

No one "leads" this country. Some folks happen to see what direction it's heading, and try to act like they're out in front.

Douglas said...

CBS this morning "news" was wondering aloud what a Gingrich victory in SC meant. My wife answered the question, "It means that whatever percentage of South Carolina voters supported Newt, they are all crazier than pet coons."