Republican Debate Wrap-up

Pollster Frank Lunz told us in the pre-debate talk that the public would be looking at each candidate with respects to their electability, appearance, and passion.

If passion alone were the determining factor, Ron Paul would win going away.

If appearance were the determining factor, Mitt Romney would be the winner. Romney was his usual polished and professional self. Watching the frontrunners go at each other in the early part of the debate, I was reminded of “Rudy McRomney” and the fact that Republican voters like parts of each, but embrace none of them individually.

Tonight, Rudy distinguished himself from McRomney by taking on and completely fisking Hillary Clinton. When asked about their similarities of positions on gun control, gay rights, and abortion, Rudy separated himself from the pack with the statement, “You’ve got to be kidding.” He went on to speak about her lack of experience and her plans to increase taxes and spending, much to the delight of the crowd.

Milke Huckabee again showed Republican voters why he is the most effective speaker in the field. His sincerity and authenticity come through each time I see him. “There’s nothing funny about Hillary Clinton being president.” Great line. Mike Huckabee belongs in the top tier. He’s earned it.

John McCain had a good night. He had an early zinger for Mitt Romney, and had a good line referring to Woodstock, “I was tiedup”. He did make a slight gaffe when he compared his reconciling with the Viet Cong to reconciling with Jerry Falwell and the religious right. I’m sure that he didn’t mean it the way it sounded, but, on an emotional level, the statement hit me like a gut punch.

Fred Thompson continues to disappoint. I’m sorry Fred-heads. He did finish on a strong note, but his performance was underwhelming.

I like Duncan Hunter. He makes a strong impression, but this is just not his year.

Tom Tancredo needs to go ahead and drop out of the race.

By my unofficial count, the number of questions fielded by each candidate were as follows—–
Mitt: 9, Fred: 8, Rudy: 8, McCain: 6, Huckabee: 5, Paul: 6, Hunter: 4, Tancredo: 4

See also NYT, Caucus:This debate makes it official: It’s open season on Hillary Clinton.

And this piece from Cliff Kincaid at National Ledger:

“Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has seized on an issue, U.S. sovereignty, that could not only win him the Republican nomination for president but propel him into the White House. The conventional wisdom is that the former Arkansas governor is starting to get traction because of his views on social issues. “

Comment posted by Nuke
at 10/22/2007 9:40:28 AM

Mom is a smart cookie!

Comment posted by Nuke
at 10/22/2007 9:39:45 AM

Hehee. No he doesn’t. That’s OK. He still has a legitimate shot at the nomination. I wonder if he really wants it, or if he thinks he was going to be swept into office by a giant Fred-wave. He’s got a lot of work to do, mostly, I think, refining his position statements to manageable sound-bites. It is a media campaign, sad but true.

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/22/2007 9:39:26 AM

He is a likeable candidate, and that is something that Hillary will never achieve. The like factor, that is.

Mom finally got to see Huckabee, and she is very impressed.

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/22/2007 9:35:59 AM

Fred as The Great Savior of the Conservatives? He doesn’t look all that saintly to me.

Comment posted by Nuke
at 10/22/2007 9:13:06 AM

No, I think you are right about Fred. I was too harsh on him. I think my expectations for Fred were unreasonably high.

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/22/2007 8:59:51 AM

Or maybe that’s just the sleep deprivation talking.

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/22/2007 8:59:33 AM

I didn’t think Fred was bad at all, and I think he still has a chance.

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/22/2007 3:46:25 AM

And I’m having one of those sleepless nights caught in the grip of amorphous anxiety. Probably shouldn’t have watched the debates.

Comment posted by Robert_D
at 10/21/2007 11:44:13 PM

I’m up way past my bedtime. G’nite Nuke…

Comment posted by Robert_D
at 10/21/2007 11:40:34 PM

I like Huck best from tonight. Romney is real good. But only Giuliani Rudy can win the election. He appeals to most people, and that is the only way HRT can be defeated. It sucks to vote for a lesser candidate, but we must defeat the donks this round.

Liveblogging the Florida Republican debate

Frank Luntz is predicting that Ronald Regan’s 11th commandment will be broken tonight.

The debate will begin at 8:00 pm eastern, broadcasted on Fox.

Pre-debate spin with Hannity and Colmes has started, first up is Steve Forbes who is in the Rudy camp. Next up is Mary Matalin, taking about Fred.

Questions from viewer email……..What would Fred do to address the corruption in DC?
Sean is still harping about Fred’s late start, slow talking, yada yada yada.

Matalin says Fred reminds her of Dick Cheney in that respect.

Alan asks about Fred’s “passion”, and asks if Cheney endorses Fred. Mary says no. Alan asks about Fred’s short speech, 6 minutes vs Rudy’s 20 minute speech. Wonders if Fred has the “fire in the belly”. Mary says if he didn’t think he could make a difference, then he wouldn’t be in the reace.

Viewer’s question refers to definition of marriage and DOMA.
Mary addresses Federalism and judges. “Passionate and methodical.”

Connie Mack for the Mitt Camp is up next, as a large applause goes up for Gov. Crist on stage.
[the doorbell rang so I missed Connie’s segment]

Bill Kristol just says, “Mike Huckabee is for real.”

Juan Williams expects the campaigns to go negative tonight.

The candidates have taken the stage. Live streaming

First Q: to Rudy. Who is more conservative, you or Fred? Rudy talks about the things in NYC that he did to have success in a democrat controlled city.

To Mitt: Who is more conservative, you or Fred? Mitt says he wants to re-unite the Reagan coalition. Talks about his record in a democrat controlled state.

To Fred: Fred zings Mitt, I didn’t know there was any room to the left of Teddy Kennedy. Fred talks about tax cuts, welfare reform, judges, and a 100% pro-life voting record. Fred says Rudy sanctuary cities, gun control, fed funding for abortion says that Rudy is closer to Hilary than conservatism.

Rudy: says Fred was the single biggest obstacle to tort reform. “Fred has his problems too”

Fred: I supported tort reform with respects to appropriate issues, but most are local issues and should be settled on state level.
Zings Rudy on sanctuary cities.

Rudy: Fred has never had executive responsibility.

To McCain: who is more conservative you or Mitt? Mccain talks about his long record of national security, taxes, and the enormity of the challenge of islamic terrorism. “I led for patriotism, I didn;t manage for profit.”

Mitt: talks about death penalty and welfare reform, and says that his record as a governor is what he is most proud of.

To Mccain on Mitt’s “lawyer response” in the last debate. Mccain zings Mitt “you’ve spent the last year trying to fool the people about your record.” I stand on my record.

To Mitt: clarifies the lawyer response. says it referred to consulting with Congress.

To Ron Paul: on gay marriage, why is the constitutional amendment approach wrong? RP gives a Federalism answer.

To Mitt: I’ve been in a state that recognizes gay marriage. Gives a good answer based on actual experience, and the full faith clause. All states have a single definition, and not written by unelected judges.

To Rudy: if many states have judicial activists, then we should have a constitutional amendment. Right now, it’s not a problem

To Huck: On abortion, views on Rudy. There are real issues that are worth fighting for. The sanctity of human life. Good answer, and large applause from the audience.

To Fred: Planned Parenthood legal work comes up.

To McCain: On the religious right, are you trying to mend fences or not? McCain says he has reconciled with adversaries like the vietnamese, and Jerry Falwell. I’m sure he didn’t just equate the VC with the Religious Right, or did he?

To Tancredo: Differences are OK to discuss with the American people.

Duncan Hunter: This is an historic venue. Says that the Democrats lost their soul in 1961 when Kennedy betrayed the freedom fighters. We’re the party of freedom. Big Applause.

On Healthcare, to McCain….McCain says go to Canada or England before you decide on nationalized healthcare. Displayed a good knowledge of the financing of health care through the tax code, make it affordable, don;t destroy it.

To Ron Paul, Is charity the way to treat the poor? Give choices to the people. We can pay for healthcare by getting out of the world empire business.

To Mitt: Mass. healthcare is Hillarycare. If the dem congress gave you a plan like that, would you sign it? Mitt says the differences are important, and this is a Republican issue. Private market insurance, no increase in spending.

To Duncan: Mandates in Mitt’s plan drive the cost up. 1000 mandated coverages increase costs by 35%

Mitt: we took as many mandates as we could out, but the legislature put them back in.

Huck: the health care maze, and the health crisis: focus on prevention. Turn it over to the consumer rather than government. Wait till the hippies find out that they can get free drugs when they retire, ans see how much healthcare costs.

Tancredo: We should debate the constitutional right of the government to get involved in health care.

Fred: No Child Left Behind….. Was your vote a mistake?
Fred says yes. We should recognize the proper role of the Fed gov’t. Scietal breakdown, and absense of fathers in homes.

Rudy: You said the NY city schools are disfuntional and should be blown up.
Rudy says the kids are more important than the teachers. We should empower parents to make choices.

The next round of questions deals with Hillary Clinton.
Mitt went first, but Rudy took the stage over with the “You’ve got to be kidding me,” line. Great response.
Played to the crowd, and to a big applause.

McCain says he’s not too concerned with her, I’d rather lose a campaign than lose a war. McCain has brought serious answers to the debate. He is prepared and passionate. Big applause.

Huckabee. Republicans should reach out to minorities and be inclusive. “There’s nothing funny about Hillary Clinton as President.”

Fred. If we stick to our first principles, we will win.

Ron Paul. [Unbelievable..RP’s answer is to the left of Hillary]

Medicare and social security…

Fred: There’s no reason to run for President, if you can’t tell the truth. Good line.
This was the best answer of the entire campaign for Fred Thompson.

To Rudy: Says we need a consensus on private accounts before we make any changes. We need a private solution to bring down the costs.

Mitt: his solutions sound weaselly. [Sorry Mitt fans]

Huck: “If things like this were done in the private sector, they’d be in jail.”
Had 2 great ideas involving lump sum buyouts.

RP: Very passionate answer…no specifics., other than young people can opt out.

McCain: Straight talk, We owe it to the young people to fix this.

Hunter: Talked about job losses, trade deficits, and un-fair trade.
Tancredo: illegal immigration? I’m not sure how that figures into the SS debate, but Tancredo figured out how to do it.

On Foreign Policy….

McCain says, “when I looked into Putin’s eyes, I saw K.G.B.” He described Putin as “a dangerous person”, and endorses missile defense.

Hunter talks about the Black Sea deployment of aegis missile systems, and interceptor defense successes. Very solid answer.

Rudy seems a little out of his element on Foreign Policy vs the Russians. He finished strong with a reference to Reagan, and increasing military spending.

Fred, on Turkey/Kurdish situation. I’m not sure that Fred is comfortable with this question, but uses it to punch Nancy Pelosi on the Armenian issue.

Tancredo punches Pelosi also –

Huck – says PKK is a terrorist organization.

RP: Empire-building, yada yada yada. Crowd not warming to RP…. “It’s not our business…”

Mitt: The world is still a dangerous place. Blamed Clinton for military cuts, slapped at the UN (big applause).
Gave a passionate answer, and touched a lot of conservative bases.

RP – Has the Republican Party left you?
Yes. Big gov’t neo-conservatism. Paul’s voice starts getting high-pitched, and strange, smatterred boos in audience.

Rudy says that Iran should not be allowed to get nukes. Sanctions would work if China and Russia thought we were serious.

Fred: some say you’re lazy, how do you deal with that?
Fred told his bio, and said, if a man can do all that and be lazy, I would recommend it.

The Wrap-Up

Top 4 Huckabee one-liners

On his band, Capitol Offence: “We’re playing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens played their last concert. I will not be flying out that evening.”

On health care:
“Baby boomers retiring are going to cause a crisis for health care. Can you imagine what it will cost when all the hippies find out that seniors get free drugs?”

On Arkansas: “I heard a man was telling a joke about a politician from Arkansas. I told him: ‘You won’t believe this, but I am a politician from Arkansas.’ He said to me: ‘Don’t worry son, I’ll tell it real slow.’?”

On his poor upbringing: “We only had this lava soap [which contains pumice stone]. I was in college before I realized a shower wasn’t supposed to hurt.”

He was born in the small town of Hope, Arkansas, and overcame poverty to become governor of his native state before launching a bid for the White House. He is a charismatic speaker and a musician who has played with some of America’s most famous artists.

Bill Clinton? Nope. Mike Huckabee.

Great interview in The Telegraph (UK). Read it all.


DBZWarror posted Huck’s appearance this morning on Fox News Sunday.

Trackposted to Stop the ACLU, Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Perri Nelson’s Website, Is It Just Me?, , Stix Blog, Right Truth, The Populist, Stuck On Stupid, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Adeline and Hazel, Stageleft, , Right Celebrity, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, Blog @, A Blog For All, AZAMATTEROFACT, 123beta, Adam’s Blog, Inside the Northwest Territory, , Webloggin, Cao’s Blog, Big Dog’s Weblog, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Pet Haven, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, Allie Is Wired, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Walls of the City, Blue Star Chronicles, Republican National Convention Blog, High Desert Wanderer, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Jindal, Son of Indian Immigrant, Wins Louisiana Governorship

My mom and dad came to this country in pursuit of the American dream. And guess what happened. They found the American dream to be alive and well right here in Louisiana,

With 53% of the popular vote, Bobby Jindal is the first Non White to hold the office of Governor. Jindal, who has an Oxford education, had lost the governor’s race four years ago to Gov. Kathleen Blanco. He won a congressional seat in conservative suburban New Orleans a year later.

 He promised to fight corruption and rid the state of those “feeding at the public trough,” revisiting a campaign theme.”They can either go quietly or they can go loudly, but either way, they will go,” he said, and promised to call the Legislature into special session to address ethics reform.

Jindal built up support with a theme of ”buyer’s remorse” for those who voted for Blanco in the last election and had regreted that decision. Blanco was widely criticized for the state’s response to Hurricane Katrina and she announced months ago that she would not seek re-election. Her condemnation was well deserved as she spent the time preceding the Katrina disaster consulting with Ex-Clinton cabinet member James Lee Witt on how best to skim federal funds that were destined for the hurricane ravaged state instead of co-ordinating law enforcement and disaster services.

Pearson Cross, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette political scientist gave his summation ”I think the Jindal camp, almost explicitly, (wanted) to cast it this way: If you were able to revote, who would you vote for?”

The Democrats ran perhaps their most disgusting campaign in modern history against Jindal using race and religion as wedge issues. The Rothenberg Political Report has the lowdown on the pathetic smear the Louisiana Democratic Party tried to paint Jindal with, accusing him of being a radical Catholic who hated protestants. The ads only ran in heavily protestant areas of the state.

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/21/2007 4:28:36 PM

Ahhhhh. That’s funny, my mom didn’t say anything about any visitors.

Comment posted by Nuke
at 10/21/2007 4:22:58 PM

He said he wouldn’t have computer access.

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/21/2007 4:20:12 PM

Maybe there’s a wedding in Las Vegas and Elvis is involved.

Comment posted by Nuke
at 10/21/2007 3:30:07 PM

Yeah, he’s ok. On a secret mission, I think

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/21/2007 2:42:50 PM

Is everything okay with him, Nuke?

Comment posted by Nuke
at 10/21/2007 1:48:04 PM

I got a message from n2l. He’s going to be out of pocket for a few days, and sends his regards.

Comment posted by SwampWoman
at 10/21/2007 1:23:49 PM

Most people think that the CEO or head of the company doesn’t really matter; after all, it is the civil servants or long-term employees that do the job and, in fact, electing an incompetent or having the owner’s idiot son or daughter at the helm of the company can even be seen as an asset because the incompetent in charge doesn’t make any changes to upset the status quo and everything can run routinely according to pre-established precedents. When or if a situation suddenly arises that needs quick, competent decisions made and actions taken, the downside of having an incompetent ditherer in charge can be catastrophic to the private company or public entity.

Comment posted by Nuke
at 10/21/2007 12:41:07 PM

The Democrats ran perhaps their most disgusting campaign in modern history against Jindal using race and religion as wedge issues.

Some of the radio ads that I heard on WWL were pretty disgusting.

Louisiana voters spoke up loud and clear. They are tired of politics as usual and demand change from government. Exciting times. good post

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