Who Won the CNN GOP Foreign Policy Debate 11/22/11?

It had the mildest moderator and the tamest crowd so far. Everyone is already in the Thanksgiving Holiday mood and it sounded that way. I was watching the online stream and Wolf Blitzer’s pre-broadcast pep talk and it was exactly what it sounds like…a pep talk from Wolf Blitzer. Anyways, let’s break it down.


Winners:

Mitt Romney: Guys, there is a reason why this guy is a consistent frontrunner. He can debate. Flip Flopper? Perhaps but this guys doesn’t flub answers, he doesn’t back away from attack, and he does it while not alienating any smaller groups (Libertarians, social conservatives) within the Republican Party.

Newt Gingrich: Substance, Substance, Substance…brought up Einstein during Immigration. Who else does that? Romney jumped on his examples of qualified immigrants. Possibly the smartest candidate on stage. There has been some fallout over his stances on immigration and comparison to Rick Perry. Perry has a longer rap sheet on immigration than Gingrich, including in state tuition for the children of illegals. Some believe Gingrich is already in general election mode. Eh..maybe but Newt is way too up front to position his campaign that way.

Didn’t Win or Lose:

Michele Bachmann: Finally got the chance to flex that Sub-Committee intelligence muscle. You’ve got to wonder why she didn’t use this knowledge during the last dozen debates. It’s probably too late and she didn’t show enough savvy in other areas.

Jon Huntsman: Some of that Kermit the Frog Mojo must have rubbed off on him during his trip to New York to appear on Saturday Night Live. His answers were polished and he continues to get a lot of face time. He is still the longest of longshots and New Hampshire is his last stand.

Rick Perry: Hey, he didn’t meltdown at the podium and modified his plan for the border. He’s got the money. Is it too late?


Losers:

Herman Cain:A self admitted newbie in foreign policy. He still speaks with the same strong convictions that make him sound good. Not enough time. Have the allegations scared the networks away from him?

Ron Paul: Called the war on drugs a failure but doesn’t have a clear plan for the border. Wants to leave Israel behind and let the Middle East go it’s own way. The nation is ready to start building at home but putting on blinders to all other foreign affairs is dangerous.

Rick Santorum: No traction, linked on to Ron Paul’s foreign policy philosophy. He is who we believe he is. A Senate ceiling politician running for President.

How many debates have there been? No meltdowns or Kung Fu Grips on candidates. Tamer than most.