For the second time in 10 hours, candidates for the GOP Presidential nomination debated in NH. Fatigue was present in the eyes of these 6 hopefuls but, they continued their trend of strong debating from last night. Gregory for all of the flack he takes week to week on Meet the Press, did much better than the silly questions moderators of ten hour ago. No one really “stepped in it” this morning but, we’ll try to break down the winners and losers.
Rick Santorum: Santorum does much better with less candidates on stage and when he gets the opportunity to elaborate on his positions. He’s got the swagger of a contender now, sparring with Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Speaking of Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney: Did you see him put Santorum in check during the first ten minutes of the debate? He called out Santorum who was grimacing during his replies and took on all attackers. Once again he the “pinata at the party”. Often, we forget how Romney can assert himself and take control of a conversation. Most importantly, he made it through both debates with out a major flub that could cost him New Hampshire.
Rick Perry: What?! I know what you thinking. Follow me here. Rick Perry wasn’t debating to a New Hampshire crowd in attendance. He was talking to the voters in the state where he’ll make his last stand and that is South Carolina. In a pretty moderate dialouge, Perry went far right and complimented the Tea Party movement and painted himself, in the brightest shade of red possible. He also continued to spin his “oops” meltdown in a lighthearted manner.
Jon Huntsman: I mentioned the moderate dialogue in the last paragraph and in one of the more emotional moments of the debate, Huntsman defended his service as Ambassador to China under Barack Obama and mentioned his two sons currently serving overseas. He flourished when talking about bi-partisanship in Washington but, still showed fiscal restraint, complimenting the Ryan plan. Is he going to get the nomination? Probably not, but this debate was one of the finer moments of his campaign.
Ron Paul: Paul must learn to stay away from Santroum during these things. Every time the spotlight shines on Paul’s foreign policy views, it gets awkward. He was also read some unflattering numbers by the moderator concerning his effectiveness in passing legislation.
Newt Gingrich: While it’s entertaining having negative Newt back. He’s making the same mistake of going after the moderators too often, even when there is nothing there. He lagged on face time and didn’t leave an impression that will lead to gains in the polls.
Well, the candidates need to learn from these debates and find some time for rest before the final sprint towards the primary on Tuesday. For one or two of them, it might be the last contest they make it to.