Yeah, I watched the debate on Fox. It's usually pretty good entertainment, and I'd really like to have a good idea of who to vote for other than ABO.
9. Gary Johnson. The newbie was very nervous, not real clear, didn't contribute anything of real note other than a jab at his neighbors' dogs, and isn't Ron Paul all the libertarian we really need? Grade: D+
8. Michelle Bachman. I know some of you are saying, "Oh, he must not want a woman president". Let me assure you, I watched every episode of Commander In Chief with Geena Davis, and I would've gladly voted Christine Todd Whitman over Carter or Mondale. I just listen to her and see a little Michelle in her brain flipping through index cards trying to find the appropriate one to read. And the HPV shot thing is a well-beaten dead horse. Grade: C-
7. Rick Perry. For me, he slips a bit in each succeeding debate; and while I know they keep fueling Perry/Romney stand up bits for the ratings, the simple truth is that Romney owns him almost every time. Tonight, the battles weren't kind to him, and the last one left him looking confused and tongue tied. Definitely hurt himself the worst. Especially when he was directly asked by the moderator for details on his jobs plan since he was the only one who didn't have a specific plan on the table, and he basically said, "I'll tell you later" in a half-sentence on the way to answering a question nobody asked.. I said to Laurie, "A swing and a miss!" Grade: D
6. John Huntsman. He neither hurt or helped himself, but a lot of people stepped up their game and he didn't. He should wear a t-shirt that says, "I served four times in foreign posts for my country" so he doesn't have to keep reminding us. He's a very intelligent man; I just sometimes get the notion that he appreciates that fact more than anyone else. Grade C+
5. Newt Gingerich. If the last question was any indication, he'll be the #1 contender for VP. And frankly, that's not a bad thing. Really successful in an elder statesman sort of way. Grade: B-
4. Ron Paul. He definitely helped himself tonight. It didn't hurt that Johnson made him sound more mainstream. He was able to weave his similarities to the others with his more extreme ideas a lot better tonight, and may have positioned himself to outlast all the other "second tier" players save Cain. Grade: C
3. Rick Santorum. About a third of the way in, he began finally to assert himself. At the beginning, I told Laurie, "He could light his tie on fire and no one would notice him. " Then he got into a big tilt with Huntsman over whether to pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan (he wanting to "fight to win", while Huntsman said "we all want the boys to come home"), and it seemed to charge him up. He also had a good performance on the thorny "don't ask, don't tell" subject by saying that the Army isn't there for having sex in, it's for fighting, and the whole topic is irrelevant compared to the stuff we should be worried about. A vastly better performance than the last one I watched. Grade: B-
2. Herman Cain. I actually liked what he said the best, and I think he really is putting himself into the thick of things in these debates. He's intelligent, articulate, with good ideas, and he drips class. I found myself clapping for his answers three separate times, to zero for the others. My one reservation is that he's not really been bloodied in any of the one-on-one battles, and I'd like to see if he handles them as well as Romney and Santorum did tonight. Grade: A+
1. Mitt Romney. I have to put him up at the top for one simple reason- he's getting lots of face time against his perceived main rival (Perry) and he's not only winning, but widening the gap. Watch any of the one on ones with Perry, and tell me who you'd rather see 3 AM with someone arming nukes and aiming them at us. Grade: A.