Did you watch the debate between the announced Republican candidates for President tonight at the Ronald Library in Simi Valley? Nobody said anything but I bet it was at least 110 degrees out there today.
I thought Ron Paul gave the performance that enunciated the commonly accepted contemporary Republican Party doctrines best and also seemed the most intelligent. I thought Governor Huntsman seemed to represent the most mainstream contemporary American views and seemed the most sane. Neither were that well received nor seem likely to find success in upcoming primary elections.
The big dogs seemed to be Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Neither seemed that magnetic or attractive to me but both got through the evening without doing themselves any additional major harm. Mitt seemed to be trying to skew himself a little farther to the Right than he is usually seen. Rick Perry seems to be comfortable staying well to the rugged, individualist Right, where he has been lodged since he switched from Democrat to Republican, two decades ago.
Unless a new, major Republican candidate emerges soon, I would have to say that Rick Perry seems most likely to be the Republican who emerges from the primary election season next year as the opponent facing Barack Obama. I do not see any third party threat emerging and if one were to somehow materialize, it would probably be one that draws votes more from Perry than Obama, who would likely beat Perry in any case.
The upcoming election season, even if there is a lot of tub thumping, name calling and firing of cannons into the clouds to bring down rain, looks to be shaping up as a real yawn. Too bad. I like a closely fought contest and think it is good for the country and the health of our political system.
Michelle Bachman was a disappointment tonight. She acted like somebody had slipped her a big slug of Lithium.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are both wily, experienced career politicians, who have held major office and are comfortable and capable in a nationally televised debate situation. I expected one or both of them to acquit themselves much better than they did.
One interesting aside. None of the debaters tonight received the kind of enthusiastic, spontaneous, general ovation from the audience over some point they made or tag line, appealingly delivered, that have become common in these kinds of forums.