Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Republican Debate Review

The second debate is over. The Fox format was much, much stronger than the MSNBC format. Fox asked much harder questions and allowed the candidates to go at it. We, the Republican voters, are adults and we should demand far more of this and far less of the commercials, the stump speeches etc…. Nothing instructs like dialogue. It also makes the Democrats look like the intellectual cowards that they have become.

Having said that, we’re going to rate each debater on a scale of 1-30. The ratings are based in part on presentation, part on content and part on the stage management of the occasion. In alphabetical order:

Sam Brownback. I thought that Sen. Sam took a step back in this debate. He seemed to get a lot less time this in this event, but he didn’t seem as sharp. His pro-life argument remains his strength with our primary voter. He is sounding more hawkish on the war.
1st debate/25 2nd debate/21

Jim Gilmore. Similar to Sam. I thought Gov. Gilmore was far stronger the last time. You’ve got to love his willingness to mix it up. He seemed to get less time and was more of a sparring partner, driving the discussion but not getting the killer lines.
1st debate/24 2nd debate/21

Rudy Giuliani. Major improvement. Rudy seemed flip much of the time in the first debate but serious and more presidential this week. He pounced on Ron Paul and really seemed like a super-patriot, never a bad position in a Republican primary. He was smart and more likeable.
1st debate/21 2nd debate/27

Mike Huckabee. I thought Gov. Huckabee did a very good job last time and even better this time. He seemed more presidential and remained very likeable. He articulates the conservative positions well. He still may seem too nice to be POTUS. He had multiple great lines. John Edwards at a beauty parlor was fan-tastic! Gov. Huckabee did a very good job of appealing to fiscal conservatives with his answer to Gov. Gilmore’s critique his tax cutting credentials.
1st debate/25 2nd debate/27

Duncan Hunter. Cong. Hunter just seems like he should be the Commander in Chief. I almost completely agree with every word he utters. However, short on the likeability factor and tonight didn’t help. He needs to flash some wit and humor that hits more than military groupies like me.
1st debate/23 2nd debate/24

John McCain. John holds his own in every debate. He improved tonight. His position on the war isn’t really different from Rudy but he seems much more resolved, and Rudy seems resolved himself. The Senator just hasn’t come off as very dynamic in either debate. But he is the front runner in South Carolina so he doesn’t need to swing for the fences either.
1st debate/23 2nd debate/24

Ron Paul. He is obviously sincere but he is reaching out for a return to the era of Republican isolationism.. Unfortunately, that mentality beget Adolf Hitler and WW2. Rudy nuked him Cong. Paul is right on target on a lot of budgetary issues but the war is pretty big in our party.
1st debate/21 2nd debate/20

Mitt Romney. Mitt slipped a little, but just a little. I though Mitt did the best job of “the Big 3” during the first debate so he had some room to give. Mitt has changed his mind on a lot of issues, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but everyone beat up on him more-which appears to reflect a collective belief that Romney was surging-so he got locked into a defensive posture early in this debate. As an offset he also was more aggressive himself. He didn’t slip much.
1st debate/25 2nd debate/24

Tom Tancredo. Second best line of the night. Sincerity emanates from every pore on Tom’s body. He’s another guy with whom I find myself almost never disagreeing. Everyone notices his nervousness, and so do I, and it makes him seem less Presidential than some the other candidates. He didn’t help himself in that regard. Cong. Tancredo is the best spokesman on immigration, bar none.
1st debate/21 2nd debate/22

Tommy Thompson. Several people posted about Gov. Thompson being so subdued at these debates. I share the curiosity. I’ve met Tommy several times and seen him at several events. He is absolutely dynamic. He’s appropriately witty, he’s solid on policy, and creative as hell. Tommy needs to lighten up and be himself at these debates.
1st debate/21 2nd debate/21.

The ratings neither reflect my personal support for a candidate nor a belief as to the ultimate nominee. We have a very long way to go before that decision is made and the nominee might not even have been on the stage. But it is fun for an old debate nerd to play judge again. I’m still no point fairy.


Burton Rider said...

Uncle Ted:

Good debate tonight. Clearly the knives were out for Gov. Romney tonight. As you point out, the collective belief that he is surging dictated the tactics of the others. Still, under that pressure, he was flawless.

I think it's unhelpful to have a debate with 10 people, only a three or four of which have an actual chance at the nomination - not counting Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich.

Future debates should reflect the reality that not all declared candidates really belong on the national stage. After all, literally hundreds of people are filed candidates, including Mr. Deace's favorite, John Cox.

Danielle said...

Sporer you are an old nerd. But brilliant as usual. Great overview. I missed the show.

Spotlight said...

Sporer is a "military groupie"? Could you elaborate on that?

Will you ever sign up to wage this war you think is so urgent, or do you just like to follow soldiers around under the mis-impression that you owe your freedom to them?

Marshalltown GOP said...

"The knives were out for Romney."

I believe that was only in your mind Burton. Romney took the first non-Gilmore shot of the debate at a fellow Republican when he attacked McCain on immigration and campaign finance reform (two issues he's changed his position on) and McCain responded.

Gilmore was even in distributing criticism of Rudy, Mitt, and Huckabee. Tancredo blasted them all.

If you think the knives were out for your guy, you either have thin skin or you are trying to sell us a bill of goods.

Burton Rider said...

Tim, I'm just expressing my opinion. Chill, dude.

...and i won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me..freedom!!!! said...


your argument that a person is not allowed to form an opinion for a war due to a wise understanding of the danger that faces us unless you are an actual enlisted 20 year old soldier is silly and does not enhance your position on the subject.

is that all you have?

KenRichards said...

The post above makes no sense at all. Perhaps I am just confused as to what it means.

My thanks to Ted since I didn't get to watch the debate as it was the middle of the night in Iraq. I also liked Michelle Malkin's blog about the debate.

MarshalltownGOP said...

I am chill, just responding to your claim.

The Real Sporer said...

Burton, great to have you back on The Real Sporer.

Mitt did very well last night, even better in "Spin Alley" after the debate I thought.

I thought he looked a lot better than McCain and Giuliani in the first debate but they caught up in this one.

By the way, the lit pieces with the CD are also very well done so take a bow if you did them.

Finally, I guest taught your daughter's class yesterday. The teacher didn't publicly out her so as to avoid embarassment.

Burton Rider said...

Agreed that McCain and Rudy did much better this time. But truthfully, Rudy couldn't have done much worse than the last one. I felt like Mitt's performance was also good. He looks and sounds like a president - a very strong communicator.

I can't get past the problem posed by having 10 candidates on the stage at one time. I understand the need to give 2nd tier candidates an opportunity, but it definitely takes away from the ability of voters to get a deeper impression of the frontrunners.

Thanks for the DVD compliment...

Oh, and I don't have a daughter (at least not that I'm aware of). What class were you teaching?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Burton. While I don’t think it would serve anyone well to eliminate everyone but the 3 front runners, last night made it pretty clear to me that some of the “2nd tier” candidates just don’t belong on the national debate stage. I firmly believe that at least 3 of the current 2nd tier candidates have an opportunity to move up but for those candidates to break out or for Republican voters to develop a better focus on the viable candidates, we need to start weeding out the unviable candidates.

I know it’s a little cruel to exclude the Ron Pauls’ of the world from the national debate but we’ve had 2 nationally televised debates with all of the candidates so far. If a candidate hasn’t made a enough good case to be on that stage by this point its time to cut them out so candidates with a real chance of victory have a chance to break out. I think trimming down the field to the top 5 or 6 would go a long way toward advancing the process at this point.

Stephen said...

The analysis was right on target.

The questions were actually serious ones and they drew out the candidates in a way the MSNBC debate didn't.

Ron Paul is gone. History. He's an extremist libertarian who stole Howard Dean's talking points on the war. Time to leave the party and go back to the Libers.

Huckabee got off some good lines and moves up somewhat. However, the Wayne Dumond case was exposed nationally for the first time. He will rue the day that he became an advocate for criminals' rights.

Gilmore leaves me cold.

Brownback faded into the wallpaper.

I'm not fooled by Romney's slickness, and McCain (and the panel) did a great job of exposing his conveniently timed flipping on all of the social issues.

I found myself agreeing with everything Hunter said. Getting tough on China? Who's talking about that now? We all should be, though.

I was unimpressed by the "outrage" of Guiliani. It wasn't enough to overcome the fact that he's a flaming liberal lefty. Not gonna fly in SC or in most other places.

McCain looked old and tired again, but did talk some sense, and at least didn't grin maniacally after saying he'd follow Bin Laden to hell.

And Tommy Who? He's way out of his league.

ArtfulSub said...

We had pretty similar views on the debate. Especially concerning the dramatic difference between FoxNew's format and that absurd spectacle with Chris Matthews at NBC.

Big difference in my blog is that I selected three second-tier candidates who should promptly quit the race.


the free speech party is at it again. aren't they violating diversity and anti-bullying rules? said...

Wed May 16 2007 14:43:59 ET

After losing a string of embarrassing votes on the House floor because of procedural maneuvering, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has decided to change the current House Rules to completely shut down the floor to the minority.

The Democratic Leadership is threatening to change the current House Rules regarding the Republican right to the Motion to Recommit or the test of germaneness on the motion to recommit.

This would be the first change to the germaneness rule since 1822.

Greg Alan said...

DNC has listed the future schedule of debates:

July 23, 2007: YouTube/Google and CNN in Charleston, SC

August 19, 2007: ABC in Des Moines, IA

September 26, 2007: NBC News/MSNBC in Hanover, NH

October 30, 2007: NBC News/MSNBC in Philadelphia, PA

November 15, 2007: CNN in Las Vegas, NV

December 10, 2007: CBS in Los Angeles, CA

No FOX News. I wonder why. The questions were a ton better at FOX. At least no silly ones like "What do you dislike most about America?"

Avoid FOX News...meet with Syria. Good idea.

The Real Sporer said...

...... and yet we haven't seen the response in the media like the media howls about the Senate cloture rules over judges.

If this isn't all over at least Fox by midnight I might have to further question the espirit` d'corps of all of our national leadership.

Wes said...

What I can’t figure out 5:14, is why this surprises you? After all, isn’t that the Democrat party’s chief strategy: If you can’t win, change the rules to your favor? It’s a school of democrat thought that goes all the way back to the early foundations of their party under President Andrew Jackson. Nancy Pelosi is nothing more than a modern day adaptation of the “Party of spoiled, wealthy liberals, masquerading as champions of the poor.”

If they win back the White House, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next Democrat president propose a plan to “add” an additional 2 judges to the Supreme Court so they can railroad in whatever social changes they deem necessary to appease their freakish base.

Gay Marriage? CHECK!
Special Class Protections for Homosexuals? CHECK!
Expansion of Abortion? CHECK!
Mandatory Public Funding for Abortion? CHECK!
Human Cloning/Embryonic Cell Research? CHECK!
Elimination of the 2nd Amendment? CHECK!

Conservatives REALLY need to consider what we stand to loose when we select our candidate this year. We NEED a solid conservative candidate the poise, presence, speaking ability, debating skills, and charisma necessary to stop the Democrat machine in the general election … If the 2007 legislative, and congressional sessions showed us anything its this: We CAN’T afford to fumble the ball, or make a poor choice this time!

Anonymous said...

How many more debates does Duncan Hunter have to win before he moves up into the first tier?

He will wipe the floor with Rudy McRomney.

Anonymous said...

In order to move into the first tier, Hunter needs to actually campaign outside of the national debates. Turning in a strong performance at the debate is important, but its sort of like school … You can’s just show up, get a B+ on the test and pass the class … You have to do the homework also. Hunter hasn’t done the homework.

Don said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your live blogging comments (read them today; however) and your post-debate coverage.

Cyclone Conservatives

A Voice of Reason said...

Great post, and thank you for adding me to your blogroll.

I agree with your analysis and hope we can share a great dialogue in the future.

Anonymous said...

Wes, Is that a veiled threat against Romney?? This is a news worthy comment for a political director.

Wes said...

How do you figure its a "threat against anyone?"

Nick said...

This debate was horrible. 23 is retarded.