Tuesday, June 05, 2007

GOP Debate Round 3 Review

We 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. Sam improved from the second debate. He got more time and made more aggressive answers. His best answers were again on the life issue. His weakest moment was the microscopic distinctions he was trying to draw between his immigration position and McCain’s. However, he also seemed to be less hawkish on the war-and remember, most Rs are hawks.
1st debate-25; 2nd debate-21; 3rd debate-23

Jim Gilmore. Again, tracking similarly to Sam. The Governor got better, and made a series of always smart answers that represent a thoughtful and insightful public servant. I felt he missed an opportunity on the conservationist question. Gilmore was a tad less aggressive and he looked better in doing so.
1st debate-24; 2nd debate/21; 3rd debate-24

Rudy Giuliani. Rudy came off very well tonight. He seemed vigorous and Presidential. There were times that he really soared-the Abe Lincoln moment was great, and his repeated attacks on Democrat signify that he desires to lead the party. His attack on the breathtaking injustice of the Scooter Libby situation and later on the dishonest reportage about Iraq were great moments. He also reached the political no-party voters on the greenhouse issues.
1st debate-21; 2nd debate-27; 3rd Debate-28

Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee must have really offended the Canis Lupus in a previous life. Huckabee had almost no chance to discuss the biggest issues but abortion and….evolution? However, his Iraq commentary was his most Presidential moment of the campaign, and his intro was the funniest line of the night. Gov. Huckabee also did a great job of explaining the need to be more humane to all people as a the logical consequence of a culture of life and the distinction it draws with the savagery of Islamofascism and jihadism.
1st debate-25; 2nd debate-27; 3rd debate-26.

Duncan Hunter. We finally saw a little more personality and even a couple of smiles from Duncan. His answer to the women who lost the brother in Iraq was compelling and intelligent. His complaint that W was slow walking the fence for political purpose was kind of silly, hell the federal government cannot do anything fast or well so why should the new border fence be any different.
1st debate-23; 2nd debate-24; 3rd debate-25

John McCain. John holds his own in every debate. He improved yet again tonight. He seemed by far the more spontaneous and sincere tonight, although his closing statements did seem forced. His support of the war and response the audience questions were both forceful and sincere-which provide him with a great TV moment that will receive a ton of replay-a huge example of a single valuable hay maker. His defense of the immigration bill was not sharp. He poses a question-show me your plan-has an obvious answer-that has a rather obvious answer but one does get impression that he, like W, sincerely believe this is the best solution that will pass Congress and hence beats the status quo. He also articulated a kind of strange position on English as the official language.
1st debate-23; 2nd debate-24; 3rd debate 27

Ron Paul. He just should pass on foreign policy questions. I swear to God he’s sound’s like the people who fought against US involvement in WW2 before Pearl Harbor. Otherwise, I almost never disagree with him on anything else. He improved a lot tonight-and definatelhy did not leave himself open to a devastating counterpunch like he did in the last debate.
1st debate-21; 2nd debate-20; 3rd debate 23

Mitt Romney. Mitt also improved quite a bit from the second debate and tied John McCain for second. Romney had a great answer to John’s question about a better immigration plan-enforce the current laws. Mitt’s non-verbals are great and when stands he seems Presidential. Mitt did a great job on the inevitable LDS question. Mitt also just seems so much more optimistic than the other candidates during these debates, the talent of the great salesman.
1st debate-25; 2nd debate-24; 3rd debate 27

Tom Tancredo. His personal attack on the President was unseemly but quite sincere, which mitigates some of the bitchiness of it. His answers on immigration are impassioned and quite on target. He also showed some creativity on the environmental question-set the market in motion and we will clean up the world. I cannot remember the exact words but he closed the first immigration question on a pretty xenophobic note, which is taking a good idea just a tad too far.
1st debate-21; 2nd debate-22; 3rd debate-22

Tommy Thompson. Finally a health question and the real Tommy Thompson explodes onto the scene with a plethora of ideas on better health. He doesn’t defend his Iraq plan that forcibly, although his emphasis on requiring the Iraqi government to vote on us staying. The sharing the oil revenue is Ws goal already so not really going out on a limb there. Tommy needed better timing on his introductory remarks but otherwise tonight was by far Tommy’s best performance.
1st debate-21; 2nd debate-21; 3rd debate-23

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.


Mrs. Bowman said...

I've never really been a fan of Romney, but he really impressed me last night.

He didn't back down from the tough questions. Didn't give "run around" answers.

I think the hard thing about this election cycle is that there really isn't a candidate that is "the voice of all Republicans".

Anonymous said...

i'd agree with mrs. bowman--particularly on being asked about his faith. what a great answer!