Friday, May 4, 2007

Republican Debate Analysis

The debate last night was pretty interesting. I thought that most of the candidates did pretty well for themselves. Of course, they talked of Ronald Reagan in weirdly supernatural terms and style over substance predictably held the day for the Republicans. But besides that foolishness, most of the candidates articulated their positions well and came across as more thoughtful and intelligent than the current resident of the white house.

For some reason Chris Matthews chose to “attack” only 1 candidate - my favorite Mike Huckabee. Matthews read a quote from one of his interviews and tried to get Huckabee to admit he was attacking Mitt Romney. Huckabee seemed confused by Matthews accusations and tried to assure him that it was a general comment not a direct attack. That provided him a good deal of time that, despite being put on the defensive, I think he handled quite well.

Mitt Romney surprised me the most. He is a great speaker and can explain his thoughts in a clear and simple way without being elemental. If Republicans are looking for another Reagan than Romney, seemed to me to fit the bill most closely. Guliani did better than I expected and came across as a feasible commander in chief. McCain was very energetic which sometimes made him look a bit spastic. At one point he growled that he would follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell - then burst out grinning at his own hyperbole. It was a strange moment.

The rest of the candidates seemed to fade into the woodwork with Jim Gilmore being especially bland. I also noticed, looking a the full slate of GOP candidates, that they were all old white men in dark suits. Interesting that in 2007, THAT is more noticeable than the rainbow of race and gender we see on the Democratic side.

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