So we’re down to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic party, versus John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee in the Republican party (I guess we can count Ron Paul if you really want). I’ve already stated who I would vote for in the primaries, and last night’s debate really showcased Huckabee’s fantastic oratory skills. He didn’t get a lot of facetime, (why? Huckabee is clearly still in this race, but CNN has already chosen its favorites and didn’t give Ron Paul or Huckabee much time to speak at all) but the little facetime he got I thought he used very effectively. But that’s the short version, here’s the long version of how they all did last night:
- Mitt Romney: He got the most speaking time of any of the four candidates but didn’t really say very much. Whether he was bickering with McCain about word choice used in early April or trying to state that he’s definitely not pro-choice, Romney did nothing to make me think he’s less of a slimeball than I think. Also, when McCain is talking, SHUT UP. Grade: C+
- John McCain: McCain’s got the momentum, the lead, the support of Giuliani, the Governator, and, as Romney pointed out, the liberal New York Times. So what did he do? He spent the evening attacking Romney for the stupidest little things. He came across as petty and childish. His voice didn’t show much passion (it never really has) but instead talking to the voters as equals he was talking above them, as if he knows what he’s doing and no one is gonna’ change his mind. And also, when Romney is talking, SHUT UP. Grade: D
- Ron Paul: It’s too bad Ron Paul doesn’t have very much support, because the fact that he’s even in the race keeps the other candidates honest. There were a couple times where he kind of came in after a Romney/McCain exchange and said, “isn’t this a little ridiculous?” I don’t agree with a lot of his policies, but the guy has ideas. His problem is that no one seems to listen. Grade: B+
- Mike Huckabee: Huckabee’s performance last night was outstanding. His monologue comparing a governor to a president was outstanding and he did an outstanding job being humble and, to quote his campaign saying, like the guy you work with. The moderator asked him at one point “Rush Limbaugh has said you will destroy the Republican party if nominated”, but I liked his response: “I wish Rush loved me as much as I love Rush. He’s a great voice for the conservatives of this country, but he’s capable of error, and this is one of those times.” The one negative of his performance last night was that you could clearly see he was frustrated with how little time he was getting, as he prodded the moderator to give him more time and allow him to chime in occasionally. Grade: A-
Tonight it’ll be one-on-one, Hillary versus Barack. Should be pretty interesting to watch the fur fly.
I’ve kind of started thinking about how I will vote this fall depending on who is nominated, and I think the results may surprise you. I’ve arranged them into a matrix, Democrats along the top, Republicans along the bottom. Each cell represents who I would vote for if that column ran against that row.
Kind of surprising to those who know me, but there you have it.