This was a fun debate. And by “fun,” I don’t mean I was riveted by the incredible answers we got from a group of fine candidates for the office of the presidency. Instead, we got some great rantings and ramblings from a crazy group of individuals. There are two key points to be made right off the bat: The first is Ron Paul does not want Republicans to vote for him. The second is that John Huntsman has impossibly shiny, smooth skin.
The debate had some interesting ideas put forward. Unfortunately, they were in the form of a question and asked by members of the audience. The candidates, once again, seemed to struggle with the concept of what foreign policy actually is. As much as I love John Huntsman, I am truly upset he isn’t getting more popularity. He showed an outstanding knowledge of foreign affairs and events going on around the globe, and when I say that I don’t mean he used key Conservative phrases like “Extremist Muslims want us to die” and “Barack Obama is an apologist and has weakened our nation’s image.” Instead, he spoke about where our goals should lie. He probably pissed some folks off by suggesting that we even take a look at defense cuts. To Huntsman, there should be no “golden calves,” and I don’t disagree with that. He had the best idea of the night, as well. “Let a defense strategy determine our spending.” Translation: Don’t just spend money, spend it on things that are necessary and further our foreign policy.
The media will likely label Newt Gingrich as the winner of this debate, and why shouldn’t they? He got the most airtime, had the most answers (that got cheered) and gave everyone in the audience a diamond ring as an apology for the whole “the Regan era is over” thing. He did well and he deserves to be called the winner because, by media standards, he won. Were his ideas the best? Not in the least. Were his ideas what we need? We can’t say for sure. But Gingrich is a Washington and media veteran. He knows the ins and outs.
Tonight’s worst performance award can be given to Rick Perry. He had absolutely no clue what was going on and probably didn’t know where he was. If Michelle Bachmann can (correctly) label you as naive, you might want to rethink your bid. Rick Santorum was clearly the most on-message candidate… if that message was to push for an extremely religious-based internal and foreign policy and constantly use the phrase “city on a hill.” Cain is clearly weakest in this aspect of politics, as we’ve seen before. Still, he held his own (despite never really answering a question) and managed to keep his head above water.
Bachmann has good ideas. I’ll let you ponder that sentence for just a moment, because it shocked me, too. Bachmann had good ideas. There is a catch though: She has no valid facts to back them up.
Confusing to you? Same here. Let me try to explain it the best I can. Bachmann feels that we can’t just stop sending foreign aid to Pakistan. And she’s right. It’s incredibly risky and would likely further push them away from us (the relationship is already fragile). However, the evidence she attempted to use in defending that idea either had nothing to do with it or wasn’t correct in any way, shape or form. What she ended up saying (which I blocked out like a transplant patient rejecting a bad liver) sounded a lot like “Nazis are terrible people because they don’t like chocolate milkshakes.”
Now, Mitt Romney. I already said that I think Perry had the worst performance of the night. The key word there is “performance.” He put on a bad show. Romney put on a great show, but five seconds into every answer he gave, you realized he had no idea what he was talking about. He was the one giving the big, spooky language phrases meant to grab our attention, like “Iran will fill the political vacuum in Afghanistan” and “They will gut defense spending!”
Romney began to say things that truly showed how out of touch he was with global events. He apparently does not believe that we are moving into (if not already in) a multipolar world, or that America must transition beyond military power. And that worries me.
Did I forget someone? No? I didn’t think so.
This guy. I could go on and on about him. “Israel can take care of itself!” “The War on Drugs should be cancelled!” “My son is a failure!” Okay, maybe he didn’t say that last one, but still. All I can say is that he in no way, shape or form wants any Conservative voting for him for at least twenty five years (he’ll be 1,014 years old then).