South Carolina Debate: That just happened.

Let me preface this by saying I have not picked a new favorite since Huntsman dropped out. I want to, I really do. It scares me that Gingrich seems like the best choice, and in the SC Debate, he proved it. But, before we get to that, let’s reflect for a moment on Rick Perry’s campaign up to his resignation as a candidate.

The only time you need to actually think about that was the time it took you to get from the period in the last sentence to the beginning of this one.

So, this debate was pretty remarkable in that we got to see some new sides to the candidates. I want to focus first on Rick Santorum. This gentlemen seems to think that it was pure political skill that got him where he is right now, when he has, according to multiple sources, the most unorganized and largely broke campaign among all the candidates. His strength is the lack of media focus on him and his life. That’s not to say he hasn’t had any, but not nearly enough to make a difference. If Paul or Gingrich were to drop out, he will face tremendous scrutiny that will cause his campaign to pack up and go home quickly.

Now, Ron Paul. Somewhere along the way, this guy lost some momentum, and that is unfortunate because I maintain he would be a decent president. He has a grasp of the constitution and economics, something our illustrious leader doesn’t, and his “crazy” ideas are impossible to implement anyway and as such shouldn’t be considered by the average voter. However, Paul is very visibly struggling both in the campaign and in the debates. It doesn’t help that the network didn’t toss much his way, but hey, can’t win them all.

Romney is still not trying. He’s saying the same things over and over, but he’s clearly underestimating the ferocity with which his opponents are fighting back. Santorum did not let up and Gingrich had some good points against him, too. Romney is taking his lead for granted and it’s going to be fun to watch him struggle if he loses South Carolina, and polls are showing he is slipping a bit.

Finally, there’s Newt Gingrich. This man is impossible to gauge the future of. He’s up one minute, down the next, and constantly (successfully, too) fighting his past in the media. He arguably won the debate when he was asked about his ex-wife’s statements to ABC and went off on the media at large, CNN and the moderator, John King. Now, I like both CNN and John King, but what in the holy hell were they thinking asking that question, much less asking it first? It was brilliant for Gingrich, who used the opportunity to attack the liberal media that attack Republicans and portray Democrats as blameless. Gingrich also showed that he is still a political mastermind when it was announced in the middle of the debate that Gingrich’s campaign had just released his tax statement. This was a great chance, while the entire country was looking, to call Romney out on his. This combo ensured Gingrich really came out looking very strong in this debate.

But, before I end, I want to say again just how disappointed I am at CNN and John King for even considering using the former Mrs. Gingrich’s statements. I mean, first of all, it’s an obvious attempt by leftward-leaning media to discredit Gingrich as he climbs up in the polls, but also who cares if he wanted an open relationship? Every guy does.

 

Want to add a special thanks to Dr. Greg Granger, who took the time to review this post and pointed out a silly mistake. Thanks for watching my back, Doc.

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