The debate in the Reagan Library started out with all eyes on Romney and Perry last night – trading barbs and defending their previous statements and records in both business and politics. The rest of the candidates seem almost irrelevant and out of place at this point, even though these things could still change a lot in the coming months.
One of the biggest highlights was probably in the opening of the show – going straight to Romney and Perry – and Romney establishing authority and the upper hand.
Skip to 8:30 for the first clash. Big moment.
Other notes from the debate:
- Aggressive opening by the moderators. Harris from Politico seemed too nervous and fumbling. A few glitches only made things worse.
- Huntsman seems kind of misplaced. He’s hitting all the wrong notes about experiences overseas and his knowledge of foreign languages. This is not a democratic audience.
- Perry was fumbling and perhaps not ready for the national stage yet. But he might pick up in another round or two.
- Bachmann lost campaign manager Ed Rollins last week, who left the train after Perry entered the race. She’s a sideshow now.
- Mitt Romney has the body language and calmness of a President. Voice, too.
- Romney’s catch-phrase “[Obama] is a nice guy, but he doesn’t have a clue how to get this country working again” rings true.
- Romney is making snippets of Presidential speeches as he goes along, and he’s doing it well. Big picture and mix of reason and emotion. And he’s treating the other candidates as his own group, sort of like co-workers he’s helping, but dominates.
- Perry fumbles massively on science and evolution. He needs to work on his diversions and answers. Mentioning Galileo might not be that smart when he’s trying to discredit scientists in general – as that sort of proves the whole point. Then, as now, part of the ruling classes ridiculed science in order to preserve power.
- Mitt Romney sounds really passionate about his new jobs plan and operational strategy to make America competitive among the nations around the world. And it might be a constructive path. Better education and less corruption in government would be among the first steps. But that’s probably not what he means.
But either way – the race is down to two persons, and the strongest contender against Obama is likely Romney. But we’ll see how the next debates unfolds.