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Immediate Post-Debate Reax: The Huckabee and McCain Show


Tonight's GOP debate was truly the Huckabee and McCain show. Huck demonstrated the same smooth, articulate, can-sell-snake-oil-to-a-merchant demeanor that has propelled him to where he is now: one of the Big Five that actually deserves to still be attending these debates (if not doing what he really should be doing with his time, which is running for Senate from Arkansas). McCain showed a force of personality and a depth of belief in his top issues -- America and her national security -- that had been missing for so long early in the race. If he doesn't get a bump from tonight's showing, then he might as well give up security-minded Americans as a bad job that just can't be pleased, because he really laid his credentials and beliefs out on the line tonight and gave a security voter like myself everything we could possibly have wanted to hear. I still disagree with McC on several issues -- especially BCRA and immigration -- but man was he good tonight, and man is he dedicated to my number one issue. He also had the lines of the night, with his reference to Hillary's attempted Woodstock earmark (and his being "tied up at the time" of the festival in '66), and his allusion to President Bush's "I looked into Putin's soul" statement, about which he said, "I looked into Putin's eyes and saw three letters: K...G...B." Extremely well-played.

Romney was himself -- to me, a 100% canned politician who offers nothing whatsoever that would differentiate him in any way from any canned politician who has ever come before him. Giuliani wasn't incredibly articulate tonight, though he was able to get his message across. He's still got to be the leader, due to the fact that he didn't really screw up (and that he got to smack Hillary around some more), but he didn't wow me in any way.

Fred was okay. That's about all that I can say. He had good things to say, but he just looks (and sounds) tired -- something that's not very encouraging, considering the fact that, as he just joined this year-old party a month ago, he should be the freshest guy on the tour bus.

It was refreshing not to have to waste time on Senator Brownback tonight, and this debate showed perhaps better than any that I've seen to date (granted I've missed the last three months while in Iraq) just how ridiculous it is to have one-note wonders like Tancredo (immigration!), Hunter (trade!), and Paul (crazy! Got some crazy for ya here!...and a side of "if we'll just be isolationist, nobody will ever try to hurt us again!") on the stage trying to answer every question as though it was addressing their one-note agenda.

That being said, I like Duncan Hunter. I really do. I disagree with him on tariffs and protectionism, but I sure do respect him. And because I respect him, I must say this: "Please, Congressman -- get off the stage."

Oh, and Asylum? Ron Paul's escaped again. I think you'd better come get him before he hurts somebody himself.

That is all.


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