There has been a lot of buzz over Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. I have an overview of this plan posting soon. As expected, that was a main focus on the candidates as the debate was entirely focused on the economy. Perry was on the ropes tonight, fighting for his standing as a heavyweight. Romney stuck to his best impersonation of Floyd Mayweather, simply avoiding anyone landing a clear punch. Bachmann and Santorum continued to fight for the moral vote, which was just awkward in a debate entirely about the economy.
Here is the candidate, their grade, and a few quick thoughts:
Herman Cain (A-):
Look out, progressives. And conservatives. And any country that ends in -stan. Usually, when a sideshow candidate becomes a frontrunner, they poop themselves pretty quickly and fade fast. Cain looks like he has nothing to lose. He knows that he shouldn’t be here, and if he fades, then it was what everyone expected. He takes the debate, because the focus what on him and his plan. Almost every attack on his plan by the candidates were spot on, and Cain outright lied about what economists are saying about the plan, but at this point it doesn’t matter. It’s about perception, and Cain looked like the front-runner.
Mitt Romney (B):
Can anyone else read what that smirk is on Romney’s face? C’mon. His face is trying to tell you something: “This is fun. These debates are entertaining. It gives me something to do. Any of you actually plan on challenging me in the polls? I lead in Iowa. I lead in New Hampshire…by twice…the top two candidates combined! Do you want to challenge me on the issues? Ok. This yelling back and forth reminds of The Kardashians. This is really fun.”
Look at the aggregate polls for the GOP primary. It is obvious, we’ll call it the “Romney Plateau”, and no one is really near it for any sustainable period. He is not a “Clinton 2008” frontrunner, but it is close. There is a way to beat this type of candidate when an entire party does not want that person to be the candidate. If they just looked to the biggest primary upset in history from 2008, they could figure it out. Instead, this is all a game. And it is a lot of fun.
Notice how I mentioned nothing about anything Romney said? Because it doesn’t matter.
Michele Bachmann (B-):
The only thing I remember was her comment about the 9-9-9 plan. And her question to Perry. So, all things considered, pretty good performance for her.
Rick Santorum (B-):
He is the male version of Bachmann, except with experience; and conviction; and an ability to talk to people and not constantly read off of whatever teleprompter is running in her brain. I don’t remember him being a statesman when he was in the Senate, but he should be alongside Newt for who competes with Mitt for the nomination. His comment about the 9-9-9 plan that “it will never be signed in to law” shows an ability to understand the fight without explicitly looking like a sellout, like Romney did when he said he “could work with ‘good’ Democrats” and appeal to independent voters.
It is essentially the same statement. Romney will look like an unprincipled sellout while Santorum will look like a seasoned policy wonk. Welcome to the single-digits, Senator.
Ron Paul (C+):
I’m really tired of conservative candidates and conservative voters, on TV and on Facebook, ridiculing the bailout as if THEY WEREN’T THE ONES THAT PUSHED THE LEGISLATION!! Bush was the architect, McCain left the campaign trail to help craft the legislation AND to give his campaign the look of leadership during troubling times. Obama was skeptical. Boehner was cutting deals with Pelosi.
Then the bailout worked — every economic indicator says it softened the blow.
Now they are against it.
Of course, right? Perfect sense.
What does this have to do with Paul tonight? Well, I’ve clearly gone off my rocker and we’re still two months away from AN ACTUAL VOTE! I’m just sick of Grandpa talking about libertarianism, as if it’s an economic theory and not a social philosophy. He mixes the term with capitalism, as if they are the same damn thing. At least when your senile Grandpa rants at Christmas, it’s cute and cuddly. He wants to be President, but he’s also pooping himself and doesn’t have $12 million and a insane collegiate following.
God help us.
Rick Perry (C):
I will give Perry credit for doing better, but he came into this thing with high expectations and I just don’t see him rising to the occasion. For years, we have heard about him as a frontrunner any time he decided to jump in, and now he just looks — better than Bachmann, worse than Newt on the issues — and that is not going to get you over the “Romney Plateau”.
All the critics said that this was Perry’s chance to save his campaign. He didn’t tank it, but the moderate-business voters are with Romney; the tea party lunatics are with Cain. It’s a two-horse race now.
Newt Gingrich (F):
Guess what? After awhile, being the smartest guy on a stage and no one else noticing it, and not being able to make any progress in your campaign or polls just kind of makes you look like an incompetent doofus. Or a has-been from the 90’s. Or both.
Newt, you’re the smartest guy in the field. You have more experience than all of them combined. You have a firm grasp of every single issue, every time you talk. Yet, you sit 5th. I don’t know if this is a reflection of your ability to run a campaign or a reflection of your party (I vote the latter), but it’s time to be a kingmaker.
Drop out, endorse. That 10% could be a game changer (read: Biden 2008).
Jon Huntsman (I):
Go fuck yourself.
These debates have lost their appeal. We know how they feel on the issues. At this point, unless Joe Rogan hosts the next debate, and it’s some epic Fear Factor shit, then they should just stop. Because a politico like me cannot not tune in, yet I have to pace myself. The GOP lies machine is driving me batshit, it just continues to hypnotize more people. I want to play a drinking game, every time I hear a lie from a conservative I take a shot. I’ll likely end up in the hospital again. Try to read an article online, go on Facebook or Twitter, or watching 30 minutes of news without hearing a lie from a conservative.
I have NEVER, ever, ever…EVER…heard any conservative voter call Social Security the greatest Ponzi scheme in history. In the last week, I have seen it it the comments thread of three articles. They just regurgitate whatever they hear from someone, regardless of what they thought before they heard it. It reminds me exactly of the Ministry of Truth in 1984. Chocolate rations go down, papers say they went up. Papers from last week say they went up. Social Security has never been a target from conservatives. Ever. But it’s almost like they’ve hated it the whole time.
Social Security is unconstitutional. We’re going to get rid of the government, the whole damn thing is unconstitutional. Who created the Constitution? Who has the authority to enforce the Constitution? Steve Jobs. It’s always been Steve Jobs.