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GOP Debate: Winners and Losers

After a good night's sleep and a bit more reflection, we're ready to go with our winners and losers from last night's debate.

A few overall comments first. No candidate did himself any serious damage and no candidate emerged as a shining star. Overall, it was what we expected out of a first debate -- the candidates largely stuck to their talking points to avoid making any errors. The race didn't change in any fundamental way last night -- the top tier of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) remained in tact.

But, there were some subtle distinctions between the ten men. Here's our read on who did best and who did worst:

WINNERS

Mitt Romney: Many viewers were likely getting their first look at the former Massachusetts Governor and he clearly looked up to the job. Romney was engaging, optimistic and telegenic. He generally gave answers that reflected a familiarity with the big issues and used humor effectively ("Are you kidding me?" he said in response to the question of whether Bill Clinton should be back in the White House). He also managed to provide good if not great answers on his position changes on abortion over the years, and managed to subtly address the "Mormon question" by emphasizing that he is a person of faith. Some people we talked to after the debate thought Romney came across as too slick and too canned. The only time we felt that way was during his over-the-top attempt to make clear to voters he wanted Osama Bin-Laden dead.

Mike Huckabee: Plainspoken and genuine, Huckabee distinguished himself from the vast group not named McCain, Giuliani or Romney. Aside from McCain, Huckabee was the most critical about the current administration. Huckabee said he would have fired former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before the November 2006 elections, adding:." I certainly wouldn't have said that we are not going to do it and then, right after the election, done so." He also offered one of the most memorable lines of the night saying that Bush was listening too much "to a lot of folks who were civilians in suits and silk ties and not listening enough to the generals with mud and blood on their boots and medals on their chest." The question for Huckabee is: "What's next?" He has long been seen as a candidate with real potential in the race but hasn't built the kind of financial and grassroots organizations to compete with the big boys. Can he now?

Questions from Viewers: Lots of people we talked to last night and this morning were upset about the format of the debate, arguing that it rewarded a slick soundbite over a substantive policy point. Maybe. But we really enjoyed the fact that the debate also featured a number of questions from "real" people. Sure a few of the questions were somewhat bizarre (Rep. Tom Tancredo got asked about organ donation). But we thought the question asking former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to explain the difference between Sunni and Shia was revealing. The viewer question portion of the debate wasn't perfect, but it provided a nice change of pace.

Fred Thompson: The longer Thompson can avoid these forums but keep the excitement around his candidacy high, the better. It's very difficult to come off as the savior of the Republican party when you are on stage with 10 other guys all claiming to be able to do the same thing. By staying out of the fray for now, Thompson avoids any potential pitfalls that come with taking rapid-fire questions on national television for ninety minutes. Given where he stands in most polls, he doesn't need to subject himself to the melee just yet.

LOSERS

Rudy Giuliani: There was just too much talk about abortion and social issues for Giuliani to come out a winner. To his credit, he didn't back down from his pro-abortion rights stance but his response that it would be "ok" if Roe v. Wade was overturned left us wanting more. We have long wondered when and if Republican activists, who are overwhelmingly "pro life," would begin to look beyond Giuliani's credentials as one of the heroes of the Sept. 11 and closely examine his stance on social issues. Last night could well have signaled the start of that deeper examination, which could spell trouble for Giuliani. Giuliani's best moments came when he was trumpeting his accomplishments as mayor of New York City and when he pledged to stay on "offense" against the terrorists, but there were just not enough of them to neutralize all of the abortion talk.

Tommy Thompson: In our preview of last night's debate we noted that Thompson had a story to tell but wondered whether he would get to tell it. He didn't. And it didn't help that Thompson never seemed to get his footing in the debate. He was expansive when he should have been concise and vice versa. Need evidence? Check out this response where he tried to package the Tommy Thompson story into 60 seconds: "I'm the reliable conservative. I vetoed 1,900 things. I reduced taxes by $16.5 billion. I'm from Wisconsin, a blue state, and I won four consecutive times. I still have a very high popularity appeal." All true but said in such a rush that anyone not listening closely would have missed it.

Osama Bin-Laden: Romney didn't seem to leave much room for tougher talk when he pledged that Bin-Laden "is going to pay, and he will die." But McCain one-upped the former Governor with this gem: "We will track him down. We will capture him. We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell."

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 4, 2007; 1:48 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

It is becoming more and more evident that the media is censoring Ron Paul because he has less money to spend on the networks' ads.

Posted by: nickelrabbit | May 19, 2007 1:07 AM | Report abuse

I think anyone who watched the debate themselves would see that RON PAUL won. His answers were not premeditated. They were the truth. You can still watch the debates on YouTube.com.

Not to mention that fact that RON PAUL is taking a HUGE lead on MSNBC, ABC, etc. These are the same corporations that are censoring any pro-RON PAUL comments.

Decide for yourself. Don't let the media tell you what to believe.

Posted by: J. P. | May 17, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul was the real winner you loser. Comments from McCain and Romney about tracking down Bin Laden sounded like OJ Simpson tracking down his wifes killer(s).
You fell for it.
GO RON PAUL

Posted by: Kenny G. | May 13, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I love the Media Black out on Ron Paul...He will make the people truly free again and we CAN'T have that. Corporations have worked way too hard to put the peons in a headlock and we just can't have someone like Ron Paul destroying that.
$$KA-CHING$$
So keep up the good work on the RON PAUL BLACKOUT Chris!!! We can't have a little thing like freedom and honest press mucking up the works!
p.s. THE CHECK IS IN THE MAIL!

MUAH HAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: 8.6 Billion In Fake News | May 12, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul may not have the big $ and the pretty face that seems to be a big issue but he's honest and straight forward.
Holy Cow do we have to wait untill 08?
Ron Paul here!

Posted by: Bob L | May 9, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

So much time was spent on abortion [GREAT publicity for us in the Islamic world, Chris!] that I`m amazed one of the candidates didn`t answer, ``I`m running for President, not Surgeon General.``

Posted by: Philip V. Riggio | May 7, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

YOU ARE FULL OF LIES!!!! Ron Paul was the clear winner.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is winning every major poll after the debate. Why no mention of him?!!!

Posted by: Aaron | May 7, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul clearly shined as the winner of the debate. I googled him and found some info on him. Out of all the people on that stage. I would say he is closest to the real deal. I am keeping an eye on this fellow. He's got my vote. It's hard to believe the media has not said anything about it. Well, maybe not so hard to believe I guess. To get real news in America, you have to find it online. That's sad.

Posted by: Shane | May 7, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Watch the polls. C Wisdom from the pundits is that Guliani lost b/c of abortion. Nonsense. The Republican voters are as sick of the far right as everyone else. Whether or not they agree with the Mayor, they like him because he is likable and it is time for good will over polarizing viewpoints.

Posted by: Kit Carson | May 7, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Crist is a moderate who has reached out to all Floridians. His administration is off to a great start."

Really JimD? That's awfully good news for Florida and the rest of the country. It's nice to know that common sense Republicans still exist after years of seeing the effects of the nutcases that usually get elected.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 7, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

While there is little doubt that Ron Paul won the debate, whether he would be a good President is completely another story.

I have grave concerns about how someone who advocates simply ignoring the plight of minorities can govern effectively. The answer is not just to give poor people money. Different people are poor for different reasons, and some of the root causes have correlations to race. Fix the causes and we'll have fewer poor people within the next decade. That's called leadership.

I see that as a huge and blatant lack of leadership on his part. Reagan showed the same lack of leadership on social issues and created an underclass of minorities that were not just left behind, but consciously ignored. And that's pathetic.

Posted by: Random Guy | May 7, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

nstead of ideology, "fundamental fairness was always spoken about in our home," says Crist, 50, sitting in shirtsleeves in his office, beneath a painting of his Greek immigrant grandfather when he was a shoe-shine boy. He speaks daily on the phone with his father Charles, who in the 1960s was the only white physician in Crist's hometown of St. Petersburg to volunteer to help sports teams at segregated, all-black high schools--and who advised his son during the Terri Schiavo spectacle in 2005, when Crist was Florida's elected attorney general. "I told Charlie, 'Look, I've seen the brain scans on that girl,'" says the elder Crist, also a Republican."'There's nothing there anymore.'" Crist backed off helping Bush in his bid to keep Schiavo on life support.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 7:43 AM | Report abuse

"We have spotted a sane republican! Hail, hail Governor Crist!"

You could not have stated it better. Crist is a moderate who has reached out to all Floridians. His administration is off to a great start.

Posted by: JimD in FL | May 7, 2007 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Is Crist positioning himself for a tilt at the Presidency? Cos he's certainly done well so far. I thought following Jeb would be a tough act to follow, but obviously not.

Some Republicans did well in the debate. Romney in particular helped himself by introducing himself competently to the masses who'd never heard of him except as a member of the "top three".

Is Giuliani trying to win a plurality via the pro-choice lobby of the GOP? Cos its rather dangerous tactics.

Posted by: JayPe | May 7, 2007 3:58 AM | Report abuse

A totally pathetic performance by all the the Republicans, save Rudy, perhaps --- but he just screwed himself by admitting that he is pro-choice in front of all those red-staters. He is now toast. As for the rest of them: ugh... If Romney gains any traction at all, the right will nail him as a Kerry-like flip-flopper, so he's got going anywhere; McCain was awful; looked like he had been made up at a funeral home, and that bizarre scene, where he promised to follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell, then belatedly flashed his yellowing teeth in a vainly attempted smile; that was positively Nixonian. Hillary is looking better every day, I swear.

Posted by: Mike | May 7, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is the only candidate from either major party who actually believes in and supports the United States Constitution. His Congressional website has an archive for his speeches and writings where you can see for yourself that he opposed the Iraq war a long time before it was launched by George W. Bush. He also stood up in Congress and opposed the unPATRIOTic ACT. He upholds our civil liberties and opposed Bush's attempts to destroy habeas corpus. If you go for Giuliani-McCain-Romney on the Republican side or B. & H. Clinton-Obama-Edwards on the Democratic side, you will get four more years of war, inflation, and misery. Ron Paul is the only real hope to save our republic.

Posted by: Don | May 6, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

'But Crist is no Jeb Bush. In fact, his record so far is undoing much of what the younger Bush son started. In his first 100 days, Crist announced efforts to provide hurricane-insurance relief, ditch controversial touch-screen voting machines for ones with a paper trail, create a "children's cabinet" to fix Florida's dysfunctional child-welfare services, increase teacher pay by $300 million and reduce the state's overcrowded classrooms, convene a summit on global warming, promote stem-cell research and restore voting rights to felons who complete their sentences (which he did last month). At one point during Crist's State of the State address in March, delighted African-American legislators broke into call-and-response chants with the Governor, as if they were in a black church.'

We have spotted a sane republican! Hail, hail Governor Crist!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

'used humor effectively ("Are you kidding me?" he said in response to the question of whether Bill Clinton should be back in the White House)'

why do you find that 'funny' CC? At least half this country [probably more] would far rather have clinton than bush--look at the freaking mess we're in now..

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Osama Bin-Laden: Romney didn't seem to leave much room for tougher talk when he pledged that Bin-Laden "is going to pay, and he will die." But McCain one-upped the former Governor with this gem: "We will track him down. We will capture him. We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell."

LOL -- my sides hurt. tears running down my cheeks. hilarious! why not just meet him at high noon? i love these tough-talkin white boys. Is mitty going to shoot OBL wiht his squirrel rifle? remember when other toughtalker bushie said he would get OBL 'dead or alive'? i guess he'll wait for him to die of old age, since he ain't even looking for him anymore.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

While snake oil salesmen like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh would surely rank the American press up there with Bin Laden and his homicidal ilk, for the Army to do so is shocking, displaying a deep ignorance on the part of at least some segments of the uniformed military over just what the media's role in a democracy is, while sending the unambiguous message to soldiers and DoD employees that reporters are to be treated as enemies.

Under the new rules, all Army personnel and DoD contractors are told to keep an eye on reporters and anyone seen speaking to the press, and that they should "consider handling attempts by reporters to solicit information as a Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the U.S. Army (SAEDA) incident."

This is a direct subversion of the Constitution, and nothing like this has ever occured before in the history of this country.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

'It looks like it's official: the United States Army thinks that American reporters are a threat to national security. Thanks to some great sleuthing by Wired's "Danger Room" blogger Noah Shachtman, the Army's new operational security guidelines (OPSEC) hit the Web in a big way yesterday, and the implications they have for reporters -- who are grouped in with drug cartels and Al Qaeda as security threats to be beaten back -- are staggering.

Make no mistake, this is a very big deal, and every American citizen, not just reporters and soldiers, needs to understand the implications of the Army's strict new policy, because it directly affects how citizens receive information about their armed forces: information that it has every right to get.

Shachtman reproduces a slide from the new "OPSEC in the Blogosphere," document, which lists and ranks "Categories of Threat." Under "traditional domestic threats" we find hackers and militia groups, while "non-traditional" threats include drug cartels, and -- yes -- the media. Just to put that into some perspective, the foreign "non-traditional threats" are listed as warlords, and Al Qaeda. In other words, the Army has figuratively and literally put the media in the same box as Al Qaeda, warlords, and drug cartels.'

soon, as more and more reporters are murdered, you will only be hearing 'good news' from Iraq...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

'The hydrocarbons framework -- a portion of the legislative regime needed to govern Iraq's oil -- was approved by negotiators and Iraq's Cabinet in February. The Bush administration immediately hailed it as a major step forward; passing an oil law is one of U.S. President Bush's benchmarks for success in Iraq. Iraq's Parliament needs to approve the document for it to become law, but the remaining pieces of the legislation need to be finalized first.'

Passing an 'oil law' meaning giving access to Iraq's oil for US and British companies, one of bush's 'benchmarks for success' in Iraq -- but we're not there for the oil, right?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

' Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) did not discuss his Mormon faith as he continued his outreach Saturday to conservative Christians in a graduation speech at Regent University, the school founded by televangelist Pat Robertson.

Instead, Romney, who is intensely courting this key segment of the Republican base in hopes of winning the party's 2008 presidential nomination, expounded on conservative themes such as the importance of child-rearing and marriage and the presence of evil in the world.

Before his commencement address, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, left, confers with televangelist Pat Robertson,
"There is no work more important to America's future than the work that is done within the four walls of the American home," Romney said. He also criticized people who choose not to get married because they enjoy the single life.'

Now that the republican party has become both Big Brother and the Nanny State, maybe the first thing a new R president will do is pass an executive order than everyone shall be married and have children by a certain age... say 22. After they have fulfilled their mandatory miliitary service, which will be required to increase the size of the military, as they all say they want to do.

Posted by: Ken L. | May 6, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh btw, Shia 'security forces' watched the girl being stoned to death and did nothing. It took half of hour for her to die. Hapy now, war fans? Got your daily does of blood?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

A video of a kurdish teenaged girl in Iraq being stoned to death by 9 adult men for becoming involved with a sunni boy... this NEVER happened during the reign of saddam hussein, bad as he was. this is how bad it has become -- we have enabled fundamentalist nutcases to take over this country. jesus christ. the longer we stay, the worse it gets.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=452288&in_page_id=1811

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse


The investigation surrounding VECO, an Alaskan oil company, has finally borne fruit. Two Republican members of the state legislature were indicted today, one of them the former speaker of the house. There's still no word on the fate of former state Sen. Ben Stevens, son of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), who is also under investigation.

Oh, and it's ugly. Pete Kott and Bruce Weyhrauch are on the hook for trading votes for cash and sweet jobs, plain and simple. From The Anchorage Daily News:

The indictment says Kott asked executives of the unnamed company for money and a job after he left the Legislature. Weyhrauch, an attorney, asked for a job and legal work, the indictment says.
On about Sept. 26, 2005, the indictment says, Kott called an unnamed company vice president and said, "I need a job."

The vice president replied, "You've got a job; get us a pipeline," the indictment says....

In a meeting on April 18, 2006, Kott told the company executives, "You'll get your pipeline, the governor gets his bill, and I'll get my job in Barbados."...

Kott met with the company executives in their hotel suite on May 7, the indictment says, and told them he had tried to defeat an amendment to the oil tax the company didn't like.

"I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie," Kott said, according to the indictment.

The company's chief executive responded, "I own your as*," the indictment says.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The polls show clearly that the public strongly supports efforts by Dems to confront Bush both on Iraq and on corruption. Check out the numbers in this recent Pew poll:

Do you think Democratic leaders in Congress are going too far or not far enough in challenging George W. Bush's policies in Iraq, or are they handling this about right?

Too far 23%
Not far enough 40%
About right 30%
Don't know/Refused 7%

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps that explains why Republican candidates, participating in their first major debate this week, mentioned Bush's name only once, but Ronald Reagan's 19 times.

When the NEWSWEEK Poll asked more than 1,000 adults on Wednesday and Thursday night (before and during the GOP debate) which president showed the greatest political courage--meaning being brave enough to make the right decisions for the country, even if it jeopardized his popularity --more respondents volunteered Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton (18 percent each) than any other president. Fourteen percent of adults named John F. Kennedy and 10 percent said Abraham Lincoln. Only three percent mentioned George W. Bush.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Nice, except David Broder doesn't seem to read his paper, since he states "The Democratic leadership already has signaled its readiness to drop the timetable, and further concessions are likely as negotiations continue with the White House."
So as we can see once again FACTS don't matter to the "Dean of Pundits"

Why don't they get rid of this antique gasbag? The man is utterly senile.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse


'The Washington Post has now added a correction to its widely-discussed story saying Congressional Dems had "backed off" by telling the White House that they would drop withdrawal timetables from their Iraq war-funding bill:'

Thanks, WaPo for at least trying to pretend you're not the house organ for the republican party. Enjoy your cocktails weenies at the next gop wingding!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

May 5, 2007 - It's hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of any American president, or that he seems to be dragging every '08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public's approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for any president in our poll, and two points lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.'s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who scored a 29 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP's chances for victory in '08.

The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups.

Posted by: lower than jimmy carter! | May 6, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Congressional Iraq memorial runs out of room.
"Congress already has run out of space on a memorial created last year to honor all of the U.S. service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a grim sign of the times, the "Wall of the Fallen," set up by House Republican leaders in June, is almost full. The mounting death toll from Iraq has forced U.S. House staffers to study how to reconfigure the display in the lobby of the Rayburn Building -- the largest office building for members of Congress -- to squeeze in more names." No new soldiers have been added since November.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse


Boehner today:

"Over the course of the next three to four months, we'll have some idea how well the plan's working. Early signs are indicating there is clearly some success on a number of fronts," he said.

Boehner, 1/23/07:

BOEHNER: I think it will be rather clear in the next 60 to 90 days as to whether this plan is going to work. And, again, that's why we need to have close oversight, so that we just don't look up 60 or 90 days from now and realize that -- that this plan is not working. We need to know, as we -- as we're -- we move through these benchmarks, that the Iraqis are doing what they have to do.

Posted by: what a joke | May 6, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

'There is no legal basis to deny a sale if a purchaser is on a terror watch list.

"When I tell people that you can be on a terrorist watch list and still be allowed to buy as many guns as you want, they are shocked," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.'

I'm sure potential terrorists come from all over the world to buy their guns here... why wouldn't they? The US is now an open market for terrorists -- a bazaar of death.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Rifle Association is urging the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit suspected terrorists from buying firearms.

Backed by the Justice Department, the measure would give the attorney general the discretion to block gun sales, licenses or permits to terror suspects.

In a letter this week to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, NRA executive director Chris Cox said the bill, offered last week by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, "would allow arbitrary denial of Second Amendment rights based on mere 'suspicions' of a terrorist threat."

"As many of our friends in law enforcement have rightly pointed out, the word 'suspect' has no legal meaning, particularly when it comes to denying constitutional liberties," Cox wrote.'

This is when you know that, as a country, we have completely lost our minds. When we can say that, on the one hand, it's completely okay to torture someone to death because one man says they might be a terrrorist -- but then on the other hand, you have to sell them an arsenal so they can kill dozens or hundreds of innocent victims --we just have lost our minds, and we will not survive. No country who has leaders this insane exists very long.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse


'In one section of the video, an interviewer asks al-Zawahiri to comment on legislation that ties the funding of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

"This bill reflects American frustration," says al-Zawahiri, second-in-command to Osama bin Laden. "However, this bill will deprive us of the opportunity to destroy the American forces which we have caught in a historic trap.

"We ask Allah that they only get out of it after losing 200 to 300 hundred thousand killed, in order that we give the spillers of blood in Washington and Europe an unforgettable lesson, which will motivate them to review their entire doctrinal and moral system which produced their historic criminal Crusader-Zionist entity," al-Zawahiri says.'

Bush wants to do exactly as al-Zawahiri says--stay in Iraq long enough for the insurgents to pick our people off like the sitting ducks they are. Excuse me, but whose side is Bush on?

Not on the side of the military families, that's for sure.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The best thing for the GOP would be to concede right now and let whoever secures the Dem nomination early next year take over from Dumya, who should resign. There's no way any of them are going to win, and we need a big head start cleaning up the disasters the Repulsitrons have wrought over the last six years. Congressional elections could still take place in the fall, dealing the final death blow to the party of Reagan.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

They all give me the creeps, especially since most seem eager to go to war with Iran - It's like they haven't been awake for the past 4 years. Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate with any significant or correct to say; unfortunately he is not charismatic or eloquent, and GOP voters are apparently idiots (re-elect W?!?)- so Paul stands no chance.

Posted by: Andrew | May 6, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

A recent major poll found that only 35% will vote Republican in '08 (52% Democratic). I am surprised it's that high! While I did not see the "gray-suit" line-up of old white men the other evening, my feeling is that Ron Paul came out as the only true right winger in the race, and that's the ideology which runs the GOP. I can now see a ticket of Ron Paul and James Gilmore.

Posted by: Frederick | May 6, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

If the Democrats threatened to bring back the draft WITH NO EXEMPTIONS THAT RICH KIDS COULD USE TO AVOID SERVE ala Cheney,Limbaugh, and other war wimps,,the Republicans would fall all over themselves to end this war..10 more U.S. servicemen killed in Iraq in first five days of May is a horrible horrible horrible price to pay for Bush's horrible blunder and refusal to seek diplomatic solution...

Posted by: robert_lipka@yahoo.com | May 6, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

While I watched the debate it became almost apparent to me that we will have a Democrat elected President in 2008. The so-called 'frontruners' in the GOP race are at best moderates with a tilt to the right. It is obvious that the party woh calls themselves conservative will not support the candidate with the views to match, which are Paul and Tancredo. Whether you like them or not, you have to hand it to them for speaking their true beliefs and not being panderers. I would also like to see Fred Thompson in the race. The Democrats, however, do not have this problem. And besides, the only real winners in this country in the next 1-2 years will be the illegal aliens while the losers will remain the middle class, regardless of who gets elected. Pardon my cynicism.

Posted by: wx | May 6, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

It is thoroughly unconscionable that the clear winner in every mainstream media outlet that conducted a post-debate poll (THAT DID NOT EXCLUDE RON PAUL) shows Ron Paul to be the OVERWHELMING winner. Let me just cite one from ABC News:

WHICH REPUBLICAN CAME OUT ON TOP?Republican presidential candidates held their first debate recently.

Who do you think came out on top at the Republican debate?

Ron Paul
2,458
It doesn't matter who won. I wouldn't put America in another Republican's hands.226
Mitt Romney35
None of them. I'm interested in the possibility of new candidates like Fred Thompson.31
Rudy Guiliani24
John McCain10
Tom Tancredo6
Mike Huckabee4
Duncan Hunter4
Sam Brownback2
James Gilmore1
Tommy Thompson1
Total Vote: 2,802
Not a scientific survey.

How is this not the headline story this week in all of the major media outlets--internet, TV, print, etc.????

Posted by: SteveMartin | May 5, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

It is way to early for these televised "debates" to have a meaning. Most Americans have not begun to consider who to vote for in 2008, and at best these forums are as meaningless as straw polls.

As it looks now, the more Dubya goes down in the polls the more he drags his party's nominee down with him; guilt by association. The closer it gets to the primaries the more the Republicans will start to sound like Democrats on the war issue.
Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel | May 5, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"We will track him down. We will capture him. We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell."

'I thought this remark by McCain was very well said and very well delivered, but his instant smile following all of this pugnacious tough-talk seemed a bit fake.'

I thought it was over the top, and pretty much summed up the macho, white male 'diplomacy is for wimps' vibe that all of those republicans gave off (except for Ron Paul, but he's a nutter for different reasons).

BTW I thought Giuliani's answer on Roe v Wade was extremely wishy washy, he looked like he didn't believe what he was saying.

Posted by: Aussie view | May 5, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Romney is on an ego trip. He would be lost in the Oval Office trying to make real policy, and would need to be on the job 365 days a year. (NB - during his last year as governor of MA, he was in the state less than 1/4 of the time. Even at the time of the Big Dig tunnel collapse, in which a woman was killed, he made a few statements, appeared wearing a hard hat, and then got right back on the road for the Greedy Old Plutocrats.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Romney is on an ego trip. He has no idea what the f*ck he's doing.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

winners: fundamentalist christians, industry execs, and militarists.

losers: the rest of the population.

would the last thinking republican who believes in egalitarian democracy please shut off the lights on your way out?

Posted by: meuphys | May 5, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

J Perez,
Reagan's positions did change. He was a "new deal" democrat but obviously wound up trying to dismantle many of the results of the new deal. This conversion took place over many years from the 40's until 62 when he officially changed parties. He liked to say that he did not leave the Democratic party, the democratic party left him. But there is no way to reconcile that when one starts out as a FDR new dealer and winds up giving the brilliant "Time for Choosing" speech for Goldwater. I don't see this conversion in Romney but will admit he was impressive in the debate nonetheless.

Posted by: Dave! | May 5, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick of media types hyping national polls!!!! National polls only tell you who the most people have heard of. National polls show who'd win if the U.S. had a national primary. Giuliani's lead means people have heard of him.......wow that tells me sooo much. Polls of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, possibly Florida (sweet home), and the states in the nat'l primary on feb 5th. I'd also like to challenge the media's conventional wisdom that Giuliani's moderate views are his death. If I'm remembering correctly, I believe 70% of GOP primary voters are pro-life. That means 30% are pro-choice. If that 30% minority agrees (or at least can accept) his other liberal social views, he needs to attempt to secure them. He should present his views as libertarian rather than liberal, but embrace them. In a 10 candidate field, 30% is enough to win. However, what screws him over might be the pre-caucus straw polls. That could narrow the field to 2 to 5 candidates, in which case he'd be defeated. I think it depends on how many candidates have the $ (or at least the ego) to keep going if they lose the straw poll. Media types who cover politics should know that THERE IS NO NATIONAL PRIMARY. Febuary 5th's primary may be considered one, but reguardless, not every state will be voting then.

Posted by: J Perez | May 5, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Jack,
"MSNBC's polls has Ron Paul with the highest positive rating and the lowest negative rating". Well when you have the MoveOn.org people voting for the candidate they would most like to see, results tend to get screwed. I identify with a lot of the libertarian ideas so i was interested to see how he would do and what he would say. His idea of small and limited government appeals to both conservatives as well as libertarians. But if one watched the debate, you could not say that he was a smooth debator or presented those ideas in a very good manner. If Perot, Reagan and Gingrich could not get government smaller in the heyday of the conservative movement, it can't be considered a realistic idea at this time. If i was a Democrat wishing to run against one of those candidates, Ron Paul would be it.

Posted by: Dave! | May 5, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I am staunchly anti-Romney, but Romney definitely won the debate. He did do a very good job of explaining his position changes. His remark that Ronad Reagan switched his positions surely were well-received. I know Reagan switched parties, but I'm unsure if it was due to any position changes. In 1964, the Dems lost the "solid south", and it became solidly Republican. Though Reagan was from Californian, he seemed to be of that same Deep South conservative mindframe. He was a part of that switch. Romney is still too inexperienced for my liking, but shocked me with an impressive knowledge of some of the issues. I would say that it is the latest thing that consolidates his frontrunner status. These events made him the frontrunner:
1. Sen. George Allen's narrow loss for reelection
2. McCain's stumbling
3. Giuliani's presence in the race (making Romney look more conservative by comparison)
4. The White House's potentially silent support
5. His $21 million 1st quarter
6. His above adequate performance in the debate

Posted by: J Perez | May 5, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"We will track him down. We will capture him. We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell."

I thought this remark by McCain was very well said and very well delivered, but his instant smile following all of this pugnacious tough-talk seemed a bit fake. That fakeness, for anybody else who noticed it, probably ruined the comment he made. Was I the only one who noticed that? Surely Chris, with his critical eye, noticed it too, but perhaps he missed it. I don't know, it jumped out to me like a midget on a basketball court, but perhaps I was alone. I just think that it reinforced the right's uneasiness about him.

Posted by: J Perez | May 5, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

To Dave the modern economist: we are near the end of a huge boom cycle caused by your buddies at the Fed. They have rescued so many failed banks and investment firms in the past 30 years, that nobody even tries to be responsible with their money any more. But instead of fessing up and taking the heat, they keep spinning the economy reports to reassure everyone. Really they are just taking us deeper and deeper into debt by continuing to rescue people who deserve to lose their shirts for making bad decisions. Go explore www.lenderimplode.com for a while and you will understand why Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate who does not have his head up his @ss.

Posted by: toddpw | May 5, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson was a winner? I think not, Chris. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the more polished debaters, and Romney has the organization and money to rise. If you view national polls, Guiliani is still the man to beat. This means garbage in reality. Romney's poll number's are growing in early states where campaigning has already began: New Hampshire and Iowa. Take a look at the new polls. Romney is rising and Guiliani is dropping, as I predicted would happen on this post about 3 months ago. McCain leads in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire right now. In New Hampshire, Romney has jumped up to 2nd place, McCain leading 29%-24 for Romney and Guiliani with only 17%. Guiliani dropped 12% in a month. Last month it was McCain/Guiliani tied 29%-29% and Romney with 17%. In Iowa it's McCain 29% with Guiliani in 2nd and Romney gaining steam there as well. McCain has grown his lead in South Carolina. I suspect he will win there, with the endorsements of both sen. Graham and gov. Sanford. Interestingly enough, Romney has the endorsement of sen. DeMint, who is a darling of the Club for Growth. The Republican state treasurer is planning a primary challenge against Graham. A big intra-party battle could take place for the Republican's in 08! Duncan Hunter could do well in SC as well.

We should really be in for a great primary, for both R's and D's. If Unity 08 fields legite candidate's, it could really be a showdown.

Posted by: reason | May 5, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Well I think "The Fix" is an appropriate name for this column. Funny how on MSNBC's polls has Ron Paul with the highest positive rating and the lowest negative rating and Chris has the audacity to say "No candidate did himself any serious damage and no candidate emerged as a shining star" Nothing could be further from the truth. Fortunately we have the internet now so that we don't have to rely on news people that "fix" the news. We all know Paul has no charisma and it goes to show that when you vote charisma you get the status quo. Stop voting charisma and start voting for those familiar with the words Liberty, Republic and Freedom. Conversely, if you hear a politician utter the words Democracy, you would be wise to send them down the road.

Posted by: Jack | May 5, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter,
I was hoping he would conduct the debate not like an edition of Hardball, not that he would necessarily ask softball questions. I agree that the candidates tended to talk longer than the time but those tended to be on the 30 second questions (or those one word ones that turned into paragraphs). But Matthews continually trampled the end of statements with "follow ups" or asking a different person (a la Hardball). Now a lot of that was the format and the number of candidates but it did not seem to happen with Brian Williams.

That said, its just a lousy format if someone wants substance no matter who the moderator is. I liked the idea of questions from the "people" but they need to make sure that those questions can fit a 30 second answer or extend the length of time allowed for the answer And if a moderator says he needs a one word answer, it needs to be one word and be enforced consistently (not done well by Matthews - he lost control of those early on).

Posted by: Dave! | May 5, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Matthews and politico.com did a HORRIBLE job on this debate. Nothing on NAFTA, little on immigration, nothing on issues that matter to conservatives. Instead, the questions were scripted by the DNC, for God's sake. "What do you least like about America?" Save that for the next Democrat debate, Chris. And his Karl Rove and Libby obsession was also on display.

As for the players: Guiliani shot himself in the heart. He's done with conservatives, and they're done with him. He is not electable by the simply fact he cannot be elected in the primaries.

McCain looked stressed out, angry and over-coached. He looked menacing. Not a good sign.

Romney was the clear winner. He's not my guy, but I could see myself voting for him in November 2008 with no issues. He's articulate, intelligent and he didn't fall for any of the BS questions sent his way.

I agree with Chris C. that Tommy Thompson had a horrible night. Bumbling, incoherent at times. Not good. Time to drop out.

I wish Tancredo had had a better night. His issues are right in tune with the GOP base. He needed more practice, but he was cut off a few times by the ridiculous "lightning round" debate format.

Duncan Hunter - the king of DC military pork - looked like a grumpy old man. Brownback seemed like a "me, too" candidate and has failed to gain any traction thus far. The debate didn't help.

For those (Ron) Paulinists out there: Get a life. The man is a borderline nutter who did a great job of playing the part of "media darling" on the War in Iraq. He is an interloper in the GOP and a sideshow. If he came off as a statesman, that would be different, but he is well past his prime, politically and chronologically, and you Liberfreaks know it.

p.s. RUN FRED RUN!

Posted by: Stephen | May 5, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I understand Nancy Reagan asked for Chris Matthews.... so Chris Matthews it was.

What did they expect, that he would turn into Softball?

I like Matthews style, and his moderating was what I expected. I didn't notice his talking over, only when one of the ten-pawns was droning over the time limit.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | May 5, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

CC,
What kind of analysis of winners and losers is that? There were 10 candidates and you listed Fred Thompson, OBL and viewer questions among the them and failed to discuss 6 of them.

I think that Romney came across real well, better than i expected. McCain and Giuliani were OK but uneven. Brownback is an interesting candidate as is Gilmore but both lack any pop. Then again, Obama was supposed to pop and he didn't. Ron Paul, while nowhere near the joke of a Gravel, is more a poor mans Ross Perot, well meaning but crankey and unrealistic. The big losers were the format of the debate which allowed for zero substance and the moderator that thought he was back on Hardball talking over all the candidates.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Correction: 10 white males IN SEARCH of a message... Pirandello is not dead. Nor is Kafka...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The GOP debate: 10 white male standing around waiting for a message...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Whether you're talking Mormonism, Free Masonry, or the movie "The Skulls", what scares me is the secretive nature of these groups. And BTW, why do Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Halls have no windows?

Contrast this with your average, run-of-the-mill Christian church, with it's "visitors welcome" sign, warm handshake and royalty treatment on any given Sunday. You might not like what these churches believe, but they're practicing their faith openly. Can the same be said for secretive ceremonies in the Salt Lake City Temple?

Gov. Romney was the clear winner the other night. Can I set aside his Mormonism to vote for him? Probably easier than I could vote for been there, done that Senator Clinton.

- Le Juste Milieu

lejustemilieu.blogspot.com

Posted by: the secretive nature of Mormonism | May 5, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

OR..., you are way to cynical. Come on, lighten up. If you don't, the rapture squad won't take you. You'll be left behind with the rest of us. Are the Mormons going up to? I hope so, their wives are sure cute.

I don't understand. Why don't we make hunger the enemy to fight? Why don't we make unjustice the enemy to fight? I understand Mitt recently baptized more dead Jews. Why, Mitt, why do you continue to do this? And why don't you baptize some Arabs for a change. Equal opportunity lunacy is needed.

What I heard the other day, "I think Mitt is cute and very handsome and he get's my vote. What a hunk." She was not kidding.

Cute and cuddly, this is how I want my president. Nixon was not cuddly, that was his downfall. Bush is kind of cuddly in a monkee sort of way. Please, George, take me to your next war.

I think Fred would be a good choice. He can act presidential and therefore be the president. He sure was convicing on L&O. What power. What grace. What acting. We need at least ten more years of war to be king of the mountain. And Fred along with Mitt will take us there.

A Mormon as president, rubbing exotic oils in the temple. Perfoming strange and wonderful rituals with the dead. Babtizing dead Jews and Muslims.

Joseph Smith Bless America.

Get used to it.

Posted by: edgar stevenson | May 5, 2007 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Paul definitely won this debate. Going into it, I really didn't know who I was going to vote for. Now it has become very clear to me. Paul is the only candidate who is firmly against the war in Iraq. It also seemed that he genuinely believed everything he said and that he wishes to correct wrongs that were being done.

In the beginning, I really didn't take notice to him. He just seemed to be another nervous old guy waiting for a turn. After his comments about the Iraq war, I started to listen. I went online and read some other stuff about him, and I really like him.

I'm definitely going with Ron Paul now! By the way, why aren't any of the major networks covering him at all? He seems to be doing extremely well online.

Posted by: Politics: Independent | May 4, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

The 7-10:

"Duncan Hunter is my dark horse. He seems to combine the most of what conservatives are looking for."

I've said this all along. I'm a liberal and find him to be a cartoon of what I dislike about conservatives, but I'm amazed that he hasn't caught on more. He is the prototypical meat-and-potatoes, God, Guns and Guts winger. Run down the list of issues and he is... perfect. It's a testament to the centrality of money and party machinery that he isn't the frontrunner.

Posted by: Mark | May 4, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I want Mitt to win. I am hoping he will allow me to have three wives at the least. Can you imagine it?

To think, the Mormon Church will not allow you to go to Temple unless you can be like Mitt. I think in the temple they douse each other in exotic oils and massage each other. Anyone have pictures?

Mitt is a great politican, the best liar there is. The Book of Mormon is made up and is pure fiction, like the Bible and other books which I will not mention because you know who is reading and will get very upset and...well, you know who I am talking about.

Do you want your president to believe in fiction, what if he said he believed Star Trek was real and he sees nightly UFOs?

Don't you think believing in the Book of Mormon is scarier? I do. I prefer Star Trek. I prefer UFOs.

The people will get the government they deserve. In this case, a very sexy and dashing Mormon who will do anything to get elected. Long live the angel and God (Joseph Smith) bless Mitt.

Maybe four wives. Who is to say that having six wives is wrong? Who is to say that you should only have one wife? We make it up. All of it.

Posted by: edgar stevenson | May 4, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

USAT points out that photographers weren't allowed to take pictures of Rice and Moualem shaking hands. Many see the meeting as a sign of a change in policy from an administration that until recently refused to talk to Syria and even criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for traveling to Damascus.


I WOULD GUESS MOST WOULD CALL IT FOLLOWING PELOSIS LEAD... but really it just looks like that... its called dont pay attention to Nancy, we [ corrupt executive branch ] are in control... through deception.... as long as you let them lead , well it is true isnt it?

Posted by: AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN... ???? | May 4, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

if Beezlezeebubb, otherwise known as dubya..


instigates a war with IRAN, as he seems to be a trying to, what with the charade about some unknown senior official linking Iran with some Russian rocket launchers that apparently were paid for with SAUDI money... as in

an Iraqi official said $25 million in Saudi money went to a top Iraqi Sunni cleric and was used to buy weapons, including Strela, a Russian shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile. The missiles were purchased from someone in Romania, apparently through the black market, he said. FUNNY , I GUESS THEY SPELL ROMANIA as if it were IRAN... must be Douglas FEITH handling this news breifing eh? ALTERNATIVE INTELLIGENCE EH? CAN YOU SAY FABRICATION???????


you are looking at martial law, and a draft...


sort of like a little cruise through nazi land...


doubt me ? You do know that duhyas Grandpa invested in the NAZIS in WWII right?


think I am lying? good check it out


search on Bush Crime Family, Prescott Bush


see what comes up in your face...


duhyahs has a Trust Fund made up exclusively of funds from SLAVE LABOR of JEWS at Auschwitz...


know who you serve by learning something besides how to hide the pea in the shell game,


sometimes you have to grab their wrists , and make them pick all the shells up , to see who you are dealing with


why would someone DESIRE DEEPLY, NO OVERSIGHT?


Crooks , Criminals... most likely


Patriots?.... Sucker born every minute PT BARNUM if you chose that one, spank yourself and go to bed without dinner...

Posted by: and listen | May 3, 2007 07:45 PM

top of that conscripting the men and women overseas that work for the war profiteers would give them a better health coverage and full retirement after 20 years...


and make a lot of bad people very unhappy,


do it, have some fun! its your country.

Posted by: OR.... | May 4, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I thought the big loser was Chris Matthews. He may have been one of the worst debate moderators I have ever seen. I'm not sure there was a single answer that did not end with Matthews talking over the candidate. You can say that this is necessary - but it wasn't with Brian Williams and the Dems last week.

Romney and Huckabee stood out to me last night. Giuliani, McCain, Tommy Thompson, and Tancredo were all poor. Gilmore, Brownback, and Hunter were just forgetable. Ron Paul was articulate and consistent - I think I am probably with him in a lot of ways, and I believe that the forgotten "swing vote" in American politics are the "small L" libertarians - people who want gov't to be small in social and fiscal matters. But Paul seems to take it too far.

I couldn't help but think - this debate would be a lot more interesting if you subtracted the dead weight and added Gingrich and Fred Thompson. Not that they would necessarily win - but they would spice things up a bit.

Posted by: asdf | May 4, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

All were losers and Matthews the worst of the lot, in that he could not hide his dislike for Hillary and the way all jumped at the chance to get a little dig at her. I could not say for sure but it seemed apparent to me that Hillary in the one they fear most.

Posted by: lylepink | May 4, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The winners were the dems who in their debate row had the face of america respresented with the top 4 consisting of a hispanic, a woman and an african american.

the loosers: the gop with 10 rich middle aged white guys. this is not the face of america and the complete failure of them to be able to even begin to understand America.
It's the face of a country club.

Posted by: vwcat | May 4, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Brody,

Commercial banks create money whenever they provide loans to people or businesses. Since they are only giving a note that promises the value of the loan they are actually creating more money for the economy. The Federal Reserve CONTROLS this process by mandating minimum reserve ratios, interest rates, and by selling government bonds.

I am trying to be nice here, but money creation is an important role of banks and the Federal Reserve controls that process and the liberatarians in this country who think a completely unregulated economy would work are just plain uneducated on micro/macroeconomics.

I'd love for you to tell me how the Federal Reserve creates the boom and bust parts of our economy. In actuality they prevent both from happening and you wont' even respond:)

-Dave

Posted by: Dave | May 4, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Dave,

The federal reserve bank is what causes the boom and bust cycle, and actually caused the great depression. So much for the good of the country, we've been swindled by the central bank. As Ron Paul says, inflation is actually a tax because it devalues our dollars. I mean something has to be wrong if a private central bank can just create money out of thin air.

Posted by: brody | May 4, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Why would Ron Paul want to get rid of the Federal reserve? You do realize that without the federal reserve there would be no force in place to prevent massive swings in the business cyle right?

Oh I forgot, liberatarians only care about individual free will and could care less about the overall good of the country.

Read and economics book sometime Mary Tyler.

Posted by: Dave | May 4, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul has my vote, and I'm going to send him $100 once I get paid next week. Never have I sent politician money before, never really saw the point considering what they go and do with it. His idea of eliminating the IRS, income tax and Federal Reserve is a great idea! I watched one of his you tube clips from the house of reps and he said our $1 money is only worth 4 cents today, wow that's not very much. Every other politician has been bought by Wall Street and went to expensive Ivy League private schools and is related to someone who works at ABC news. Ron seems like the sort of guy who doesn't have that type of background. The best interest of the American people is at his heart.

Posted by: Mary Taylor | May 4, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | May 4, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

i can't believe no one is mentioning giuliani's bordering on insane comment that america has the world's best healthcare system. yeah, giules, for everyone EXCEPT the 45 million who got NOTHING.

moreover, with every democrat saying we should get out of iraq, and every republican itching to bomb iran, no matter who's nominated 2008 we may get the starkest choice in candidates since '64.

Posted by: david | May 4, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Zouk likes lite beer instead of beer and he must be the same on freedom, liking politicians and judges dictating what we can do with our bodies, instead of making those decisions like free citizens.

The reverence to Reagan may get out the GOP base, it might even save the GOP from disappearing, but voters want freedom and equal rights to be more than a constitutional after thought.

We will break the glass ceiling in November 08.

Robert Chapman
Lansing,NY

Posted by: robert chapman | May 4, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Another thing, I do understand the fear of meddling with the constitution etc, but seriously, I can't believe that 80% of the republican candidates believe that the president must be American born. It is outdated and just plain wrong. If someone is born overseas, moves to the US when they are 2, gets citizenship etc, by the time they are 40 are they any less American than those born in America? And if you are willing to allow Governors (and secretaries of state such as Allbright)to be born elsewhere, why not presidents? It just makes so little sense to me.

Posted by: Aussie view | May 4, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Just finished watching the first part of the debate on Iraq/Iran/terrorism etc. Wow, what a bunch of warmongers they are. Please America, do not elect a Republican for president next year. It's not what the world needs.

Posted by: Aussie view | May 4, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I thought Romney did do well.

I knew nothing about Ron Paul going into the debate and left with the feeling that he is a lot closer to me on many issues than any of these other guys.

Posted by: fulch | May 4, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

this just in:

May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said he would consider entering the 2008 presidential campaign as an independent.

An independent bid ``is possible,'' Hagel, 60, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt,'' scheduled to air today. ``

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aWPuH8ejxG_E&refer=politics

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 4, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Romney won the debate. He came across as the center-right candidate and seemed presidential. McCain started poorly, but recovered. He won by not losing.

None of the second tier were particularly impressive - which ultimately makes them losers. (although Ron Paul's supporters seem to make up for in fervor what they lack in numbers). Giuliani was the real loser. It's absolutely disgusting how he is twisting himself into pretzels and dodging every question with "let the states decide." Don't we still get to know his position?

Posted by: Zach | May 4, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

for America?


stop outsourcing , arrest _employers_ of illegals...

regard our infrastructure as a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE...


seperate the instigators of IRAQ from profiting from it by Nationalizing BIG OIL and using that money to address problems with our infrastructure that make us vulnerable to foreign takeover..


ON TOP OF THaT, conscripting the men and women employed by war profiteers... Halliburton/Blackwater/Bechtel/Carlyle Group and subsidiaries

would give us the troops we need and at a better price...


mandate 3 or 4 day work weeks for FEDERAL EMPLOYEEs where practicable , and mandate telecommuting on FEDERAL jobs where most of the work is done by computers...


require that all US companies have at least 95 Percent [%] of their workers in all branches by AMERICAN...


start working on city infrastructures to make living within them a safe , pleasureable experience and set them up for commuting ... rail systems, bus lanes, etcetera...


start working on managing resources by preserving them and making less work to recover from them by not using them...


reduce population load, by taking care of the citizens that you have and educating them...

and so on... I know labels are more important to you than actions, but deal with it.

Posted by: what would be a good thing | May 4, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

context of reality...


relationships, if the politicians are okay making up stories , even about evolution , then


they really cant judge the reality around them well enough to make


rational decisions.


Do you understand that much?


If your reality is so impaired by reading a book, that you can not see the world in front of you,


arent you too reality impaired to be holding any boxes that destroy other countries on command????? IF GAWD speaks to you and tells you that ISLAM IS EVIL and needs to be destroyed are you not just a little toooooooooooo crazee to be president of the United States of AMERICA???


or am I missing something?

Posted by: HELLO | May 4, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

There was one clear winner and one clear loser in the debate last night: The Democrats and Chris Matthews, respectively.

The debate was a fiasco. Chris Matthews was in way, way over his head. While the hyper-manic out-of-focus Matthews may have some charms on Hardball, these skills serve neither the candidates nor the moderator in a debate.

Further, couldn't have Mattews left his Clinton-bashing at home for one night, at least?

The DNC should send Matthews, MSNBC, and The Politico a thank you note and a big bouquet of flowers.

Posted by: JoeCHI | May 4, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul will never get even come close to winning a primary once his cousin Ru Paul the transvestite begins compaigning for him next month right after Memorial Day. Rudy dressing in drag will be tame news once Ru Paul hits the campaign trail for Ron.

Posted by: Xzacklee | May 4, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

judge crater-more than that, its stupid. come on gop how about running on ideals not against boogymen.

Posted by: spartan | May 4, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

OK, am I the only one who thinks that referring to OBL as a 'loser' in a debate in which he did not appear is more than a little goofy?

On the other hand, actually having him in the debate would've been the very definition of interesting. I'm absolutely sure he would've joined Huckabee, Brownback and Tancredo in raising his hand to indicate that he too does not believe in evolution.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 4, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans are paying attention, and want to put another elephant in office, their only logical choice is Ron Paul. He overwhelmingly captured the democrat's votes last night, and for the true conservative republican, his is the only voice that rings true.

Posted by: RondaM | May 4, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Rudy has blown his position as the GOP's frontrunner. He can get it back, but that will take some inspired performances; not the poor showing that was on display last night.

More debate analysis + political radio program today at 6
http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: mpp | May 4, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

in a unscientific poll on msnbc,the most suprising result was how well both mitt romney and ron paul did!

with the questions:who stood out in the pack,Who showed the most leadership qualities,and who was convincing the top 3 were paul,mitt and,rudy.

on the other hand the most rehearsted was was rudy and the most evasive was john mccain.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18436681/
you can still vote there. remember its a unscientific poll

Posted by: spartan | May 4, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Andy R - Well, she may have her reasons for not admitting it: alienating the Jewish vote in N.Y. ? Who knows. I care more about where she and the other candidates stand now. If she will get out of Iraq, use Congress in the roll the Constitution dictates for it in making wars and sopport *all* of the Bill Of Rights (which means closing down Guantanimo for Unconstitutionally imprisoning people, shut down or completely houseclean the CIA for toture chambers and spying on American's, and quit these silly notions about gun control), curtail outsourcing and guest worker programs, and make life a living hell for the airchair career swine in the Penatgon, I will be a happy camper!

Posted by: MikeB | May 4, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Attention Political junkies: We have an interview with NY Times Besteller Greg Palast here: http://soonerthought.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=211192

Posted by: SoonerThought.com | May 4, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson's trophy wife is 30 years his junior. That alone would make for an interesting campaign.

Tommy Thompson said it's OK for an employer to fire someone just because s/he is gay. His rationale was something along the lines of "they should be permitted to do what's best for their business." Huh? Does that justify other kinds of discrimination, too?

Posted by: Progressive | May 4, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Let's nominate the two "non-candidates" from Tennessee: Al Gore and Fred Thompson. That would offer voters a stark choice.

Posted by: Progressive | May 4, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul did indeed "win" the debate. He had a philosophically cohesive position and didn't give a damn if it got him any votes or not. He's a no-hoper but he might well make the primaries interesting be being the traditional conservative conscience of the Republicans.

I think McCain's problem is that he's not completely comfortable with what he's doing. He's trying to position himself to get through the primaries without doing too much irreparable damage to win the general elections. McCain DOES like straight talk but he's being forced to curb his natural inclinations and speak in sound bites. It just doesn't suit him.

Posted by: Anon | May 4, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Andy R writes "Hillary now wants to revoke Bush's authority on the war, but she STILL won't say her vote was a mistake. I just don't get it."

Female logic?

Posted by: bsimon | May 4, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Andy, I think you were a little off in the GOP opinion of Reagan. He is not their king, he is their god. I don't say this in the sense that I love Reagan, but that, as a Christian, I can't help but notice the irony that the party that claims to be the party of God deifies Ronald Reagan, and did the same with George W. Bush until the bottom fell out and they decided that they didn't want to die for his sins.

Posted by: Steve | May 4, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

You know what kills me Mike. Is that Hillary now wants to revoke Bush's authority on the war, but she STILL won't say her vote was a mistake. I just don't get it.

Posted by: Andy R | May 4, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I am a liberal Democrat, so I may not be the best person to answer the question over who won and who lost, but I think that in terms of presentation, the big winner last night was Ron Paul. He was able to articulate a coherent philosophy and didn't sound like a total panderer.

I thought that Huckabee usually did well, although less effective than when I have seen him on the Sunday talk circuit. There were times that he seemed to be put on the defensive, especially in relation to the comment on Romney and faith, although he seemed to eventually get on his footing.

I thought that Tommy Thompson definitely had the worst night. He seemed uncomfortable and his answers seemed to very very stilted.

The night was also bad for McCain and Giuliani. Never mind the grin after talking about bin Laden (You could right pages on how bad that was.), he seemed off balance the whole night, and I think that the night for McCain was summed up by his pander on evolution. It seemed like a lot of the Republicanswere in that similar mode of "don't want to offend the base, but I don't want to come across as a nut for the general, either."

Giuliani had a bad night, partially because of the focus on social issues, although I will give him credit for his performance in the Sunni/Shi'ite question. Still, of the top tier candidates, because of his position at the top, I think he had the worst night.

Posted by: Steve | May 4, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

You know who else won the debate, Ronald Reagan. Who it seems not only single handidly won the cold war, created the greatest eight years in America's history, but also taught blind poor people in Equador how to read braile in spanish.

I swear if I hear one more candidate say "I will be a Republican in the mold of Ronald Reagan, blah blah blah" I am going to puke. That goes the same for the democrats and Bill Clinton too.
This love affair and "kingly" treatment our former presidents get is frightening. Didn't the original GW (Washington that is) warn us against this.

Posted by: Andy R | May 4, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The best thing to come out of these debates has been to polarize the Republican candidates from the Democratic candidates. I am delighted to see Hillary Clinton at long last find liberalism and sponsor a bill to reconsider authorization for the Iraqi invasion and is talking about passing the same cutoff of funds legislation over and over and over until Bush chokes on it. Also, the public gets to contrast the anti-science zealots and souless corporate owned sleezeballs of the RNC with Democrats. The contrast is getting interesting and is attracting a lot of notice.

As for Romney, Chris he doesn't have a chance. The "eat their own" parnoid nutballs of the Fundimentalist movement are still showing "The God Makers" and wont support Romney no matter what. Plus, he *attempted* to look as deranged and ignorant as the rest of the candidates on that stage. What a sad demise to the Grand Old Party.

Posted by: MikeB | May 4, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The loser was hillary clinton. no matter which r gets the nod, the base and the middle will come out in droves to defeat her.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 4, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Bin Laden lost the debate? Man, that guy just can't catch a break!

Posted by: Blarg | May 4, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Sen. John McCain of Arizona was animated, although he had a momentary "deer in headlights" moment when asked directly if he believed in evolution.

He did give the old straight talk answer of "yes".... before shifting into his Falwell pandering-gear by adding when he's in the Grand Canyon, he sees God's hand over the horizon.

Actually, what McCain sees over the horizon is Joe Lieberman's hand waving his Straight Talk Express into the lane for presidential race losers.

When asked what Democrat he would have in his cabinet if he became president, McCain named Lieberman with the same passion usually reserved for a hot prom date.

From:
http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | May 4, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Yet another article that lacks any mention of the true winner of the debate, RON PAUL! Everyone is talking about him. Even just by looking at these comments it is clear that people want to hear more about him. It's just ridiculous that the media is still ignoring him!

Posted by: 4ronpaul | May 4, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I think it's clear that Ron Paul won this debate if you're looking at substance, principle, common-sense, and liberty. He kept his answers short and sweet, and although he was somewhat snubbed, it only took a few minutes to get his message of liberty out. If you're looking at the best windbags, then Giuliani, McCain, and Romney won in that order.

Posted by: brody | May 4, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Best debate wrapup on http://www.solidpolitics.com

Posted by: William | May 4, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani is toast. I can't imagine any evangelical voting for him in the primary, and the nominee won't get the nomination without the evangelical vote. All those national head-to-head polls between Giuliani and a Dem don't matter. This implosion of his is just beginning. (By the way, anyone see the Donna Hanover Giuliani ad from 1993 on youtube circulating these days? Ouch.)

Posted by: dc voter | May 4, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

These debates in both parties should help weed out some of the more clownish candidates -- not that we won't be left with two clownish candidates, of course.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | May 4, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Romney seemed too polished, a little too rehearsed and slick. But I really liked his answer about the separation of church and state, and how it's our enemies that use the issue of religion as divisive and a reason to hate each other.

His bigger message that we should not fall into this trap was magnanimous and patriotic. Anyone who can elevate the debate in this fashion deserves to be taken seriously to lead America.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 4, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

If any of the candidates we saw last evening are elected, this nation will continue to be in deep trouble. I also believe that holds true for the democratic party candidates we have seen.

Posted by: MGM IN CA. | May 4, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if you can say Huckabee won becuase of his stupid admitance that he doesn't believe in Evolution. That sound bite will haunt him. I am not saying he lost but I don't think he won either.

Guiliani should have seriously thought about Unity 08, cause there is no way that he wins the GOP primary now. It wasn't that he was pro-choice, its that he was wishy-washy.
He said "I am pro-choice but I it would be OK if Roe was overturned. Oh yeah and I support federal funding for abortions too. Oh but I would put strict constructionist judges on the court." Can I get a Flip......

Posted by: Andy R | May 4, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

McCain raging that he would follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell, and then immediately grinning widely was as spooky a Manchurian Candidate-like moment as one might come across.

I suppose he hopes we never ponder why he never tried to convince Bush to grab Osama Bin Forgotten when we had him cornered in Tora Bora rather than rushing off to begin his folly in Iraq.

That might have demonstrated resolve, leadership, and the willingness to alienate Republican voters~~all can't-dos for McCain since 2000.

Posted by: filmex | May 4, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

McCain looked lifeless and like he was running out of gas. He may have been the elder statesman on stage, but he did not look presidential. His comment about "following Bin Laden to the gates of Hell" was immediately followed by an inappropriate smirk. What was up with that?

I do agree that Romney helped his case the best. He would probably be the Democrats' worst nightmare. Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee did well too. Look for their momentum to go on up.

Rudy is going to have to face a lot of scrutiny over the next few weeks. Now is when I think the conventional wisdom will finally catch up with him regarding social issues.

I think Huckabee eliminated Brownback as the bearer of the "social conservative" mantle. Gilmore might as well drop out. Tancredo seemed to have too much difficulty articulating his positions, though perhaps out of nervousness. Thompson didn't seem to distinguish himself at all and seemed to be competing with Gilmore in terms of gubernatorial experience, taxes, and vetoes.

Don't underestimate Ron Paul. I think there's still a large Goldwater Republican segment alive and kicking.

Duncan Hunter is my dark horse. He seems to combine the most of what conservatives are looking for.

Posted by: The 7-10 | May 4, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Romney came in unknown, left owning the stage for me. I can see him as our next president, and now will be watching him closely as this unfolds. I can't see the others at the "head of the table", but Romney clearly stood out. His hair even looked like Reagan.

Posted by: watchingrepub | May 4, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

By the way, why is it that Brownback's implied threat that he would go to war with Iran right away if elected gotten more attention?

Posted by: J. Crozier | May 4, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Obviously as a liberal I wasn't the target audience in this debate, but I thought every single one of the people on that stage were pathetic in one way or another. Most either came off as overly focus poll driven politicians searching for the "correct" answer (McCain, Romney), stuttering idiots (Giulani, Ron Paul), or caveman theocrats (pretty much everybody else).

Are there no genuine statesmen left in the Republican party willing to actually speak from their heart or challenge the lunatic right wing base to actually reexamine some of their views?

I suppose it IS a bit too early to expect that though. At this stage, most of the major contenders are just trying to avoid saying something momentum killing to early on.

Posted by: J. Crozier | May 4, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Why no mention of Ron Paul? As the only GOP candidate in line with the nation on Iraq, you'd think he'd be a winner.

Viewers are now aware that someone in the GOP is not backing the Bush pre-emptive war doctrine or engaging in fear-mongering over Iran.

Posted by: idahoivan | May 4, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

what no post debate polls chris?

Posted by: spartan | May 4, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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