I missed the debate in Oakland because of a previous commitment. Tonight I watched it on You Tube. While Perry’s blank out is receiving most of the attention, I noticed that Santorum appears to have made a great deal of improvement compared to his performance at previous debates. I doubt that his improved presentation will move him up in the ranks, but it might set him up for the second slot on the ticket.
Gingrich seemed to be getting the audience’s attention and agreement. Too bad he has flip-flopped and has heavy baggage. He may be gaining on the second slot like Santorum.
Bachmann has the knowledge, policy and ability to articulate them, but has fallen out of the limelight; not getting the face time she deserves. In my jaundiced view, Romney, Perry & Huntsman have one common element: shifty eyes. To me, they appear untrustworthy.
Cain seems to cling too tightly to his 999 plan, fearing to stray far from it. But the audience appreciated his handling of the venomous questions about the harassment accusations. It is likely that the controversy will backfire on his detractors by increasing his media attention, giving Cain more air time to explain his plan and policy positions.
Ron Paul appeared to be having a lucid moment, articulating solid economic theory; he does best when avoiding national security & foreign policy.
The thing that struck me about this debate was the apparent antagonism of the questioners. The woman in the center seemed to be shooting daggers with her eyes. The baldy with the grey goatee appeared at one point to be suffering from a fire ant infestation in his hemorrhoids.
The tight time format with multiple candidates is not suited to major issues such as economic policy. Thirty seconds is not enough to outline an alternative to Obama Don’t Care.
I have a better idea, inspired by Jamie Glazov’s Front Page Magazine symposiums: a series of single issue forensic debates carried out by email. The emails would be arranged on a web page similar to Glazov’s symposiums. That would allow more deliberate and extended statements & responses and facilitate viewing by readers limited to low bandwidth dial up connections.
There is more than one way to solve the problem; the debates could be done with You Tube videos. A Facebook group would be another alternative that could facilitate mass audience participation. It may be too late for the primary campaign, but creative minds could cook something up in time for the general election campaign next year.