The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

No Time for Final Wisdom in Tampa

Posted on | September 13, 2011 | 11 Comments

TV satellite trucks in front of Monday night’s debate venue.

TAMPA, Fla.
My flight boards at 11:30 a.m. for the return flight home, and so there’s no time now for any elaborate explanation of what happened here during the CNN/Tea Party Express debate. Here’s a quick survey of headlines at Memeorandum:

Perry Wears a Bull’s-Eye at G.O.P. Debate
New York Times 

Bachmann: ‘I’m offended’
Politico

Romney’s Win
— Weekly Standard

The frontrunner has no clothes
Washington Post

The general consensus of the national press corps seems to be that, whoever won last night’s debate, Rick Perry definitely lost. And who am  I to argue with the general consensus? My own take on the debate — which I finished at 1 a.m. in an Ybor City taco joint — is online at The American Spectator:

Rick Perry came into last night’s debate here with a target on his back, leading in the polls only a month after his late entry into the Republican presidential campaign. His fellow GOP candidates fired at the Texas governor all night, but it wasn’t until Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said the phrase “innocent little 12-year-old girls” that he suffered any serious wound.
Bachmann’s poignant phrase was used in reference to Perry’s controversial 2007 executive order mandating that every sixth-grade girl in Texas get vaccinated with Gardasil, a new drug to prevent the sexually transmitted disease human papilloma virus (HPV). Perry’s decision was subsequently voided by the Texas legislature, and he has said he regrets trying to implement it by executive order, but continues to defend it as “making a difference in young people’s lives,” as he said during Monday’s debate.
Bachmann drew cheers from the Tea Party audience when she said Perry’s decision “to have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong.” And she also implied that Perry’s decision was corrupt, mentioning his former chief of staff’s position as a lobbyist for Merck, the company that makes Gardasil and a contributor to Perry’s gubernatorial campaign. Perry responded by pointing out that Merck donated a mere $5,000 to his campaign, out of $30 million he raised. “If you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended,” Perry said, to which Bachmann replied: “I’m offended for all the little girls and the parents who didn’t have a choice.” . . .

Read the whole thing. My friend Ali Akbar, who was in the debate hall, said that three women he talked to who supported Perry before the debate had changed their minds after the debate. It seems that the Gardasil issue really hurts with the Mommy Vote. But there’s no time to think about what that means right now, so you’ll have to hash it out amongst yourselves in the comments.

That flight out of Tampa International Airport won’t wait for the final wisdom and there’s only time now for the most important sentence in the English language: Hit the freaking tip jar!

Conservative Action Fund treasurer Shaun McCutcheon, Republican consultant Ali Akbar and former Georgia congressional candidate Ray McKinney at the Ybor City taco joint after the debate.

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Comments

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  • http://adriennescatholiccorner.blogspot.com/ Adrienne

    Whoa!  I was jealous because you were attending the debate, but now I come to find out you ate in Ybor City.  Some of the best food I ever ate was in Ybor City.  Damn!  Now I’m really sad…

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple
  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Well, the last accurate report from ABC News came while Howard K. Smith was the anchor, so . . .

    But if Bachmann and her Vaccine Truther Nuts won, send along congratulations to Obama, because his reelection depends upon us nominating someone just Bachmann crazy.

  • http://twitter.com/marriedrambler Andrew Patrick

    I didn’t even watch the debate, but if Michelle Bachmann plans on campaigning on the Precious Bodily Fluids platform, she has ceased to be a person of interest for me.

    Obama is flailing while the economy burns, and we’re wasting time shrieking about vaccinations? Seriously?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1619619953 Shawn Gillogly

    She didn’t hit Perry with “PBF,” she hit Perry with Crony Capitalism.  And that DOES sting. Because that’s an issue that ought to concern Conservatives, and certainly rang true to the hall.

    Now I don’t think Gardasil or the Texas Dream Act are lethal issues to Perry. But I do think he has to do a better job of defending his decisions than he did last night.

    That said, I didn’t think Romney did anything meaningful. My wife, who is non-political, watched it with me, and she was turned off by him completely.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1262804069 Sarah Rumpf

    The debate winner was all of us who got to have those wonderful Ybor City tacos 🙂 

    Great to see you, Stacy. Keep up the good work.

  • Anonymous

    Reminder: Shaun’s single.

    I’m just sayin’ …

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