Posted on | October 11, 2011 | 42 Comments
. . . but we do get Da Tech Guy who’s in New Hampshire live-blogging the debate at Dartmouth College, where the moderators have been up to the typical “liberals-asking-Republicans-gotcha-questions” tricks.
Does anyone remember when they had that Democratic debate in 2008 with George Will, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Kristol and Byron York as moderators?
No? Me neither, because it didn’t happen.
And yet we get Karen Tumulty questioning Republicans.
Because that’s “fair.”
UPDATE: The post-debate wrapup on Bloomberg, which I found online, seems to indicate Cain got a lot of heat over his 9-9-9 tax plan, but defended it pretty well. Perry did nothing to reverse his slide.
Maggie’s Notebook did some excellent live-blogging and comments: “Sheesh! The moderators were terrible.”
Linked by The Lonely Conservative — thanks!
UPDATE II: Da Tech Guy now has his own Memeorandum thread, which is kinda cool because he didn’t have credentials. He’d told me that the credentialing process seemed to require jumping through too many hoops. So he got there four hours early, set up in the “spin room,” acted as if he belonged there, and nobody bothered to ask for his credentials. As Roxeanne DeLuca said: “You’ve created a monster.”
The Wall Street Journal live-blogged the debate and VodkaPundit drunk-blogged it. Given the weak penetration of Bloomberg TV — what percentage of homes get that channel? — this will almost certainly be the least-viewed of all the GOP debates this year. And considering how lousy the moderators were, that’s a good thing.
UPDATE III: Richard Dunham of the Houston Chronicle:
After being the central figure in his first three Republican presidential debates and a self-described “pinata” for the rest of the field, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was largely a bystander Tuesday night as GOP presidential hopefuls focused their attacks on the new surging conservative, Herman Cain.
While most of the two-hour discussion at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., focused on the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO’s “9-9-9? economic plan and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 59-point economic plan, Perry told moderator Charlie Rose of Bloomberg News that he wasn’t ready to present a detailed plan just yet.
“I’m not going to lay it out all for you tonight,” he said. “Mitt has had six years to be working on a plan. I have been in this for about eight weeks.”
During the debate co-sponsored by Bloomberg News, the Washington Post and WBIN-TV, candidates focused most of their fire on Cain, whose recent rise in the polls earned him a center seat alongside Romney, relegating Perry to the second ring with Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
UPDATE IV: From Michelle Malkin’s debate recap:
Rick Perry once again failed to deliver. He was languid. Passive. Half-hearted. Listless. . . .
I’m really, really trying to be nice. . . .
Fail. Texas-sized fail.
Malkin quotes Philip Klein on Twitter: “Perry makes Pawlenty look like a world champion debater.” T-Paw’s a good comparison, although I could think of a better one, but Malkin and Klein are both too young to remember Ed Muskie, the biggest front-runner flop in American political history.
I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but everything you ever need to know about presidential campaigns, you can learn by reading one book: Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72.
And it’s funny as hell, too.
UPDATE V: John Hinderaker at Powerline:
Rick Perry, during the half of the debate that I saw, bordered on invisible. I don’t know whether the pundits who say this was make or break for Perry are right, but it certainly was not a strong night for him. One thing that strikes me as odd is how little mileage Perry gets out of his job creation record in Texas. He mentioned it a time or two, but, as in prior debates, he didn’t use it effectively as the foundation of his claim to be the strongest candidate.
Perry came into the race on Aug. 13 and had a double-digit lead on Romney by Labor Day — without ever having debated. Perry’s support started to soften after his OK-but-not-great performance in the Sept. 7 Reagan Library debate. Perry clearly lost the Sept. 12 Tampa debate, and his performance at the Sept. 22 Orlando debate was a Hindenburg-at-Lakehurst catastrophe.
It’s simple: Perry is lousy at debating, and these televised debates are the major events of the campaign. Notice by comparison that Cain, while perhaps not an Oxford Union debate champ, has nonetheless learned the trick of deflecting an opponent’s attack, not “getting into the tall grass” of a detailed defense, but rather using it as an opportunity to repeat his own message.
We’ll see if Cain’s rivals, anxious to stop his surging momentum, will be able to land more solid blows next Tuesday in the Las Vegas debate. And we’ll be there in Vegas.