I was just watching the CNN GOP Debate and here's my take on it. Most pundits expected two things to have happened - Romney to be attacked by fellow GOP candidates because of his status as a frontrunner, or Obama to be discredited and disparaged as an inept and failed President.
Well, the former did not happen, only the latter. It was all Obambardment!
But like all such debates, we often analyze the candidates' performances for any standouts, and/or who emerged as a winner or winners.
Overall, no one really scored high enough to stand out from the rest though I think Newt Gingrich had a slight edge. He showed his usual brilliant side on political issues and factual knowledge. His main problem however lies in the trustworthy area and therefore is still not seen as someone who can become an effective leader. This was evident last week as most of his campaign staff quit. He might become a good advisor to the President more than being one.
Michele Bachmann was good too, although I did not detect any Presidential vibes from her. Her main highlight was using the debate to announce her official filing of the papers to enter the race.
Tim Pawlenty performed well, though he lost some points when he backed off from his recent criticism of Romney, in which he used the "ObamneyCare" label to accuse Romney of being a major contributor to ObamaCare. Even when John King (moderator) pressured him into yielding, he intently avoided any direct confrontation with Romney. Instead he circumvented the whole accusation.
Rick Santorum seems too straight and almost too pure and undefiled. He is "Huckabeeish" and therefore may be a favorite of the Evangelicals and fellow Catholics. He even exhibits a choir boy countenance. Notwithstanding he seems a viable candidate.
Ron Paul was his old self (no pun intended). As a former doctor, part of his introduction included the fact that he delivered hundreds (or thousands) of babies. But tonight he did not deliver! He's still the same libertarian and constitutionalist from previous debates. Nothing new, although he is convinced and told Anderson Cooper that Americans are starting to "come his way".
Herman Cain had an average performance though he exposed his lack of political executive experience by dwelling on rote textbook approach. His insistence on "first understand the problem" as the answer to almost every question did not leave a good impression of someone who wants to be President. Too pedantic as far as I'm concerned.
Mitt Romney at the end of the debate managed to retain his frontrunner status. For one thing, none of his fellow GOP foes showed any desire to attack him, and another he managed to articulate his answers as always. Again, Pawlenty, the anticipated Romney nemesis in the debate, backed off from a direct criticism of Romney's assumed role in Obamacare. Personally, I think that the rest of the candidates did the right thing not to focus on Romney, especially for those who may be eyeing the possibility of being picked by Romney to be his running mate in the General Elections. It may very well be his/her own path to being President in the next several years, if Romney prevails. Moreover, the GOP is looking for someone who can take Obama head on, and so far, at least in the polls, Romney seems to be that candidate.
Interestingly enough, in the 2008 Elections, it was widely believed that the one GOP candidate that the Democrats feared most was Romney. Will their fears be finally realized? Hmmmm....