Fox News was nice enough to stream the South Carolina debates at a time I could watch them. My roommates did not want to watch them because 1) Jim doesn’t care and never votes and 2) Ken hates all of them, but might vote for Romney (he thinks all attacks on Romney are a bigoted attack on mormons anyway). Not wanting to deal with that and because I do care and I do not think the public-attacks from the presidential candidates are attacks on mormons, I decided to stream this debate.
I watched one of the earlier debates (a long time ago, Huntsman, Cain and Bachman were still in it) and I thought would be good to watch another now that the campaigns are narrowing and the election cycle is maturing (as in ripe fruit, not behavior).
Here’s how I felt about each candidate (worst to best):
- Rick Perry. Perry needs to drop out. His comments are pointless and he has nothing positive to contribute. Honestly, who cares about the tax stuff anyway until a nominee is picked?
- Rick Santorum. What a snarky little bastard. While not completely eliminating my vote for him, he came close by being a trite little bitch.
- Ron Paul. Paul is a lightweight debater and his performance tonight showed it. He seemed distracted and out of touch. His answers were jingoistic and tailored for his followers. He had nothing new to say and this debate proved it. Paul is unelectable. I cannot vote for him for two reasons: 1) he is not capable of compromise and 2) his international policy positions are naive bordering on dangerous.
- Mitt Romney. While not losing the debate, he did not win either. There was no passion and by his very nuanced answers showed why the Republican base doesn’t trust him. He is just too slick. He was able to avoid being hurt by the constant attacks and he was finally able to stick it to Gingrich regarding his Super PAC. The SuperPAC discussion, though, was the only time he showed any type of passion at all.
- Newt Gingrich. Newt was very passionate tonight. He is a skilled debater and I agree with a lot of people that he could beat President Obama in a debate. He thundered on and on, but at the same time he showed why he is offensive and out of touch. He reacted inappropriately to Juan Williams’ questions and should have been a little more circumspect (sltrib). He also railed on Romney for things that Romney has no control over, like the Super PAC issue. Newt’s behavior as Speaker and for closing down government three times makes him persona-non-grata for me. He is way too emotional and allows his anger to govern him.
With Jon Huntsman dropping out of the race, my vote for president is narrowed down to three people: Rick Santorum (and he is about to loose my vote), Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Here are the issues that were not covered or were under covered that I am interested:
- SOPA/PIPA and the growing problems of both rampant online piracy and the growing constriction of online freedom of expression
- Specifics: What would the US do to resolve middle-east conflicts (or wether we should get involved at all anyway) and where should the US stand in respect to the Arab spring
- Specifics: What should the US be doing to defend itself against growing cyber-attacks
- Specifics: What benchmarks American students should be meeting in our k-12 and college education systems
- Specifics: How to get our government size compared to GDP down to 17-18% (govt. is too big, but the candidates never discuss plans to reduce it–the oops discussion and 999 of past debates were at best superficial, I want more)
- Specifics: How to resolve the growing cultural battles in the US beyond abortion, gay-marriage and guns (these positions are beat to death and I just don’t care for political answers anymore)
I’m not going to watch the next debate. I’ll read about it. I think a call needs to go out to Rick Perry to just drop out, he has no chance.