I’m so glad I had friends here with whom to watch the debate — it was helpful to see their reactions as the other candidates absolutely tore into Gov. Romney. As the debate wore on, I wasn’t sure who was winning… but I was amazed at the grace and passion evident in Gov. Romney’s responses.
The other candidates threw all they had at him, but to no avail. For some reason, I figured Huck would be buoyed by his Iowa success and McCain would be intoxicated by his high New Hampshire polling. However, almost all the attention was given to Gov. Romney. He also benefited by his great positioning on stage, and you could see his face in many of the shots.
By the end of the night, we all agreed that Gov. Romney had really pulled it off beautifully… even though he was, by all accounts, very ill tonight.
Anyway, some random thoughts of others:
“Romney showed a steadiness under fire, sounded like a guy who knows what he’s talking about on a number of issues, and introduced more of his biography than he has at debates.”
“Huckabee has said nothing noteworthy, because he hasn’t done anything noteworthy or proposed anything noteworthy.”
“Let me also echo K-Lo’s atta-boy for Romney for standing up to McCain’s demagoguery about pharmaceutical companies. McCain’s performance was shameful on this point, and Romney deserves credit for calling him on it.”
At certain moments it had the effect of making Romney look more sympathetic, at others it made him look like the only adult on stage, and at others it made him look like he must be the front-runner, since people were so determined to take him down a peg. McCain in particular seemed to go too far, looking and sounding downright snide at times.
Okay, and one more.
“If you were looking for substance across the board on issues, I think Romney was the clear winner in tonight’s debate. McCain’s well-known temperament problems lingered barely below the surface much of the evening, especially when someone dared disagree with him. Except of course, for his hugs for Hillary and slaps on the back for Fred. This is a change election and old hands from the Senate will not get it done.”
Although there was no big “gotcha” moment during which McCain really faltered — honestly, this is why I was watching — Gov. Romney was just really impressive. Great job to the Governor and to all in the campaign who helped make this happen.
Now I can breathe again. Until tomorrow night.