The EFM Feature

I thought Mitt did extremely well, but I’m the first to admit I’m biased. ┬áSo let’s go to a commentator with unquestioned credentials — a person who’s yet to jump on the Mitt bandwagon — Michael Barone:

Bottom line. This was a New Hampshire debate, but it has serious ramifications for Iowa as well. I have disparaged the idea that Romney is the frontrunner; I continue to think that given the polls no one is the frontrunner. But Romney behaved like a frontrunner tonight, one with confidence and sense of command and with the adroitness to step aside from two major issue challenges (Romneycare, his various views on abortion) he faces. Romney has wisely eschewed the Iowa caucuses this time, leaving as two major competitors there Pawlenty (from next door Minnesota and a genuine religious conservative) and Bachmann (not only from next door Minnesota but also born and raised in Iowa). Presumably they will both be competing not only in the Iowa precinct caucuses, but in the August 13 Iowa Republican straw poll in Ames. I think Bachmann emerged from this debate a more serious competitor and Pawlenty not a stronger one than he was before.

Read the whole thing.


Comments and Discussion

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One Response to Michael Barone’s Take on the Debate

  1. Bob Miller says:

    I’ve been thinking of a Romney/Bachmann ticket for some time now. But I really do like the idea of her as Speaker. She could be a big assist to Romney because of her knowledge of the congressional machinery and players. Mitt will have to finesse his way around some of his previous AWG comments, abortion, and healthcare. But I think he did quite well. I really liked the idea from Pawlenty about the zero tax rate for manufacturers, or was that Santorum? (At this point the two blend together) I loved the way the candidates stood together against the provocations of the CNN moderator and reporters. They did not give the Obama campaign any sound-bites to use against them. The whole muslim in the cabinet thing was unfortunate for Cain. Ron Paul always sounds so intriguing, until he makes that hard left over the cliff on the war and national defense. Newt could have some good exchanges with Romney but he has so much baggage himself he can’t risk landing any big blows without exposing some weak points of his own. I did like his comment about putting half the staff at Homeland Security on the border.

    I think we may see the gloves come off in the Fox News debate (friendlier territory) especially if some of the second-tier candidates feel their chances slipping and try to make their mark on one of the leaders. Without Huck and Trump it sounded like a bunch of adults having an intelligent conversation. It was very refreshing.

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