Just came in to see the debate, about twenty minutes late.
(David and I had a book signing — don’t judge me! But do buy our book!)
What did I miss? I came in just as Pawlenty was attacking Michele Bachman! Wow — has all of it been this feisty?
Here is what Chris Cillizza says to watch for tonight:
No more Mr. Nice Guy: Pawlenty ducked a chance to attack former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney at the debate in June and it cost him; his campaign went into a free-fall that he has struggled to turn around since. Pawlenty desperately needs to show signs of life in advance of the Ames Straw Poll, which amounts to a make or break moment for his campaign. The best (only?) way for him to do that is to, as our Post colleague Amy Gardner put it, come out swinging. The most obvious target for Pawlenty is Bachmann who is running ahead of him in Iowa and who has largely eclipsed him in recent months. But, attacking a woman — and the only woman on stage — in a debate setting is a dangerous game for Pawlenty that must be carefully considered. Perhaps Pawlenty bypasses a direct Bachmann attack — due to the peril associated with it — and tries to make up for lost time by slamming Romney, the race’s frontrunner. What Pawlenty must avoid is coming across as simply swinging wildly in all directions in hopes of landing a verbal blow. That would reek of desperation, which is a not a scent often associated with winners.
Exciting to see how this all plays out! Go, Mitt!