Despite having lived in South Carolina my entire life (excepting college and law school) I've never been to Myrtle Beach, but that's another post. Therefore, all five of the remaining candidates have something on me there. Or maybe I have something on them.
In any event, the debate in Myrtle Beach, SC was a wild one. The crowd was so loud with cheers and boos that I think they might have been serving alcohol during the debate. If not, they should start doing so, but maybe not in South Carolina. A quick breakdown:
Ron Paul: The clear loser tonight. He really hurt his campaign, getting booed so harshly by the crowd it led Rick Perry to reference "The Gong Show". Paul really has some solid principles regarding domestic issues, but he simply turns into a wide-eyed isolationist when the topic goes beyond the water's edge. And that's his fatal flaw. I would be shocked if he placed better than third here.
Santorum: He was really on the attack tonight against Romney, looking to knock that calm, collected grin off his face. He almost succeeded. Santorum had a few good points against Romney, but he just has too many slick and petty excuses for too many things. He's a politician of the worst kind.
Newt: If all the candidates had been asked to bring fireworks to the debate, everyone would have showed up with sparklers except for Newt. He would have rolled in drunk with a bag full of M-80's and started throwing them into a fire in the middle of the stage. He had some great lines "Only the elite despise making money." being his best. He's got some great instincts, and he played the crowd like a pro. Probably his best debate of the night, but he's damaged himself (fatally in my opinion) with the attacks on Romney from the left. Also, he referenced Andrew Jackson, while in SC, so five points to Gryffindor.
Rick Perry: Good news for Perry; it was his best debate so far. Bad news for Rick Perry; it's probably too late for it to make any difference. He had great moments with his his support of Federalism, and he made solid points when called on. If this had been his first or second debate performance, he might be the guy challenging Romney for the SC win. Unfortunately, he'll be a footnote.
Romney: He had a workman-like performance, doing nothing to lose his position as the front-runner. He got into too many arguments about PACs Super-PACs and whining about campaign ads for my taste, but I guess that comes with the territory of being a front-runner.
Huntsman: Out. Chinese language Rosetta Stone software packages hardest hit.
|Andrew Jackson's formative years|