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Thursday, December 13, 2007
posted by Kyle Hampton | 10:54 AM | permalink
Sorry that I didn't get much up on debate thoughts as promised. The newest little Romney-bot had a tough day yesterday that required my attention.

Look, Romney had a great day yesterday. He was substantive, positive, and highlighted his record of accomplishment, all key strengths to his campaign. It is unsurprising that after such a debate focus groups such as Luntz's would find him to be the winner. Also he drew distinctions with other campaigns even as the moderation discouraged such exchanges. Notably on education, Romney was able to offer substantive ideas that made Huckabee's "kids are dropping out because they're bored" look silly. Additionally, his retort about the comparative excellence of Arkansas schools to Massachusetts schools was one of the few debated points of the night.

I thought in some ways Huckabee got off easy last night as the moderators took off the table two soft points to his candidacy: Foreign policy and immigration. I'm not sure what prompted that decision, but Huckabee really lucked out. He also got embarrased by Tancredo over the federal role in education. Also, did Alan Keyes call out Huckabee for not being religious enough?

Thompson had a fine night, although apparently everyone else missed it that as he was giving his answer on NAFTA he admitted not having anything to say, even as he kept talking. I appreciated his refusal to answer the hand-raising questions. Hoepfully that will discourage others (I'm looking at you Chris Matthews) from asking those types of questions again.

I don't remember a thing that anyone else said, although I remember Alan Keyes perpetually embarassing himself. Rudy seemed fine, but has failed to excel the way he did earlier in the year. McCain, like Huckabee, lucked out that the debate didn't cover immigration. Tancredo and Duncan Hunter...uh...were there. Ron Paul was Ron Paul.

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I think Romney won the debate by a decent margin, and Fred Thompson did pretty well. I thought Duncan Hunter was good on most of his answers, although I didn't like his little shot at Bain with Romney not getting a chance to respond (at the beginning she said all candidates would get 30 seconds to respond if they were mentioned by another candidate.) My favorite moment of this debate was Mitt schooling Huck on education.

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