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May 04, 2007

Republican Debate Metacoverage

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

I didn't watch the Republican debate, but some folks at the National Review and Redstate did.  The consensus is that this is the long-awaited night when Giuliani's high primary poll numbers crash into his pro-choice views.  K-Lo has the video -- Rudy looks testy and hedgy as he gives answers that won't satisfy the base.  Romney's smoothness and McCain's desire to kill people garnered some approval from our right-wing taste-testers.  Huckabee apparently did reasonably well.  Many people are wishing for Fred Thompson.

Some of the questions had been sent in by the audience, and it appears that the following question, submitted by a North Carolina resident named John Edwards, was not asked:

Has the Bush doctrine of a Global War on Terror backfired? Does the president’s focus suggest a fixed enemy that can be defeated through a permanent military campaign or do you think we need a broader approach as many military leaders believe?

I think it's pretty cool that he tried to get it in there, though. 

May 4, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

I voted for them to ask that, but his campaign entered it on the Politico website very late. That suggests to me that they didn't actually want it asked.

Posted by: Sam L. | May 4, 2007 1:12:01 AM

That suggests to me that they didn't actually want it asked.

My goodness, everyone gets so suspicious come campaign season!

I watched some of the debate, and I've got to say that I think the Republicans are making a mistake if they don't give Huckabee a good look. Rudy is a disaster waiting to happen.

Posted by: Jason | May 4, 2007 2:09:22 AM

If Huckabee were in the position of being THE alternative candidate he'd be a serious contender. As it is, he's struggling to break out of the sea of Brownbacks and Tancredos. Fred Thompson is seemingly manage to distinguish himself by NOT being in the race and sharing the stage with the bit players.

Posted by: Anthony Damiani | May 4, 2007 3:03:41 AM

I actually thought Brownback came off surprisingly well; it seemed to me he was closer to where conservatives actually are than almost any of the rest. And I thought it was interesting that Tancredo didn't just not come off well, but others seemed very comfortable criticizing his immigration stance. I suspect Ron Paul may have done a nice job making himself attractive to Democrats. And I think the format was terrible for Jim Gilmore, who got lost in the shuffle, I think.

As for the big three... I think the thing is that they're not really the big three like Edwards, Clinton and Obama. Giuliani has so much baggage I find him impossible to take seriously. Romney was trying so hard to be unctuous I think he missed that he comes off awfully smarmy. And McCain was out of the box so hardcore and belligerent that I think he may have done himself in.

But I'm a Democrat, so what do I know.

And kudos to Neil, who manages to write the "Republicans had a debate last night and the winner was... John Edwards" post we all knew he had in him. :)

Posted by: weboy | May 4, 2007 5:52:35 AM

They didn't answer my question either.
How does it feel to pander to charletons like Hobson, Falwell and Robertson to get votes?

Posted by: merlallen | May 4, 2007 8:47:01 AM

Does the president’s focus suggest a fixed enemy that can be defeated through a permanent military campaign or do you think we need a broader approach as many military leaders believe?

Interestingly, NPR was playing a clip of Mitt Romney that could have been in response to this question. Except he was accusing the Dems. of having too much of a fixed enemy in bin Ladin and saying they were wrong for not accepting the broader approach of the GOP (in expanding the war into Iraq, I presume) -- and then Romney proceded to show how intelligent he was (i.e. that he's read an encyclopedia article on Islam and has learned a bunch of new terms) by saying how all the various sorts of terrorists "[...], Sunni and Shia, [...]" want to re-establish the Caliphate.

I never knew the Shia were keen on re-establishing the Caliphate. Wow! Thank you for enlightening me, Mr. Romney. I know a man like you who knows so much about the Muslim world will certainly keep us safe! ( / snark )

Posted by: DAS | May 4, 2007 11:10:02 AM

And kudos to Neil, who manages to write the "Republicans had a debate last night and the winner was... John Edwards" post we all knew he had in him. :)

Ha! I'm pretty good at this thing, aren't I?

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | May 4, 2007 11:45:49 AM

I watched the debate, and I thought that Giuliani and Romney did the best of the bunch. Romney's answer to the question about the Catholics and communion was the best elucidation i've ever heard of the *conservative* interpretation of the free exercise clause; Giuliani's answer on abortion was one of the best anti-abortion pro-choice explanations i've heard.

Ron Paul also sounded surprisingly good; he was clearly on his best behavior.

Posted by: aphrael | May 4, 2007 2:51:34 PM

I thought it interesting that all of the Republican candidates agreed to debate on MSNBC with Chris Matthews running the show, but the Democrats ran from Fox.
The Republicans also debated the foreign terrorism problem and those who organize against the US. I can't remember the Democrats debating this issue at all.

Posted by: Fred Jones | May 4, 2007 5:07:55 PM

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Posted by: judy | Oct 8, 2007 5:40:27 AM

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