11 January 2008

FNC Debate – 10 January

I watched the entire FNC debate last night, as apparently 3.6 million others did. Senator Fred Thompson impressed me the most. He went after Gov. Huckabee on substantive issues, whereas Mr. Huckabee tends in my opinion to tout fluffy statements which have little substance. Sen. Thompson had substance to just about everything he said, and it was refreshing that – to my recollection – he did not join in the obligatory “dog-pile Senator Paul” moment(s) last night.

Senator Paul is the easy target; going after Gov. Huckabee takes a bit more conviction.

Though at one point, Sen. Paul made some good sense to me. His response to the question of electability was quite sound when he stuck to domestic platform stances. His electability, I think, does not stem from his libertarianism. It stems from his isolationist foreign policy. But that much is probably obvious.

Senator McCain did well last night, though I think his smile seemed contrived, pasted, almost forced. Perhaps I’ve listened to too many speeches, because some of his lines seemed very tired to me. And I’m not talking about his message points. It’s his “off the cuff” remarks – and all of the candidates have them.

Governor Romney and Mayor Giuliani didn’t impress or disappoint. They appeared, to me, to just be there.

Mr. Giuliani is tough on terror, convincing on domestics (especially for those not wedded to single-issue politics), and has a good personality, it seems. One wonders, though, if he has been out of the news flow too long. He may have trouble picking up steam again. Other candidates are fueled by the 24-hour news cycle which they’ve been a part of for the last two weeks. He hasn’t.

In the end, I was glad to see Sen. Thompson show up and make an impression. Perhaps it was a good one. Only time will tell.

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