GOP debate: ten burning concerns answered

The first

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to the audience at Monday's presidential debate in New Hampshire. Bachmann used the occasion to formally declare she is running for president.

considerable GOP presidential debate is in the books and there appears to become near consensus about who came off effectively (Michele Bachmann) and who did not (Tim Pawlenty). On Monday, we posed 10 concerns that we hoped the debate would answer. For your most component, they have been. Here’s a appear in the final results:

1.       Can Mitt Romney explain away Romneycare?

GOP debate: 10 concerns that require answers GOP debate: ten concerns that want answers
GOP rivals in debate bypass probability to slam Mitt Romney GOP rivals in debate bypass probability to slam Mitt Romney
Michele Bachmann utilizes GOP debate to announce presidential candidacy Michele Bachmann employs GOP debate to announce presidential candidacy

In maybe the debate’s biggest surprise, Romney did not actually have to. If this debate is remembered at all, it will be the Sergio Leone-tinged episode when Tim Pawlenty was directly challenged to slam Romney employing the sobriquet “Obamneycare” and backed down. All that was missing was the close-up on Pawlenty’s nervous eyes.

Romney then offered his now-standard response that the plan worked for his state and not for America—and basically got a free pass from then on.

Romney’s association using the Democratic healthcare bill will come up again—and again—but a sizable possibility was missed clean.

Photographs: Prospective 2012 GOP candidates

two.       Can Tim Pawlenty quicken anyone’s pulse?

Very well, he did, but not within the way the former Minnesota governor needed. You may make the argument that nobody came out worse Monday evening than the man they call “T-Paw.” On Twitter, comparisons were produced to LeBron James wilting in the NBA Finals, for heaven’s sake.

The bottom line: Pawlenty was offered a likelihood to dent his biggest rival and at the similar time define himself as a fierce competitor inside the process. To borrow language from the just-completed playoffs, it had been an Alpha Dog moment.

Pawlenty seemed off his game the whole evening. Following Romney pandered towards the crowd by announcing the score with the Stanley Cup game, Pawlenty tried the same tactic later. Romney, a new Englander, could only barely get away with anything so shameless; Pawlenty, a hockey fan, had no this kind of luck.

Can he recover? Naturally. It is early. But Pawlenty, who has had difficulty finding traction in national polls, has been counting on the goodwill of advocates inside the Beltway and elsewhere to help propel his campaign. If a number of these backers start jumping ship, then the climb grows that a lot steeper.

3.       Can Michele Bachmann seem presidential?

Bachmann shocked every person by suddenly declaring her candidacy for the White Property inside the early minutes with the debate, but in retrospect, it looks like a canny move. In an evening that provided little in terms of drama, Bachmann’s largely symbolic announcement became big news.

The Minnesota congresswoman’s performance general came as no surprise to those that have witnessed her win over crowds at conservative events. And although she still came off as possibly under polished at instances, her energy compensated. Most critically, she displayed an capability to weave individual narrative (raised inside a broken home, mother to foster children) with policy pronouncements (unapologetically anti-abortion). And while she has been in the Residence of Representatives for only four years, she telegraphed her expertise like a veteran, particularly in answering a question in regards to the Libyan conflict.

Fair or not, Bachmann, just about overnight, will now be viewed as a serious threat to win the Iowa caucuses. Her profile is blossoming—and at this stage with the game, buzz may possibly be the single best currency to have.

four.        Can Newt Gingrich rise from the dead?

Properly, he was there. The former Residence speaker, reeling from the defection of key aides, pressed onward. Gingrich was in complete Professor Newt mode, at 1 point interrupting Pawlenty and browbeating/lecturing moderator John King about his position on the space system. Gingrich is often a sensible man who cannot help notifying every person in the room of that fact—something that inside a debate format can come off as pedantic.

Gingrich yet again attempted to explain away his criticism from the Paul Ryan Medicare plan and also the outcome was yet a different iteration with the now-infamous “Meet the Press” interview, a single where Gingrich now says he was quoted “out of context.” (That created eye rolls.) Yet just about in the same breath, he repeated his original assertion that Home leaders had been reckless in moving forward with all the Ryan strategy as rapidly because it did, a fair point that runs counter for the existing GOP orthodoxy.

If Gingrich features a track to hew inside the race because it moves forward, it may very well be locating the courage to be the candidate inside the area who breaks with an establishment that, for all intents and purposes, has abandoned him currently.

five.       Can Ron Paul look like anything at all additional than a fringe candidate?

If there’s a word to describe the Texas libertarian Monday evening, it had been, very well, cranky. Paul had a cantankerous answer for practically each and every question place to him, from America’s military involvement overseas (he’s against it) for the government’s function in certifying legal marriage (he’s against it).

Paul was who he is. He isn’t going to transform. And he showed nevertheless yet again that he isn’t going to varnish his brand of truth-telling inside a bid to chase supporters. If he is usually to perform very well in primaries, the voters will have to come to him, not the other way about.

six.       CanRick Santorum get noticed?

The ex-Pennsylvania senator largely avoided employing his brand of razor-wired rhetoric—except for contending that the president has “turned his back on American allies and he has embraced our enemies”—in favor of a warmer approach built around conservative values and national exceptionalism. But at the end with the day, it did not appear to create a lot distinction. Along with the boyish-looking Santorum came off as edgy, as less than relaxed, specifically when moderator King asked him whether he preferred Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien. “I do not watch either,” he stammered.

Like Pawlenty, he was offered a probability to slam Romney and punted. King brought up a treasured Santorum subject, abortion, and asked whether or not Romney had flip-flopped on the subject. Santorum offered a discursive on a candidate’s “authenticity” but avoided invoking Romney directly.

7.       Is Hermanentum for genuine?

Those expecting an electrifying performance from the former conservative talk-radio host came away disappointed. Herman Cain looked ill at ease and unprepared and—as normally is the situation with fringe candidates—came off as smaller than the event. At instances he seemed out of his element, particularly when asked about foreign affairs, mixing homespun wisdom with fact-based assertions in a manner that came out, at times, incoherent.

Asked regarding the U.S. function in Libya, for example, Cain responded: “If it’s not within the important interest of America, to paraphrase my grandmother, with all the scenario in Libya and quite a few of those other conditions, they are not easy circumstances. It is a mess. It’s just an absolute mess.”

Really should Bachmann surge in conservative circles, 1 big loser could possibly be the ex-Godfather’s Pizza chief executive’s outsider candidacy.

8.       Will Jon Huntsman see an opening?

The former Utah governor’s camp could have viewed the evening two various ways: Either the debate illustrated just how complicated it’s going to be for any candidate to displace the polished Romney because the front-runner, or it uncovered a space, maybe someplace in in between Romney and Bachmann, where a new face could alter the dynamic.

Here’s suggesting that they’ll see it because the latter—and that if Huntsman had any doubts about getting in before Monday, quite a few of them have been erased.

9.       Will anyone else?

See prior question. Are Rick Perry’s boots made for operating? We may possibly determine quickly.

10.     Will Sarah Palin be there in spirit?

The doable candidate was talked about only the moment, in a softball question to Pawlenty about whether she made a much better vice presidential select than Joe Biden. Pawlenty had small to lose in praising Palin in that context. But if Palin is taking into consideration jumping within the race, Bachmann’s performance Monday will have to give her some pause.

06/14/11 at 1:44pm
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  1. althaus posted this