Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 31, 2008

DEBATE OPEN THREAD....Kevin had to step away unexpectedly for a day or two, but in the meantime, I thought I'd open the floor for some discussion about the Republican debate at the Reagan library.

Did Romney do anything to slow McCain down? Did McCain do anything to undermine his frontrunner status? Did Huckabee have any success gaining ground? Did Paul get a chance to talk at all?

The floor is yours.

Post Script: For what it's worth, Arnold Schwarzenegger was in attendance tonight (seated alongside Nancy Reagan), and he's poised to back McCain.

Steve Benen 12:27 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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that that few pledged delegates could be decisive. Anything is possible, of course.
Thanks very much for the post, and very interesting information.
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http://www.vcao.net

Posted by: samuelgreen on January 31, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm hoping things are alright with Kevin.

Posted by: Dublin on January 31, 2008 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

This is the first R debate I have seen in months, and I just got to say...what a bunch of freaks. Between the vacuous answers and the bizarre smirks (McCain vs. Romney), holy shit, they are truly pathetic. I have been very nervous about another R victory in November. This actually made me feel better. I am not by any means over confident, but I have to have a semblance of faith that Americans will pull their collective heads out of their asses and vote for a Democrat.

Most entertaining moment?

John McCain stating that Reagan had "a set of unshakeable principles" whilst holding out his hand in the I-am-holding-a-set-of-balls gesture. My wife and I nearly split a gut.

Posted by: E Henry Thripshaw on January 31, 2008 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

I thought the debate was pretty weak, but probably meaningless. Romney was better than McCain, but absent McCain failing asleep or having some other senior moment, it was unlikely to change anything. McCain will need to get much better to win in November. He, like most candidates, should forget trying to remember lines and just talk. He had a weak night, but probably nothing that will affect anything. It was a good think that he had Paul and Huckabee there to eat up some clock and avoid a direct comparison with Romney.

Now the question is who is the VP. McCain mentioned Ridge at least two times. If McCain has the guts to pick a pro-choice running mate, I think Ridge is the man and the democrats then can kiss goodbye to 21 electoral votes in Pa.

Broder thinks it will be Huckabee. He is engaging, but hardly a well qualified guy to be president. Romney might be okay and it would cool the problems with the base, but McCain supposedly does not like him. McCain should try to convince Colin Powell to take it, although that also might be pressing his luck with base.

Posted by: brian on January 31, 2008 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

No question, Romney was better than McCain tonight. Probably too little too late though. I would imagine though that a lot Republicans who voted for McCain because he was more electable are having second thoughts after his performance tonight. He was that bad.

Also couldn't help but notice that the lines that got the most applause were Ron Paul's anti-war comments. Granted the debate was in California but still surprising to hear during a Republican debate.

Posted by: ben on January 31, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Who would have thought such weird-looking, freaky, even ugly people like Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Maria Shriver would have a son who looks like a young Fonda?

Posted by: Anon on January 31, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Ditto others in hoping everything's ok w/ Kevin.

Posted by: ceci on January 31, 2008 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm. A McCain-Ridge ticket? That'd be interesting, but if he is pro-choice, then he simply will not be put on a national ticket in the Republican Party. Ain't gonna happen. If McCain goes with Huckabee, he can kiss the independent vote goodbye, and that would really be the only edge he could hope of having against Hillary, or, most definitely, Obama.

The big problem the Republican nominee is going to have is choosing a running mate who is not tied to the SS Bushwreck administration or one of its many attendant corruption probes. Can anyone think of a Republican with national name recognition -- other than one of the guys running (or until recently ran) for President -- who would make a good ticket with either McCain or Romney, but who wouldn't simply subject themselves to the "four more years" epithet? The only one I can think of is...gulp...Newt Gingrich. The bottom of the barrel doesn't get more scraped than that.

Posted by: jonas on January 31, 2008 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Let me add my voice to those with concern and best wishes for the Drum family.

About the debate: McCain may have looked ancient, but Mitt seemed to have a few premature Senior Moments himself... Perhaps the trip to California had him jet-lagged.

Posted by: idlemind on January 31, 2008 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't watched any of the Republican debates, no interest at all.

I too hope Kevin & family are OK.

Posted by: lux on January 31, 2008 at 2:17 AM | PERMALINK

Uh oh. Hope nothing serious is amiss.

And, dude, I was totally distracted by the airplane the entire time.

Posted by: Caitlin on January 31, 2008 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

A McCain-Ridge ticket? That'd be interesting, but if he is pro-choice, then he simply will not be put on a national ticket in the Republican Party. Ain't gonna happen.

If they're going to piss off the hard-core wingnuts with McCain, why not make the ticket as electable as possible? If Ridge brings Pennsylvania with him then that's worth a lot just by itself. And he would help attract a lot of independents who have been turned off by an increasingly theocratic GOP.

Posted by: bobb on January 31, 2008 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

I've always liked McCain, but I really thought he came off like an ass last night. Rude, smirking, interrupting a lot, clearly twisting words ... Being the front-runner does not become him.

Posted by: Brian on January 31, 2008 at 6:04 AM | PERMALINK

'We should begin to build a world we want, instead of reacting to a world we fear.'
--Noam Chomsky

Posted by: Quotation Man on January 31, 2008 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

Whose hair color was more believable last night -- Arnold Schwarzeneggar's, or Nancy Reagan's?

Posted by: TR on January 31, 2008 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK

Reactions:

If you read Huckabee's answer on Putin, it's not clear he even knows who he even is.

Not clear also, which was Mitt's worst moment. Saying China is selling nuclear weapons to Iran? Or that there are four major powers in the world: Russian, China, Al Qeada and the USA? That he relies on Fred Kagan for advice? I would have to say it was when he said Bush was taken by surprise when Iraq attacked America.

McCain thinks that the problem with the US economy is psychology, GE can solve global warming, all Americans should carry a DNA imprinted ID card, Joe Lieberman's support will mean something, and people care what Jack Kemp said 25 years ago. He finally devolved into Humphrey Bogart from The Caine Mutiny, rambling incoherently about the housing crisis and insurgents and American soldiers laying in the weeds in Iraq.


Posted by: Culture of Truth on January 31, 2008 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

Rude, smirking, interrupting a lot, clearly twisting words

I really think McCain is suffering from early dementia -- really.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 31, 2008 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

Note to Steve Benen: Please keep us posted about Kevin. This is not curiosity, morbid or otherwise. I'm sure that like me many of the regular Political Animal readers and commenters feel that Kevin is a great guy, and even a friend, even if we don't know him personally. We can't help but worry.
____________________________________________

Posted by: Aris on January 31, 2008 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

McCain was insufferable, boorish, borderline senile, and nasty...hope he keeps it up this fall.
Romney was better, except for all the bonehead things he said (thanks, Culture)..
UGH

Posted by: bruce on January 31, 2008 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

I'm also wondering if Kevin is ok. My best to him, his family, and his cats.

But, I'm struck by the possiblity of Tom Ridge as VP. The inventor of the color-coded terror alert? Yikes!

Posted by: Cyn2 on January 31, 2008 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Other thant the pro-choice problem, Ridge is excellent because of Pa and because he plays to the republican strength on the war on terror. I have no idea if Ridge actually made any contribution to keeping us safe for the last six years, but he was the guy in charge and will be able to credibly claim credit and experience. I think McCain should do it. He is strong pro life and Ridge can accept the platform of the party even though he personally is pro choice. He also is a vietnam war veteran.

Posted by: brian on January 31, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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