I previously said I would try to watch the debates and comment on them, here we go:
This republican debates were interesting, as the double penetration of Huckabee and McCain into Romney became really publically obvious. Whether that will really help them is another matter, as Romney managed to garner more time on the mic than any of the other candidates, or at least I got that impression. Guiliani won the Reagon-O-Meter for mentioning his name over 10 times in the ABC debate alone.
What was most interesting was the ABC people asked the republicans basically to attack Obama and in the democratic debate asked Obama to reply. I’m still not sure whether this is yellow journalism or a really interesting tactic yet. Either way it proved to be more interesting than the republican candidates. I was quite surprised when none of them stated “Amnesty, Abortion and Acid”.
Ron Paul would be interesting, except for the fact that all he talks about is Iraq and the gold standard. You know its a commonly stated opinion, but here it is again for the record – Ron Paul is an honest guy, but he should really be institutionalized rather than elected for his support of the Gold Standard. It just shows a complete lack of understanding of basic economic principle.
Another group I’m going to have a dig against is Fox news, who after their debate had a ‘focus group’ after their republican debate who said that Romney came out best and Thompson came out worst. Lets have a quick think about this – Thompson, who recently voiced his disgust for the process and particularly the media in an interview on Fox, got slated. At the same time Romney – fighting against Huckabee (dislikes big business and viewed by trad republican leadership as questionable) and McCain (sometimes seen as too centrist) – was backed by the ‘focus group’. Lets face it Fox can’t fail to be partisan when even reporting their own side.
As to the democrats, Clinton made a strong showing despite her recent loss in Iowa. It was interesting that two people I was speaking to (almost simultaneously) last night observed that Edwards would make a good running mate for Obama. Edwards does make an impressive debater and is a really strong candidate. Running mates are really hard to judge, since historically one chooses someone who provides things they are weak at (think Reagan/Bush, Gore/Liebermann) but in recent times fairly similar candidates have been chosen (Clinton/Gore, Bush/Cheney) as well. I think Richardson would really boost Obama in areas where he is weakest (Foreign Policy, experience) whilst Edwards perhaps wouldn’t necessarily help add votes to the ticket. I suppose there are plenty of other potential running mates outside of the candidates to be considering as well.
I’ll be posting New Hampshire predictions sometime today/ early tomorrow, though its highly likely that Obama will feature in his usual place.