I’m not going to go into specifics, but here are my first few thoughts from watching the GOP debates….
Romney looked good. He looked calm, he looked relaxed, he looked knowledgeable. He looked like a man who has been here before and recognized past mistakes.
Cain looked moderately insane. 🙂 I totally appreciate and agree with his comments regarding using the private sector as the fuel for economic growth, but his comments about Muslims was somewhat circular, irrational, and off base.
Gingrich held his own. No up or down for me.
Pawlenty missed a big chance. He was given a wide-open opportunity to go after Romney, and he probably should have taken it. That brings up an interesting thought: where was the internal strife? The weakness in the GOP? If anything, this looked like a bunch of pals chumming around. Very interesting, and not at all what I expected.
Ron Paul… I think he’s dead on when it comes to fiscal responsibility, but he’ll never win. He’s so extreme in so many of his views, even if I do agree with most of them.
Bachmann said all the right things, but I couldn’t help but think that she was nothing more than a talking head.
Santorum… no thoughts either way. I expect he’ll be one of the first to drop.
All in all, Romney was the clear winner, and I think this debate was a good victory for him and his aspirations. I noticed that CNN’s analysis pointed out that he was in general campaign mode, as if the primaries were already his. It’s a key difference that paints him clearly as the front runner, and it is obvious that the other candidates recognize him as the big dog. If the election were held today based on these seven candidates and my vote had to be GOP, I’d vote for Romney.