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September, 5th 2007

Debate thoughts

– Liz Mair

Some debate thoughts:

1. McCain cleaned everyone's clock tonight. I was really impressed with him, particularly when he hammered Romney over his withdrawal-friendly stance on Iraq. I don't necessarily disagree with Romney's apparent premise that we need to be monitoring progress in Iraq closely and need to keep in mind whether it is appropriate to look at withdrawal, but I do sense a lot of clever political positioning on the issue (as with every other one, just about, where Mitt is concerned). McCain is back to his straight talking self, which is the perfect antidote to Romney's maneuvering.

2. Rudy didn't do so well tonight, but I did like his answer about the Americans for Tax Reform pledge. Some other bloggers didn't. Oh well.

3. "Fee-fee." Or, is that "Fifi?" Either way, that nickname making an appearance in relation to Romney tonight is no good thing for his camp (neither was his mention of wiretapping churches; neither was his smiling the whole way through hearing the question from the man in the diner about Romney saying his sons were serving by working to get him elected-- it made him look like a smug, superior know-it-all who didn't value what the man had to say).

4. No one seemed to be missing Fred Thompson tonight. I mean, honestly, you my readers: if you watched the debate, was there any single point at which you thought "I'd really like to hear what Fred Thompson has to say about that?" There sure wasn't for me.

5. It's about time for Tom Tancredo and Sam Brownback to get off the stage. Ron Paul can stay because a) he gets people to really debate about foreign policy and show their teeth and b) he actually wants to seriously cut government-- and it's worthwhile having him onstage so that that debate is had, and we get a sense of what other candidates would do on that note.

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