Sunday, January 06, 2008

FOX News Debate Impressions

Much to my surprise, Mitt Romney came out on top in my estimation. He handled himself well under pressure. He was calm, he spoke clearly, he knew his stuff, he didn't back down. Each time I see him in an interview or on a debate I like him a bit more.

Huckabee? He danced around the issues tonight. You could hear it when he switched on the candidate-speak, the tone of his voice changes. At the beginning of the debate he was winning back some of the high regard I lost for him during last night's ABC debate. But the more he came under scrutiny, the more he talked, the more he rubbed me wrong. Again. He tossed out a lot of platitudes and feel-good statements.

Giuliani? Flat. He didn't win, he didn't lose. I suppose by not winning he lost to some degree. He had some good lines, made sense but his sparkle is gone.

Thompson? Liked some of what he had to say, but if he'd just speed it up a little he'd be able to say twice as much. Maybe he stretches it out so he doesn't have time to go into details. He comes across as plodding... or calm... depending on whether you like him or not. I think he'd handle himself well under pressure, don't think anyone would push him around. BUT, I think listening to a State of the Union address would be torturous.

McCain? I thought he did really well. Great on foreign policy. He had some fun, came across strong where he needed to, deflected the negative and outlined his positions very well. He's right up there at the top of the heap.

I wasn't impressed with the questions chosen by FOX. I wasn't really impressed with the debate.

Chris Wallace, the moderator, was tough on all of the candidates, almost baiting them. I thought he focused a bit much on Romney, Huckabee and McCain. Probably because they are currently the front runners.

It was like watching the Sunday morning political talk show, which I like. But I wanted to hear something new, to hear something I haven't heard before. After watching the debates the night before and watching the talk shows this morning I felt like I was watching a re-run to some degree.

I'm ready to hear them outline a clear position on issues. I wasn't interested in whether Romney's ads were attacks or not, how Huckabee and McCain felt about them.

Wouldn't it be interesting to just give the candidates a question about an issue and just have them tell their position, not worry about contrasting it with the other candidates? "What's your plan to deal with illegal immigration?" "What are you going to do about Social Security? Welfare? Health care? Tort reform?"

Tell them they CAN'T refer to other candidates at all, can't contrast their plan, can't make any digs at their opponents or the other party (and for the Democrats, they can't mention George Bush or refer to him in any way during their answer).

I have until Feb. to lock in on the candidate who'll get my vote... I guess I'll keep watching and reading. Although I pick on all of the candidates in my columns, I like ever one of the Republican candidates in tonight's debate and I wouldn't have a problem supporting whoever gets the ultimate nod to run against the Democratic nominee.

No comments: