There are all sorts of opinions in blogland etc. about how Thompson did in the debate yesterday. The truth is he wasn’t terrible. But he was in some ways he was the worst of the serious candidates. He was at times a bit dazed and confused and looked old but not distinguished, his answers were full of fake-folksy cliches, and he didn’t say anything that showed he was really up on the issues or really smart.
Giuliani and Romney were both pretty good in a dull but quite competent overall Republican performance. McCain had a few very manly answers that distinguished him. Poor Huckabee didn’t really break out from the crowd this time, and clearly having Fred around makes his job tougher. Tancredo is a bit scary, and Ron Paul is certainly right that we should read our Constitutions. Duncan Hunter said a number of sound things in a most unmemorable way. Because nobody much was watching and nothing outrageous was said, none of the candidates was helped or hurt by this pointless event. I don’t think there was a lot of talk around the water coolers this morning about the Rudy vs. Mitt line-item veto dispute. But Fred in particular has a lot of work to do. (I watched as much of this debate as I could stand with my elections class, and their reaction to Fred was more negative than mine. They got a kick out of Ron.)