Wait, There Was A Debate Sunday, Too?

Was anyone else aware of this, other than The Politico’s Maggie Haberman, or, were we all focused on the NFL Playoffs? Fortunately, Maggie was there to provide 6 takeaways

1) For the most part, the attacks on Mitt Romney didn’t stick

Romney was under much more forceful attack in Sunday morning’s debate than he was in the Saturday night faceoff. He handled it with mixed levels of success.

However, Romney is still a superior debater compared to the field, most of whom seemed either unable or unwilling to maintain attacks against him. Once again, Ron Paul came to Romney’s rescue by changing the subject instead of answering a question about whether his rival is electable.

I’m sure Ron Paul talked about UFO’s taking over the CIA which then ran 9/11 through those Evil Jews or something.

2) Newt coined a memorable phrase

And he did it with a clever phrase – telling Romney to cut the “pious baloney” – that will almost certainly find its way into Democratic ads if the former Massachusetts governor is the nominee.

Thanks, Newt

3) Romney will need more practice for the general election debates

That was apparently over the exchange on SuperPAC ads.

4) This was Jon Huntsman’s best day since he got in

The former Utah governor got the most air time he’s had in any of the debates so far. That is partly a product, it seemed, of the fact that the debate was in New Hampshire, where he has anchored his campaign.

If MSNBC broadcasts a show that no one watched (well, like every show they broadcast), is that actual “air time” for Huntsman? Who would still, in my mind, be the best candidate if he would explain working for Obama and drop his position on regulating/legislating greenhouse gases.

5) The Rick Perry debating in New Hampshire is the best version yet

Apparently, he was very good, according to the one viewer, Maggie Haberman. Alas, we won’t actually know.

6 ) Santorum wasn’t playing the culture warrior at the debate

Santorum had a markedly better debate than he did Saturday night, when he mostly failed to engage with Romney. This time, he came looking for a confrontation – and it had an impact.

If Santorum wants to be the guy to beat Romney, he will have to switch to more of an economic message, rather than the social warrior message. That’s what this election will primarily be about.

Now, seriously, can we stop with the silly amount of debates? Unless they are will to be in one moderated by bloggers, who will ask them the really tough questions.

And now it is on to the New Hampshire primaries!

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