A Debate Round-Up From Around The Blogosphere.

Here are the results of a tour around the right side of blogospere with special emphasis on who won and how Fred Thompson did in his first debate.

“In yesterday’s economics debate in Dearborn, Michigan Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson won, Mitt Romney lost and perhaps a few points were stolen from the Democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton.” — Jed Babbin at Human Events

“Fred Wins, Chris Loses (Update: My Prediction Comes True)

The first debate with Fred Thompson was expected to reveal whether the lanky actor had what it takes to make a national run for the office. Instead, it revealed Chris Matthews as a hack of the first order, one who tried his best to torpedo Thompson — and failed utterly.

…That was the game behind the debate, and Thompson stomped Matthews into a laughingstock. In the rest of the debate, Thompson showed that he was comfortable and prepared, even for the silly attacks from other candidates.

…Fred’s in now, and he will find new momentum after this performance. Matthews will become more of a joke, if such a thing is possible at a network that employs Keith Olbermann.” — Captain’s Quarters

“Buzz from the Scene

The general feeling around here is that Fred Thompson pulled out a narrow win over Rudy and McCain, though a few hardcore Mitt supporters are attributing that to low expectations. I have to disagree. Mitt looked scripted, and even if it was calculated, Fred looked free and easy by comparison, and stayed consistently on message. To be fair, Mitt is getting rave reviews as well. It seems his opening line about “tax hikes” resonated well in Granholm country. Analysis on McCain may have to wait until the public sorts out his position on unions.” — E. M. Zanotti at The Corner

“And the Winner Is…

…Fred Thompson.

He showed up — a big thing — and he didn’t do bad at all.

In order? Might look something like: Thompson. McCain. Rudy. Romney. ??

McCain continues to make a reluctant conservative take a second look.” — Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner

“Fred was fine, but a little flat. He perked up toward the end, and I think will continue to perk up as he gets more debates under his belt. He needs to attack his answers a little more and fill up the time he’s given, but he left people with a couple good laugh lines and good, basic assurances of his free-market conservatism. Probably a win for him, overall.

Rudy was strongest for me. He was optimistic, funny, comfortable talking about these issues. He thrives on the little dust-ups with Romney and Paul, and continues to play presumptive nominee by taking shots at the absent Hillary.” — Mary Katharine Ham

“Giuliani, the clear winner, was on top of his game from start to finish. In a single segment he devastated Ron Paul, pointing out that Paul had either forgotten that 9/11 was planned in Afghanistan or that it had occurred at all, and Hillary Clinton, chiding her for refusing to answer quetions about whether she’d take military measures to prevent a nuclear Iran. Later, he responded to a general question about Canada (directed to Fred Thompson) by noting the looming threat to Canadians posed by Hillary Care — the prospect of not being able to come to the U.S. for quality health care. And, in the biggest upset of the evening, Rudy mentioned his New York record only once other than in response to a direct question about it.

…Thompson did well for his first time out. He was excellent on taxes, patiently explaining that the wealth of government isn’t the same thing as the wealth of nations. And he was very effective on Iraq, pointing out that Saddam Hussein almost certainly would have reconstituted his nuclear program in the context of a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. At other times, Thompson was uninspiring at best, as in his rambling answer about how Republicans can regain the voters’ trust on economic issues. Thompson needs to become more consistently sharp, and he probably will. However, he looks old, and I don’t thnk there’s much he can do about that. Will this be a problem for him? Beats me.” — Paul at Power Line

“Thompson was neither an Edsel nor a Corvette, but closer to your grandmother’s Buick, the one needing new seat covers. Remarkably for an actor, his voice quality was poor, his enthusiasm was muted and at times he seemed to search for words. He did have his moments in calling for presidents to go to Congress when possible in a future conflict with Iran because we “are going to need the American people.” His answer on the alternative minimum tax showed some preparation. However, his performance was mixed at best. His quip about “Gomer and Goober” did nothing to further the view that he is more than a regional candidate. By plugging ethanol he seemed to have lost the monopoly on fiscal prudence and by meandering on his social security response he did little to improve his image as the “serious” candidate. To his credit he did throw out the notion of indexing benefits to inflation.

…And Rudy? If ever there were a ’68 Mustang — plenty under the hood and best in a road race — he is it. He stared down Romney, reminding the crowd of the facts — always helpful things in a debate — including his 23 tax cuts as well as his self-proclaimed status as a “supply sider.” Once again he used Hillary Clinton to his advantage — reminding viewers that she would not answer the query posed to her last week as to whether she would accept the “Giuliani Iran policy” and use force if needed to prevent a nuclear armed Iran. On energy independence he sounded like he cared about the topic and his vibrant defense of nuclear power (” why the heck haven’t we license a nuclear power plant in 30 years?”) was again a shot aimed at the opposing party which seems unwilling to embrace an energy source their French friends have utilized to great success. And of course there were parting shots at the new Hillary 401K plan (which he claimed cost $5B more than the Hillary bonds) and his admonition that HillaryCare would mean the Canadians would have nowhere to get their healthcare. His best moment: chiding the moderator to “get your head up” and forget the notion that London would surpass New York as the world’s financial center. Now that was a Reagan moment.” — Jennifer Rubin at Human Events

“Overall, I’d give the trophy to Rudy by a nose, as he never showed any weakness or hesitation. John McCain performed very well, too, as he has in the last couple of events. Special hat tip to McCain for pointing out his opposition to ethanol subsidies and protectionism.

Of course, all eyes were on Fred Thompson, and he performed pretty well, too. Good thing he knew the Canadian PM’s name, though, or that would have been the story of the event. Instead, he made Mathews look like an ass for trying an obvious “gotcha” question. Still, he was not very smooth at a couple of points, and doesn’t smile enough. His performance won’t hurt him at all, but it won’t slingshot him past Giuliani right away, either.” — Wizbang Politics

Special Bonus: The results of two polls of RWN’s readers yesterday,

Who won the debate?

Sam Brownback: 0%
Tom Tancredo: 2%
Mike Huckabee: 3%
John McCain: 5%
Duncan Hunter: 6%
Mitt Romney: 12%
Rudy Giuliani: 13%
I didn’t watch it: 19%
Fred Thompson: 40%

Who lost the debate?

Duncan Hunter: 1%
Sam Brownback: 2%
Mike Huckabee: 2%
John McCain: 3%
Tom Tancredo: 3%
Mitt Romney: 5%
Fred Thompson: 9%
Rudy Giuliani: 9%
I didn’t watch it: 12%
Ron Paul: 55%

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