Quotes On Yesterday’s Debate From Around The Right Side Of The Blogosphere

After looking around the blogosphere, the general consensus seemed to be that Fred Thompson won (although Mitt had a lot of fans, too), that Huckabee, McCain, and Giuliani were ho-hum, that Alan Keyes shouldn’t have been on the stage, and that pretty much everyone in the entire blogosphere, aside from me, seems to have utterly despised the moderator.

Here are the quotes,

“Winner: Thompson. Don’t know if it will be enough, but he ought to get at least a little bump out of this. The moment he basically told the moderator where she could stick her “show of hands” question — well, I was inspired.” — The Campaign Spot

“However, it’s clear that Mitt Romney won this debate. Huckabee didn’t hurt himself, but Romney had eloquence, poise, and serious content in his performance. He looked presidential and sounded even more so. He also seemed spontaneous and good-humored, mixing it up with Fred Thompson and keeping it light. He never really went after Huckabee, choosing more to focus on his own record.” — Captain’s Quarters

Romney: A strong performance. The risk for him was seeming small in fights with Huckabee. The format saved him from that. The emphasis on the economy, education and other domestic, non-hot button issues benefited him. He seemed in control, substantive and positive. If there was a winner, it was Romney.

…Fred: Was unflappable, funny, and used his theme of “truth telling” very effectively. Standing up to the moderator was a memorable moment that will be talked about a lot. He deflated Romney a bit with his lines about being rich enough not worry about taxes and his comeback in the exchange with Mitt that Romney is becoming a good actor. This performance should help in Iowa where he is focusing now and is in third place according to the RCP average.

Huckabee: Could this be the moment when people begin to focus seriously on this race and his folksy vacuity on a lot of answers just doesn’t cut it? I don’t know the answer to that, but he seemed at his weakest in the harsh glare of a relentlessly substantive and sober debate. I believe he would have been better off fending off attacks from rivals with snappy comebacks. Not today.” — Rich Lowry, The Corner

“Fred Thompson earned his gold medal for refusing to follow Schoolmarm’s order for a show of hands on an inane global warming question.” — Michelle Malkin

“Who won then? Mitt and Fred. Fred and Mitt. Both candidates sounded substantive, calm, analytical and thoroughly prepared. Fred’s refusal to raise his hand was perhaps the highlight of an otherwise boring debate. I agree with Erick at Redstate; had this Fred shown up 4 months ago, he’d be the prohibitive favorite. Only time will tell if his awakening has come too late. Mitt seemed thoroughly at ease, and delivered only 1 or 2 canned answers (the plea to Iowans for instance). Beyond these minor mis-steps, Romney never touched ground after his impressive take-off.” — Race 4 2008

“A friend was at the Iowa Debate today and had to use the restroom on the way out. While in there, she overheard two women talking. One said she was undecided still. The other lady said, “All I know is fred thompson is a real man and the rest of those guys are little boys. He has my vote.” — Erick Erickson, Redstate

“This was Romney’s day. Listen, I called Huckabee in the first tier in the middle of the last debate. After this, watch for him to start his slide. Mitt got himself back on track and I would watch for it to start to show in the polls and in the coverage. From here on, Iowa and NH may be Romney’s to lose. If nothing else, he laid the groundwork for a political surge.” — Riehl World View

“THE WINNER was Fred Thompson. Fred came to play. He also had the obvious moment of the day when he took on the officious moderator, refusing to go along with one of those idiotic “raise your hands” questions. Given the hour that the debate took place, a lot of people will probably see only a highlight package of the debate. The unquestioned highlight was Fred slapping down the moderator. Even putting that aside, Fred had his best day of the campaign. He was serious, thoughtful, and authoritative. It was a wonderful day for him.

THE SILVER MEDALIST was Mitt Romney. Romney continued his fine run. Actually, the overly dry format played to his advantage. His wonkiness shines through on virtually every issue, and because there was no interplay, this debate was all about the wonkiness. His answer on education nearly broke the Luntz-o-meter.” — Dean Barnett, The Weekly Standard

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