I didn’t get home last night until almost 9pm, so I missed the first half of the debate, although I did frantically call my husband to ask him to watch and give me a play-by-play. From what I understand, all I missed during the 8 0’clock hour was a fight between Romney and Giuliani and some wacko question to Ron Paul about the NAFTA Superhighway. Which, by the way, was the only mention of Ron Paul during the CNN after-coverage. Thanks a lot.

All in all, I think Huckabee killed the debate. Every time the man opened his mouth, I looked at my husband and said, “Man, that was a good answer!” He is clearly a skilled debater and, being a former minister, a smooth and charismatic speaker. In all honesty, if I didn’t know his record, his performance last night would have swayed me.

Although I missed Romney’s rebuttal of Huckabee’s excuse for his giving taxpayer dollars to the children of illegal immigrants to go to college, that was apparently the only chink in his armor for the night. In case you missed it, the question concerned why, when Huckabee was governor, he gave taxpayer-funded scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants to go to college when the children of military personnel were not eligible for such assistance. Huckabee gave some kind of “I don’t want to punish the children for the acts of the parents – do unto others” kind of answer. Romney told Huckabee that it wasn’t his money to give. Score one for Romney.

I think Huckabee most likely won over a number of evangelicals last night. He was the only one who unapologetically said that he believes every word of the Bible. He nailed the “What would Jesus Do about the death penalty?” question, except for the fact that he did not mention that the bible actually prescribes the death penalty. During this answer he did explain why Christians are pro-life and pro-death penalty in an incredibly eloquent manner. Again, in case you missed it, he explained the fundamental difference between putting someone to death who has been deemed guilty in a court of law of a heinous crime and the killing of an innocent life that has not only not been deemed guilty of any wrongdoing, but that has not even had the chance to be born. Score one for Huckabee.

My husband was clearly swayed by Huckabee’s evangelical swagger last night. Not being as in to politics as I, he wasn’t aware of Huckabee’s record as governor or his support of cap-and-trade environmental schemes. I honestly hate that Huckabee did so well last night, because his record simply doesn’t reflect what he said in the debate.

As for the other candidates:

Every time Giuliani answered a question I thought I was watching the CNN/YouTube Democrat debate. I’ve never in my life seen such an unapologetically liberal Republican getting so much attention. The boobs at CNN were practically salivating all over themselves – “You mean we could end up with a Presidential race between two Democrats! Our dreams have come true!” His “I believe the Bible but I don’t believe the Bible” answer was pathetic. Next!

Romney solidified his position as the most confusing candidate in the race. “I believed that then, but I don’t believe that now.” “I know I did/said that as governor of Massachusetts, but I was wrong.” I don’t know what the man believes. At least, however, he actually accepts his record for what it is and says he was wrong about it, unlike Huckabee who seems to be ignoring his record as governor of Arkansas.

Thompson was unimpressive – I can’t remember even one of his answers. My husband said, “Dear Lord! He looks like he’s about to keel over!” Seems to me that the Thompson campaign is about to crash and burn.

Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter were impressive, but I feel that they – much like Ron Paul – were largely ignored. While I know that the idea was to ask the questions randomly and give everyone somewhat equal time, it still seemed like the “front-runners” were given most of the air-time. Similar to Thompson, I can’t really remember much of what Tancredo or Hunter said. Although I think it was Tancredo who gave the fantastic answer to the “gays in the military” question. A retired military man with an impressive record asked why, as a gay man, he wasn’t allowed to reveal his sexual orientation while he was in the military. He wanted to know why the Republicans didn’t believe that those in the military were “professional” enough to work alongside gays. Again, I think it was Tancredo (it might have been Hunter) who answered unapologetically in favor of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I can’t do justice to his answer here, but, take my word for it, it was a good one.

Finally, my man, Ron Paul. I’m clearly biased here, as I felt like a nervous mom watching her son on stage. Every time he was asked a question I found myself thinking, “Oh please do well, Oh please do well!” I don’t feel that Dr. Paul has the debating skills that some of the other candidates – namely, Mike Huckabee – do. While I know Paul’s record and enjoyed his answers in the debate, I don’t feel that it was a winning performance. I am also quite perturbed by some of the questions given to Paul. The NAFTA superhighway question seems to have been picked to make him look like a kook, although (according to my husband, as I missed this part of the debate) he gave an incredibly intelligent and thorough answer. I also was irritated by the last question offered to Dr. Paul in which the “YouTuber” said “While we all know the Republicans are not going to give you the nomination…” A statement like this on national television is enough to sway public opinion, and I can’t help but wonder if it was picked for that very reason.

All-in-all I had a blast watching the debate. Again, I’m disappointed that Huckabee did so well, as the vast majority of Americans are not going to take the time to look at his record. I, however, have not been swayed:

Ron Paul in ’08!

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