Weekly Presidential Politics - 11/28/07
7:52 PM - We're coming to you live from the IC condo in Groton, CT, ready to bring live coverage of tonight's CNN/YouTube Republican debate. There's been a plethora of debates in 2007, but I don't think any have been this anticipated. Finally, the American people get a shot at a floundering Republican Party.
I have no idea how the live blog will go. I've done a couple in the past, but they are almost always too verbose. I'll have to limit either the length or number of posts. Feel free to leave comments throughout the debate! The record is 63 comments. The low is 0.
7:58 - Three things I expect tonight: 1) First-tier candidates taking a shot at Huckabee's record as governor of Arkansas. 2) Five candidates claim they're like Ronald Reagan. 3) Tom Tancredo will find an immigrant in the audience and kill him with his bare hands.
8:03 - Governor Crist (R-Fl) just had the first audition for the VP slot on the Republican ticket!
8:05 - Anderson Cooper is the Ryan Seacrest of politics, am I right? Frankly, I don't know which one I just insulted.
8:12 - First question and Giuliani gets hit on immigration. Mayor Rudy and Presidential Candidate Rudy are verrrry far apart from each other on immigration. About as far apart as New York City and El Paso.
8:16 - Yes! Romney and Giuliani are going at it during the first question! These guys will be the last two standing in February folks. Pay attention. The best part is they're both spinning and perpetuating an issue that makes both of them look bad. Ladies and gentlemen... your Republican frontrunners!
8:18 - Fred Thompson just got an absolute softball on immigration to smack out of the park and he did so.
8:19 - Okay, I'm giddy here. Thompson just took a shot at Romney AND Giuliani in 20 seconds. Is this setting the tone for the debate? This could be phenomenal.
8:22 - John McCain has never looked better. Wait, did I say better? I meant older. Did I really think this guy was the favorite a year ago?
8:24 - Prediction: Tom Tancredo drops out in December, now that his pet issue - immigration - is front and center. He was never in it to win it.
8:26 - Did Hunter just compare the San Diego-Tijuana border with the Arizona/New Mexico/Texas-Mexico border???
8:29 - Okay, Romney has three enemies on stage (Huckabee, Giuliani, Thompson) and those are the three guys directly below him in Iowa polls. Not a good spot for Mitt.
8:34 - I don't know if Ron Paul is right about the potentially budding North American Union, but he was right with his historical example of the EU. It started as murmurs and bloomed fifty years later.
8:40 - It's fun to hear a bunch of Republicans hoot and holler the destruction of the IRS like school kids hearing they might get rid of homework.
8:42 - McCain just took on Ron Paul! It's like Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers doing Rocky XVII!
8:45 - So the left side of the stage would sign a pledge and the right side wouldn't? Sounds to me that after Thompson got the cajones to say "No," everyone else did, too. Not that I expected any different response from McCain and Ron Paul.
8:54 - In responding to the Fred Thompson YouTube add, I honestly think Mitt just put the abortion issue in the rearview mirror. Huckabee's tribulations, however, have just begun.
8:55 - First commercial break. Ranking: 1) Fred Thompson; 2) Ron Paul; 3) Huckabee; 4) Romney; 5) Tancredo; 6) McCain; 7) Giuliani; 8) Hunter.
9:04 - Okay, I gotta do a quick diatribe on the second amendment. It's easily the most brutalized amendment in the U.S. Constitution. It does not simply say, "The right to bear arms." It does not. What's continually dismissed is the premise of the amendment. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Is a well regulated militia necessary to the security of a free State anymore? That's the issue that needs to be debated first. And I'd love someone to make the case that a militia is not an archaic institution that has been unnecessary since Taft.
9:05 - Hey, this is fun! Let's hear about the amount of guns our Presidential candidates own!
9:10 - Ron Paul can always fall back on one answer - let the states decide! Man, let's just get a prime minister and forget the office of the President altogether! Hmmm... More on that to come in the future.
9:14 - The death penalty: What would Jesus do? Ladies and gentlemen, the question of the night. And we all know the answer, don't we?
9:16 - Bible questions! We should have an entire debate on that subject alone.
9:17 - Giuliani just called the Bible the greatest book ever written. Sorry, I gotta go with McCullough's John Adams. By the way, this question was in Huckabee's wheelhouse and there's not even a close second.
9:22 - It's becoming clear that they'll close with the economy and then Iraq. Talk about a grand finale!
9:26 - Has anyone ever explained why Giuliani will be stronger on terror or be tougher in foreign policy than McCain? The guy was a mayor of a city that got attacked! That's it!
9:30 - John McCain is absolutely right about the water boarding issue. Absolutely right. I don't think he's said anything dishonest tonight, joining only Tancredo and Paul. Meanwhile, Romney still can't get out of his own way tonight.
9:35 - I love Ron Paul and Iraq questions. They're my favorite part of every debate.
9:38 - Islam takes such a beating during the Republican debates. Of course, the Muslim countries don't have debates to bash Christians...
9:41 - Fred Thompson has this crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. He's still leading this debate, and tonight might be the night he starts to right the sinking ship.
9:45 - Third commercial break rankings: 1) Thompson [winning the crowd, winning his freedom]; 2) Paul [his niche loves him more than ever]; 3) McCain [clearly straight shootin' like the old days]; 4) Tancredo [nothing to lose with his honesty and wrongness]; 5) Romney [not as impressive as usual]; 6) Huckabee [Disappointing performance] ; 7) Giuliani [Only one good answer on the night] 8) Hunter [Completely underwhelming].
9:50 - Romney just got caught in his newest flipflop!
9:52 - Did anyone else hear some (dozens) Republican audience members booing the gay officer? Not a good job by that crowd.
9:58 - Um, "Hillary can be on the first rocket to Mars?!" Watch out for that one tomorrow. On the Mars issue: There will be an absolute outcry from this country if the first manned expedition to Mars does not have an American. International cooperation would be fine, but if there's no American involvement, it'd be the greatest ideological and technological disappointment in this country's history.
10:02 - Romney just called out John Edwards. I'LL KILL HIM! He also just lost South Carolina, but whatever.
10:05 - Giuliani and Huckabee are closing strong. I can't say the same for myself. I'm getting up in 7 and a half hours.
10:10 - Well, "huge" Red Sox fan Mitt Romney just added a year to the Red Sox former World Series drought (86, not 87). A perfect way to end a disappointing night for Romney... but still my favorite for the Republican nomination.
10:12 - Annnd scene. Sorry for the relatively week analysis tonight, but there's simply not enough time to get into all the issues and do a live blog. For analysis, check out my blog at Presidential Politics for America, as I'll be starting daily Iowa Caucus posts starting on Monday, December 3rd - one month until the Iowa Caucus in both parties.