I'm writing this right after Mike Huckabee's Republican Presidential Forum. First I want to say that I thought all the candidates did a good job. The way it was held allowed everyone to answer questions without having interruptions from other candidates. I personally would like to see more of these. This type of forum helped me solidify some of my own opinions of candidates and also changed my opinions on a couple.
Everyone who writes on this this page as well as those who offer comments are expressing opinions first and in some cases backs those opinions with facts. Tonight I am writing my opinions only. I'm not looking to try and add fact to any of this. With that being said, here we go.
I think Rick Perry and Ron Paul benefitted the most from the format. Neither are what anyone would call great debaters. They are arguably the two worst in all of the previous debates.
I think Michelle Bachmann did the worst of all the candidates. She was hardly on point in any of the responses she gave. Add the fact that she showed little conviction in her responses, I just believe that she is done as a candidate. I like Michelle Bachmann. I gave to 2010 re-election campaign and I don't even live in her district or state. Michelle, I love your work in congress and in my opinion, you are right where you belong. Please drop and and stay in congress. Tonight's Grade: C
Ron Paul, buddy, pal, fellow "I can't stand the federal reserve" guy. You are at best a fourth place candidate. You did good tonight. You stayed composed and articulated well. You also stayed away from answers that have irritated people in the past. Your stance on the military and foreign policy has alienated you from many voters. Like Michelle, I believe you serve this country honorably in congress and should continue to do so. Please drop out and stay a couple of more terms in the house. Tonight's Grade: C+
Rick Santorum, you impressed me and lost me all at the same time. Your belief in family and traditional marriage is well known and supported my a majority of the country. One thing that turned me off tonight was your attempt to inject family or faith or marriage into every response. The item that lost you any support was your stance on the Patriot Act. 1/2 of the Patriot Act does nothing but strip rights from the people. You brag about crafting it. You can't support the constitution and at the same time support legislation that takes away rights guaranteed by the constitution. You are still my choice for the VP slot, but it's time for you to drop out. Tonight's Grade: B
Mitt Romney lost a bit of my support tonight. Not once tonight did he ever hint that he is other than a big government candidate. Tonight he supported the 10th amendment some, but advocated big government policy and authority. You made sure you didn't hurt yourself tonight but you didn't help yourself either. The constraints of not being able to talk negatively about the other republican candidates seemed to take him a little out of his comfort zone. Tonight's Grade: B+
Rick Perry did a good job tonight. He stuck to the questions and strongly advocated state's rights. He articulated his answers tonight better than he has in the past yet he still stumbled a little in a couple of his responses. Perry knows he is not a great debater and it's because of that, Obama would eat him up in a debate. If it were possible to take your policies and beliefs and package them with Romney's speaking ability, Obama would rightfully be scared to debate you. Tonight's Grade: B+
Surprise Surprise (not really) the person I thought performed the best tonight was Newt Gingrich. Best articulator. Clear and easy to understand responses. He even managed to poke a little fun at himself. Again, he said all the right things but left again, left out things that would win over strict conservatives. He confirmed my opinion tonight that he is the second biggest "big government" candidate behind Romney. Tonight's Grade: A-
It has been my belief for quite some time that John Huntsman has needed to drop out of the race. His inability to make time for tonight's forum just adds to mmy belief that he is just wasting time and taking attention away from more serious and electible candidates.
I could support Romney, Gingrich or Perry. Until today, Herman Cain would also be in this group. Tonight's forum did shrink my choices as to who I will vote for in the Missouri primaries, but a definate choice has yet to be made. 2008, I firmly supported Fred Thompson and he didn't last long enough for me to even vote for him. This time I will wait a little longer before deciding.