The Morning After: A GOP debate in review

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What did happen:

1. Mitt Romney tried to score points on John McCain, but only landed glancing blows.
2. McCain tried to soar above Romney by mostly declining to engage.
3. Mike Huckabee brought up traditional marriage, a topic he avoided in New Hampshire.
4. Ron Paul got both boos and cheers.
5. Fred Thompson hit Huckabee hard, over and over again. The Fox focus group approved.
6. McCain mentioned the “Barbary pirates.”
7. Thompson used the word “virgins.”
8. Romney said “three-dimensional chess.”

What did NOT happen:

1. Romney did not look as handsome as usual. He had almost Thompson-like bags under his eyes.
2. No one mentioned the Ron Paul blimp, which circled Myrtle Beach all afternoon.
3. McCain showed TIME no love, saying David Petraeus should have been “Person of the Year.”
4. No one mentioned the topic of torture.
5. There were no questions on healthcare costs, save one question about funding abortion.
6. Huckabee did not flinch when asked about his biblical belief that wives should “submit” to their husbands, in the same way that believers submit to Jesus Christ.
7. This reporter was not moved to write about the event as if it were a high school prom, though he still wrote this rather superficial blog post.

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