by Jen Green
What do each of the candidates have to do to win (or survive) tonight’s debate:
The REAL Michele Bachmann needs to step up to the stage tonight. We’ve said it before on the show, there seems to be two Michele Bachmann’s. In private, she is almost Margaret Thatcher-esque strong in her grasp of foreign policy, economics, and most importantly to me, her biblical worldview. Yet, I have not seen that strength translate into her public appearances. I don’t know why she has gone through the shake up in her national campaign that she has, but I hope it’s because she got tired of them trying to manage her image to a ridiculous degree to the detriment of her strength of worldview showing. Tonight, Bachmann needs to throw caution to the wind and be the firebrand conservative she claims to be. Let’s face it, regardless of what she says, the Huffington Post et. al, is going to try to metaphorically slaughter you in the press. Let them. Your real base will love you for it.
Aside from the New Hampshire debate, Cain has performed well in debates and forums. I truly believe he is running for another job beside the Presidency, and no one really gives him much chance of winning the nomination. Therefore, if he continues to be his gregarious self, answers the questions reasonably, and gets some good one-liners in to make the crowd laugh, he’ll have fulfilled expectations.
Ahh Newt. He is just awesome at debates. It makes me happy just to know he’s going to be up there making everyone else look . . . well, sub-par. Nobody can articulate his political philosphy better than Newt. As long as he doesn’t sound too grumpy and elitist, he’ll knock it out of the park. That being said, I’m not sure if that will do anything to advance Newt’s position in the race. He’s had a couple of good performances and yet is still not considered a top tier candidate.
Hey, I know–how about if Jon Huntsman talks about his record in Utah, how he believes in global warming, evolution, and civil unions and further differentiates himself from the rest of the pack? Then he’ll win. . . in his mind.
Mitt wouldn’t take the bait at the Jim DeMint forum. DeMint tried to feed Romney questions that would play up his Tea Party-ness (maybe to justify his endorsement of Romney in 2008) to no avail. Romney didn’t play that game, choosing instead to act as though this is the general election and he must speak from the middle. But, it is Romney, so we’ll see what he decides to do tonight. Unlike the major media, I do not think Romney has done well in the last couple debates. He’s done nothing to elevate himself over the other candidates in any way. He’s not going to have the luxury of coasting tonight, though. Rick Perry has changed the game–for better or for worse.
Rick did a great job at the last debate–when he was given or TOOK time to speak. If he has the opportunity to speak his mind tonight, he needs to delve into his economical political philosophy. He’s done a good job of proclaiming his social stances and even his foreign policy positions in the past, but not what he’s going to do about jobs, taxes, out of control spending and the economy in general.
Ron Paul released a very politically savvy ad yesterday that will be running during the debate. The ad, though, is a double-edged sword. On one hand, he has aligned himself with Reagan conservatism and knocked Perry for his relationship with Al Gore. On the other, he’s opened himself up to “conservative” scrutiny for doing so. Already, a letter has surfaced from Ron Paul that has him distancing himself from Reagan. Also, he might have upset his “libertarian/anarchist” followers in claiming a strong relationship with Reagan. In any event, Paul needs to be social conservative, charming Paul–not grumpy, economics professor “It’s okay for Iran to have a nuke” Paul to help him along tonight.
Honestly, there are so many things coming out about Perry, even today, that if he just comes out of this with his shirt on he’s ahead of the game. He will be on the defensive from the get-go . . . UNLESS of course, the moderators and the other candidates let him off the hook. If they do, that’s a THEM problem and they are all just running for VP or another Washington job. To state the obvious, Perry is under the microscope tonight and it’s sure to be uncomfortable.