Rundown for the May 15th Debate

Romney won the first debate, although it turned out to be a joke becuase of the moderators and the question. However, the second debate on the 15th (next tuesday) should be better. Brit Hume is moderating, and he does not strike me as the kind of person to ask for a world cultures lesson or which canidates believe in evolution. Like last time, I have my pre-debate rundown for you to enjoy.

What the candidates need to do:

Mitt Romney: As the clear winner of the Reagan Library debate, the best thing for Romney to do it give another strong performance. The win last week put his name in the headlines, and rocketed him up in many state polls, not he needs to keep up the name recognition campaign and set his sites on the national polls.

John McCain: John McCain’s performance in the first debate was, well, less than perfect. He seems tired, and, at one point, a bit crazy. He needs to make it clear that his age is not an issue, but stick with the respected statesman personality. He needs to answer any questions about his stand on immigration, and aviod, as always, his personal life.

Rudy Giuliani: In a complete reversal from the last debate, this is do or die for Rudy. He is going to be an openly pro-abortionist running for the nomination of a party that is 66% opposed to abortion. Rudy has to give a reason for Conservatives to support him, and I don’t think he can. I don’t see anything in Rudy’s back pocket that he can use to say “_____ is the most important issue, and I’m the only candidate who can offer _____.” I think his campaign is likely finished, but lets see if he cannot prevent, or at least postpone the collapse.

Sam Brownback / Duncan Hunter: These two did moderately well in the first debate, and are really the only candidates who have a shot to get up into the first tier. With all signs pointing to the end of Giuliani, there may be a vacume for one of them to step in and take up that third spot. By July, we may have a new top tier: McCain, Romney, Brownback or McCain, Romney, Hunter.



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9 responses to “Rundown for the May 15th Debate

  1. What about Thompson and/or Gingrich?

  2. They are not running, do not have exploratory committees, and have expressed only mild interest in running. IF they declare, they will be included.

  3. GeorgiaMom

    Chris Matthews will surely be the loser of this debate. These two events will only be two weeks apart and the comparison will not be kind to Chris.

  4. Fair enough to say they are not officially running, but I think they are both certainly running unofficially. Newt is taking great pains to co-opt some traditional Dem issues such as health care reform and is assembling very in depth plans for social security reform and medicare reform. He is at least positioning himself as a potential veep. Thompson is running, rumor has it he’s put together a campaign team, he’s blogging on key issues on conservative sites, and giving speeches the same night as the debates. He’s likely been advised to hold off to benefit from being an undeclared candidate for a while, but I would be very very surprised if he doesn’t declare and enter the top tier, probably this month. By contrast, I suspect Newt will not declare but cozy up to one of the leaders for the veep slot, (in which I also think he’d be very effective).

    And Chris Mathews gave the worst debate moderating in the history of mankind. On my own site, I detail his many many unprofessionalisms through the debate, from rudeness to bizarre questions.

  5. GeorgiaMom

    Noonan, why should people who have not declared their candidacy be included in a debate?

    Who do you allow and not allow?

    If and when they announce they will be invited to debates. This is not unique to this election — you need to be a declared candidate to participate in the debates.

  6. Noonan

    I didn’t think they should be included in the debates. I was responding to the analysis of what the “new top tier” would be from the end of the original post. Since they are polling high without declaring, my point was perhaps they should be included in that. But I agree with you – an undeclared candidate should not be invited to a debate.

  7. Ken Kruse

    So why do you say Romney won? From what I saw, Ron Paul was the winner. Why do you try to exclude him from all the mainstream media. What are you affraid of, an honest man?



  9. Pedro Delgado

    Posting this again:

    I happen to agree that on substance, Giuliani was not the best. However, in the eyes of the mainstream media, the victory was his. I am impartial at this point and open to a number of candidacies. The Fox Poll you mention is hardly any indication of victory, considering that it’s already been discredited by Ron Paul’s fanatic supporters.
    My thoughts are that Romney did well, but not great. He had some solid answers, but got burned in the soundbytes by McCain’s rebuttals. He also has a tendency to talk over people’s heads. He needs to work on talking ‘to the public’ instead of ‘at or over their heads.’ He should simplify his answers and slow down his delivery to get his points across more clearly. He was better than McCain, but neither really helped themselves.

    You missed two small points. I’m from the south, and have an ear to the reactions from around. First, you forgot to mention Huckabee. I don’t think he has a realistic chance at the nomination, but he might have come away with the most from the debate. He’s a big government, fiscally weak candidate, but he grabbed peoples attention with his oratory skills.
    Second, it looks like Thompson also came away with momentum. As much as some hate to admit it, his rebuttal of Michael Moore got an enormous amount of airplay, and the evangelical right is quietly lining up to support his candidacy. He spoke at the Council for National Policy last weekend, which is probably the most powerful conservative group in the country, and really did well. He is clearly going to be a force to be reckoned with.

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