Here’s my quick impression of the candidates last night … This is a verbatim transcript of what I heard, although admittedly, I did not take any notes.
Ron Paul: Stop the wars! Audit the Fed! Mind our own business! And who really needs botox, anyway? I don’t care how big the bags under my eyes get. If the indifferent Creator, who gave us our inalienable rights, had wanted us to not get wrinkles, he would have placed trade restrictions on our skin! Obviously, he’s a free marketer. And I doubt the big Individual-Rights-Loving-Libertarian in the Sky cares if Iran gets nukes, either. Why should I care if Israel becomes a crater in a sandbox? China has the bomb, too! Why not Tehran? Stop with these crazy sanctions already!
Rick Santorum: Look, I think RP is completely nuts, but I know that my only hope is to crater the support of the chick in the room who claims to lead the leaderless Tea Party. So, let me tell you that, unlike her, I actually defeated three incumbent Democrats and passed serious bi-partisan legislation like welfare reform in Congress before my crushing defeat. It’s about leadership not showmanship, Michele. And yes, some of my serious legislation had to do with imposing wrinkle-restricting sanctions on Iran, Congressman Paul. And sure, no one is paying attention to me — either in this debate or in the national media – but I’m paying attention to Iowa. And all these politically-spoiled so-cons here agree with me that we need a stronger moral foundation in this country, which means the Federal government should …. [fill in the blank].
Jon Huntsman: Frankly, I’m gonna be a little different than the GOP crowd, maybe even a lot different. I’m a green-energy Mormon who speaks Mandarin Chinese and I really like gay people. But I hope you’ll vote for me anyway … for my solutions. Everyone can get excited about solutions, right? Oh, and I love America. Very much.
Mitt Romney: Granted, my nose is growing longer and longer the more I have to spin my way out of Obamneycare, but for now I’ve settled on the 10th Amendment defense which polls well lately. Besides, I’m smarter than Obama and all these other clowns combined. Even if the American people blame me for the the thousands of folks Bain Capital sent packing with pink slips, surely they recognize my intelligence surplus and business savvy. Did I mention how much I love you, the American people?
Michele Bachmann: It’s really an honor to be here as the people’s candidate. I may have promised to be a submissive wife to Marcus, but that hasn’t stopped me from fearlessly leading the opposition to Obama. I am the titanium-spined, tip of the spear, which does not imply anything phallic, by the way. I fought harder than anyone else for all the monumental lost causes both in the Minnesota state senate, and in Congress, including for the Lightbulb Liberation Act, which is why I always look like a bright light is approaching me. I am your champion, America. And if you excuse me … I have to leave the stage to pop some Excedrin.
Tim Pawlenty: Yeah, you may have fought, Michele, but you lost. That’s not leading. And that’s not logical. Meanwhile, with no help from you, I practically single-handedly saved our beloved Gopher state from certain annihilation. That’s the kind of toughness we need in this ArmaDebton that we’re facing, my fellow Christian Americans, and we can only pray the Lord God will grace us with his budget-conscious arm and save us from Obamneycare.
Herman Cain: I’m gonna tell it to you straight: I know I can’t win, but I am sure as heck gonna sound better losing than most of these other government-sucking, Christian-pandering idiots. And, you can stick your Muslim mosque “gotcha questions” where the sun don’t shine because I’m not a religious bigot … I just talk to a lot of religious bigots down in Dixie.
Newt Gingrich: I’m toast, too, but I can articulate conservative fiscal and national security policy as well as any of the great thinkers of the last century. In case you forgot, I led the House of Representatives back when we actually balanced the budget. So, I’m not going to take any crap from Chris Wallace, either, I can tell you that. Meanwhile, I feel the need to inform you that there are Islamist spies in this very auditorium, and you should probably alert your congressman and Senators.
That’s basically what I got from the debate in my casual and distracted viewing. If I had to score a winner … well, from my perspective, I liked the feisty libertarian logic of Ron Paul, the compassionate heart of Rick Santorum, the straight talk of Herman Cain and the intelligence of Newt Gingrich. Or maybe I’m just sentimental for underdogs!
Bachmann, Romney, Pawlenty and Huntsman all tried too hard to brag about themselves, in my view.
Besides, Huntsman was just a little too … in the wrong primary, perhaps?
What did you think of the candidates?
Sure does seem like we need one candidate who can embody all the good stuff!
Just can’t imagine whom that would be?! Maybe somebody at the Iowa State Fair today??
Update: This fantastic debate impression came in from Roderick Deane, who has previously contributed to C4P:
What I found interesting about the Republican debate is what the “lamestream” media focused on. They didn’t report on substantive policy disagreements, they focused on personality. Perhaps that’s the only thing they know. After all, Barack Obama was elected on the basis of personality. Moreover, he was elected on his ability to plead for “hope and change”.
What I saw of the debate in Iowa was a slate of candidates that were intent on saying “I’m the one that should lead you”. What I didn’t see was true, inspirational leadership as contrasted to Barack Obama. I saw more politicians fumbling their way to a rhetorical advantage over a rival.
What I didn’t see was a clear articulation of the principles of our founding fathers. I saw platitudes and posturing, none of which impressed me. It was almost as if our founding principles were “politically incorrect”.
This field of Republican candidates is sorely lacking in the ability to convey a sense of resolve for the American public. I don’t really care about who voted for what in Congress. I want to hear ideas that uplift our spirits.
I want to know that tomorrow is not the end of the world as we know it and I want to hear politicians say that, distinctly!
I want someone to say that we iwill/i transcend this present economic nightmare and do bigger and better things, because that is our history.
I want someone to tell me that all “hope” is not lost and that we can resurrect our economy iand/i governing principles to guide us for many years to come. We have been and need to again be the leader of the world in our resolve to advance liberty.
I want to hear from Sarah Palin! She speaks about liberty and freedom in a way that appeals to me. She makes me feel good about our prospects for the future. She has a more uplifting message than anyone else in the Republican field. She make me look forward in anticipation of achievement.
My impressions from the Iowa Republican debate are cloaked in disappointment. I didn’t see what I was hoping to. I pray that Sarah didn’t as well.