Pawlenty Pusses Out At CNN GOP Debate

Going into Monday night’s GOP debate, the only thing I was passionate about concerning the current field of candidates was my disdain for Mitt Romney. The double-hit of his membership in the Global Warming cult and his pride at creating a health care law that was the blueprint for Obamacare still left him ahead of Obama, but put him right near the bottom of the GOP pack for me – right above Ron Paul and the pot dude.

If pressed before the debate, I’d have said I was leaning toward Pawlenty at this early date.  He had the good sense to denounce all the dumb, RINOish things he’s said in the past and do it in a convincing way, he’s rock solid on abortion, and he was saying all the right things about jobs and the economy.  He had a particularly strong appearance on the Rush Limbaugh Show the day he announced his candidacy.  I even felt a little bit of excitement for the race when he tied Romney to ObamaCare by calling it “ObamneyCare” on this week’s FOX News Sunday. It seemed scrappy.  I thought he’d be someone who could take it to Obama in the fall of 2012.

Pawlenty dropped a few notches for me during Monday night’s debate.  Moderator John “The Grunter” King asked him to expand on why he thought ObamaCare should be called ObamneyCare.  Pawlenty blanched and punted the question.  He wouldn’t even repeat the term “ObamneyCare.” He didn’t lay a glove on Mittenz at all.  He came across like the kid who will talk a ton of shit about you in the school bathroom, but be all sorts of “Hey, Steven” when he sees you in the hallway a minute later.  If he’s not going to go after the front-runner face to face in a GOP debate, what is there to indicate to me that he will go after Obama face to face in a general election debate?  The answer is: There is no indication he will.

Conversely, I was pleasantly surprised by Michele Bachmann’s debate performance.  I have serious doubts about whether she could win a general election against Obama – I think she’s been unfairly linked to Sarah Palin in peoples’ minds – but tonight she kind of crushed it. Announcing that she was officially a candidate near the beginning of the debate was kind of a master stroke of PR skill, too.  She took the spotlight and placed it on herself, and then she actually made positive use of the attention she’d grabbed.

Newt didn’t do himself any favors by suggesting Republicans need to “slow down” in fixing Medicare specifically and the crushing national debt in general.  Either its a crisis that’s bearing down on us or its something we can afford to wait around and fix in baby steps.  It can’t be both.

Herman Cain seems like a great guy who I’d love to have as a business mentor, but I’m not getting “President” from him.  It doesn’t help that he gaffed a gun rights question late last week, saying this unalienable right that is directly listed in the US Constitution should be somehow left to the states.  Add that to his confusion about the Palestinians’ “Right of Return” a few weeks ago, and I’m going to say that he’s not ready for prime time.

Ron Paul is Pat Paulsen at this point, except the Smothers Brothers are long gone, and his supporters don’t seem to be in on the joke.  We get it: “Federal Reserve.”  It’s not the message at this point, dude, it’s the messenger. There’s a terminology for doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result: Ron Paul.  We know what you’re selling, we’re just not buying.

A lot of people say Romney won.  If by “won” you mean he didn’t do anything to disqualify himself, then maybe he did. He didn’t shatter anyone’s expectations, and he didn’t gaffe out.  He looked kind of bad, kind of haggard, which isn’t good when half of your appeal is that you look presidential.

Arlen Specter supporter Rick Santorum is Eddie Haskel. You say nice sounding things to us, Rick, but you’re not fooling anyone; we know you’re a dick underneath it all.

For my purposes, I’d have to say Bachmann won but admit that some of that was for exceeding expectations.

Here’s Pawlenty’s pussy moment.