Rating The GOP Candidates’ October Debate Performances

By: Edward L. Daley

Thank God for the most recent Republican primary debate, because without it the so-called journalists of the Jurassic news media would have been forced to waste ALL of Tuesday last talking about those silly, pampered, rich kids of the ‘Occupy… whatever’ movement, while simultaneously overlooking the various impeachable offenses that Barack Obama has committed since taking office.

And the following day, those same stalwart propaganda-knights got to expend a considerable amount of energy telling all of us what we think about the aforementioned debate… as well as glorifying the pointless exploits of those ridiculous, spoiled brats who comprise the ‘Occupy something-or-other’ crusade and, of course, fiercely ignoring the numerous criminal activities of the Obama administration.

But enough of that ugliness. On to my penetrative, insightful and thought-provoking – yet still humble – views concerning the eight GOP presidential candidates who participated in the round-table debate of October 11, 2011.

First off, Newt won the thing. That was clear to anyone who witnessed the spectacle in its entirety. You are free to disagree with me on that score, of course, but keep in mind that if you do you will prove to me that you are very nearly as featherbrained as Joe Biden, and really, what good can come of that?

If you ask me – and what serious person wouldn’t? – Mr. Gingrich proved beyond all doubt that he truly is “the smartest guy in the room,” especially when the only other people in said room are his fellow Republican presidential candidates and a few, self-important Obama apologists disguised as impartial journalists.

Furthermore, he’s the best debater of the lot, and to deny that simple truth is to turn one’s back on all vestiges of reality. Sure, Newt’s got his negative attributes like everyone else, but when it comes to verbally sparring over the important issues of the day, nobody possesses more general knowledge of those issues, is better prepared and, therefore, is more intellectually intimidating than former Speaker Gingrich.

To borrow from the hipster vernacular of the day, he da man!

Before I continue, I must relate that I can feel the eye-daggers of Ron Paul‘s more virulent supporters piercing my virtual heart at this point, and for the record, you can all bend over and plant a great big, sloppy kiss right on my virtual ass.

Dr. Paul is a perennial loser when it comes to running for President of the United States, and the fact that he’s now older than dirt doesn’t exactly enhance his odds of winning the 2012 Republican nomination.

But I’m getting WAY ahead of myself here.

Rick Santorum did himself a favor by being the most in-your-face participant of Tuesday night’s debate, and although he received the least number of questions throughout the evening, he made the most of the opportunities he had to speak his mind. Sadly, while the former U.S. Senator is a relatively bright individual, he also has the personality of toenail clippings.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with most of the man’s political positions, and I believe that his performance during this event warrants rating him the second-place debater of the evening. However, I get the distinct impression that if Santorum ever managed to laugh out loud, my ears would explode from shock.

Herman Cain, in contrast, is the sort of guy you’d expect to offer up a good belly-laugh every now and again, even in the face of harsh criticism. He’s easily the most affable and seemingly genuine of all the right-wingers currently running for president and, more importantly, he is slowly learning that details matter in a GOP primary race.

Nobody at that Washington Post/Bloomberg-provided table was confronted more harshly, more often or by more people than former CEO Cain, yet he mostly held his own, and it is not insignificant to note that he did so with confidence and composure. That’s why I rate Herman’s latest debate performance third overall.

Then there’s Michele Bachmann – or as I like to call her, Sarah Palin light – who was much less aggressive than I had expected she’d be. Apparently, somebody on her campaign staff got hold of her before the debate and explained that snippiness is not the most attractive quality in a lady, and that she might want to try accentuating her intellectual side a little more.

Whatever Michele‘s adviser(s) said to her, it worked, because she came off as a bright, business-like, and even marginally cheerful woman for the first time in recent memory. I don’t know if she helped her poll numbers in any substantial way, but at least she didn’t say anything that might cause folks to begin referring to her as the GOP’s ‘Cruella de Vil’, and for that she get’s my fourth-place debate ribbon.

Which brings me to Rick Perry. Of the four debates he’s engaged in thus far, this one did the least amount of damage to his crumbling campaign. In other words, Perry didn’t shoot himself in the foot again, but he also didn’t say anything particularly memorable, nor did he appear very presidential throughout the event.

That having been said, there is still time for the Texas governor to get his act together and pull himself out of the hole he’s been digging since the first debate he appeared in. Fortunately for Rick, he didn’t bring a shovel to Tuesday’s debate, so I’ll award him fifth place for at least managing to avoid complete electoral disaster for a while yet.

By now I’m sure that many of my fellow Republicans are asking: hey, where’s Mitt? The answer is: he’s right here in my number six slot. I know that a lot of you are shocked and appalled that I would dare rate former Governor Romney so poorly. After all, he IS the favorite of the GOP elite and the mainstream press alike… plus his hair is to die for.

The problem with Mitt is that, while he is a smooth-talking dude to be sure, over half of the words that come out of his mouth add up to complete bullshit. Few people possess his innate ability to chatter on endlessly while simultaneously saying almost nothing, and although the man is also adept at masking his contempt for honesty with a toothy smile, that’s no reason for me to treat this media-ingratiating bastard like a serious-minded debater.

Now onto the most annoying candidate of the bunch, Ron Paul. What can I say about the good doctor that hasn’t already been used as a punchline in many of the jokes told by actual Republicans since the aged congressman decided to throw his hat into the presidential ring for the umpteenth time? Hmmm… well, there is the fact that he was recently exposed for wearing eyebrow toupees. Really, Ron? REALLY?

Most of Paul‘s diehard fans expected that this debate would amount to his shining moment in the sun once they heard it would be entirely focused on economics. Ironically, that fact proved to be his biggest hurdle, because even most anti-Paul conservatives already agree with the guy generally on economic issues. What people wanted to know was who ELSE has sound fiscal views. As it turns out, several of his fellow GOPers proved to be just as well-versed in the subject as the Texas libertarian, which made him seem largely irrelevant. That’s why Ron Paul ranks seventh in a debate that many folks thought he’d win in a walk.

Last (and yes, least) we come to Jon Huntsman. I suspect that the only reason why this man still gets invited to these debates is because the event planners find even-numbers of people on a stage to be more aesthetically pleasing than otherwise. How else can one explain the continued appearance of this tedious and unpopular dullard at such venues?

I know, his hair is nearly as impeccable as Mitt Romney‘s, but practically everything else about the former Utah Governor screams “assclown” with a capital ASS. All I can say to you, Mr. Huntsman, is please go away. Even Ron Paul thinks you’re a loser, and the only reason you managed to rank eighth in this debate is because Donald Trump decided not to run for president this time around.

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