From the odd venue of the airplane hanger at the Reagan Library. (If they don't believe in Science, well, except for Huntsman and maybe Mitt, how do they explain mechanical flight?)
What a coup that MSNBC snatched Michael Steele. He reminds me of that guy from our freshman dorm we parodied (very kindly) in the end-of-year skits. He had so much fun with it, he joined right in!
Peggy Noonan is good to have - solid Reagan Republican who has it out for the tea party.
If it gets a little weird, it might be the Republicans, or it might because I had to take my headache medicine tonight.
I gotta eat too. Wife out of town so it's frozen pizza - comfort food helps avoid a total downer.
General consensus that Palin won't get in.
Brian Williams is moderator so it's just fine to watch on MSNBC. They should have the best shots and high entertainment value
Perry trying to "cowboy up!" confident, energetic,. Romney "lookin' Presidential" starin' him down.
This is a silly sitcom with neighbors Perry and Mitt.
Rick Santorum? He's still runnin' for Prez?
Does Herman Cain know 9-9-9 is the emergency number to call in Britain?
Huntsman -to Romney - no trade war (good shot!) Huntsman taken on both Mitt and Perry.
Which regs are prohibitive? Obamacare. Our "jobs" problem is that teenagers can't work in restaurants? I think it's a little bit more than that.
Switch on Ayn Rand (Ron Paul). Survival of the economically fittest. I guess he doesn't like Ralph Nader at any speed.
the newt is actually funny. Then he waxes nostalgic for Reaganism. Now, it's class warfare and "bureaucratic socialism"
Now we're on to Romneycare. Mitt makes a "pants on fire" if you check out politifact on his 8% vs. 100%. [http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/07/mitt-romney/romney-says-his-health-care-bill-affected-far-smal/] Perry comes in. Why Texas uninsured? it's the fed's fault?
Huntsman on the Utah miracle (health care, not the other stuff)
Bachmann sticks to talking points does not answer questions. That's a troubling pattern. Thinks she has 13 Repub senators on her coat tails. That will take a lot of "luck." Newt doesn't want to fight Repubs. But he does want to cheer lead. The enemy of my friend or something. Cain running against Hillarycare, Obamacare and Romneycare.
Brian Williams pushes on religion. Santorum's Catholicism. Where do the poor come in? Welfare reform was to help people. Perry dodges race economics disparity question on to small business. quotes Kennedy on jobs.
Bachman is so rehearsed. Smoother than usual, but still on script. Huntsman says leadership is important - plays the teleprompter card.
Ron Paul gets rid of minimum wage that will help the poor. Paul goes after Perry on Hillarycare. doesn't like mandates. buy gasoline for a silver dime. Perry goes back on Ron Paul. Nobody listens to the newt. Paul really is everyone's crazy old uncle but he doesn't appear as dangerous as Uncle Dick (Cheney).
OK back to Perry takin' and givin' heat on his book (the campaign one "Fed Up" not the Scout one). Does not back off Soc. Sec. ponzi scheme and takes on Cheney and Rove. Romney wants to save Soc. Sec. Perry tryin' not to fight but fix. Wants to have provocative language. Cain yells rhetoric back. Believes in the "Chilean" model. Uh, yeah.
Paul takes the invite to go on Perry. Paul will not use the Exec Order to write laws. Bachmann is concerned about parental ownership (er, I guess she said "rights') Private sector and family are the best. Government is the worst. Perry doesn't like being a piñata (looks like to me they have a plethora of piñatas on that stage). Perry will err on the side of saving lives. Now Politico guy tries to stir up Santorum on Perry. Santorum is not presidential. He likes parental rights- more important than states rights.
Romney says Perry gets a Mulligan. Everybody loves America. Obama is clueless. Gingrich goes back to Homeland Security. People want to kill us in one morning. Paul puts burden of security on private sector airlines because TSA are sexual perverts (yeah, that's pretty much what he said.)
FEMA - Paul works hard to make it work. we're air-conditioning Iraq. take that money. no a/c our troops would come home. Cain thinks there's enough money to find the concurrent spending cuts - fix it. Wants to empower the states. Huntsman doesn't want fortress America and turns it to unemployment. Human tragedy. Directs to the audience. Takes command. (I like this guy - still don't agree with him, but I like him). Bottom line is to get back in game and make economy work.
The newt agrees with Prez on charter schools. Telemundo walks on!!! Immigration Reform!! What would make border secure - boots on the ground. Nat'l Guard or Border Patrol. Predator drones.
Perry says Pres has bad intelligent or is a liar. Romney wants a big fence. big magnet is educating kids, etc. no amnesty!!!!! no special deals. The newt - in '86 Reagan on immigration reform betrayed by . . . (?) English - teach Am. History. got to be humane instead of deporting millions. Santorum son of an immigrant. We only want legals.
Bachmann goes to a lot of restaurants.
Cain says boots, tech, and fence. promote path to citizenship by cleaning up bureaucracy and empower the states (hunh?) Huntsman agrees with everybody. Then goes to the humanity issue but says they should be punished. His kids are legal. Reagan loved human beings. Legal immigration is broken. Paul wants to remove easy citizenship and benefits and end the war on drugs. Paul doesn't want a fence with machine guns.
Romney doesn't have a tea party card but he's for 'em.
Perry gets a chance to raise his hand on "no new taxes." Wants balanced budget amendment.
Bachmann attempts to invoke Reagan. She has to get all her rehearsed lines in.
Huntsman still on "no pledges." Huntsman thinks we've lost our confidence as a country. We've got to bring troops home. Commemorate 9/11 by getting our core fixed. Romney agrees there's a crisis of confidence -fears recession. Romney goes for the "loves his country" card against the Prez. bad form.
Perry on Nat'l. Sec. - no military adventurism. refuses bait on W's Iraq. Praises Obama on Bin Laden. (SEALS more than him). Keynesian policy is over. Glad GITMO is still open. military adventurism is a philosophical statement. Clear entrance and exit strategies.
Bachmann on Libya - another canned speech. "global caliphate" fears. (about as likely as the "Hindu world order")
Santorum concerned about good in Libya - and UN
Huntsman - which ones are crazy - anti-science - Huntsman says we can't run from science or mainstream conservative philosophy we need someone who can win. making comments not reflecting reality turns it off. Obama can't lead. Huntsman can.
Perry on climate change - which scientists are most credible on this global warming theory? he says its nonsense. Perry finds Texas compelling. science not settled.
Bachmann - energy - Everglades - we would do it responsibly - goes on the can on political agenda vs. science.
The newt will fire Bernacke fed chair. Goin' Libertarian on us. Then off to some speech he has on Reaganomics. and he wants to drill Alaska.
Romney - 47% paying no income tax? Romney plays the the card. slimey. Tries to play the middle class.
Perry executions (applause?) lost no sleep. Executions- 234 people and more applause.
Cain - back to 9-9-9 plan.
Perry on LBJ as a Texan teacher - feed kids with local government - its not in the Const to run the welfare state. States can. believers in liberty do not lack in compassion.
So my initial assessment before the punditry:
Perry did just fine but will be in trouble on Soc. Sec. Huntsman came on mostly strong. Romney still looked "front-runner-ish" and potentially presidential (I still find him personally annoying). Bachmann was canned. Paul was odd. Santorum was weak and rather pointless. The newt is pretty irrelevant. Cain is no. 9. Did I miss anybody?