Well, we all expected tonight to be the Rick Perry show, and it was. Brian Williams did a quick search on the Huffington Post and Paul Krugman to find a few ways to question the Texas record. Mitt and Huntsman had a few pre-scripted zingers.
What surprised me is how unprepared Perry seemed in response. There are good answers to all the dumb statements about the Texas record, but he came across as if he'd never heard the criticisms. Maybe dealing with Texas wildfires over the last couple of days reduced his prep time, but nobody was asking him about events of the last week; they were asking about his record over the last ten years.
Mitt needed to let go of his defense of RomneyCare, but at this point he is just too invested in that line of argument. Turning his back on RomneyCare would open up the old "flip-flopper" line of attack. And that, my friends, is why Mitt Romney will never be President.
Perry, similarly, needs to stop defending the Gardasil thing. When he says "I hate cancer," he might as well say "I love puppies." It would be equally relevant. His Gardasil executive order was indefensible in every way. For Parry, unlike Romney, it is still not too late to just say "I was wrong," and let it go.
Newt had some good, fiery answers. I will never vote for him for president.
Huntsman's only good moment was when he blasted those idiotic candidate pledges. Other than that...um, blue sky, weak core, China. He has some solid hair, though. I'll give him that.
Ron Paul is our lovable crazy uncle, and, as always, he made some good points, but he also trashed Reagan at the Reagan Library. He can't win (and he shouldn't.) I wish he would go away.
Perry's best answers were when he defended, and repeated his charge that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme. Still, I expect Perry's poll numbers to drop a bit after this. What I don't know is whose numbers will improve.