The Bloomberg-Washington Post Debate

The Bloomberg-Washington Post debate was necessary in the same way a child dying or a puppy being run over are necessary in the chaotic misery of the orbit around the center of the galaxy we slowly endure. All remind us that life isn’t fair, there are terrible tragedies, and sometimes bad things happen to us.But we have endured. And if you haven’t thrown up on your television due to the unsteady camera or the tediously horrible questions, you will be no worse for the wear tomorrow.MItt Romney won the debate. No one knocked him off his game. He really is that good of a debater.Herman Cain proved himself a bit of an unstable number two. He is starting to get the tough questions on his 999 plan and his responses sound like they were crafted in the land of unicorns and rainbows — the people will just keep 999 from being changed and we’ll magically alter the structure of the constitution to prevent it from being repealed except by a 2/3’s vote. Um . . . okay!?Rick Perry was largely a no show in the first half. The forgotten man who once dominated, he’s rapidly becoming the Fred Thompson of the campaign season, despite having the money and support to go forward. The Perry camp really and truly believes the debates do not matter. The problem for the Perry camp is that everyone else believes the debates do matter. And when one small side thinks they don’t matter and one large side thinks they do matter and the smaller group gives the larger group nothing to turn their gaze up and distract them or change their mind — well then the debates do matter and Perry’s staggeringly bad performances (though this debate was far better than the Fox one) are going to make it harder and harder for him to come back.To be fair, Perry had two good answers. One in response to Bachmann’s attack on him as a former Democrat; the other to Tumulty’s biased question (but they were all biased, some ridiculously so) on Obama as a job killer near the end. Both of these seemed unscripted and very real. Is Perry getting over-managed? If the prepped questions seem worse than the non-prepped, it certainly seems so.Either the Perry camp must understand the debates do matter and fix the candidate’s problems or they must convince us they are right. So far they’ve done neither and a hell of a lot of Perry supporters are emailing me in abject panic. My goodness, at least get Jindal to help.The Bachmann glory days are now over. All you need to know is Mitt Romney asked Bachmann a softball question to keep her legitimate and in the game to prevent consolidation of the anti-Romney camp from happening. Bachmann, in turn, asked Perry a question who then asked Romney a question.The surprise? No, not that Huntsman still has a sorry excuse for a sense of humor. Mormon joke? Really? It’s that Newt Gingrich continues to score solid points and, just as Herman Cain polled well after a solid debate, Newt may get some new life.But there is one caveat. Hardly anyone saw this debate. So Perry probably has one more shot with the CNN debate. Gingrich won’t get as much a bump as he could have gotten. And Romney holds onto his lead. Cain also buys more time to come up with stronger answers on 999 and also, lucky for him, few people saw he and Romney defending their support of TARP.But Bloomberg-Washington Post? I’m strongly pro-abortion when it comes to the idea of these clowns EVER hosting another debate.




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