KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ
The table belonged to Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain at Tuesday night’s Bloomberg debate.
And the Rick Perry strategy appears to be to not put a lot of energy into the debates.
At various times around the Charlie Rose–moderated table, it was easy to forget there were others there. Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan was a star of the show. Who would have predicted that, when Rep. Michele Bachmann was winning the Iowa straw poll not so long ago?
A key moment for Governor Romney may have been during the ask-another-candidate round, when he didn’t even bother with Governor Perry, instead asking Michele Bachmann more about her economic plan. And he did it with a smile. Romney may not be driving conservatives wild for him, but he does have a happy-warrior nature to him. Someone you could have some confidence in to make good business/stewardship decisions.
Speaker Gingrich demonstrated where he is most commanding: leading a seminar table.
And Rick Santorum effectively focused on the family, as Dr. James Dobson might put it, in a nice closer. He hasn’t had his boomlet moment, but he’s hung in there with the courage of his convictions, as he is wont to do.
— Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.