The GOP Roundtable Debate
Charlie Rose, but no rosy economic scenarios.


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.