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Watched last night’s debate, made some notes. Will give them in the order in which I made them. I don’t know what other people think. Don’t know what the consensus is, if there is one. These are my own “reax,” plain and simple. Some’ll be “substantive,” some’ll be frivolous. Whatevsky.

Perry looks relaxed and ready.

Mitt almost always looks relaxed and ready.

Alpha males, these two — Mitt and Perry. There must be considerable pressure on Perry, to perform better than he has.

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I’m digging the way Cain says “9 9 9” — “nahn, nahn, nahn.” I’m not sure I can pronounce that word any other way now.

Charlie Rose is quoting Reagan favorably. Oh, they love him now, seeing that he’s safely dead. Man, did they hate him when he was alive and working. Trust me, chillen: Did they hate him.

They couldn’t tell you which Reagan was more eager to do: nuke the world or starve children, preferably black.

Romney goes after Obama very quickly — as soon as he can. He looks ready to be president, Romney does.

He occasionally laughs kind of a false laugh. Can’t help it, I suppose.

The questioners seem to question the candidates as Democrats. That is, the questions seem to come from the Democratic leanings of the questioners. Nothing wrong with that — just sayin’.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there were ever a Democratic debate with Republican-leaning questions and questioners? Something out of a fantasy.

Not in this lifetime, y’all. And probably not on this planet.

I wish Romney wouldn’t say “middle class” constantly. He has probably been coached to do so. Class — economic class — is not really an American notion.

Bachmann knows this subprime stuff, this housing stuff, cold. She knows a helluva lot more than her questioner. She’s puttin’ on a clinic, Bachmann is.

Loved Newt’s point about protesters and their willingness, or unwillingness, to clean up after themselves. Marvelous.

This debate is being held at Dartmouth. I have a memory from the 1988 Republican primaries, I believe — perhaps 1996. Can’t remember. Bob Dole was at Dartmouth, I believe — certainly at a New Hampshire college. He was getting a lot of hostile and ignorant questions (of course).

Finally, in typical Dole style, he said, “Any Republicans here? Any future taxpayers?”

Holy-moly, are Ron Paul’s eyebrows something to behold. Is he dying those puppies? Last candidate to do that, as far as I know, was Dick Gephardt.

Santorum said that “the coolest thing” about some plan of his was . . .

Have you ever heard a candidate say “the coolest thing”? We’ll get a lot more of that in future years, I imagine.

Newt did something graceful. Karen Tumulty, I believe, said “Congressman Gingrich,” then corrected herself with “Speaker Gingrich.” And Newt broke in, “Newt.”

(If I had been the reporter, I’d’ve said “Mr. Gingrich.” I don’t think these titles should carry on forever.)

I’m pretty sure that Tumulty’s questions are longer than the allotted time for answers.

Sarah Palin gets a rare favorable mention. It comes from Newt. And what does he mention favorably? Something for which Palin was pilloried: her talk of “death panels”!

Loved Huntsman’s words of admiration for his father — his father as entrepreneur. A lot of people want people such as Huntsman to be embarrassed by their riches. Huntsman does not seem embarrassed.

Liked Huntsman’s quip about “9 9 9” and the price of a pizza.

Cain seems to take offense at this. Where’s the characteristic good humor?

Unless my ears deceive me, Cain says “deaf tax,” for “death tax.” Let me excerpt a paragraph from a piece in the forthcoming National Review. It is a piece of mine about language:

Some 25 years ago, I heard a black congresswoman talking about the Martin Luther King holiday. She kept saying “birfday.” I winced, thinking she would be subject to derision, that white racists somewhere might chuckle. Later on I learned that “f” instead of “th” is part of many southerners’ speech, southerners white and black. (How southern English became the English of black Americans from Maine to California is “a whole ’nother subject,” as we said in my family.) What’s more, “th” into “f” comes from England, as English tends to. There’s a reason Keith Richards, the Rolling Stone, is known as “Keef.” There’s a reason that the Health and Safety Executive — a pillar of the British nanny state — is known as “’Elf ’n’ Safety.”

Didn’t see a paragraph such as that coming, did you?

Mitt is bickering with his questioner. Not sure if that’s a good idea.

As a rule, these candidates talk too fast — abnormally fast — because they have only a minute to answer, and they try to cram everything in.

It seems to me Perry’s being pretty much ignored. I mean, unquestioned.

Romney should not call himself “smart.” He should let others do that.

They’re on Perry now — doing a little gotcha with Reagan. That is, Charlie Rose is using a video clip of Reagan against Perry and the other Republican candidates.

Oh, do they love Reagan now! They were the bane of his existence then!

I wish one of the Republican candidates would say, to one of these journalists, “We voted for him, you know.”

Oops — Perry says that the American people are “untrustworthy,” when he means “untrusting.”

He’s absolutely right about these deals that purport to exchange tax hikes for spending cuts. The spending cuts are never-appearing, although the tax hikes are.

I wish someone would tell Charlie Rose, and journalists generally, and academia, and the Democratic party, that “tax hikes” and “revenue” aren’t necessarily synonymous. You can get revenue by growth, you know. Big-time.

Can you depress revenue by tax hikes? I’ll let experts address that.



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