The most telling moment for me came when the candidates asked one another questions and a lot of them were directed at Romney, who handily won each of the exchanges. He’s playing a different level. The Perry camp talked up how much better-rested and-prepared the Texas governor would be, and he at least avoided gaffes. But he was confusing at times, vague, repetitive and listless. The difference between Romney and Perry was the difference between the guy who sits at the front of the class and raises his hand with the answer to every question and the guy in the back who came in late and hopes just to slouch through without anyone noticing him. Cain benefited from being the center of attention for the first time and was fortunate that it was a debate focusing on the economy. He was hugely entertaining as always. I’m not sure he quite defended the 999 plan– a production of the other Rich Lowr(ie)–but he certainly said what it is over and over again.