As this last Iowa debate is already demonstrating, Gingrich and Romney are the two most capable politicians in the presidential field. That’s why one of them will likely be the nominee. Agree or disagree with them, both men look and sound like they know what they are doing, and in a future debate with President Obama, they would represent real competition to him. The rest of the field may consist of fine public servants and conservatives, but they are not potential presidents. Perry, Santorum, and Huntsman already flubbed their not-so-great prepared soundbites. Bachmann just said she has been combating Obama for five years.
That’s not to say either will beat Obama, or that either is a perfect candidate. Romney didn’t explain his layoff point about Obama and General Motors well, and Bachmann is making Gingrich squirm on Freddie Mac.