Post-Fox-Debate Analysis (Fox News Channel, Dec. 15, 10:55PM EST):
Very interesting debate. It had kind of the rhythms of the whole campaign.
Romney was very steady — sort of steady state. He wasn’t high, he wasn’t low. He resisted all attacks. He was given an opening [to attack Gingrich calling Ryan’s Medicare plan] ‘right-wing social engineering’ — didn’t attack Gingrich.
Gingrich, as is his wont, at times really strong, at times really weak. Very strong attacking judges. Very strong attacking Obama on Keystone. Very weak when he was attacked on the Freddie Mac $1.6 million.
And who did the attacking? Bachmann. She asserted herself tonight. Strong attacks on Gingrich on that. As opposed to others, she went right after him. Strong attack on him at the end on late-term abortion.
And then there was, interestingly, Ron Paul. Who I thought was impressive in resisting the mob on judges. But then he did Iran and nukes – he was off the rails.
So I thought it had all the elements we have seen in this campaign: Romney neutral; Gingrich up and down; Bachmann strong, reasserting herself; and Paul wacky, and yet impressive at times.