CNBC Debate Night

I think this might have been Ron Paul’s best debate. No foreign policy. And now I’d really like to hear him lecture some Occupy Wall Street kids about responsibility.

These candidates aren’t half bad. Debate after debate may just be some good prep for the guy who gets to the finish line.

Over on Twitter, where I was tonight, for better or for worse, @BuddyRoemer was showing some personality. I might not mind him as a change from Governor Huntsman in one of these next ones.

It’s hard not to get the impression that Rick Perry may have been pushed into this whole running-for-president thing by people who wanted it more than he did and may very well now regret that he gave in. He’s been a successful governor. And now he’s distracted from a job he loves. And it shows, needless to say.

Makes me ever more grateful Chris Christie made the decision he did. Ditto Paul Ryan. If your heart is not truly in it, if you do not have the drive for it . . . that’s no way to jump in.

There were long stretches where one could forget Bachmann and Santorum and Cain and even Perry -– well, until then — were there. The Newt-alternative narrative builds. And Romney gets to keep making his case about why voters, of all stripes, might have confidence in him as president.

Between Penn State and Perry’s #3, Cain may get a media break tomorrow.

I do wish Santorum would have his moment. As people keep commenting, there’s a there there and it shows, consistently. And no one has voted yet, and he is putting in a lot of work into this run, tirelessly campaigning. We’ll see.

The winner of the night was the delightfully talented young Taylor Swift, though, who just won the Country Music Awards “Entertainer of the Year” award. Who scheduled country-music awards the same night as a Republican party debate? CNBC wins for ending the debate in time for the Glen Campbell tribute. 

Kathryn Jean Lopez — Kathryn Jean Lopez is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and an editor-at-large of National Review. Sign up for her weekly NRI newsletter here. This column is based on one available through Andrews McMeel Universal’s Newspaper Enterprise Association.