Gleaned from watching on C-SPAN:
Although it hasn’t gotten much attention, Rick Santorum’s speech was terrific. You might quibble with an emphasis here or there, but the foundation of his message — pro-work and -workers — is exactly what a post-47 percent Republican party needs.
Carly Fiorina gave a very solid speech. Her Hillary barb (previewed by Eliana here) about air travel being an activity not an accomplishment hit home, and she spoke passionately about life. She’s a second-tier candidate, but with upside.
I spoke at a Goldwater Institute event last week, and the mere mention of Scott Walker’s name got applause. There is a lot of interest in him, but one of the questions is whether he has enough stage presence. Well, he didn’t blow the roof off the place over the weekend, but he gave a very credible, engagingly Midwestern speech. The advantages he has over other potential candidates is that he can say he has fought, and fought recently, and won.
Ted Cruz’s first and most important mission is to continue to energize the grass roots and he showed over the weekend that if he fails to do it, it won’t be for lack of rhetorical red meat. He served up a 42 ounce porterhouse of applause lines, zingers and ringing statements of principle, and the crowd loved it.
Already, it is obvious that this is going to be a much stronger field than four years ago.