The Campaign Spot

Only a Few Letters Separate ‘Debate’ From ‘Debacle’

Today’s Morning Jolt offers a look at a stirring defense of work and what we seem to be losing in America today, a question of whether it’s worse for Newt Gingrich to lie to the public or to himself in discussing why Freddie Mac hired him; and a wrap-up of a debate that makes one wonder if we really need any more debates this primary season.

A Debate So Bad, We Missed Stephanopoulos’ Contraception Questions

If you missed last night’s debate . . . congratulations. Whatever else you did, it was time well spent.

To say the righties I follow on Twitter were unimpressed with the questions, and generally bored as the debate droned on, is to say Rand Paul might have a beef with TSA right now.

Tina Korbe makes my job tougher: “GOOD NIGHT! That was so empty of content I don’t even want to read the recap tweets.”

David Limbaugh: “No one won the debate because there wasn’t a debate. To say someone did win is to accept the false premise that there was one.”

Ed Morrissey: “Romney won the debate by setting Gingrich back on his heels over Freddie Mac, but won’t hurt Newt much in polls.”

A lot of viewers were expecting Gladiator Newt to burst upon the stage, unsheath his sword, behead a moderator or two, hurl the decapitated anchor noggin into the audience and bellow, “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?” But this was a comparably subdued Newt.

Real Clear Politics’ Scott Conroy reminds us, “Newt forgot to do the thing where he pretends he’s really mad at the media but he’s actually really happy.”

James Taranto: “I like Mad Newt better. Hope the meds wear off before the next debate.”

Jim Antle: “A Gingrich debate performance without audience participation is like a mildly amusing sitcom without a laugh track.”

If Newt had a tough moment, insisting that his $300,000 worth of work for Freddie Mac wasn’t lobbying, even though his contract was with the organization’s chief lobbyist. (See more below.) But Romney’s lack of appeal to the party’s conservatives was laid bare when Williams asked, in effect, what he had done for the conservative movement. Romney mentioned raising his family, his work in the private sector, and his time as governor of Massachusetts.

“Romney’s got a great family, great business: neither did much for conservatism. That’s fine. But it’s true,” Jonah pointed out.

The Gingrich campaign sent out a blast e-mail titled “Mitt Romney’s Top Conservative Achievements.” The e-mail, of course, was blank.


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