Granted, it was a fundraiser, not a free rally. But the empty seats were hard to miss. The top level of the 2,200-seat concert hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts was entirely empty, as were the seats along the side of the second and third levels. – Obama fundraiser underwhelms
E.J. Dionne didn’t expect it, but it didn’t surprise me at all after watching her during the budget battle. So, not only was Michele Bachmann the only one who had any star quality, she made news too. But she should have skipped this very weird webvid of her announcement.
Tim Pawlenty blew it big time. What the strategy on that was all about is anyone’s guess, but it was a colossal mistake. It’s also hard to imagine T-Paw not panicking a bit upon imagining his Iowa chances vanishing with Bachmann’s strong performance. His record may delight Republicans, but he has no presence at all. I don’t now how he comes back from this, as his first debate was a snooze.
Mitt Romney made it through untouched, choosing to draw a picture for viewers of him debating Obama, saying to everyone I’m your nominee. He also tried to weave an answer on Afghanistan that didn’t offend Republican primary voters, while having it both ways by not trying to alienate the general election voter, most of whom want out of Afghanistan.
If Jon Huntsman was watching and you can bet he was, he’s got to sense Romney’s vulnerable to a Republican who actually knows his mind and is clear on matters of foreign policy.
Republicans will now have to deal with Rep. Bachmann. Her politics are not only representative of the Tea Party, but also of their extreme views. From TeamBachmann on Twitter:
Here’s a #prolife solution from MB: Let’s require mothers to hear the heartbeat before getting an abortion. #cnndebate
Few things are as offensive coming from a conservative than demanding government intervene in a woman’s most wrenching decision and moment in her life, while being subjected to steps along the way that are beyond any legal requirement of Roe or Griswold. I’d really like to take Republicans seriously, but this type of rhetoric against women’s freedoms is reprehensible from an American political party that lectures everyone on freedom and liberty.
Obama’s Libya policy, such as there is one, wasn’t popular last night either and I’d like to talk further about foreign policy, but John King didn’t introduce it until there was around 15 minutes left in the 2-hour debate.
Where Jon Huntsman fits in this group, well, he doesn’t. Maybe that will be his ace if he decides to get in, which is what everyone is waiting to see.