Shall We Ask Jennifer Rubin Who Won The Debate? Oh, Why Bother

December 16, 2011

Seriously, do we even have to ask Rubin who she thought the winners and losers were last night? Take a guess. Reading her primary commentary is like watching a one-legged woman trip the light-weight hacktastiq, ultimately falling flat on her face.

Winners: Romney (who might have revived his frontrunner status) and Bachmann.

Losers: Gingrich and Paul.

Here's a little something Rubin appears to have missed entirely. My Tweet:

Chris Wallace is wrapping up Mitt Romney and tying him in a knot

Rubin also entirely misses perhaps Romney's biggest strategic error. By pretending to already have the nomination locked up, he's been busy talking compromise, while many are looking for a Conservative. I pointed that out in real time on Twitter, as well. If it resonates with Iowa voters, as it did with me, a WaPo hack like Rubin in the tank for Romney isn't going to be able to help him at all.

I get that Mitt is making it look like he's debating Obama, but in context, it makes him look detached from this particular discussion — by the time Mitt shifts Left for the general election, he'll be on the other side. Geesh!

I think the debate was, in many ways a wash, but Newt had as many, if not more, strong moments, than weak ones. Frankly, I don't want Newt, I still like Perry. But suggesting he was a loser, as some Beltway pundits and flacks like Rubin are doing is purely a reflection of their seeing what they want to see.

As I also noted on Twitter last night, the media and GOP establishment lined up against Newt may be his biggest asset right now. Thanks, Jenn. Via the AP at your paper's site – of all places – here's where Chris Wallace humiliated your guy, in case you missed it.

However, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, with help from Santorum, bore in on Romney’s biggest liability: his changed positions on gun control, gay rights and particularly abortion. Romney gave his standard response about having a change of heart regarding his former support for abortion rights. He then got drawn into a complicated back-on-forth about what he meant when he vowed in 1994 to be a better defender of gay rights than Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., whom he was trying to unseat.

Rubin may also want to have a look at Aaron Goldstein's take at AmSpec which is honest and balanced, attributes Rubin's stain of punditry clearly lacks.

However, Romney wasn't so sure footed when it came to Chris Wallace's question concerning Romney's positions on abortion and gay marriage. This will only serve to reinforce the reservations conservatives have had towards Romney.

Newt Gingrich – True to the tortoise-like nature of his campaign, he started slow but finished fast and strong. He was on the defensive early in the debate when he jostled with both Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann on Fannie & Freddie.

… But by the end of the night, Newt had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. It all started with his proposals to restrain the power of the judiciary and continued with his statements on the UN, the Keystone Pipeline, and even immigration when he said on his first day as President he would drop immigration lawsuits against Arizona, Alabama, and South Carolina and cut off federal aid to sanctuary cities. Newt struck the right balance of historical perspective, eloquence, and good humor.

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  1. Ragspierre says:

    Ron Paul self-destructed MORE.
    But that’s only true if you listen to what he said, which a lot of his cultists CANNOT do any more.
    Be interesting to see how that plays out…

  2. Robert says:

    I disagree with Rubin and in some ways you. I do think Romney was the winner, but Gingrich didn’t “lose”. I thought Romney did a good job answering the gay and abortion issue, but he definitely missed on guns. Newt would have “lost” if it wasn’t for his fantastic commentary on the Judicial system and his even better response to Megyn Kelly’ follow up question. Bachmann’s irrelevant at this point. She seems petty in some of her “unfounded” attacks. I don’t think Perry’s even trying anymore.
    I was more concerned with the apparent “lovefest” with Romney. Gingrich complimented Romney 3 times, Perry started using words that Romney has used on the campaign trail the past four years (i.e. laboratories of innovation). It was like they all started trying to build him up (Except Santorum)
    It was weird.

  3. Kathryn of Wyoming says:

    I disagree with you completely that Romney won the debate. He and Gingrich spent most of their time denying that they had said and done that they actually did do and say. My opinion is that Bachmann, Perry and Santorum won the debate. Jon Huntsman did just fine and Paul proved, once again, that he’s a danger to himself and others.

  4. Mark M. says:

    You want Perry? Why not double down and go for Bachman, Santorem, or Jeb Bush? What’s with you and Mark Levin? You’re off the deep end if you’d even hope for a dolt like Perry. Admit it, we’ve got nothing because Herman Cain sucked all the conservative air out of the room right before he imploded.
    Palin was our best chance for an acceptable libertarian leaning conservative this time around.
    Keep your squishy Gingrich. I’d rather take a candidate who admits he’s changed positions and actually wants to be President than an hot air self promotion machine that’s “friends” with Nancy Pelosi and Andy Stern, has his hand out for Fanny and Freddie, attacks Romney for being a good capitalist, and only joined the campaign to sell more books.
    Enough of these fatuous candidates that run not to win, but for some personal agenda. (I’d include Ron Paul in that category).
    Ann Coulter is right: Obama has set up a time bomb that needs to be defused now, so we need to win at all costs, and Romney’s is obviously the best prepared for that. He’ll cut the spending and welcome business back to the table. Let’s start there. That’s enough for a first term. That’s enough for ANY term considering the last 100 years.

  5. Ragspierre says:

    “What’s with you and Mark Levin? You’re off the deep end if you’d even hope for a dolt like Perry.”
    Whenever you find yourself at odds with Levin, and calling the longest-serving governor in Texas history “a dolt”,
    you REALLY need to go back to fundamentals.
    And, FYI, Gingrich has done more to ACTUALIZE Conservative goals than most of the people you could name, and especially if one of those names was Romney.

  6. Romney shows just why people in the punditry class were swayed by Obama…they’re both smooth talkers. Mitt and Obama are so much alike in many ways. Obama has his college records sealed, while Romney destroyed e-mails from his time as governor…what are they trying to hide? Just like Obama, Romney showed last night when he is really questioned, he gets thin-skinned and testy, because he can’t rely on his prerehearsed talking points. The truth is a moving target with Mitt. I don’t trust him to be the nominee. Newt still shows why some question him, but he came off much better.

  7. Ragspierre says:

    This isn’t about partisan debate. There are legitimate points to debate on the economy and energy policy. But just shouting “No war for oil!” isn’t a debate. It’s adamant stupidity.
    By the way, why aren’t we shouting “No war for oil!” anymore? If you really believed that, you’d support domestic drilling and the Canadian pipeline, right? Instead, the Liz Warren left starts with “No war for oil,” then “No oil from Canada,” “No nukes,” “No coal” and then the inevitable, “Hey — wait! My iPad just died and there’s no electricity to charge it. Where’s my oil?!”
    Remember: They’re the smart ones.
    –Boston Herald
    The Collective wants you to live colder, darker, less healthy, shorter, less traveled, and far less free lives.
    Not for them, of course. (See Gore, Al)

  8. Ragspierre says:

    What does it say about Bad Luck Barry that Shellie cannot wait to get out of town?

  9. gary gulrud says:

    The standings will be frozen in until IA. Haley may help Perry in SC but can 10% for the month of January lead to anything?

  10. Ragspierre says:

    gary, how does Haley help Perry after endorsing Romney?

  11. Ragspierre says:

    Victor Davis Hanson dissects and devastates Bad Luck Barry!
    That his brilliance is a myth was not just revealed by the weekly lapses (whether phonetic [corpse-man], or cultural [Austria/Germany, the United Kingdom/England, Memorial Day/Veterans Day] or inane [57 states]), but in matters of common sense and basic history. The error-ridden Cairo speech was foolish; the serial appeasement of Iran revealed an ignorance of human nature; a two-minute glance at an etiquette book would have nixed the bowing or the cheap gifts to the UK.
    That’s just a snippet. Read the whole thing.

  12. Ragspierre says:

    Ricardo Sanchez Drops Out of Senate Race (in Texas).
    Which means the Republican primary victor will be even MORE a shoo-in.

  13. Ragspierre says:

    But when Leno asks about Bachmann, Paul gets nasty:
    “She doesn’t like Muslims. She hates Muslims. She hates them. She wants to go get them.” No laughing from the audience there. Leno mutters “well that’s not good.”
    –Ace Of Spades
    Talk about your self-basting turkey…

  14. sickofrinos says:

    I can see paul crying “citizen arrest, citizen arrest”. just like gomer.

  15. gary gulrud says:

    “how does Haley help Perry after endorsing Romney?”
    Haley’s approval among SC Republicans has fallen over the year from 66% to 53%. She has done alright but not above well and this endorsement will harden her detractors.

  16. gary gulrud says:

    As Matt Welch intoned a month back: Amerikkka has flatly rejected the lying, duplicitous, mendacious bastard of Frank Davis, why would they opt for the veracity-challenged High Princess Romany?

  17. Ragspierre says:

    From the “Parody That Writes Itself” department…
    Michael Gene Sullivan, resident playwright with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, has re-imagined Charles Dickens’ 19th century holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol,” for the troubled 21st century. The script is finished and casting is underway. The novella’s themes of labor unrest, joblessness and starvation are in sync with the message of the Occupy movement — which Sullivan greatly sympathizes with.
    Start with a “resident playwright with [a...mime troupe]“…
    (mime !!!)

  18. sickofrinos says:

    gary- Is it because Bain is bigger than mitty?

  19. Rob A says:

    I agree with you, Gary. There are quite a few folks who are dubious on Romney to begin with (this is throughout the south), and the Haley endorsement may actually backfire. A lot of us who follow southern politics think that she sees herself as a one-termer and is angling for a spot in a Romney administration. An Indian-American female ex-governor who is articulate like Haley? Perfect for a cabinet post.
    Ragspierre, if you have to ask that then you’re just plain STOOPID! That was pretty obvious.

  20. Ragspierre says:

    “Haley may help Perry in SC but can 10% for the month of January lead to anything?”
    Was gary’s statement.
    Taking, arguendo, your “…the Haley endorsement may [MAY!] backfire” as sound analysis, you still have to apply Underwear Gnome logic to get to it helping Perry.
    How would it help Perry, as opposed to someone else?
    Or could it be gary was unaware of the endorsement when he wrote the assertion above…?
    See, stoooooooooooooooooooopid?

  21. Ricky says:

    “I was more concerned with the apparent “lovefest” with Romney. Gingrich complimented Romney 3 times, Perry started using words that Romney has used on the campaign trail the past four years (i.e. laboratories of innovation). It was like they all started trying to build him up (Except Santorum)
    It was weird.”
    I couldn’t stand it, had to turn off the TV. Any love I had for Newt is gone after that debate. He will dissappoint us at the most inopportune moment. His supporters were hoping he can take out Romney and then Obama, and there he was begging Romney for mercy.

  22. Ricky says:

    “Romney (who might have revived his frontrunner status) and Bachmann”
    I told ya so! Bachmann is supposed to bring in the teaparty vote for Romney. She has betrayed conservatives. She can say all the right things, I remain unimpressed. She has no record of accomplishment to back it up. Like Ron Paul she claims to be against TARP and earmarks, but has no problem collecting her share of the pie.
    Why are the candidates afraid to criticize Bachmann?
    Santorum is the only one who have been pointing out Bachmann’s weaknesses.
    Since they are considered the 2 most conservative candidates, I would like Santorum to challenge her to a Lincoln-style debate. Santorum has her number, he is not afraid of her, he can so see through her, she may not even accept his offer to debate.

  23. gary gulrud says:

    “Self basting turkey.”
    And a Texas Bar-B-Que-ball at that. Male menopause must be a bitch, eh Rags?

  24. gary gulrud says:

    Ricky isn’t alone in thinking Bachmann is going for Romney’s VP, but I don’t see her doing anything but staying in the game thru IA and SC.
    Going after the High Princess would enrage the money and squash her like a bug.

  25. Ragspierre says:

    Can’t testify from experience, gary.
    But I figure Paul doesn’t remember that far back.

  26. gary gulrud says:

    For those having trouble understanding the zeitgeist Byron York had a column today nailing the 60% plus on the Right Rasmussen says are undecided in IA.
    That doesn’t stop him from assigning 80% to candidates. But 75% are united in not wanting Romney, a quarter in refusing to take him.
    Newt’s numbers were soft, but was the first candidate to break 40% and in SC he benefited mightily from Cain’s dropping. Many of these people put a foot, or two, back in the undecided circle this week of zanyness.
    Haley’s endorsement does not help Mitt anymore than Newt, but if any, especially those under 45 or 50 learned not to like Newt this past week they may be getting nervous when a putative TEA proves mercenary.
    QED, Perry will see more additions following the endorsement than either of the other two, albeit slight in turn.

  27. sickofrinos says:

    Too bad, conservatives have to battle republicans as much as progs. When the conservatives quit buying the b.s. being sold by the wannabee liked part of the gop, America might have an uprising.

  28. gary gulrud says:

    “Bain is bigger than mitty”
    And the LDS bigger still.

  29. Ragspierre says:

    The National Institutes of Health on Thursday suspended all new grants for biomedical and behavioral research on chimpanzees and accepted the first uniform criteria for assessing the necessity of such research. Those guidelines require that the research be necessary for human health, and that there be no other way to accomplish it.
    They told me if I voted for McAnus, sound science would suffer at the hands of religious fundamentalists…
    and they were right!
    They didn’t tell me it would be a witch-doctor religion that wants to provide animals with “rights”.

  30. Ragspierre says:

    North Koreans Mourn Hysterically At Loss Of “Dear Leader”
    Bad Luck Barry Hardest Hit

  31. Ricky says:

    Rather late than never:
    should be “..she may not even accept his challenge to a debate…”

  32. Ragspierre says:
    ANOTHER great illustration of my point that central planning CANNOT work anything LIKE as well as a market economy.

  33. sickofrinos says:

    What impact will bain and the lds play in going after president present?

  34. Sue says:

    Ragspierre posted:
    “‘They didn’t tell me it would be a witch-doctor religion that wants to provide animals with ‘rights’.”
    I pray for you if you support inhumane testing on animals. There are some very moral, Christian issues that we can reclaim from the left. But mean people like you make it hard.
    Proverbs 12:10;
    and (Read it all)

  35. Ragspierre says:

    So, Sue, you want the Federal government to tell people how many dogs or cats they can breed in a year.
    I TOTALLY support testing by ethical scientists.
    Which…I know…would be defined as “inhumane” by some people because…something.
    You can call me “mean” all you want. Imbuing animals with “rights” is crazy.
    Merry Christmas.

  36. Sue says:

    Now this is an interesting conversation. What do you mean by “rights”? Should they be “imbued” with the same rights as humans? Of course not. That would be nonsense legally, culturally, and biblically. Suddenly people would use that as an excuse to impose vegetarianism, ban hunting, impose extreme limitations on what one could do with private property, etc. I agree with you that we need to tread carefully here.
    But should there be some laws that protect animals from things that cause them needless pain? My feeling is yes. Testing shampoo that burns the eyes of chimpanzees, for instance, is not something that we as a humane people, and especially if Christian, should be doing. I have been to China and seen miserable looking animals in cages on the streets there. I would like to think that there are some things that separate Americans from Chinese, and one is the way we treat animals. Being Dr. Mengele to animals is not something that would make me proud.

  37. sickofrinos says:

    bain will bury mittens. ofungus will have a field day with all the people mittens axed. We are screwed. I am reloading as fast as I can.

  38. Ragspierre says:

    sicko, don’t be silly.
    As between Obama The Destroyer Of Economies…!?!??! Seriously…???
    Besides, I’ve heard it or read it somewhere that the companies Bain had to knock in the head were very few in reality.

  39. Ragspierre says:

    The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree’s base that uses the word “Christmas,” or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ.
    On the north side of the tree–at a height of about 4 feet and easily visible to people standing near it—there is an ornament that says: “I ♥ President Obama.”
    OK, Sue, there is something you can get your hair on fire over.
    I REALLY doubt their are legions of Cheetahs in the US having shampoo shoved in their eyes by eeeeeevil scientists.
    Good grief.

  40. Ragspierre says:

    The Department of Homeland Security reacted quickly Thursday to news that the Justice Department had accused Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff known for his tough policies on illegal immigration, of a “pattern of misconduct” that permitted unlawful arrests and excessive force against Latinos.
    In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department was ending one agreement with Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and restricting the office’s access to another Homeland Security program.
    “Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust,” Napolitano said. “DHS will not be a party to such practices. Accordingly, and effective immediately, DHS is terminating MCSO’s 287(g) jail model agreement and is restricting the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office access to the Secure Communities program.”
    Under the 287(g) program, Arpaio’s deputies could question jail inmates about their immigration status. Under Secure Communities, fingerprints collected by state and local police are shared with immigration authorities to identify and deport tens of thousands of people each year.
    Huh. It’s almost like Nappy Jan was just waiting for any excuse to suspend immigration law-enforcement.
    Coupla questions…
    1. since when do we impose group punishments
    2. before any due process
    3. that have the effect of gutting law enforcement in an entire region?

  41. Ragspierre says:
    Well, another myth bits the dust.
    Or is it just “bites”?

  42. sickofrinos says:

    rags-Mittens will kill conservatism, before he ever helps it.

  43. Ragspierre says:

    No argument from me, sicko.