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