I will be watching the Ames GOP Presidential debate tonight – my first debate of campaign season – and this will be my first attempt at semi-live coverage of the proceedings. I would never make it in politics – not in a million years – but I have felt an increasing desire to be engaged and involved in the process and I’m going to attempt to cover the event with a running commentary attached to this stub. The comments will appear below…my co-author may have some reaction after the fact (she works too late to actually view the debate live).
Starting at 9 PM EDT. Looking forward to it.
My pre-debate prediction would be that Bachmann continues to benefit from the double-standard and the desperados (like Huntsman, Pawlenty, Santorum, and Paul) – guys who need to come out swinging and make a big dent in their perceived weaknesses as candidates (the “they all look alike” problem) will turn their attacks on Mitt Romney. Romney – though an early frontrunner – makes an easy target for Republicans if the question of medical care comes up. His Massachusetts universal health care system is the kernal on which ObamaCare is based and he has refused to admit that it was a bad idea when he signed it into law. So rather than appearing sexist (by attacking the lone woman on the panel), I expect the attacks will be aimed at each other and at Romney.
Meanwhile, I think Bachmann needs to be squeaky clean and come across to independents as someone who knows her stuff. She has the reputation for not knowing basic American history (people from New England are particularly annoyed that she thought Lexington and Concord were in New Hampshire…they don’t see this is a minor gaff…they think a president should know that kind of minutia and be well-versed) and needs to defeat that notion here.
Debates rarely make or break elections anymore…but with such a huge GOP field, this one could be interesting.