Rich Galen

Ron Paul wins points for keeping the Libertarian faith stating his views in a non-threatening, and informed manner. The problem with Dr. Paul is he makes me think that if he were asked he would say that stop signs are unconstitutional. One of things we should look for in a President is an ability - if not a desire - to listen to points of view which are in opposition to what he or she originally held. Paul's performance was all Paul, but not Presidential.

Tim Pawlenty was given a chance by John King to land a punch by repeating his "ObmaneyCare" line from last Sunday. He didn't have the guts to do it and tried to turn it into an attack on Obama. I would have thought his team would have anticipated that question and come up with a better answer. In fact, given what he had on the line, I think Pawlenty was the loser of this debate.

Mitt Romney won the debate. Before you hit the SEND key, I am not a Romney supporter. He escaped incoming rhetorical salvos largely because not much was lobbed at him. Nevertheless he was poised, and confident. He has the advantage of having lasted through Florida four years ago, so he's dealt with all these questions before and, because he has been running non-stop, he has been able to hone his answers pretty well.

Rick Santorum probably won "Most Improved" in terms of his establishing himself as something more than a fringe candidate. He was in the GOP Senate leadership and knows a lot about the legislative process and the legislation it has produced. I was pleasantly surprised by his performance.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at