Huckabee flogged faith in his video message, which I've yet to figure out why the Des Moines Register is using for each candidate.
He's citing "The Golden Rule" again on policy, which is pretty vague and if put into practice would be pretty lame. The people-meter doesn't rise above the halfway mark on that answer.
Mitt: "I think it's incredibly important that the President be a conservative."
"We must pull together the coalition of conservatives, " he says, echoing the NR endorsements, and his people-meter rates are much higher.
The moderator has been grating, the questions lackluster, and the format awful. A lot of people, with whom I disagreed, got down on the YouTube debate for placing style over substance. Today, I feel like we got no show and no substance.
Update: Is it just me or has McCain failed to shine tonight? He's usually very good in debates, and it would have been helpful to him in N.H. to do well tonight, but the moderator nixed Iraq as a topic, which held him back considerably.
Update: "Please name a New Year's Resolution you'd make for someone else on the stage." All right, sort of a silly question, but also had the potential to start some fun arguments. Unfortunately, the Des Moines Register could not have tried harder to make this boring.
McCain: "Let's raise the level of dialogue; let's not accuse each other of lack of character."
Huckabee: "I'm gonna be more careful what I say because it is given new credence...I'd make that one for them, too." (Funny, and charming again, and the moderator cracks up.)
Fred: Makes a resolution for himself, but doesn't take a shot at anyone. I wish he had.
Mitt: Makes a very politic answer about having a spirited campaign and coming together to support the Republican nominee. The audience responds well.
Update: Fred Barnes calls the moderator "Nurse Ratched." Ha. Morton Kondracke thinks Huckabee won. I'm not so sure. When he came out with his "bring us all together" line, it didn't play all that well with the focus group Fox had set up. Expectations for Huckabee were extremely high, and I don't think he was quite as great as he normally is, delivering several groaners.
Update: All of Frank's people think Romney won. I still think he sounds rehearsed, and a couple people are zeroing in on that, but I thought he was solid, as usual. I wish he was a little quicker with a comeback than he is.
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