The "Gates of Hell" Line ...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: May 04, 2007 8:45 AM

I agree with Jonah that McCain did a good job of being passionate, last night.  I still don't think he was "on," in a superficial way.  I mean, I've seen him be more articulate.  And he surely wasn't as polished as Romney.  Of course, there's always a danger in appearing too polished.  Did Romney cross the line?  He may have been teetering ...

Maybe in tough times, you want someone who is a little ticked-off?

McCain tried several times to get off his line about how he will veto pork legislation "... and make the authors of it famous."  He had a hard time fitting it in (over Chris Matthews' talking, that is). 

But McCain's best line last night turned out to be the "Gates of Hell" line -- which, as good rhetoric should -- caught everyone's attention.

Interestingly, when I was with him in New Hampshire, his theme song was Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down."  Of course, the song includes the line: "You could stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down."  

In a sense, the fact that there were ten candidates there last night, made it hard for any of the frontrunners to run away with the debate.  I definitely think McCain held his own, and that Rudy probably took a step back (among primary voters, that is...)