Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CNN Tea Party Debate Review: Overall Winner – The Tea Party – All Candidates Rumble Showcase Ideas and Mettle – Palin If In - Strategy Brilliant

CNN-Tea Party Express Buses - Normalizing the Norm for America - image: humble libertarian.com

In what had begun as a grass roots revolt against higher taxes, the size and scope of the U.S. Government, government regulations run amok and a return to the U.S. Constitution, the Tea Party Movement (Taxed Enough Already), has been characterized as a right-wing, terrorist, crazy group of individuals, who’s raising political voice, terrorized the media and certain members of Congress and the Obama administration. The transition from fringe to mainstream was completed last evening by CNN News who co-hosted with the Tea Party, what has been to date, the best debate forum by any network, at the Tampa Fair Grounds. Wolf Blitzer took questions from both the audience in Tampa and remote location “watch parties” in three states. The size and scope of the Tea Party was made evident, and the questions posed to the GOP candidates were sound, having more to do with policy than frivolous “What would Jesus do?” questions heard in previous years debates. The pace was fast, yet, Blitzer gave time to all candidates insuring that although the alleged “front-runners” rumbled back and forth (Perry and Romney), each candidate was asked to weigh in – repeatedly. One might have expected such a move from FOX News and/or the ratings hungry MSNBC, in order to boost ratings, rather, CNN, has now become the voice of moderation – we have entered the political twilight zone.

As to winners and losers on technical points, Rick Perry held his own, yet appeared to be somewhat shaken by the repeated questions by his peers of his Executive Order mandating vaccination of pre-pubescent girls against the HPV virus, with an opt out, rather than an opt-in for parents. In addition, Perry’s in-state tuition for those on a pathway to citizenship was met with criticism. During both of these incidents, Romney remained silent, coming at Perry over the issue of Social Security. Romney, who became more apparently ruffled, looked on the verge of losing his temper on several occasions during the discourse. Bachmann appears to be still in the game and then some, appearing confident and much stronger than in the previous debate held on MSNBC, and Santorum, Gingrich and Cain offered reasonable options, along with the most moderate of the bunch, Huntsman. The perennial candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, went off the proverbial rails when he began to cite The U.S. as the cause of the attacks on September 11th, citing Osama Bin Laden – he was consequently, booed by those in attendance, and came off sounding less Libertarian than Progressive. Overall best line of the night went to Newt Gingrich: In an exchange between Romney and Perry regarding the disaster of Social Security and Romney assertion that Perry is “scaring the elderly”, Gingrich shot back: (paraphrased) "Obama is scaring everyone."

In watching the debate one began to have a sense that almost everyone of those individuals on the stage would bring ideas and leadership skills to the table, regardless of where the current standing is in the polls – the exception being, in this opinion, Ron Paul, who although brilliant, does differ from most Conservatives in regards to the root causes of September 11th, foreign policy overall, and the question of open borders. Moreover, it is clearly too early to call a permanent front-runner, as fortunes in the polls, come and go between September and the Debates of November and December, mere months before the first primary and caucuses in 2012.

This leaves room for additional candidates, a la Ronald Reagan, to enter the fray. Immediately following the debate, Sarah Palin weighed in on the debate and the performance of the current candidates, on Fox New with Greta Van Susteren, (video below). Asked and answered at least a thousand times, Palin continues to hold that her entry (or non-entry) into the 2012 field will be a time of her own choosing, not dictated by the media. However, the run-down on all candidates and the overall impression during her analysis was that she was readying to take to the field, as to timing of an announcement that is for Palin to decide. As a strategy, it may prove to be brilliant: first Mitt Romney lead the field, with his background in economics, and a short stint as Governor of Massachusetts, he was closely followed in the polls by Michelle Bachmann, who won the Iowa Straw Poll, and was within points of Romney. Perry entered the race to much anticipation, and shot past Romney, effectively pointing out to anyone with a grasp on reality that Romney has trouble holding his own in this field, and polls gave the favor to Perry, by double digits over the former Bay State Governor.

However, after last evenings debate, questions are clear as to Rick Perry’s management of the Executive order (and a possible tie to cronyism, which, although down home in style, Perry has been in a political office for the majority of his career – double points), and his immigration stance. This took a bit of shine off the Texas Governor. The points scored against Perry, as noted by the Austin Statesman came from “Second Tier Candidates” not his “chief rival”. One can view this as either Romney taking a break and letting the rest of the “pack” beat up Perry, or Romney preferred not to go where the tables could be turned on Romney.

Therefore, as the front runners so often take so many hits, and then begin to slide in the polls, a late entry not only picks up support from those candidates who no longer can sustain a campaign (too early), and /or those top tier candidates who are less appealing than at first glance. This is especially true, if one is in third place in polls, after several debates, having not announced any intentions. Those that want to ensure the nominees now, based on the current field, may have to wait, till the ides of September, or beyond – however, it is most likely that Palin will make an announcement sooner than later in order, in her words (paraphrased) to be fair to her supporters.

Fox Post Debate Palin Video Below

or linkVideo Foxnews.com/Palin vs.crony capitalism

In CNN’s post debate analysis, Bachmann scored the most points – suggest reading the transcript at www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/09/13/gop-debate-analysts/index.htm, for a take on the proceedings from the network who has, as of last evening (and possibly before as the CNN Express travels with the Tea Party Express), most accurately portrayed the Tea Party and its members as viable to the U.S., the World, the Military and Latino’s as it simulcast the debate on all of its channels.

Note: tips being what they are in the world of bloggers previous to the debate, from three different sources - “She will not appear at the debate (referring to Palin) or announce this evening” – “She’s not in Tampa….” When, may or may not be speculation at this point, but out of respect for the Governor, and in light of speculation being just that, one might hold off in noting a specific date mentioned. (In the event that this is not shear speculation) The pre-debate “intel” had Palin in Tampa, about to participate, (from a variety of forums/sites) and or weigh in at some point, which she did, from Alaska.

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