The Spectacle Blog

Santorum Won, Solidly

By on 1.19.12 | 9:05PM

Tonight was by far Rick Santorum's best debate. He dominated the proceedings. He still has a big problem with saving his best line for last, sometimes after mind-numbing stats or details that come BEFORE his main point rather than to illustrate a point he already has made. But he was on target all night, and drew blood from the others on a number of occasions.

Newt Gingrich's best moment was at the beginning. He absolutely blew away John King's question about his marriage. After that, Newt was Newt. It was hardly his best performance, not by any means, but he was mostly effective throughout.

Ron Paul is losing his effectiveness. He is now rambling all over the place. He's fading.

Mitt Romney had an excellent night for most of the two hours. But he did an absolutely horrible, memorably horrible, job dealing with a question EVERYBODY knew was coming, which was his whether he would release his tax returns. It REALLY detracted from his otherwise very good performance. It made him a net loser in the debate -- EXCEPT that I don't think most voters really care about his tax returns. So I'm just correcting what  just said: His overall effect was neither a political net plus or net minus. THe good and bad, in terms of political effectiveness, cancelled each other out.

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