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Romney does a great job explaining the characteristics needed in a president (and why executive leadership trumps Senate leadership and why executive leadership is more important than specific foreign policy expertise). But now he is going on too long again. Shut up, dude. When you filibuster, you become annoying, and you ruin an otherwise good answer.

McCain says knowledge IS important. Sounds good again. He is doing great tonight.

Wallace goes back to Romney again. This debate is very unbalanced in terms of time given to each candidate. Romney’s answer again goes on too long, but again is decent substantively.

Wallace finally goes to Huck about “arrogant bunker mentality” on Guantanamo, and on how many facts he has gotten wrong on foreign policy recently. Huck says he has been to 41 countries. Names many of them. Huck makes some strong points about his executive experience. (Note how he has TOTALLY shifted the question away from being Commander in Chief. Wallace finally calls him on it.) Huck now looks like he is dodging a little, because he just WON’T talk about foreign policy. Then realizes this, and starts talking tough about defense. But doesn’t show any substance. does a GOOD job of filibustering (unlike Romney just talking too long) in the sense of keeping Wallace from getting another chance to focus question on foreign policy.

Giuliani does a good job talking about his OVERALL mayoral experience and then putting it smoothly within context of 9/11. Talks about his extensive record on multiple fronts. Makes a good point about throwing Arafat and Castro out of UN 50 celebration. and gave some bad buy a check back “and told him what to do with it.”

Thompson gives a good accounting of his own record. Then gives a nice criticism of Huck’s Foreign Affairs article and of Huck’s stand on Guantanamo and lifting the embargo on Castro. Nice, respectful, but effective shots at Huck.

Huck says he went to Guantanamo. It was “too darn good.” (I don’t understand his point.) Thompson corrects him in terms of the rights that the detainees would get if they come to Leavenworth. Thompson wins that exchange.

McCain: “It isn’t my Senate experience that I count on. It’s my life experience.” Goes on from there along the same vein. VERY powerful stuff. He’s running away with this debate. (But WHEN is somebody, including Wallace or ANY other moderator, EVER going to ask him a tough question and put him on the spot. He gets no attack questions, and gets treated with too many kid gloves.)

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