With the closing statements finished, a few thoughts (ignoring the specter of Rick Perry hovering over the debate):
It is a shame that betwen Cain, Paul, and Bachmann, no one was able to challenge Romney’s pro-business, managerial-style Republicanism. Romney, the frontrunner, was able to skate through the night without being challenged, other than a predictable and odd attack on his health care plan and personal wealth from Pawlenty. A Tea Party/constitutional conservative critique of his record and agenda would have been welcome.
Pawlenty behaved as though he had nothing to lose, and lashed out at Romney and Bachman accordingly. Unfortunately for him, he’ll face questions about whether it was authentic. He was at his strongest talking about his record, and not engaging the others.
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