Well, the snowman was there and said Hi! to Mitt Romney in his helium voice. The Florida Republican YouTube debate was tonight. A CNN transcript is HERE, and YouTube's video recap is HERE.
Porcupine thought the questions were decent enough on the whole, if a little predictable. Why there were no questions of the enviornment, health care or education is a travesty. It was nice to see all the candidates get some time, and Duncan Hunter was a particular beneficiary of the work of Anderson Cooper to give all eight a chance to participate. UPDATE - the mom with toys from China was a union manager; the girl asking about abortion works for the Edwards campaign; and the Log Cabin Questioner is a declared Obama supporter, in ADDITION to the Clinton campaign plant - Porcupine's opinion of the questions and the editing process has just taken an elevator ride to the basement.
Each candidate got their own 30 second YouTube spot as well. Guiliani’s 30 second spot was the very best, using his quirky humor to take credit for 'Decreased Snowfall in New York!'. But the humor blew up in his face when he accused Romney of not merely having a sanctuary city, but a sanctuary mansion by having illegals work on his law. “Wait a minute – if you hire a company to paint your house or put on a roof, do you go out and demand to see the papers of anybody who is a different color or has a different accent than you? THAT is Un-American!”. Later, Fred Thompson chipped in that he was surprised Guiliani would bring up employees, as 'I guess we've ALL hired some people who didn't work out exactly the way we thought they would...', a reference to Bernard Kerik.
McCain was the straight talk guy again. On amnesty to Ron Paul - 'That kind of isolationism brought on WW II'; on torture to Romney - 'I am shocked that you think that kind of tretment could ever be used by Americans' and suggesting that we need to either abide by the Geneva Convention or leave it. Romney said he didn’t think it was wise for a candidate to be too specific, which Porcupine happens to think is a prudent position but a poor debating point.
Mike Huckabee had the best spontaneous jokes of the night, and his appeal is obvious. He personifies compassionate conservatism, and comes across as warm and engaged.
The only real ringer of the night was a YouTube question selected from retired Army general, Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr. After listing his military credentials, he said at the end of his video that he is an openly gay man and wanted to know why gays can't serve in the professional military. It produced discomfort from all the candidates as Anderson Cooper needled them to respond. Later, Politico reported that Kerr was on the Steering Committee of "Veterans for Kerry", and now Nightline reports that he serves on the advisory committee for the Clinton campaign.
Anderson Cooper opened the debate by saying that "All the questions come from you", and that there were 5,000 questions, about 2,000 more than the Democrat debate attracted. CNN represents this as 'The People's Debate'. Based on Cooper's choice to have the Clinton campaign not only be selected to ask the questions, but to be seated in the audience for follow up, Porcupine is curious as to what 'people'they refer to, as Porcupine awaits the use of Karl Rove as a questioner in the next Democrat debate.
Labels: giuliani, huckabee, mccain, media, republican primary, republicans, Romney