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Thoughts on the New Hampshire debates

January 8, 2012

  The two New Hampshire debates are over and there were no groundbreaking moments, which of course helps Mitt Romney hold onto his huge lead in the Granite state because he was left virtually unscathed.

 The candidates appeared to be resigned to the fact this is a race for second place and as such they spent more time bickering with each other and bashing Barack Obama than they did going after Mitt Romney, and I feel this was a mistake because if Mitt Romney can be brought down a few points in the polls and a closer than predicted second place finish is obtained it will help whoever that second place finisher is. It is possible the candidates realized this  after the first debate because they seemed more willing to go after Mitt Romney in the second debate, but still didn’t really land a glove on him as far as I am concerned.

 I did enjoy the fact the moderators allowed the candidates leeway in regards to the one minute rule, the candidates were often allowed to continue well passed the time limit and they did. I think you can learn so much more about a candidate when they are not relegated to giving stock one minute sound bite answers to questions–you learn more about their policies, why they believe in their policies, and also you learn more about their personalities.

  I think that this benefitted all the candidates and all of them performed well in my opinion; it was good to hear more from Rick Santorum than we had in past debates, and I think that Rick Perry is getting stronger as the debates move on. If he had performed like this in the beginning he might be showing better in the polls. He had one of the funniest moments when he used the debate on Sunday to make fun of his “oops” moment, it made him seem more personable. If he does well in South Carolina perhaps we have written him off too soon.

  But I feel as if the person who benefitted the most from the lax time limit rules was actually Ron Paul. With a strict time limit in place I feel Ron Paul gets flustered because he has so much he is trying to say in such a short time period, but with more time to speak Ron Paul appeared calm and on point and I think he fared well in the debates. In fact I think he may have shored up his second place finish–only time will tell.

  Newt Gingrich performed well as usual and it will be interesting to see if he gets a bump in the polls because of it. Jon Huntsman also did well and some polls have him in third place right now. Gingrich, Santorum, and Huntsman may be battling it out for third place and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. Jon Huntsman used the same strategy in New Hampshire that Rick Santorum used in Iowa–he went all in–and to this point he hasn’t had the same success as did Santorum in Iowa and it is critical for him that he have a least a strong third place finish.

  Tomorrow I will write a “What to watch for” post and will include my predictions, it should be fun.

39 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2012 12:49 pm

    I saw next to nothing new either. It’s still tough to pick who best deserves my vote Tuesday. All I know for certain at this point is that it will NOT be for Ron Paul–way to scary a dude for me. I’m leaning towards Jon Huntsman, but I am SO against the flat tax he is promoting, but they all seem to like a tax structure that I don’t like. Maybe that’s why I am registered as an “Undeclared” voter.

    I can’t seem to leave comments on wordpress accounts with my blog name. This is “The Average American”. I got back into blogging a few months ago. Stop by if you get a chance. My last post will interest you, I am sure.


  2. toldya permalink
    January 8, 2012 1:20 pm

    What’s so scary about following the constitution? Ever wonder why the propaganda media smears RP the way they do? It’s because he’s in constant conflict with the establishment. The media will do and say anything to keep him from winning. Even if it means fabricating stories and poll numbers. As far as our interventionist foreign policy is concerned, war is money and the MIC has no interest in peace. Peace time means less profit for them. Israel is a nuclear power who can take care of themselves and the broke US taxpayers should no longer be beholden to them or the UN. The UN is using our military to put world government in place (central banking cartel). The use of false flag terror against a dumbed down population is the perfect storm for stealing away our liberties and destroying what little is left of the constitution. Why did all the other candidates vote for and to renew the so called Patriot Act? Because they just don’t care about their oath of office. Why did the ones in congress vote for the NDAA which allows the military to detain US citizens for NO REASON, with no evidence of wrong doing for an indefinite period of time? Any one who thinks that’s just for muslims hasn’t been paying attention (MIAC Report). Any candidate but Ron Paul will be business as usual. Perhaps that’s why Dr Paul has the support of about 70% or more of the military and receives more military donations than all other candidates combined. We lost around 3000 citizens in the 9-11 attack and in retaliation have killed well over a million people and counting. Even our own troops are being slow killed by the DU they’ve been told is safe to handle. When’s it going to be enough?


  3. January 8, 2012 2:55 pm

    I didn’t think that Ron Paul had a good debate. He may have had a better debate than the previous debates but I didn’t see him as having a good night. He dodged answering the question about the newsletters and when he pointed out about the Navy rescuing Iranian fisherman from pirates he got a punch back from Santorum when he responded with saying that under a Ron Paul administration there wouldn’t have even been the possibility of a rescue. If Ron Paul actually answered the question regarding his newsletters in an honest matter instead of protecting whomever and changing his answers then he wouldn’t be asked any more questions on this matter. In addition, I would respect him more if he admitted who actually had written the newsletters. Covering up for someone who wrote racist and disgusting things is not a good quality for a candidate to have.

    I think that everyone but Paul and Huntsman did well in the debate last night.


    • January 8, 2012 4:15 pm

      How did Ron Paul dodge the question about the newsletters? He answered the same way he has been answering, that he did not write the newsletters, they are 20 years old, and if you want to talk about how he feels about racism, ask him about his record on that. I thought he answered the question honestly and forthrightly.

      As for Rick Santorum, he came across as being snide and snippy, especially with his remarks to Ron Paul. I wonder if it isn’t because he really has no clue what Paul stands for and can only resort to smart alec remarks. I actually like the man and a lot of what he says, but he did not help himself last night.


      • January 8, 2012 9:22 pm

        You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I thought it was a valid point that Santorum made and Ron Paul did not dispute it. In my opinion the only person who came of snippy was Gingrich when he said “I know the red screen doesn’t mean anything to you because you are the frontrunner” to Romney, it just wasn’t called for because all candidates were allowed to go over the time limit. And then there was his pious remark this morning, it was unbecoming now that I look back at it.


    • January 8, 2012 9:18 pm

      I thought that in the debate this morning Paul did well, better than last night. Ron Paul does have to be held partially responsible for what was in those newsletter, after all they had his name on them and he made money based on what was in them. Perhaps he didn’t know what was in them, but he should have.


  4. bunkerville permalink
    January 8, 2012 6:37 pm

    I thought George was the winner last night in revealing his Democratic roots. The intention was to have them bicker, and for that we were the loser in not dealing with the important issues. Romney was the winner when not biting to the set up in the contraceptive nonsense George insisted upon. George wanted Romney to take on Santorum about it. Solyndra? Fast and Furious? Dentention of Americans? still waiting to hear.


    • The Georgia Yankee permalink
      January 8, 2012 7:22 pm

      Actually, I’d say more Americans will be directly affected if Santorum were able to outlaw contraceptive sales than by NDAA and the investments in failed alternative energy companies combined.


      • January 8, 2012 9:26 pm

        Does anyone really believe Santorum wants to outlaw contraception? I don’t think so, but this was used as an excuse to try to get the candidate fighting over a non-issue just as Bunkerville stated. Of course, Santorum was never given the chance to clarify his statement.


      • toldya permalink
        January 9, 2012 9:09 am

        Fed gov does not have the authority to ban contraceptives. They are, however, killing and imprisoning US citizens without charges or trials.


      • January 9, 2012 8:00 pm

        I agree with both points!


    • January 8, 2012 9:24 pm

      George was definitely trying to get the candidate fighting with each other, his goal wasn’t to get answers on the candidates positioin but rather he wanted a brawl between the candidates. I don’t have a problem with the candidates attacking each other, I actually enjoy it, but is that really the role of the moderator?


    • The Georgia Yankee permalink
      January 9, 2012 12:42 am

      Based on this, I think that Santorum wants contraception outlawed – he wants the power of the state to prevent married adults from doing things he thinks are inappropriate, which is apparently anything but procreative sex.


      • January 9, 2012 6:23 am

        I posted this below, here is what he recently said about this issue:

        “It’s been clarified about oh, 150,000 times, so I’ll clarify 150,001,” Santorum said. “I’ve never said I wanted to ban birth control. I wouldn’t vote for it. This is sort of the sad part that comes in, with folks who have an agenda aren’t really interested in the truth”


      • The Georgia Yankee permalink
        January 9, 2012 10:53 am

        What he said was that contraception gives people the opportunity to have sex in a way they “shouldn’t.” He’d like to see Griswold reversed.

        He said it was an issue he was going to talk about during the campaign.

        He also makes it clear that he thinks states should have the right to regulate private behavior, like abortion and contraception. What’s next – mandatory missionary position? Does Santorum consider any human behavior out-of-bounds from the regulatory arm of state government?

        So if he thinks contraception is dangerous, and wants to raise the issue during the campaign, but claims he wouldn’t vote for a ban on contraception, what’s his goal?

        And how come small-government people are even thinking about supporting a candidate who wants the power of government expanded when it comes to the way private people lead their lives?


      • January 9, 2012 8:05 pm

        I have to say TGY that I cannot refute your claims of defend him on this any longer because this is troubling to me. You have often said Republicans are guilty of looking for the perfect candidate, and I don’t think that is a bad thing, in fact I think it is what the primaries are all about. It is clear that all the candidates have flaws and it will be up to the people to decide which flaws they can best live with. Santorum’s social positions are what is going to keep him from getting close to Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in New Hampshire.


  5. The Georgia Yankee permalink
    January 8, 2012 6:49 pm

    Honestly, the way some people go on about NDAA, you’d think its only purpose was to detain US citizens. NDAA, unfortunately, is emblematic of a problem rampant throughout our legislative process – the ability to add unpopular items to popular or necessary legislation.

    Don’t misunderstand – I dislike the part of NDAA that permits detention without charge or trial, and extraordinary rendition. It has nothing to do with citizenship, by the way – in fact, it would be so much more abhorrent if they passed a law saying that non-citizens could be so abused. (The rights set forth in the Constitution don’t apply just to citizens, but to all residents, except those pertaining to voting.)

    Hopefully our legislators will grow some stones and properly debate this feature of NDAA and repeal it.

    I didn’t see either debate, and so I need to ask – did Rick Santorum explain his opposition to contraception for married couples? I was surprised to find out about that today – apparently, he feels that contraception allows people to have sex for reasons other than what he understands God intended.

    Have a great week and may God bless us all!



    • January 8, 2012 9:30 pm

      Rick Santorum was not given the chance to clarify his position on the states banning contraception. This came about when he was talking about Roe v Wade and stated he thought it was wrong for SCOTUS to overturn local contraception laws. Here is what he said on banning contraception:

      “It’s been clarified about oh, 150,000 times, so I’ll clarify 150,001,” Santorum said. “I’ve never said I wanted to ban birth control. I wouldn’t vote for it. This is sort of the sad part that comes in, with folks who have an agenda aren’t really interested in the truth”


  6. The Georgia Yankee permalink
    January 8, 2012 7:19 pm

    As tto taxes, I’ve heard our present system called a “modified flat tax.” (Those who dispute this appellation should consider the pre-Reagan tax code, with a maximum marginal tax rate of about 70%, or the Eisenhower-era code, whose highest marginal tax rate was in the 90s.)

    At any rate, I didlike a flat tax – I think they’ll always place a disproportionate amountnt of sacrifice on the poor – think widow’s mite.

    I really like the FairTax – a flat tax on consumption, no loopholes, no deductions, no debilitating compliance costs and no war on Americans by an agency of the government. The FairTax proposal before the Congress calls for a “prebate” which essentially exempts the first $XXX.YY of a family’s spending from the tax, where $XXX.YY is the amount of the average “market basket” required for a family at the poverty level. Poor families thus would pay effectively 0% or not much more, while wealthier families, with their higher levels of consumption, would pay more, but never more than the 27% rate.

    All other taxes, except some excise taxes, would be eliminated, as would the government’s collection agency, the IRS. Let’s face it – Reagan was right when he said that corporations really pay no taxes at all, and if corporation taxes were eliminated, that would free up so much of the money currently spent on tax avoidance and tax compliance. Of course, it would force a LOAD of tax lawyers and accountants to find productive employment, but I don’t hear too many people complaining about that.

    The big problem with enacting the FairTax is that it’s universally opposed by the powers that be. I’ve lost liberal friends who are so brainwashed about the progressive income tax that they wouldn’t even listen to me, they just unfriended me and told their friends I’d gone over to the dark side. Every lobbyist in Washington, though, is opposed to the FairTax, because it would eliminate most of their jobs as well. A handful of lobbyists educate lawmakers about products, etc., and another small handful represent the interests of the states and other governments. The overwhelming majority, though, are in place to influence national tax policy, to get their clients a break (think Home Depot and overhead ceiling fans imported from China).

    Another problem is that when I mention the FairTax to many people, they say “Yeah, I like the idea of a flat tax.” The FairTax is nothing like a flat tax – in the very first place, it has nothing to do with income.

    And may God bless us all!



    • January 8, 2012 9:32 pm

      We’ve had a discussion of the fair tax before and if you remember I am leary of it, but I think it does have merit and at this point I am open to looking at all options.


      • The Georgia Yankee permalink
        January 9, 2012 11:19 am

        Dude, get the book and read it through. The website’s okay, last time I checked it out, but the book explains things much more clearly. And consider this – I’m a liberal, and was a staunch progressive income tax proponent. I read the book because I try to keep an open mind about things and try to learn about the issues that face us. And the book convinced me to abandon a cherished plank of the liberal platform.

        And may God bless us all!



      • January 9, 2012 8:09 pm

        What is the name of the book? I would love to read it, I love to read and will be looking for another book shortly.


      • The Georgia Yankee permalink
        January 13, 2012 11:47 am

        Sorry for the delay, Steve. You’re probably gonna want to slap me for this – the name of the book is . . . are you ready? “The FairTax” by Phil Gingrey and Neal Boortz.

        Enjoy the read!

        And may God bless us all!



      • January 13, 2012 9:17 pm

        Doh! I guess that should be easy enough to remember.🙂 Don’t worry about the delay, I had forgotten about it so this serves as a reminder. I am writing myself a note right now.


  7. toldya permalink
    January 8, 2012 8:03 pm

    We have a heavily graduated income tax. Marx wrote about this.


    • January 8, 2012 9:33 pm

      Yes he did, he thought do highly of it that it is the 2nd plank of the communist manifesto.


    • The Georgia Yankee permalink
      January 14, 2012 10:37 am

      No, we HAD a heavily graduated income tax. We now have a modified flat tax, with three main rates, and a top marginal rate of what, 35%? That’s half of what the top marginal rate was just 30 years ago.

      And overall, the tax system really is skewed toward the wealthy. Why is income from capital gains taxed at less than half the rate as income earned by the sweat of one’s brow? To encourage investment? But isn’t that social engineering?


  8. January 8, 2012 9:05 pm

    Your thoughts on the debate pretty much fall along the same lines as mine. Mitt will almost certainly win the race in the Granite state and move on to SC where the outcome is uncertain at this time. I could live with Romney as our candidate, but would prefer someone else—the bottom line however is to defeat Obama this year. I does seem to me that almost everytime the Republicans nominate a middle of the road (RINO) they lose in the general and frankly that worries me. We don’t need another McCain to carry the banner.


    • January 8, 2012 9:35 pm

      That is what scares me as well ROn; we saw this in 2008 with McCain and we are about to make the same mistake again. When given the choice between a Democrat and a Democrate-lite the people will always take the real thing. When will we learn?


  9. January 8, 2012 11:29 pm

    A Romney/Paul ticket would be something I could get behind. Romney/Gingrich or Romney/Santorum and I’m voting for Donald Duck… I’m serious.


    • The Georgia Yankee permalink
      January 9, 2012 12:55 am



      • January 9, 2012 4:16 am

        Huntsman? He’s an Obama flunky and a disciple of China. I don’t know which one of those things are worse.


      • The Georgia Yankee permalink
        January 9, 2012 4:23 am

        Attitudes like that guarantee that the best and most high-minded will always steer clear of politics, because those who put their country above partisan interest will always be punished for their lack of party loyalty.


    • January 9, 2012 6:25 am

      A Romney/anybody ticket is going to be hard to vote for, maybe West.


      • January 10, 2012 6:53 pm

        Stevie D, Harrison: you guys are all patriots and I respect all choices in the GOP primary, for they all have reasonable arguments:

        Mitt re electability
        Newt re experience and ability to slam opponents
        Paul re Constitution and economics
        Santorum re likability (and maybe number of sweater vests) (I think the contraceptive thing is a total red herring. Like he’s gonna take away all the condoms if he becomes Prez.)


        But the important thing is, whoever wins for whatever reason, we must not take our balls and go home. On this particular occasion, we must vote for the GOP nod. Whatever it takes to get rid of the Obama administration.

        I am not advocating this position for all elections, or even most elections. After 2012, continue building up the libertarian third party if that’s your thing, because I’m sick of the GOP and would be happy to replace them in the long run.

        But this presidential election is so crucial, that the lesser evil argument wins out.

        What say you?


      • January 10, 2012 9:44 pm

        I agree with you on Santorum; Mitt is the chosen one in the media and every time someone starts to challenge him the media goes on the attack, that is what happened to Santorum. The media has laid off Mitt to this point, but once it is Mitt vs Obama they will take the gloves off.
        I talk a good game about voting third party but when push comes to shove I probably will not do so. I said the same thing in 2008 about Mccain but I ended up voting for him.


      • The Georgia Yankee permalink
        January 13, 2012 11:59 am

        There’s no doubt, Romney’s had an easy time of it, considering that he carries a lot of baggage as well.

        Gingrich – I don’t like his “explanation” of the millions from Freddie and Fannie. If they needed historical analyses, an actual historian from a local university would have done the job for a LOT less. Right now, of course, we’re witnessing a political meltdown – Boortz is asking which Occupy camp Newt is bunking in every evening . . .

        Santorum – you may believe the contraception thing is a red herring, and I agree that the President cannot order condoms off the shelves. But it’s clear that Santorum a) believes that he knows better than most of us the real true purpose of sex, and b) believes that state governments, at least, should have the right to regulate it. I don’t care that the President cannot simply impose his will in such matters on the people, I care that the President thinks that way at all.

        Close to 50% of the people who voted for Santorum in Iowa ranked abortion as a major issue for them. You may disagree – that’s the great thing about this country – but it’s my opinion that the majority of Americans dislike abortion, but want to let women have the option. The issue is one of choice – the majority of Americans seem to be pro-choice, and a minority are anti-choice.

        Huntsman – got into the race pretty late, which may be a major drawback, but to hear so many GOPers not even consider him because he was Ambassador to China under the Obama administration is absolutely shameful and a dark spot on the image of the GOP.

        Take good care and may God bless us all!



      • January 13, 2012 9:23 pm

        The media hasn’t gone after Romney because they have decided he is the “least offensive” Republican, for lack of a better term. They have decided that if any Republican is to beat Obama they would rather it be Romney over the others, so he gets a free pass and everytime a candidate closes the gap on him the media attacks that candidate. They are saving their attacks on Romney until after he gets the nomination and then they will set their sights on him.

        Gingrich’s historian defense is just plain laughable.

        Santorum is turning out to be more of a big government guy than I had thought.

        And I think that Huntsman is also hurt by the fact that when he entered the race he tried to portray himself as more moderate than the other candidates, when he realized he miscalculated he tried to paint himself as the most consistent conservative, and while that might actually be true, this change of tactics probably has some voters wondering about him.


      • The Georgia Yankee permalink
        January 14, 2012 10:39 am

        Lin, I also believe that as long as we have the current winner-take-all approach to elections, we’ll never have a viable third party.

        Take good care and may God bless us all!



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