Two days ago, a Republican debate was held in Michigan. This debate was not up to par with the rest of the debates and far from being exciting. The candidates didn't answer the questions as directly as they should have and the moderation was just really poor. Maria Bartiromo had an attitude and Jim Cramer, who contributed questions, did possibly the worst moderating job I have seen. Cramer ought to be banned from moderating. Otherwise, the eight top-tier candidates, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman were the participants. The topic of interest was the topic that most concerns Americans at this point... the economy. As always, I will grade the candidates, but as far as the moderating goes, I may very well give them a big fat F. Anyway...
Rick Santorum- Santorum really didn't get much speaking job, as he's gotten much more than people of his percentage usually tend to get. He really didn't have much of an opportunity to break out for any particular reason or contribute anything that those who were watching would be talking about the next day. He didn't do anything to break his chances, either. While they're saying that candidates may be dropping out at this time in the race, I strongly expect Santorum to stick around at least until Iowa. He has that aggressive personality that will garner him numbers in about the single digits (probably 4 or 5% in Iowa). At that point, he may think about withdrawing. His personality got him to this point in the presidential race, but he broke even at the debate, not contributing any reason to go up or down. B-
Michele Bachmann- Bachmann really seems to be a reasonable contribution to these debates. Her message of needing to repeal Obamacare and Dodd/Frank is becoming just as much of a tagline as when she constantly mentioned that Obama will be a one-term president. These taglines allow her to stick out. Though her personality seems to be turning into a Palin-esque kind of thing in the way that they present themselves, I don't see Bachmann releasing a reality show anytime soon. Many of the debate performances didn't make much of a difference. Perhaps, she could get some of Perry's support. We'll have to see. B
Newt Gingrich- There really wasn't any huge Gingrich moments in which he put the pedal to the metal on his key targets... the people who contributed to the struggling situation. He targeted Ben Bernanke, he targeted the media, and he brought up how he wants to challenge Obama is seven three-hour Lincoln-Douglas style debates with a time keeper, but no moderator. Bartiromo went off on him and stepped out of her "journalist box," but Gingrich seemed to keep cool. Wasn't a huge night for him, but his strong debate performances are allowing him to gain numbers in the polls. Between that and Cain's scandals going on, Gingrich may surprise us come January. B
Mitt Romney- Romney had as good a showing as he could. His answers were direct and he showed that the chances are that he remains in the frontrunner position. Now with Herman Cain's numbers likely to drop, Romney may really gain ground and push ahead of the pack. He gracefully dismissed commenting about any of Cain's personal issues as the audience booed to such a question, as they did more than ever. Goes to show you the differences in networks. Romney presented himself well in a pool of liberal leaning moderation. B+
Herman Cain- Cain has had to deal with several battle scars after five women accused him of sexual harassing them. Whether or not he did it, we do not know. Regardless, it will do some form of hurting to his campaign. As for his debate performance, it wasn't off so much. There was one mention to his taking in the current events, but otherwise his main contributions were his 999 plan. He also happened to have the quote of the night, which was "the other problem with Dodd/Frank is Dodd and Frank," referring to former Senator Chris Dodd and current Representative Barney Frank. The current events may hurt him, but this debate shouldn't hurt him so much. B+
Rick Perry- Perry came in looking like he was going to have a good debate. He finally gave details as to what he plans to do to boost the economy, but then... it all crumbled. He forgot the last department that he wanted to eliminated, having to be assisted by other candidates. That in itself could be the worst move in the debates thus far. In 2000, George W. Bush ran for president as the Texas governor. Twelve years later, Perry is doing the same. Bush came out of the White House with an extremely bad taste in the mouths of Americans, so much that the votes ended up giving the Democrats not only the presidency, but also two-thirds of the Senate AND Congress. Perry came into this race having to be a contrast to Bush, as Americans are very likely looking for something different than four years back. Perry didn't really do much to convince Americans on holding a different stance, and it may very well cost him the nomination. This is where differences are made, and when it comes to making a difference, Perry may have slid down farther than any candidate has slid in this primary. D
Ron Paul- Ron Paul had a fair amount of time to speak, and it really benefited him. He really took advantage of expressing his points, and especially started a wave as to how health care SHOULD work. He's the candidate that most candidates in the race tend to disagree with, but he really started a notion as to how health care should be between the doctor and patient. Not much can rattle Paul's tree, as we've seen in the 2008 Republican primaries. He is projected to have moderate showings, enough to allow him in the January debates, but if his supporters come out in droves, he may really surprise people. Even when McCain won the nomination in March, Paul stayed in the race until June. It's very likely that he'll be sticking around for a decent amount of time this race. His debate performances continue to help him stick out in the pack. A-
Jon Huntsman- Huntsman seemed to have just one opportunity when he came to giving a strong statement. Otherwise, he didn't do much to stick out. He missed the Las Vegas debate last month, and his return this month was just an okay debate performance. Not really any big hot moments that he has been known for having. Then again, there wasn't really much confrontation between the candidates, period. Huntsman has his attention on New Hampshire, and he will very likely drop out if he doesn't come out with an excellent showing. In order to even make New Hampshire, he has to have good showings and debate performances, otherwise there will be candidates, such as Romney, Gingrich, and Paul, that surpass him and surpass him in fine numbers. He may even come it closer to Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer on the second-tier. C+
The CNBC Michigan Debate will go down as being memorable for being a rocky debate indeed. It goes to show you how CNBC and MSNBC are the liberal equivalents to FOX News and their conservative stance. I did not see a single Democrat debate on FOX News in 2008, maybe soon the Republicans will be doing the same with CNBC and MSNBC. Maybe it was just the specific moderation, as not every channel has the best cast of moderators. As for the next debate, it will be tomorrow on CBS. The same eight candidates will be participating and will be set in South Carolina.