The Republican candidates had their first debate May 6 on Fox News. While the debate unfortunately did not feature any of the high profile candidates that I was hoping for: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Mitch Daniels; the debate was still very interesting due to the various personalities we were introduced in this debate. Here's my analysis of those participating in the debate, from the worst performances, to the best:
While I do give Mr. Johnson some credit for being the first to establish that he's running instead of setting up an exploratory committee , his performance was by far the most disastrous I've seen in this presidential race so far. Not only did he get little questions asked of him (So little that he had to ask for more questions), he poorly utilized the questions, rambling off topic on the final question and doing little to distinguish himself from other candidates. Plus his profuse sweating and excessive movement made him seem nervous, the worst possible trait for someone running for the most powerful position in the world.
Bland would be the best way to describe Rick Santorum. He suffered from simply not being able to distinguish himself from other candidates, meaning that while he didn't do as bad as Gary Johnson... he might as well have. People may remember Gary Johnson for his poor performance, but I guarantee that no one will even remember Rick Santorum.
While definitely not the winner of the debate, Ron Paul gave an acceptable performance, establishing himself as one who will fight government control. He did have a lot of interesting things to say, making good idealogical points of why he supports the legalization of drugs such as marijuana and his opposition to foreign military intervention. That being said, Ron Paul's actual delivery was below average, mostly due to the fact that he has not aged well, giving people the impression of weakness. His stammering also made him seem tired, another trait unfit for those running for president. While he does have my support, his performance was more damaging then beneficial.
Tim Pawlenty was able to give an average performance due to his very likable personality. That being said, the problem was that it was too average. Sure he made no moves that harmed him during the debate, but I wished he tried to at least put himself out their in order to distinguish himself from other candidates. Sure the dropping out of Mike Huckabee could allow his base of evangelical supporters to grow, but he should not rely on that if he expects to make it to the primaries. That being said, his gracious remarks at the beginning of the debate for President Obama's acievement of the killing of Bin Laden will allow him to be viewed as above the fray of partisan politics, while still being critical of his policies due to harsh remarks made later in the debate.
Ultimately, Herman Cain was the victor of this whole debate, as he was the only one who seemed presidential. Sure I'm still not convinced a business man running the country is a good idea, as running the country is not the same as running a business. That being said, I did like his responses on foreign policy, which called for a clear definition to the missions in our Middle Eastern conflicts. His decisive answers and confident demeanor definitely stood out from the rest of the candidates, making the CEO of Godfather's Pizza a serious presidential candidate that opponents should be wary of.
So who did you believe won the debate and why?