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January 6, 2008

Saturday Night At The Primaries

Put on some hot cocoa, snuggle up to your best girl or guy on the couch and ... watch political debates? Well, for some that may qualify as a romantic Saturday night, but most Americans probably chose to head for the movies or for some late-season holiday parties instead. Some people couldn't quite manage to miss them, however, not even here in the Magic Kingdom, where I saw a portion of the Republican debate.

Honestly, from what I saw, it looked like the most interesting and well-structured of the debates. It looked to me like Mitt Romney rather than Mike Huckabee took most of the offensives from the other candidates, most of which he handled well -- until Fred Thompson got Romney to admit he liked the "mandates that you want". It seemed to me that Thompson and McCain won the foreign policy portion of the debate. Everyone got a chance to score a few points off of Ron Paul, who trotted out the same tired "terrorism is our fault" theme that he just can't seem to surrender.

In that vein, I had to wonder a little bit about Paul's supposed devotion to the Constitution. He said that we can't afford to spend a trillion dollars on health care because we're in a trillion-dollar war. Wouldn't an originalist also mention that the federal government doesn't have a Constitutional mandate to spend the trillion dollars on health care -- and at least acknowledge that it does have that mandate for national security, even if Paul thinks the policy is misguided?

I didn't see much at all of the Democratic debate, but that's because I'm on vacation, man. (There are some sacrifices I won't make!) I don't feel comfortable calling a winner on either one, but I think ABC and Charlie Gibson made a case for them splitting the debates with Brit Hume and Fox from now on. Consider this an open thread on both debates. Who do you think won them, and what did you think of the round-table format?


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