Well, I finally watched a debated -- or at least most of it. I really like the You Tube format, although I think people should dress better if they want to ask candidates questions. The questions did not seem to be as silly as during the Democrat's debate (even the Cheney animation was a serious question, and the Red Sox v. Yankees question was a funny way to end it all).
The question on "don't ask don't tell" and the seemingly forever rebuttal by the questioner lost me. It also turns out that the questioner, a retired Army general, is connected to the Clinton campaign.
McCain came off extremely well. He seems to have done well in the debates so far. He is calm, focused, and shows both his competency and his principles. The showed his incredible grasp of foreign policy as well as taking the torture question head on. Yes, this man should be president.
Another who did well was Huckabee. He had the best answer of the night -- what would Jesus do about the death penalty? " Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office." Huckabee, however, continues to run as the great social conservative hope and sounded like he was interviewing for a pastor's job. I think he will end up if not winning in Iowa and maybe South Carolina, coming a close second.
Romney did not impress me. He seems too polished, too much answering questions based on what he thinks will be popular.
Thompson seemed very relaxed and answered the questions well. Thompson was a better non candidate than candidate and has lost much of his early bounce. So maybe he was relaxed as he was trying out for VP. He (and the other candidates) really punted the Rebel flag question though.
Giuliani stumbled at times. He was expecting to skip Iowa and New Hampshire and concentrate on Florida with the hope of pulling off an upset in South Carolina. But he is in trouble in the early states now. The pressure is on him and he knows it.
Ron Paul was, well, Ron Paul. The Paulistas reacted, well, as you would expect.
We should have a pool as to when Hunter and Tancredo drop out. My wife (not a Republican) has no clue who they are.
In the end, McCain won and Huckabee really helped himself. Let's hope we see more of this type of format.