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So Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah has finally joined in the fight and will officially launch his campaign for the White House almost immediately.

What does this say about last night’s “great” debate?  Well, mostly it says that it wasn’t nearly as much of a full on political occasion as it might have been.  A little flat really, somewhat predictable, dare one say weak, passionless and dull?  So poor that it has given Huntsman the “in” he needed.  Maybe it was me.  Maybe watching on a computer screen at silly hours wasn’t best but….hmmm.  The staging seemed oddly at variance with the figures giving them a smaller scale than might have been best.  Small men on a big stage.  Political dwarfs looking around for their Snow White I think Mark Mardell of the BBC quipped.  Very true.

Wonder who he had in mind?

 It just wasn’t very interesting.  They gave their set speeches, answered some straight questions with pap answers, told everyone how good the questions were, and slopped off.  Even the laughter and applause felt somewhat forced.

Mitt Romney.  Well he did not disappoint.  Clearly he has appeared as the leader of the pack.  He gave a fine polished performance a bit light on wit and humour, but hey who ever said Mittens was a stand up?  It did the job, placing him as lead candidate for the nomination.  But as always where oh where is the passion?  I just don’t think it did enough to show him as Presidential material yet.

Next best for me was Michelle Bachman.  Now I know a lot of people think she is a fruit cake but that was not how she came over.  Nicely dressed and presented, competent and sure of herself.  Yep she remains in the fray.  A nice early opener.

Newt Gingrich –  the candidate that sounds like dental disease.  His performance showed exactly why his campaign staff are running away and his money bleeds into the sand.  Grumpy too.  Unpleasant and slightly insincere.  He will not last the course.

Tim (Nice but Dim) Pawlenty was anything but unpleasant.  Courteous, kind, polite nice even, and just the kind of guy we all would rather like to have as a neighbour.  But he missed the open goal!  He simply did not give Romney the kicking he is so open to on Health care!   Unbelievable.  He really is dim too if he thinks that he is going to get there by being the “nice” candidate.  It just looks weak, and weak men do not become President.  He is dead in the water.

Ron Paul.  One of the better performances but too old I think, and too likely to mean what he says about Gays and the Military.  And I still think of Werthers Originals and a nice cup of tea everytime I see him.

Ricky Santorum.  Now I know he has a lot of support in the Christian Bible belt and that he has a record of good solid campaigning in the past. But he has been off form all year.  He is not going to get the nomination regurgitating the same old formulaic stuff and then agreeing with every-one.  This really was not up to his best stuff, it’s almost as though he knows he not getting it.  He is doomed.

Herman Cain the pizza guy.  Well we remembered him.  Struck me as a bit odd.  What did he mean about notwanting a Muslim in his cabinet?

Seven characters then in search of “something”.  We all thought it might be Snow White until this afternoon and then Huntsman steps in!

Definitely an improvement.

But is the campaign big enough for two handsome-candidates-from-the-West or indeed two Mormons?

No.  I think Huntsman will use this round to big up his profile and get seen lots.  He speaks well and has matinee good looks that work on TV.  He will last the course, drop late and hitch loyally to the emergent front runner.  Then next time in 2016 he will be a real contender.

Until then the Republicans are stuck with Romney.


Copyright David Macadam 2011