Tuesday's GOP debate: Will it be the best one yet?
The GOP candidates have appeared on more stages than the road show of 'Cats.' But haven't the debates been great political theater so far? Tuesday's event shouldn't disappoint.
There’s a Republican presidential debate Tuesday night on CNN. Yes, we know it’s the 11th such showdown. And yes, the GOP candidates may have appeared on more stages than the road show of “Cats.” But haven’t the debates been great political theater so far? We think they have been, and we think this one might be the best yet.Skip to next paragraph
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That’s because two interesting trends are converging on DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, the venerable forum where the show will occur. One is the failure of the congressional "super committee" to strike a deficit agreement, and the partisan finger-pointing that’s followed.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that all of the candidates will try and hang this failure around the neck of the Obama administration. In that sense we’ll see them all work together for one of the first times this debate season, as opposed to taking jabs at each other.
(Yes, we know it’s supposed to be a national security debate, but we think Wolf Blitzer will still bring this up. Don’t you?)
Mitt Romney may go after Obama especially hard, since it is becoming increasingly apparent that he is running as if he already has the nomination locked up. For instance, on Tuesday Romney released his first television ad of the campaign, and it’s directed at the incumbent, not Rick Perry, Herman Cain, or Newt Gingrich.
“He promised he would fix the economy. He failed,” reads the ad’s intro.
Even Romney’s most vocal opponents within the party are beginning to try to come to terms with his likely success. At the conservative RedState blog, editor Erick Erickson wrote Tuesday that he expects Romney to be the nominee, and that Republicans will vote for him.
“But their energy will be tepid. He gives no one anything to get excited about except the makers of Silly Putty and hair products,” wrote Mr. Erickson.
Of course, the other trend is the rise of yet another champion of the anti-Mitt forces. We give you Newt Gingrich, front-runner.
Gingrich has risen to the front of the polls in large part because he’s fast on his feet in debates. But Gingrich may find that this time around, the going is tougher.