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OK, it’s hard to really say anyone “wins” a debate, given that there’s no scoring, and Wolf Blitzer doesn’t come out afterward and hand out a medal. In general, last night’s word fight was high-minded and good for everybody, except maybe Herman Cain, since he didn’t say much.
CNN’s Blitzer did well, too – drawing candidates into real conversations, and emceeing questions from assembled think-tank luminaries. The whole thing was a real debate in that it juxtaposed real differences of opinion.
Which is where Congressman Paul comes in. It was him against the Republican world last night. His positions are often very different from those of his GOP opponents, and he defended them with his typical well-honed points. You’re reminded once again that he’s been at this for decades. Even longer than Mitt Romney.
Paul “sounded authoritative and made his points clearly” judged Politico’s Maggie Haberman.
Our own reaction to Paul was that nobody laid a glove on him, despite the fact that many of his positions are controversial both within the GOP and in US politics at large. (He said foreign aid is “worthless,” for instance. Really? Not even the other GOP candidates went that far. US cash is paying for much of Africa’s fight against HIV/AIDS, for instance. Is that not money well spent?)