Last night's Republican debate in Florida was dramatic, snarly, funny, and fascinating. It also changes the tide, again, in Mitt Romney's favor this time.
All four candidates scored points at various times. Rick Santorum was notably forceful, but yet, needlessly long on some answers. Ron Paul was funny, but he does have an interesting vision of how to fix some problems for the country, like illegal immigration, and relations with Cuba. Gingrich does not project the most positive image or the most cheerful attitude especially when it comes to his main rival Mitt Romney. He and his campaign team have been digging plenty of research on Romney, but at one point Romney was prepared and shot back about Newt's similar dealings with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It seemed to catch Gingrich off guard.
Romney was caught a few times as well, but his presentation, delivery and more positive spin on his perceived image as super rich man, was confident and well received by the audience. His delivery was to the point, without hesitation and energetic. He said that he isn't going to apologize for being rich, and more forcefully as he's done before, turned it into a positive. He held it as a success, which employed many others, and led by one who knows how to be successful. He framed it as an asset for the American people and the economy. It was hard to argue with that final word on that particular segment.
Gingrich appeared to be look foolish on another topic. He has promised that he would put a permanent manned station on the moon by the end of his eight years in office. With a $15 trillion debt, high unemployment, many home foreclosures, setting aside tens of billions more for a moon post, just don't seem like a priority, and Ron Paul in particular dismissed that idea. In fact, it was a gradiose idea, and nice maybe, in the future, but at this moment there are not a lot of people calling for employment on the moon. In ways Ron Paul appears radical, certainly not mainstream, but he often appears to possess great common sense.
Most of the exchanges were interesting to hear and see, but Romney did the best job of presenting himself strong, confident and avoiding a more sort of cantankerous debating style that Newt Gingrich seemed to embody.
One final point about why Newt Gingrich will not be the ultimate winner in this race - sadly for him and his supporters, there are big Republicans who have come out and voiced their opposition to him. Bob Dole, Nancy Pelosi, and others have made it clear that they are no Newt fans. Pelosi say that he will never be President.. ‘There’s Something I Know’. The press has been reporting that he does not have a lot of party support.
So, at this point, from this perch, it appears that unless divine intervention happens, Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate to run against the Democrats in November. There are still many states to go yet, and things can change, so we will see if this prediction is correct.