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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Friday, January 11, 2008

SOUTH CAROLINA GOP DEBATE COVERAGE - THE WRAP UP

There were a lot of irritated media in the filing room as the Debate began when we found that the Internet connection that had been dependable all day had stopped. So this wrap up will include both debate analysis and coverage of the activities in the Spin Room after the debate.

First the debate. Throughout this campaign cycle we have never been short of debates. this one though was more detailed and had much more substance to it then the preceding GOP debates. Part, I am sure was due to the fact that rather than 10 candidates as has been the case in most of the debates there were only six. Additionally the questions that were asked were more detailed and much tougher than most in the past.

The candidates also had more time to answer and the rebuttals were handled well and for the most part actually had to do with the question at hand and not rambling campaign talking points as has been the practice before.

In rating the candidates I will start at the bottom and work my way up from there.

Ron Paul - F - More than any other debate Paul made his isolationist and blame America position well known in most of his responses. His repetition concerning the economic aspect of United States foreign policy and his continual finger pointing of blame to the US especially concerning Israel made him look the absolute fool.

Mike Huckabee - C - He did answer religious questions with an obvious educated response but his continual avoidance when confronted with the truth of his record and trying to claim that he gave hope instead of tax increases while he was Governor of Arkansas began rather redundant.

John McCain - C + - Though McCain did come across strong when speaking of the military and certain aspects of Foreign policy he repeated himself often especially when referring to his being called, "the sheriff, " in reference to appropriations bills. A claim he stated four times during the debate. For him a poor showing considering that South Carolina sunk his campaign in 2000.

Rudy Giuliani - B - - Not one of Rudy's better nights, though he did refrain from constant references about 9/11 as has been his practice in previous debates. When asked about his foreign policy experience he did provide and answer that gave his qualification on this issue and as always his answer concerning the war and terrorism were strong.

Mitt Romney - B - Romney had a good showing tonight. He refrained from continual references to his Massachusetts accomplishments as much as in the past and replaced this with plans and strategy as to what he would actually do if elected President.

Fred Thompson - A - - Though not asked as many questions as some of the candidates, his answers were well thought out and detailed especially when referring to his plan for border security and causing the illegals to leave by , "attrition." While his overall performance was a B +, the reason for the A - was because he was the only candidate who challenged Huckabee on his record which put the Huckster on the defensive much of the night as he danced around that record. Also Fred's response concerning Pakistan and the statement about sending the Iranians to meet the virgins were some of the highlights of the evening.

After the debate we made our way to the Spin Room where Hannity and Combs broadcast their show live and interviewed the candidates. That is all but Ron Paul. His absence in the Spin Room and the Hannity and Combs show was an obvious shun of the media in general and Sean Hannity personally.

The candidates did not stop for interviews with the media with two exceptions, Fred Thompson spent a moment after his appearance on Hannity and Combs in which I had opportunity to ask him about how he felt concerning his need to do well in South Carolina. He responded that he, "felt that he would be putting all his cards on the table since here in the South he was on his own home turf." He went on to say that, "the response to his bus tour was excellent and he was confident that South Carolina would come out for him on the 19th."

Mike Huckabee also spent a moment before his appearance and I asked him why he continually avoided talking directly about his Arkansas record ? He again avoided the question by stating that during his , "ten years as Governor he brought hope to the people of Arkansas, " and since he was re-elected that proved that he, "did something right."

I also talked with South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, a Romney supporter, and asked him how important South Carolina was to the Governor in light of his second place finish in Iowa and New Hampshire. DeMint said that Romney, "needed to do well in Michigan and then win in South Carolina to remain strong in the Primary race." He went on to state that he was, "confident, " that Romeny would win in South Carolina because his message, " follows the values of South Carolinians."

A very rewarding and enjoyable day was experienced by all of us as we covered the debate activities. I want to express my special thanks to my son Chris and also to Travis Whitaker for their help throughout the day. Their chasing down many of the stories and the people so I could spend time writing was a tremendous help. Also being in three places at once made it much easier to get the activities that are usually not covered at events like this.

Also thanks to Mike's America for sponsoring the liveblogging and inviting me to participate throughout the day at each of the sites that were linked to he liveblog. Thanks to each of you for stopping by and allowing Travis, my son and myself to bring the South Carolina GOP debate to the web.

Ken Taylor

11 Comments:

Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

You were great Ken!

The focus group after the debate had Fred Thompson for the first time as the clear winner :-)

Woooooooooooooooo
Hoooooooooooooooooo

GO FRED GO!!!

12:35 PM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

I think I am going to crosspost your roundup on my blog :-)

12:36 PM, January 11, 2008  
Anonymous Seth said...

Many thanks, Ken!

Following the dialogue, I really enjoyed both yours and also John Benton's comments on the event.

When the loon factions arrived and deployed, you had me laughing my touchas off!!!!

7:02 AM, January 12, 2008  
Blogger Obob said...

thanks for coverage. The virgin comment is a classic. It looks like it's going to be long week

9:02 AM, January 12, 2008  
Blogger Conservative Chic said...

Wow Ken, you have been a busy man!! Thank you for all your effort, it is definitely appreciated.

Go Fred!

6:34 PM, January 12, 2008  
Blogger American Interests said...

Ken, Chris and Travis...thanks for providing a candid look at proceedings...

9:13 PM, January 12, 2008  
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