After a very weak performance at last weekend's debate, Mitt Romney was back on his game tonight and emerged as the clear winner. His answers were strong, especially when discussing leadership and job, but weaker on social issues. Interestingly, Romney seems like he's already pivoted to a general election message.
Of course, it helped that Newt Gingrich was under attack from nearly everyone. He had many strong moments but struggled mightily to explain his ties to Freddie Mac and argue he's never been a lobbyist. Neither were convincing. However, Gingrich is very adept at throwing out red meat to the base and received some of the loudest cheers from the audience.
Ron Paul was again strong when discussing domestic affairs, but his foreign policy views couldn't be more out of step with the average Republican voter. It's hard to see how Paul doesn't lose support as Republicans learn more about his foreign policy positions. However, his relentless attacks on Gingrich may still change the shape of the race.
Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann see their best hope is chipping away at Gingrich. Both did very well.
Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman are hoping for a miracle. They're both much better in these debates than when they started, but their messages are still not resonating.
Taegan D. Goddard is the founder of Political Wire, one of the earliest and most influential political web sites.
Goddard spent more than a decade as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he was a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You
Won - Now What? (Scribner, 1998), a political
management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from
both parties. In addition, Goddard's essays on politics and public
policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country,
including the Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, San Francisco
Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Christian Science
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University. He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.
PRAISE FOR POLITICAL WIRE
"There are a lot of blogs and news sites claiming to understand
politics, but only a few actually do. Political Wire is one of them."
-- Chuck Todd, NBC News political director
"Concise. Relevant. To the point. Political Wire is the first site I check when I’m looking for the latest political nugget. That pretty much says it all."
-- Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report
"Political Wire is one of only four or five sites that I check every
day and sometimes several times a day, for the latest political news
-- Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report
"The big news, delicious tidbits, pearls of wisdom -- nicely packaged, constantly updated... What political junkie could ask for more?"
-- Larry Sabato, Center for Politics, University of Virginia
"Political Wire is a great, great site."
-- Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe
"If I were on the proverbial
desert island and had only one web site to access, Political Wire would
-- Dotty Lynch, CBS News political consultant
"Taegan Goddard has a knack for digging out political gems that too
often get passed over by the mainstream press, and for delivering the
latest electoral developments in a sharp, no frills style that makes
his Political Wire an addictive blog habit you don't want to kick."
-- Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post
"Political Wire is one of the absolute must-read sites in the blogosphere."
-- Glenn Reynolds, founder of Instapundit
"I rely on Taegan Goddard's Political Wire for straight, fair political news, he gets right to the point. It's an eagerly anticipated part of my news reading."
-- Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.
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