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Jon Huntsman: I’m always impressed with Jon Huntsman. He is diplomatic, likable, and I’m attracted to him. He’s able to use phrases like “diminution of trust” without sounding elitist, and he admits that his opponents have oversimplified serious issues from the housing crisis and foreclosures on families to America’s economic relationship with China. I don’t agree with Huntsman on everything, but he’s definitely my favorite.

Rick Perry: You were doing soooo well…and then you couldn’t remember the third federal department you’d “get rid of”. And you laughed about it…oh, Perry. I was willing to give you a break on your previously poor debate performances, but this was truly terrible. You sabotaged yourself on your own terms. Since “overreach” has become the buzzword since the Tuesday elections, I’d say that Perry certainly overreached, and subsequently failed. He finally remembered (several minutes later) that he meant to say he’d get rid of the Department of Energy along with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Education. He also wants to rebuild the Environmental Protection Agency. I was starting to like Perry in that kind of “he’s down and out and there’s something more appealing about him when he’s not all macho Texas in your face” Perry. Oh, well.

Herman Cain: “Princess Nancy”? Need I even say more? This is so ridiculously sexist. And when Cain said this, many in the audience laughed and clapped. I don’t expect Republicans to agree with Nancy Pelosi’s policy positions, but it’s absolutely unacceptable to denigrate her in such a way. Herman Cain has been given a free pass. He is certainly cut much more slack than the others in the race, and why? He’s not a career politician? He’s black? By not holding him to the same standards as his opponents, the media and his supporters do him and the country a huge disservice. There is no excuse for Herman Cain being as ignorant as he is in terms of pretty much everything that isn’t his “9, 9, 9” plan. He should be expected to give clear, concise answers on issues such as his views on abortion, he should have a working knowledge of foreign policy and American history, and he shouldn’t be encouraged when he relies on clichéd quips instead of answering real questions. He’s running for President of the United States. Play time is over. And don’t even get me started on his response to the sexual harassment allegations against him…

Newt Gingrich: You haven’t been in school in a very long time. Your comments on working 20 or 40 hour weeks for a college in the Ozarks? I’m not even sure what you were talking about, but it’s unreasonable to expect college students to work at least 20 hours a week while taking a full roster of classes to minimize crippling debt after they graduate. You’re such an arrogant asshole. You can tell Newt Gingrich thinks he’s so above everyone onstage and doesn’t even need to pay common courtesy to the panel asking questions.

Ron Paul: Sure, he’s an ideological purist, but he’s completely out of touch. His charm and particular idealism didn’t shine through in this debate like it had in previous debates. He mentioned auditing the Fed, and ultimately getting rid of it, which garnered much applause, but he also said a bunch of things so out there that even the moderators didn’t know what to do with him.

Michele Bachmann: Omg, your fake laughter and commentary while the other candidates are talking is unimaginably annoying. The only semi-exciting thing that happened pertaining to Bachmann was when she started to say “shit” after what was assumed to be a difficult question given to Mitt Romney. I have a problem believing anything that comes out of Michele Bachmann’s mouth—especially when she throws out statistics. Even if she’s saying something completely factual, she has depleted the basic reservoir of trust I would normally have as a default because of all of the ridiculous things that have come out of her mouth.

Mitt Romney: He pandered much like his performance in other debates. He didn’t directly engage Perry—perhaps a sign of how far Perry has fallen? I actually miss the days of Romney vs. Perry. Romney vs. Cain would just be painful to watch. Yes, I think much more highly of Perry than Cain. I suppose Romney’s shining moment was when he was asked directly about his flip flopping, and he claimed that his true north is his family and his faith. (I’m paraphrasing as I don’t think what he said was that memorable, but I do believe him when he says this.) He later said that compromise is crucial to the presidency. This is true, as well. On a side note, the candidates pounced on Obama for not trying compromise. And no one called them out on this. Yeah. Obama is a secret Muslim. Check. Obama was not born in the United States. Check. Obama doesn’t love America. Check. Obama has tried to work with Republicans. This is the part that the Republican candidates think is crazy and refuse to admit. They say this while also calling him a flip flopper and complaining that he isn’t a leader. Inconsistencies abound.

Rick Santorum: Santorum didn’t have a breakout performance by any standard. He didn’t screw up, but he didn’t shine. There isn’t much to say about him. He brought up his record in Pennsylvania and no one paid much attention to him. If Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain can have a “Lincoln-Douglas debate”—yes, that’s what their debate on Saturday, November 5 was officially termed—then Rick Santorum should be able to have a debate with another candidate, if only so that people will pay attention to him. I think he’s suffering from Tim Pawlenty syndrome. I do miss my T Paw.

Pros of the Debate: The tweets on the bottom of the screen! I watched the debate on DVR, but I wish I had watched it when it was on during primetime because I would’ve tweeted in. Some of the tweets were very entertaining. One notable tweet: “Herman Cain: I know nothing about Italy. If you’ve ever had my pizza, you would know that.” Hahaha. Another mentioned that “Princess Nancy” was trending and good luck to Herman Cain if he ever expected women to vote for him. Jim Cramer was one of the moderators, and he was animated, as always. Maria Bartiromo also asked strong follow up questions. The other moderators were alright. Major pluses for the fact that opening and closing statements were cut out of the debate “in the interest of saving time”. As long as I don’t have to hear about Michele Bachmann’s 5 biological children and 23 foster children yet again, then I’m happy. There were also only a few commercial breaks during the two hour period (contrast this with the most recent CNN debate) and the breaks weren’t very long, making for longer actual debate time. This might be seen as a con, depending on how you look at it.

Cons of the Debate: Because the debate was on CNBC, the stock ticker scrolled across the screen the entire time. This was enormously distracting for me, especially when I tried to figure out what some of the companies were based on their abbreviations. It’s like a movie with subtitles when the subtitles go too quickly and you can’t fully concentrate on what’s going on on the screen above because your eyes are glued to the words below. Maybe I’m the only one who felt like that, but I’m not one for stock tickers. Also, because it was on CNBC, the moderators made a point to remind viewers every five minutes that the debate was focused solely on the economy. This is actually untrue. The debate questions deviated from the economic platform several times. Regardless, we get it. The stocks scrolling across the screen let us know you’re a financial network.

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