The morning after | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The morning after

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2007 at 5:09 AM

Republican debate rehash:

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register, an important pundit because of Iowa's primary influence, thought Mike Huckabee helped himself by appearing "presidential" in his squabble with Ron Paul. Different strokes, I guess. Yepsen thought, overall, McCain won, which I can't quarrel with. I thought Giuliani did very well, but I"m more disposed toward him philosophically.

Ross Douthat of the Atlantic thought Huckabee's forumulation that the war was a mistake but America's honor required that the surge be sustained may have been a "break-out moment," even in New Hampshire, which isn't friendly toward the war.

The NY Times news coverage led with Thompson and, like everyone else, mentioned the Huckabee-Paul exchange, noting that it put Huckabee on the side of McCain as a vigorous war defender. For the long run, not a great position, I wouldn't think. NY Times blog saw the debate as a possible turn-around moment for McCain. You'll find a link to a debate transcript at both NYT links.

Over the Fix, the Washington Post blog, Chris Cillizza's man-crush on Mike Huckabee wasn't quite so much in evidence as normal, though he thought the Huck's squabble with Ron Paul "a nice moment." But his summary concluded that McCain "stole the night" and that events reinforced the notion of Romney and Giuliani as front-runners. Post news coverage treated the debate as secondary to Fred Thompson's announcement on Jay Leno. Same approach for LA Times.

Interesting comment from conservative blogger tracking the "people meters" on the strongly Republican focus groups assembled by Fox News. The message "win in Iraq" drew the strongest consistent response. The Huck has a sure sense of the political jugular apparently. It matters not that his message was contradictory and that he offers no plan deeper than staying the course. He has an unerring sense for finding middle C.

An absolute love letter to Huckabee from the New York Observer makes my point.


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