Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Republican debate wrap-up:

Michael Scherer is being rightly praised for his summary of what went on. Here is a sample:
2 minutes. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum goes first with four sentences. “Karen and I are the parents of seven children,” he says of his wife at the end. Impressive. But Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann goes next, and she totally has Santorum beat: nine sentences, five children and, as a coup de grace, “we are the proud foster parents of 23 great children.” No wide shot of Santorum to see his reaction. But he just got schooled.

3 minutes. Newt Gingrich won’t play the children-counting game, opting for two sentences and a zinger instead: “We need a new president to end the Obama depression,” he says. As the audience takes in the gravity of that phrase, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney quickly gets the debate back on track: 6 sentences, 5 sons, 5 daughters-in-law, and “16 grandkids.” He also tries for a bit of self-deprecation. “Hopefully I’ll get it right this year,” he says of the 2012 election season. This is candidate code for: “I may have been a tool in 2008, but it’s okay to like me now.” As the audience tries to calculate whether Romney’s grandkid-to-daughter-in-law ratio trumps Bachmann’s biological-to-foster-child ratio, Texas Rep. Ron Paul drops an atom bomb: “I delivered babies for a living and delivered 4,000 babies.” How can anyone compete with this? Game. Set. Match. The debate might as well end right here.


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