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Richelieu: Rudy's Best So Far

10:26 PM, Oct 9, 2007 • By RICHELIEU
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Rudy's best debate so far. Romney somewhat improved from his weak showing at the prior FOX News debate. The new McCain is the old McCain, which is also a better and more effective McCain. Of the Big Four, Fred Thompson was weakest and this was his first night. A sober performance, but lackluster with a palpable lack of energy. While I understand Fred's strategy is to play against the obvious political slickness of the other leading candidates, he may want to amend the game plan to add a little spark lest the debate organizers feel a need to send a medic out from time to time to check him for a pulse.

Bottom line: Fred's expectations were not met. Huckabee, who is heading for a chattering class bump, off Iowa buzz and some upward inching in the new polls, was also off his strong debate game for some reason. The four also-rans remain numbingly tiresome, with their original welcomes now far overstayed. Let's give them their own 9-hour debate on the Weather Channel and ban them from the next real debate. All in all, no huge winner but a stronger than usual performance from Rudy. Second place goes to Romney who managed to scruff up the mayor a bit, and a close third to McCain. The loser? "Foreigners" in general and Fred's tailor.

Each of these debates has shown a particular crumb of irony. Today's was listening to a lot of talk about jobs going overseas and a few loopy protectionist hoots from the minor leaguers while watching international stock names and symbols roll across the CNBC market screen beneath the candidates. China Digital got more screen time than Brownback or Tancredo, which is probably for the best, since China Digital may last a lot longer than those two. Clearly it was in vogue to play to the sufferings of the Michigan crowd. Of course, it is hard to blame all Detroit's troubles on illegal immigrants, cheating Chinese intellectual property thieves, and foolish U.S. trade negotiators alone. Ever driven a Pontiac Aztek?

Nothing changes. On to the next one. And let's lose the ham 'n' eggers.