...but, I do have some thoughts on what I did see.
- Jim Gilmore got called out for his Rudy McRomney statement and other attacks on "The Big 3". The best he could do was talk about his blog (obvious shill for page hits), and stumble his way through "the pronoun game" until the moderator made him name who he was referring to in each instance. Gilmore, despite all of his attempts to align himself with solid, Reagan-like conservatism...he constantly breaks that "11th commandment" of Reagan's. Gilmore solidifies himself as OUT.
- Tom Tancredo did come across more composed and prepared...but the man is too hesistant on his answers. I can literally see him search his brain for each sentence he's about to say. The only times I have seen Tancredo answer a question without several long pauses is when he's either talking about immigration or the Duane "Dog" Chapman issue...both of which I do agree with him on. He does has slim hopes for a VP nod, because a lot of GOPers like him...just not for President. Tancredo is now barely gunning for VP.
- Tommy Thompson should rename himself Tommy Veto...all he talks about is how many vetos are on his record as governor, and at least "Tommy Veto" sounds like a cool name for an Italian mob boss. However, Tommy Thompson is too ugly to look at...he makes James Carville look like GQ cover material. Double-T is OUT.
- For every point Ron Paul made that I agreed with, he'd make another one that turned me off to him. His idea that it was our "interventionalist" policies that caused 9/11 completely kills any GOP support he may have had. I'm glad Rudy Guiliani shut him up last night. Paul is waaay OUT.
- Sam Brownback is a little too Christian conservative for my tastes, and probably for most of America's tastes. He has some charisma and spark in his voice, but I think he reminds too many people of the reasons why people voted Republicans out of power in Congress. Brownback is gunning for VP, because he could give a more moderate candidate some hard-right support.
- Mike Huckabee made me laugh with the "John Edwards in a beauty shop" statement. Lots of cheers for that one. Huckabee made it a point to stick to his good points, managed to both praise and be critical of Rudy Guiliani in the same 30 second spot, and while I think he'll eventually become a top choice for VP, Huckabee is still in the running as the Dark Horse.
- Duncan Hunter, the other favorite among GOP bloggers (besides my man Fred Thompson) made his points clear, and nailed himself down as a solid conservative...which most of us already knew. Hunter should join Huckabee as a top VP candidate, and could very well deliver the state of California to the GOP in November of 2008. Hunter, though, is on the fence. He doesn't stand out to the average voter.
- John McCain came across a bit forced. His fire and intensity from the previous debate appeared very contrived and forced, and he appeared uncomfortable. The more conservative Republicans really went after McCain's "reaching across the aisle". I think Romney did an excellent job of pointing out some of the weakness of McCain's positions, and McCain held his own, as well. McCain is still in, but fading. He hits his points, but something is missing when he's debating, and I can't put my finger on it.
- Mitt Romney wasn't as impressive stylistically-speaking as he was in the first debate, but he made sure to reiterate his points, explained his position changes over the years pretty thoroughly, but he got blindsided by John McCain for changing his position on such a wide variety of issues. Still, he has that "presidential feel" that will appeal to the more shallow voters. Romney needs to regroup and solidify some of his positions, but he is still definitely in.
- Rudy Guiliani definitely shone a spotlight on himself that he needed to emphasize, and that was his tough stance on terrorism. His standing up to Ron Paul's statement about American provoking 9/11 won him lots of applause and showed that he wasn't about to let the loud and boisterous Paul get away with such a statement. Guiliani solidified his beliefs on abortion, but has also helped his cause with more conservative Republicans. Rudy is also definitely in. However, would someone tell Rudy that, due to his lisp caused by his false teeth, he should never utter the name "Fort Dix".
However, I think Fred Thompson won over a lot of people with his reply to Michael Moore's debate challenge...which makes this race for the nomination that much more interesting.