To begin with, here's what is probably the defining moment of the debate, Rick Perry completely forgetting the third cabinet department after Education and Commerce he'd eliminate if elected.
It took 15 minutes, but he finally remembered that the third cabinet department would be Energy. That didn't help his case. He'd probably have been better off accepting the suggestion that he'd eliminate the EPA, at least in terms of not dragging out the story.
As for his eliminating the Department of Commerce, I think that's really unwise. For starters, there is an interstate commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution, which justifies the department. It also makes it a convenient bureaucratic destination for agencies that don't fit anywhere else. However, I'm probably biased, as I've worked for the federal government three times, and each time I either worked directly for the Department of Commerce or for another agency where Commerce provided the funding.
Herman Cain got his moments, too. Here he is defending himself.
Associated Press on YouTube: The debate marked the first time the Republican rivals had gathered since complaints emerged from several women accusing Cain of sexual harassment, allegations that the unlikely front-runner in the polls has strongly denied. (Nov. 9)Of course, as soon as Cain defends himself, he turns around and calls Nancy Pelosi "Princess Nancy." The GOP audience cheered, which is par for the course so far.
Tonight's debate had an economic focus, but included a foreign policy component. Here are what the candidates had to say about Europe's debt crisis and what it means for the U.S.
Associated Press on YouTube: Republican presidential rivals agreed Wednesday that Europe's countries should rise or fall on their own and warned that failing to cut budget deficits at home would doom the U.S. to the same sort of crisis that now plagues Greece and Italy. (Nov. 9)Of course, Michigan counts as one of Romney's three home states, along with Utah and Massachusetts, so other than his remarks in the clip above, what was his highlight? Using his marriage and religion as evidence that he's not a complete flip flopper. Lame.
As for the rest of the debate, WOOD-TV has a good summary clip.
There wasn't much of a specific Michigan focus, though the economy dominated the debate.With that, every candidate on the stage got their moment.
And that's it for this event. Good night!