Then there was the debate itself. Wingnuts agree it sucked, too. Erick Erickson thinks Herman Cain won and Jon Huntsman did well! Whoa, Erick, don't sprain your brain slouching toward non-wingnuttery. The Weekly Standard also slouches toward non-wingnuttery, reprinting a GOPer email that says, "We all sounded like crazy people."
And, it agrees that Rick Perry sucked:
But no front-runner in a presidential field has ever, we imagine, had as weak a showing as Rick Perry. It was close to a disqualifying two hours for him.http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/278127/my-quick-take-rich-lowryNo surprise to those of us who know that he's coasted with weak opposition in general elections, and that in the last primarily, a light-on-experience, light-on-brains Debra Medina actually skewered him a few times.
Per many others, I think the moment where Perry tried to nail Romney as a flip-flopper and wound up making George W. Bush sound intelligent was the key:
Even Faux's soft bigotry of low Perry expectations was underwhelmed.
Oh, and Perry told another lie related to the Gardasil vaccine.
I'm disappointed that nobody hammered Perry more on illegal immigration; I guess the new study of how it's been the only true part of the "Texas miracle" didn't get out in time. Or else, non-nutbars actually aren't so different on illegal immigration from him.
Michelle Bachmann, who had the most to gain from a Perry meltdown? Per this story, via Ed Brayton, she appears to be toast. It's still a two-person race, with wingnuts not liking Romney and Perry becoming ever more clear to non-Texans as being a nut, but not a true tea party nut.
Weekly Standard is still pushing for Chris Christie, it's getting that bad. And, the time isn't that urgent yet. Christie would be smart to avoid Iowa, anyway, and get a late-starting campaign focused on New Hampshire and Romney.