The much anticipated debate between Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Rick Perry (and a few others)  took place last night and the results were largely as expected with the two top nominees duking it out leaving the other candidates fighting for their table scraps.

Romney who is more experienced in the debate arena than Perry as a result of his presidential run in 2008 held his own and didn’t make any major mistakes though his answer to a question on whether or not he was a member of the Tea Party was a cop out.

Perry who will probably get better as time goes by disappointed the liberal media with a solid performance and not coming off as a country bumpkin though his calling of Social Security a Ponzi scheme will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows in states like Florida with a large senior citizen population.

Ron Paul showed that he deserves to be a part of the conversation if for nothing more than he knows Rick Perry better than anyone else in the GOP field and isn’t afraid to go on the offensive against the current front runner.

Michele Bachmann who won the Ames, Iowa straw poll appeared to be lost as she tried to find the voice that made her a media phenom earlier in the campaign and stumbled badly when asked a question about illegal immigration.

Jon Huntsman only enhanced his RINO credentials when he went criticized the other candidates for refusing to recognize global warming as a threat and supporting the theory of evolution.  He also said a conservative candidate couldn’t win the presidency which should signal the end of his campaign but probably won’t just yet.

Newt Gingrich probably got in one of the best lines of the night when he accused the moderator, John Harris of Politico of ” trying to get Republicans to fight with each other,” with his line of questioning.  But overall Gingrich showed he is still a policy wonk at heart who sounds good but puts everyone to sleep.

Herman Cain who has been wowing crowds with his speeches but has polled poorly didn’t do much to rise above the rest of the field and may have hurt his chances when he said that we need to fix FEMA and TSA rather than abolish them or use a free market solution.  That’ s all we need is to keep throwing more good money after bad.

Rick Santorum looked very concerned, worried or constipated and didn’t do anything to improve his chances of winning the nomination and makes me wonder why he is in the race except to feed his own ego.  Then again the same can probably be said of many of the candidates.

With several more debates scheduled it might be nice to have an American Idol elimination vote so that we can narrow the field and get to some more serious discussion of the issues rather than this merry-go-round format that is necessitated by a bloated field.

In the end the debates might give voters a clearer view of who they will want to support but the eventual nominee will still have to win the primaries next year and what they said last night might easily be forgotten in a few months when the real battle begins.

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