The Republican primary debate put on last night by Fox News and Google/Youtube was great. Finally, the people got to control the questions via the Youtube contest instead of the talking head media. The result was that the candidates were given the opportunity to show who they are and what they believe in a much simpler, easy to understand way. There was little in the way of "gotcha" journalistic questions and more of the "what would you do" kind. This made for a much more entertaining and enlightening debate. Some of the lesser known candidates actually got to share a little of the limelight and get their views out there. Who knew that Gary Johnson could deliver a good zinger? (I nearly choked on my popcorn on his one-liner). Herman Cain looked very good and did very well for himself. The two front runners, Perry and Romney went back and forth as expected, both coming across as junior high bullies. Huntsman still has his weird pompous demeanor, but actually did well, I thought. Newt, Bachmann, and Paul all did well, but didn't get as much air time as the rest. That was my only complaint with this format. And finally Santorum had a pretty good night, finding his way into the lively side of more than a few of the arguments.
While there are pro's and con's to all of the contenders, the time to narrow the field is a lot closer. If there are any other potential candidates wanting to jump in, now is the time. Most folks have an idea of who they want to get the nomination, its just a waiting game from here to the primary. There will be some that will step on a few political land mines before they get there and a few that will just fizzle. Either way, Obama is doomed in 2012.