Anybody watch the Republican debate last night? Thoughts? Comments? I'll start. I really, really, don't like it when politicians don't answer the questions. They usually veer off into an issue that they are trying to hammer home to their base instead of addressing the question. Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul were especially guilty of this. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry were next. Jon Huntsman for the most part dealt straight answers except when asked to call out fellow Republicans where he had the good sense not to name names. I thought Rick Santorum and Herman Cain actually answered the questions. What was the over/under on number of times the candidate invoked Ronald Reagan? I'd say that Bachmann 'won' this contest. But all candidates tried to use Reagan's name. I'd have to research it more but I liked Herman Cain's concept for 9/9/9 tax plan. Basically there would be three taxes of 9% each. Personal income tax = 9%. Personal comsumption tax (or national sales tax, sometimes called The Fair Tax) = 9%. Corporate income tax = 9%. No loopholes, no special clauses, no deductions. It's too bad that the moderators didn't give Cain more questions to answer. I'd like to hear more from him. I want to know more about Jon Huntsman. I think his even keeled demeanor would give Obama fits. He won the "Who created the most jobs as governor" contest. I liked his answer about pledges: "I don't do pledges, any pledges." I think Romney looked the best. Answered questions the best. Took the heat the best. His debating experience definitely shone through. I thought Rick Perry's performance started off strong but grew weaker as the night wore on. Ron Paul? Man, someone put him back in his rocking chair in the attic. His idea to let market forces regulate the drug companies, the airlines, the automotive industry was hilarious. Can you imagine? Let consumers decide if a drug is safe or not by whether or not it proves to be market viable. His plan to take the air conditioners away from our troop's tents in Afghanistan and use the energy savings to fund FEMA and pay down the debt was jaw dropping in its silliness. Ditto the idea that a gallon of gas should cost us a dime if only we would use precious metals to back our currency. I think after another one of these debates we will see Bachmann drop out, Santorum drop out, maybe Herman Cain drop out. Bachmann might hang on through the Iowa caucus, but I doubt it. I really like Rick Santorum but I think he just doesn't have the gravitas (remember that word?) to be the candidate in this election cycle. He might make a good VP candidate, though. I want to hear more from Herman Cain, he's a straight shooter, but I think he just won't attract enough people to his campaign. Although he has no chance, Ron Paul won't drop out. I think it will shake out in the next months to be Romney, Perry, Gingrich, and Huntsman. I don't see Gingrich having any chance of getting the nomination but he is very smart and keeps every one else focused. I could see a plum cabinet post for him though. So I see a three way race between Romney, Perry, or Huntsman. I would guess that Perry takes the Iowa caucus, Huntsman the Wyoming primary, and Romney takes New Hampshire. Next up is Michigan. Not sure who will win that. If Romney doesn't take Michigan he's in trouble because I'd say Perry takes South Carolina and Huntsman, if he's still in the race, takes Nevada. Interesting times ahead.