Reporting from Orlando, Fla., tonight, the scene of the GOP debate:
Rick Perry: Rough night trying to spit the words out. Tried to go after the Romney on the flip-flop label but got mangled up as he tried to explain it. Lots of incoming fire yet again and the Pakistan question will raise concerns that he may not have the expansive foreign policy chops.
Mitt Romney: Does this guy ever get fazed? Look up the expression “cool as a cucumber” in the encyclopedia and you’ll see a picture of Romney. Even when the barbs come he doesn’t get rattled. Looks like a president but is now consistently showing he can be one, too.
Michele Bachmann: She’s always consistent but consistency isn’t going to move her anywhere near Perry and Romney. She needs to do something different. Crony capitalism may be her best bet.
Rick Santorum: He keeps getting better every debate and is showing that he is principled on the issues and deeply knowledgeable about every single issue. Deserving of top tier, but will poll numbers follow?
Ron Paul: Same old shtick. At some point you have to wonder how much higher he can go in the polls. It seems like he’s reached his ceiling unless he comes up with a few new tricks. Not likely.
Newt Gingrich: At some point, he needs to stop answering questions with the opening line of, “In 1980…” It feels retro. Maybe his new Contract with America to be unveiled next week will change that.
Herman Cain: Pleasant and articulate as always. Other candidates seemed to like him as a VP candidate. Serious question: Could Cain be a viable VP candidate? Just asking.
Jon Huntsman: Sounded reasonable yet again but reasonable doesn’t have the juice that the GOP electorate is looking for in 2012.
Gary Johnson: Had the best line of the night on his neighbor’s dogs creating shovel ready projects. Picking Ron Paul as his running mate won’t endear him to national security conservatives.