Pawlenty Is Debate’s Biggest Loser

June 14th, 2011 at 7:30 am David Frum | 85 Comments |

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Tim Pawlenty was debate night’s big loser. He walked onto that stage with one mission: to prove himself the ultra-base alternative to Romney. He failed, miserably.

Pawlenty’s failure is not the kind of stumble he can correct later. It goes to the core of the guy: offered the chance to confront Romney directly, he flinched. He did not look “nice.” He did not look like he was observing the 11th commandment. He looked uncertain and weak. He  looked like a man fully aware that Romney would best him in a one-to-one discussion of healthcare policy.

Meanwhile, as Noah Kristula-Green writes, Bachmann had a very good night. She overshadowed Pawlenty, the disoriented Gingrich, crazy grandpa Ron Paul, and the absent Palin. (Question: will Bachmann’s rise ignite Palin’s mean-girl jealous streak, and impel her late into the race?)

After last night, Pawlenty’s fund-raising will sputter. He’s not exciting enough for ultra-base small donors. He does not look enough like a winner to mobilize big-dollar donors.

The cratering of Pawlenty opens an alternative space on Romney’s right. Gingrich is too damaged to seize it. Will Rick Perry try? Will Paul Ryan?

If not, I’d guess the future course of the race goes like this:

Bachmann wins Iowa. Romney wins New Hampshire. Absent Perry or Ryan, the field quickly empties out. The establishment rallies to Romney. The party follows just as it did in 1988, 1996 and 2000.

Meanwhile talk radio and Fox News goes angrier and uglier than ever. Despite Hugh Hewitt’s assurances conservative talkers won’t easily rally to Romney. They’ll be compelled instead to focus on the danger and evil of Obama. Romney’s challenge — and only hope — will be to rise above

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85 Comments so far ↓

  • CentristNYer

    “Question: will Bachmann’s rise ignite Palin’s mean-girl jealous streak, and impel her late into the race?”

    You know somebody is a joke when the biggest threat to their political fortunes is Michelle Bachmann.

  • Debate Nonsense - Talking Politics

    [...] to ponder this morning. Which is better for a candidate in a Republican primary race: to be criticized by David Frum and the lame-stream media, or to get a glowing column from super-influential conservative Thomas [...]

  • armstp

    Despite the rise of the Tea Baggers, Romney has had this tied up since 2008. There never was any question.

    • Smargalicious

      And thanks to the Flee Baggers, we’ll have a GOP WH and Senate next year, too.

      • nhthinker

        Romney supported many Tea Party supporters including Marco Rubio and Nikki Haley.

        I enjoy the anti-Tea party folks using the term Teabaggers…Because when the candidates that win that Tea Party activists will ultimately get behind, it will be figuratively be like bouncing scrotums all over the faces of people that called them Teabaggers.

        Liberals never plan ahead…The Teabagger slur backfires immensely on them when the Tea Party candidates actually become in charge and influence control of the agenda.

        • Smargalicious

          ^+1

        • ottovbvs

          when the Tea Party candidates actually become in charge and influence control of the agenda.

          They are in charge…that’s the Republican party’s big problem.

  • PracticalGirl

    Pawlenty was definitely the biggest loser. There were times his words barely connected with each other, so anxious was he to out-politic the others. You could see him think, an unattractive, somewhat shifty quality in a leader.

    Romney managed not to lose any ground, but I’m not so sure he picked any up. He’s going to have to be careful that his confidence doesn’t get translated into smug arrogance.

    Ron Paul sounds like a caricature of himself and his supporters. After seeing him on the national stage again, I’ve begun to suspect that it’s actually him breaking into all of those radio talk shows: “END THE FED!”

    Herman Cain is done.

    And God help me-Bachmann managed a really good outing. Yes, towards the end she tripped over her own tongue quite a bit. But also at the end, while Romney was standing around chatting with the rest and looking very pleased with himself for being the only one who looked Presidential on the stage, Bachmann was the only one who acted like a candidate. The boys were shooting the shit, kissing the wives and generally congratulating themselves on being themselves, and Michelle? She was with the audience pressing flesh and smiling. An impressive reminder that nutty + organized + passion can get you far in America.

    “Question: will Bachmann’s rise ignite Palin’s mean-girl jealous streak, and impel her late into the race?”

    I really wish I had said that first.

  • jg bennet

    enter donald trump as a third party candidate next june with 100′s of millions of his own money to spend, a populist anti establishment/ anti outsourcing message, anti spending money on other nations, pro medicare, pro seniors, china is the bad guy candidate.

    the GOP will struggle to get 1/3 of the votes if trump gets in because they are a major part of our problem and they will have an anti establishment howitzer blasting them for being stupid (using the word stupid), which will appeal to millions of dems and independents as well……

    with these GOP choices the 2012 winner will be either obama or an independent. you republicans have to be sick when looking at the loser choices you have.

    June 13, 2011
    “If I see a number of things, if the economy continues to do badly, which I predict it will because we have nobody that knows what they are doing on top. And if the Republicans pick, and I say respectfully, a weak candidate, or as we say in New York a stiff (ROMNEY), if the Republicans pick somebody that’s not a good candidate, I may very well run as an independent, and I think I would win,”

    “if we could get the economy going and if China would stop taking all of our jobs because our leaders are not smart — in fact, I’ll go a step further — because we have stupid leadership, and if South Korea and all of these other countries that make all of our products and, in particular China, would let us have our jobs back, if we had intelligent people negotiating……………

    • PracticalGirl

      jg:

      You’re far too gaga to actually hear what The Donald said:

      “If somebody will please cover my ramblings, I would be truly grateful.”

      If, if and if- 5 times in 2 very short paragraphs. I don’t think even Trump is stupid enough to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to split the vote. But if he is, then there’s nothing anybody can do to stop him from wasting his money.

    • armstp

      Trump does not even have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on a campaign. I doubt Trump is even a billionaire. This is a guy who said he is now not running because the money is too good from his NBC realty show. There is no billionaire on the planet that needs a couple of million dollars that a reality TV show would pay him. Trump has a lot less money than people think and certainly not much liquid cash. There is no way he could afford to throw a couple of hundred million dollars at an election campaign. Do a little reseach. Google the numerous stories/analysis on the estimates of Trump’s real wealth.

  • TerryF98

    Bachmann will get my Primary vote, absent a late run by Palin.

  • jg bennet

    practical

    i heard it in fact i watched it he was talking medicare…..

    look, i am not too gaga, i’m bored as hell with the bunch of yahoos the GOP has and i’m fed up with obama.

    there must be 10′s of millions like me who would like to hear a candidate in a major debate call our leaders stupid to their face. that will catch on because it is a factual statement and calling a spade a spade appeals to most people.

    i watched the debate but found myself hitting the mute button when i got that embarrassed feeling, which was often.

    admit it, a pit bull would be preferable to these GOP dimwits, i mean bachmann won the debate….yep stupid leadership

    i know people want to support their team but this bunch is the B or C team and is a blatant example how far down the party of lincoln has gone.

  • DFL

    No surprise in David Frum’s analysis. Beyond political junkies, nobody cared about the debate last night. With Maryland experiencing a refreshing, dry and somewhat chilly evening last night, I spent the evening with the wife and kids on the back deck. I suggest most normal people would have done the same.

    • ottovbvs

      A reality check from DFL. I find it hard to believe this was even on the radar of political junkies.

  • rubbernecker

    Canucks 2 Bruins 5

  • Redrabbit

    Oh Pawlenty…the guy seems to have no idea at all why he is even in the race. As David says, he tries to be the ‘uber base’ alternative to Romney. But his juggling act, in which he tries to see, reasonable while pleasing the base, makes him come off as Romney-lite.

    Romney probably has it in the bag now. He’s solidifying his position as the front-runner, and this means that the window for Palin or Perry or whoever to get in the race is quickly closing. Romney likely knows this. Sooner rather than later, the GOP nomination is his to lose.

  • balconesfault

    Before everyone starts talking about Romney’s wrapping it up … how do you factor in the impending Huntsman declaration? I’m left wondering if Huntsman has some personal animus towards Romney, because any support he draws will come directly from Mitt.

    Pawlenty’s problem has always been that he’s been playing at being crazy, and the far right in the GOP is going to embrace real crazy over feigned.

    • Redrabbit

      Huntsman still doesn’t seem to have much of a clear angle. Not a lot to distinguish him, not much name recognition, no real fund raising machine, and little name recognition. Of course, he can develop all of those things. But does he really have a lot of time to get all of this together? It seems that lines are being drawn. Bachmann appeals to the teabaggers, Romney is going to appeal to the business community, and Gingrich seems like he wants to appeal to the neocons. It seems that anyone else will have to either chip away at the constituencies of other candidates where they can, or totally displace another candidate. I could see Hunstman TRYING to appeal to conservatives with more serious foreign policy sentiments, but whether that works or not is anyone’s guess.

      • Solo4114

        Interesting take. I still think Huntsman’s a bit of a wildcard, but he’d definitely occupy the same space as Romney. He might run now as a way to get his name out there, although I could see that being a double-edged sword if he doesn’t really push the issue soon. Regardless, I do think you’ll have one “establishment” candidate and one “Tea Party” candidate, and ultimately it will be the establishment that will win because they hold the purse strings. The question after that will be whether the Tea Party base will feel betrayed or appeased. My sense is that Romney (assuming he’s the establishment candidate) will have to walk a fine line in generating sufficient base support/turnout without simultaneously turning off centrist/independent voters. Not an easy task, to be sure.

        • nhthinker

          Huntsman?

          Huntsman Sr supported Romney last time around…Huntsman, Jr supported JOHN MCCAIN!
          He liked McCain for his fiscal conservatism… Huntsman’s believes in John McCain’s world view…
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_U63VC5qdQ

          Huntsman is touting our positive handling of our relationship with China of both Bush and Obama!
          (how can anyone, in a time of high unemployment and debt, say our relationship with China is something worth running on?) Speak some more Mandarin, Jon!

          Huntsman…the Democratic pick to win the Republican primary.

  • ottovbvs

    Sanity…Republican style

    [i]Here are things that Republicans suggested eliminating or privatizing in last night’s debate: FEMA, NASA, the EPA, the Federal Labor Relations Board, Medicaid and food stamps. Herman Cain promised not to appoint any Muslims who want to kill Americans to his cabinet. Michele Bachmann supports states rights on gay marriage, but also supports a constitutional amendment outlawing it. Newt Gingrich faults big government for the lamentable absence of manned stations on the moon. Rick Santorum wants to “a system of discipline” to “punish” gay soldiers, which suggests that his problem with pornographic Google results is not likely to abate. Tim Pawlenty views Iraq as “one of the shiniest examples of success in the Middle East.”

    In this crowd, Mitt Romney seemed almost statesmanlike, even though he says he’s willing to blow up the world economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. At least he admitted that Sharia law will not soon be coming to America, about as brave a concession to reality as we’re likely to see from this field.[/i]

  • ditka

    Gary Johnson was the biggest winner of the night. He got much more coverage by being excluded than he would have if they let him on the stage. Plus he didn’t have to spend two hours next to Rick Santorum or Tim Pawlenty.

    • balconesfault

      Sorry – Johnson blew a lot of his credibility by his fake Obama debate on Fox. Talk about making yourself seem trivial … participating as a prop on a skit that would be last-half-hour material on Saturday Night Live!

      • ditka

        Oh lighten up. It was a silly 10 minute clip. Was it his finest hour? No. But it didn’t stop MSNBC, the Baltimore Sun, CSPAN and other FBN shows from having him on.

  • Carney

    I didn’t find Gingrich disoriented at all. He was pithy, confident, memorable, and impressively well informed.

    • ottovbvs

      He was pithy, confident, memorable, and impressively well informed.

      Just like you then Carney. Where do you shop for your jewellry?

  • Sinan

    On economic issues, they sounded like Herbert Hoover. On federalism and constitutional issues, we heard Calhoun. On regulatory issues, we heard Hoover again. On gay people, we heard from the folks who did not want to integrate the services in the late 1940s. On foreign policy, we heard Monroe’s bravado with a patina of Carter to take the sting off the rhetoric. On health care, we heard from Milton Friedman who also spoke up on taxes. On job creation, we heard from the Gilded Age Robber Barons, all of them. On letting Nato and France take the lead in Libya, we heard from the John Birch Society. On just about everything, we heard from the past. Now, of all the people who ever lived and ruled in our great nation, do you really think we should be reliving the policies of these folks again?

  • chicagodem79

    @ottovbvs

    I’m glad you enumerated all those things. This debate seemed like a total gong show of outlandish claims and who can outcrazy the other….I think Obama is pretty vulnerable with the economy being the way it is, but the GOP’s candidates, and policies are so insane and narrow minded, they won’t capitalize on it….sucks for them.

    • ottovbvs

      I actually lifted it hence the quotes, but it’s an astonishing catalog isn’t it? Obviously the Republican aim will be to keep as much as this under wraps as they can but that’s impossible, the first primary is something like 9 months away, and as the race gradually moves onto the national radar their positions are going to be under the klieg lights. Romney’s ridiculous pretence that Romneycare isn’t Obamacare is going to get torn to shreds. For example the claim that he didn’t have to raise taxes to pay for it when they’ve raised taxes twice to pay for it since he left office.

  • bdtex

    I’m most amazed that anyone is still talking about the possibility of a late Palin,Perry or Ryan entry.

    Can’t see how the expected entry of Huntsman is gonna effect the dynamics of the race either. I think the fundraising disclosures which must be soon due will tell the story. I think it’s more likely than not that Frum is mostly right. Romney definitely takes NV after IA and NH. SC and MI are the question marks for me. If someone other than Romney takes one or both of those states,then the race will be stretched to Super Tuesday.

  • NRA Liberal

    Your assessment rings true, Frum.

    Pawlenty’s wimp-out was the most salient moment of the debate.

    I don’t usually like the “politics as highschool” metaphor, but it seems to fit in this case.

    Upstart nerd has been trying to re-invent himself for weeks, talking about how he’s going to take down the Homecoming King/Captain of the Team/President of the Class.

    The class troublemaker calls him out on his antics in front of everyone.

    He backs down like a true beta. The only thing saving him from total humiliation is the placid, entitled and self satisfied good nature of the alpha, who can’t even be bothered to rub it in his face.

  • sinz54

    jg bennet: there must be 10’s of millions like me who would like to hear a candidate in a major debate call our leaders stupid to their face.

    Me too.

    But Obama is (half) BLACK.

    And in today’s politically correct culture, no white guy can call a black man “stupid to his face” without being slammed as a racist.

    I guess it reflects well on America that in just 50 years, we’ve gone from being black as a political liability to being black as a rhetorical deflector shield.

    • rubbernecker

      How low can you go.

      • balconesfault

        While Sinz is sometimes reasonable, we’ve seen lower from him.

        On race issues, I just think of him as “Smarg-lite”.

        • Smargalicious

          LOL! sinz is absolutely correct, and you are proving him right. Any words against The Messiah means you’re a racist.

          Thanks for proving yourself right, sinz.

        • ottovbvs

          I thought you were the Messiah Smarg?

        • Smargalicious

          Why yes, I do know everything and I’m NEVER wrong… :D

  • sinz54

    Michele Bachmann was the biggest winner–more even than Romney.

    Most Americans who aren’t political junkies don’t know anything about her. This was her chance to make a good first impression–and she did.

    She came off as a forceful speaker, someone who can really carry the fight to the Dems–while enjoying support from the Tea Party and the social conservatives. (And given that, Sarah Palin won’t bother running now.)

    chicagodem79:

    The alleged flakiness of the GOP candidates is irrelevant.

    An incumbent who is perceived by the voters as ineffective or failing can’t win re-election by going negative on the challenger. Every time an incumbent runs for re-election, that election is a referendum on his job performance.

    In 1980, President Carter tried going negative on Reagan–creating TV attack ads that implied Reagan was a lunatic who would start a global thermonuclear war, and dragging poor Coretta Scott King out to claim that Reagan would unleash the Ku Klux Klan to lynch blacks.

    And after all that, Reagan won in a landslide.

    All the challenger has to do is portray himself as serious and concerned, and avoid any really damaging gaffes or personal revelations. And wait for the voters to kick the incumbent out of office.

    “They’re trying to portray me as a cross between the Mad Bomber and Ebenezer Scrooge. I don’t think it’s going to work.”
    — Ronald Reagan, 1980

    • CentristNYer

      And after all that, Reagan won in a landslide.

      Sinz, the Reagan comparison just doesn’t work anymore. Today’s GOP is truly crazy. If Reagan had spouted half the nonsense that these folks do, he never would have been taken seriously by the party, let alone the country. Now it’s required of Republican candidates that they race to Crazytown just to get the nomination.

      • ottovbvs

        Now it’s required of Republican candidates that they race to Crazytown just to get the nomination.

        Sinz’s address is in Crazytown. They all talk like that there.

    • ottovbvs

      All the challenger has to do is portray himself as serious and concerned, and avoid any really damaging gaffes or personal revelations. And wait for the voters to kick the incumbent out of office.

      I guess that’s how Truman lost in 1948 and Clinton in ’96. They didn’t get more serious and concerned than the little man on the wedding cake.

  • jg bennet

    sinz

    that is one of trump’s big angles

    Trump derided the news media for “protecting” Obama.

    “Nobody is protected like Barack Hussein Obama,” he said, emphasizing the president’s middle name. “I have never seen press that is so protective of a human being before.”

    trump is way more republican than all those yahoos combined, he is not a neoliberal he is a lincoln republican and refreshingly says what he thinks. plus he aint afraid to lock horns with obama’s media protectors he wants to expose them and he slams political correctness as a weakness.

    David Brody: What is your biggest liability?

    Donald Trump: Well, I can’t tell you what a liability is but I think if I get into the race some people might not like me. I do speak the truth and therefore I’m a little bit on the blunt side. I’m not politically correct but I’m very truthful. It may not be politically correct but it is truthful.

    So I think maybe, if anything, it would be my bluntness. I hate to say it as a liability because I consider honesty to be a great attribute but from a political standpoint maybe my biggest liability is my honesty.

    • rubbernecker

      Trump confuses boorishness with “honesty.” To make himself even more insufferable he congratulates himself for it.

      • PracticalGirl

        Trump (and Coulter and all the rest of the would-be-leaders of race baiting) also fundamentally misunderstands the make-up of the US. Keep race-baiting and fill the voter booths with people who may not have ever voted, save for being FED UP with pasty rich white folks and their code.

  • chicagodem79

    @sinz54

    Unless the economy gets worse (which is possible) I don’t think voters will be THAT anti-incumbent, which then brings us back to policies/views etc. The problem is that the Tea Party contingent are the most vocal and intense of the voters, but their policies are way too far right for mainstream America so whomever ends up being the nominee has to walk that tight rope between placating the far right and trying to wind independents/conservative democrats. Even more so, Tea Party types have shown that they will not vote for R’s that don’t follow their ideology so it will be very difficult.

  • Rob_654

    I always thought Pawlenty didn’t have the guts to stand up – and last night certainly showed he wasn’t wearing his “man-pants”. Pawlenty was given the perfect pitch to look straight at Romney and hit him hard with “Obamney Care” and he couldn’t do it – put a fork in him – he’s gone…

    As for Bachmann – I think she was the standout and she drove the dagger into any thoughts Palin had of even possibly running.

    Palin would never want to be in a position to debate with Bachmann, while Bachmann is not someone I would vote for she would wipe the floor with Palin.

    • tommyudo

      I’ve always felt that Pawlenty is the Wuss from Central Casting, a guy who needs both hands to drink a glass of milk. He’s now solidified that view – he’s toast. So what the GOP is left with is Plastic Man and the Seven Dwarfs. This is a party that is morally and intellectually bankrupt running on stale ideas from circa 2003. The demographics of this country are passing them by as they retrench.
      The Obama team have all their ammo ready for Romney – a guy who eliminated jobs and sent them overseas and a governor with a one term record of woeful job growth. Then, of course, he has the millstone, at least for the Right Wing, of Romneycare tied around his neck.
      In the next 17 months this guy is going to sink like a lead turd.

  • wileedog

    “Palin would never want to be in a position to debate with Bachmann, while Bachmann is not someone I would vote for she would wipe the floor with Palin.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with a single word Bachmann has ever uttered, but this sure would be fun to watch just to truly expose how un-serious Palin is.

  • ditka

    Wonder what was more fun – T-Paw’s staff meeting this morning or getting a filling replaced? My money is on the filling.

  • TexasDog

    M Bachmann really surprised last night. But there sure are a lot of videos of her on file where she really comes across as crazy. One good night does not erase all of that crazy.

  • mean girl

    (Question: will Bachmann’s rise ignite Palin’s mean-girl jealous streak, and impel her late into the race?)

    Excuuuse me….. “mean girl jealous streak”? Why, because there’s only room for one woman in the race? Because all women who are competitive are “cat-fighting”? Any woman who seeks power is doing so from self-enfatuation? If another man enters the race after this debate will it be because they’re jealous of the attention the other guys are getting? Women don’t have real convictions, thoughts, and ideas other than their own vanity? Women who disagree with eachother are “mean”? What century are you living in Frum?

    • Rob_654

      If Palin was a mature, serious and intelligent woman like Bachmann is then sure she could enter the race just like another guy could – but Palin is not a serious politician, nor is she as intelligent or mature as Bachmann.

      If Palin does get in (which I seriously doubt) she would have to go the “mean-girl” path as she knows, particularly after last night, that she would not only not stand a chance going head to head with Bachmann but that she would look like a damn fool if she did try to take on Bachmann and they were ever on the same stage.

      And, since they would be the only women in the field and they both draw from the same base the head to head comparison would be only natural an this is something that Palin should properly be afraid of not only for looking like a fool but for her future if Bachmann smacks her around in front of their mutual supporters.

      • mean girl

        Whatever Palin’s merits are or are not, the description of her entering the race as a “mean girl” act is a description that is entirely gender based. Whether or not Palin is a respectable candidate, characterizing her entrance in the race as something that would be solely for the purpose of competing with another woman is totally sexist. That would be to insinuate that she wouldn’t get in if there were only other men in the race. She may be self-serving, she may be celebrity seeking, but that’s not because she’s a woman and not because there’s another woman in the race. How many ridiculous male candidates have there been or are? Alan Keyes, Donald Trump, Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson? Weren’t these men running with absolutely no chance to win but merely out of a narcissistic desire to promote themselves? I’m not defending or celebrating Sarah Palin as a candidate but denouncing this attribution to female behavior. Call her a celebrity hound, call her stupid, call her wrong in every way, but don’t call her “catty”.

        • Rich T Bikkies

          Mean Girl, she IS catty. That is her defining characteristic. It is one huge reason that she stuck out from all the other prominent conservative women who made the headlines during the House and Senate elections. For example, I don’t remember Michele Bachmann, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell or Jan Brewer EVER being called catty – and by Godfrey, they were called several thousand other horrible things by liberal and progressive bloggers!

          Sarah’s cattiness and thin-skinnedness is an embarrassment even to many who wish her well. If she doesn’t solve this problem she’ll be ripped to shreds in debates and interviews. Michele Bachmann, judging by reviews of her performance in the debate, will be the Republican woman candidate if anybody is.

        • mean girl

          I think what made Sarah Palin stand out from all the other female candidates is that she was the VP nominee, right? None of those women have or have had jobs that have put them in the limelight anywhere near as much as Palin. Name one “catty” thing she has ever done? The fact of the matter is that anybody who wants to be president has to be a narcissist and a self-promoter. There have been lots of men behave the same as she and they are never dismissed and criticized for it the way she is.

        • LFC

          Some of you are missing the point. Bachmann and Palin aren’t being mentioned together because they are both women, they are being mentioned together because they are both Tea Party darlings. There are no men running that have the same cred in those circles. There can only really be one TP frontrunner, so they are fighting for the same slot. Romney is the mainstream frontrunner right now, and I don’t think even the TP’s really took Trump seriously.

          I think if Paul Ryan ran he might fall into that camp but I think he may have a hard time holding onto his seat when he’s painted (fairly) as the man who architected the destruction of Medicare.

        • Rob_654

          Of course it is gender based – Palin is female as is Bachmann. Let’s face it if you take a woman like Palin and stick her in another room with another woman who is a potential threat – there will be a “cat-fight” no matter how you cut it.

          You can try to be all Politically Correct about it – but we all know these type of women and we see it in the office, the nightclubs, the PTA meetings, ….

          As for the men – men are called plenty of other names – but is it always fair – nope – will it ever be? nope. Being a woman in the political game brings advantages and disadvantages just like being a man does – and just like gender differences bring advantages and disadvantages in every aspect of life.

        • Traveler

          Eloquent.

  • TerryF98

    The candidates arrive for the debate in their shiny new cars.

  • New Hampshire Debate Thread

    [...] off-again understanding that I have no competence at electoral politics. Here is an example: Pawlenty Is Debate’s Biggest Loser | FrumForum Meanwhile, as Noah Kristula-Green writes, Bachmann had a very good night. She overshadowed [...]

  • lilmanny

    (Question: will Bachmann’s rise ignite Palin’s mean-girl jealous streak, and impel her late into the race?)

    If it did, it would receive official recognition from me as Greatest Thing Ever. Evel Knieval would come back from the dead just to jump the stage those two were debating on. It would be awesome times infinity. Squared. Plus one.

    Please let it happen.

  • CentristNYer

    @mean girl:

    Bachmann and Palin were, in fact, being “catty” when they told Obama that he needed to “man up.”

    • Rob_654

      Good point.

      I think that if Palin wants to get in the ring with Bachmann – she is going to have to pull on her “big-girl-panties”…

  • Rich T Bikkies

    @mean girl Jun 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm
    It simply won’t do, keeping on trying to make out that she’s getting slagged off unjustly. She’s just not up to it – in so many ways. Just one of the most recent. The Paul Revere thing was by no means her worst gaffe; anyway, handled properly it could have been buried and forgotten quickly.

    But then I played the YouTube clip of her actually saying it. Never mind what she said: she sounded like a dim giggly teenager in a high school quiz. It was unbelievably embarrassing. I can’t understand how ANYBODY can visualise her in the White House. It would be like one of those cheap comedy films when an idiot gets to be elected president.

    Mean Girl, I simply don’t understand how you fail to get this. I’m not following your train of thought at all.

    • mean girl

      FINE! Don’t visualize her in the White House. I don’t. I’m saying don’t make these gender related attacks on her behavior. LFC is great to lump them together for being Tea Party darlings. Fine. Just don’t do it because they’re women or dismiss her behavior as being “female”. You know it’s like saying a woman is “menstrual” when she gets angry. There is nothing wrong with competition amongst women. Calling her a “mean girl” is firstly making her out to be a child and secondly insinuating that that their is something negative or “mean” about being competitive. You don’t get anywhere without being competitive and we need to get away from a cultural perception that competitiveness in women is “unladylike”.

      • CentristNYer

        “we need to get away from a cultural perception that competitiveness in women is “unladylike”.”

        Likewise, we need to get away from the Republican perception that being thoughtful and deliberative is effeminate. Bachmann and Palin were quick to slam Obama by telling him to “man up.” If they can engage in that kind of childish, schoolyard taunt, they should be prepared to have sexist language boomerang against them.

      • Rich T Bikkies

        @mean girl, that is so feeble. You’re just playing the sexism card – the same sort of thing as playing the race card. You’ll have to do better than that. She IS a mean girl. I AM making her out to be a child. She IS a child. I cited the Paul Revere clip as evidence that she is a child. I repeat, I just don’t understand how you can’t see it – in common with all those poor misguided creatures who post on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page.

        Sarah Palin really is rubbish. Michele Bachmann is on a completely different level. I can see HER in the White House. She would be a disaster in a purely political way – like George W Bush, Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon, and I’m old enough to remember all of them, unlike many people posting on this blog.

  • LFC

    mean girl asked… Name one “catty” thing she has ever done?

    This video shows her displaying 100% pure cattiness on multiple occasions:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKflKzmfRCw

    Lots of bonus babbling as well.

  • LFC

    OK, I’ll refrain from calling her a “mean girl” since it can sound sexist. From now on, she’s “nasty and adolescent.” So is Donald Trump. This simply describes behavior, not gender, and behavior that is considered inappropriate by people who know how to behave as adults in our society. Better?

    • mean girl

      Yes, that’s better. My comment was directed at the writer not at or for Palin or her politics. The words you choose do matter and influence the way we as a society treat each other.

  • Huckabee to Pawlenty: After last night, I’d fire some of my consultants if I were you « Hot Air

    [...] critical to attracting average voters down the road? Not so early after all. More from Romney fan David Frum, looking ahead: Pawlenty’s failure is not the kind of stumble he can correct later. It goes to [...]

  • rubbernecker

    How many ridiculous male candidates have there been or are? Alan Keyes, Donald Trump, Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson?

    Setting aside whether all these men are “ridiculous,” is a single one of them hot? No! We’re still talking about Sarah Palin because she’s HOT.

    And a big meany.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    Speaking of cringe inducing moments, TPaw sidetracking a question to first launch a obviously rehearsed expression of gratitude to the father of serving sailors. It was embarrassing. Since Romney had already expressed gratitude, but not in a cloying way and since he was the first to speak to the questioner it was appropriate, TPaw was just pathetic in his “look at me being authentic and appreciative”

    As to this: (Question: will Bachmann’s rise ignite Palin’s mean-girl jealous streak, and impel her late into the race?)
    Fine, it might be in a little bit of bad taste, but why are we arguing about this one line? Because Frum says it doesn’t make it gospel. Since Palin is not running why are we arguing about her?
    I also don’t think Bachmann did that well. I disagreed with her fundamentally about Libya, she obviously doesn’t know what she is talking about. We do know about the rebel leadership, much of it has lived abroad, none is radical islamist. She just trotted out the Bull that “we don’t know about the rebels” when in truth it is she who has no idea about them.

  • ScoopAway

    Pawlenty = Polenta – bland, cornmeal mush.

  • Pawlenty Blinks In New Hampshire: Bachmann Bump | News Copy

    [...] before going on at great length about how Obama had claimed inspiration from Romney.” David Frum called it fear, predicting damage to Pawlenty’s fundraising:“Pawlenty’s failure is not the kind of stumble he can correct later. It goes to the core of [...]

  • aurora1920

    I agree with those that say Bachmann was big winner–which tells me (and makes me happy), the Republican Party is the big loser. The better Bachmann does, the more likely Obama will win. I might even Register Republican here in Florida just so I can vote for her!

    I didn’t read all the comments but do any of you follow what’s happening on the anti-abortion front? The fringies equating contraception with murder, just as they call abortion murder? I grant they are the fringe–MOST pro-lifers don’t toss that word murder around. And Reagan, so lionized by Republicans, if you remember never DID actually meet with the anti-abortion marchers in Washington. He stayed inside the White House and sent them a message. Between Bchmann on abortion and the Tea Party on demands for lower taxes, Republican Party will be finished.

    There has to be at least ONE Republican who won’t jump when Bachman, Tea Party, Grover Nyquist, Paul Ryan (exremists all) give orders! Last evening I did hear that Senator from Nebraska (I believe) actually defy Grover Nyquist OUT LOUD in a public media. Good for him!!!

    • Rob_654

      More and more states with Republican control indeed are pushing not just to effectively outlaw abortion but to eliminate access to the Pill.

      If they indeed do effectively reduce abortions in large numbers and make the Pill harder to get I can’t wait for the next set of complaints – being – when all of these kids are born they will see increased spending for schools, teachers, administrators, potentially new school buildings, then the increased cost of subsidized school lunches for lower income kids, then as we all know there are some folks who become criminals which is an increase in law enforcement costs – police, courts, judges, lawyers, then jails and prisons – also later on for other kids – increased costs to higher education and then further downstream higher costs for Medicare and Social Security…

      I’m not making a moral judgment either way but the downstream costs will hit and of course the same people will then be complaining about their taxes going up to pay for all of those extra costs…

  • Sunday Talk: Let’s play the feud! | Hotspyer – Breaking News from around the web

    [...] Tim Pawlenty was (almost) universally acknowledged to be the biggest loser. He’d better get his ass in gear if he wants to move on to the bonus [...]

  • Sunday Talk: Let’s play the feud! | Anti American

    [...] was (almost) universally acknowledged to be the biggest loser. He’d better get his ass in gear [...]

  • Sunday Talk: Let’s play the feud! - Online Political Blog

    [...] Tim Pawlenty was (almost) universally acknowledged to be the biggest loser. He’d better get his ass in gear if he wants to make it to the bonus [...]