Time’s Michael Scherer writes up the GOP debate, and it’s a hoot. A sample:
–2 minutes. The debate hasn’t started yet, but the crowd is already restless. A mutiny is afoot. CNN may host this thing, but can CNN’s John King control it? “Let’s do the pledge,” shouts out someone in the audience, and then it happens, a spontaneous eruption of patriotism. The candidates hold their hearts onstage. This bodes well for America but poorly for the debate’s orchestrators. Note to cable producers: If you want to calm the GOP rabble in the future, plan for pre-broadcast patriotic odes.
8 minutes. Pawlenty says President Obama is a “declinist,” which interestingly enough became a word in 1988, according to Merriam-Webster, right before a few years of U.S. decline. But Pawlenty is an optimist. “This idea that we can’t have 5% growth in America is hogwash. It’s a defeatist attitude,” he says. In other words, he calls out anyone who calls his hogwash “hogwash” for being full of “hogwash,” which is a strategy familiar to those who remember saying, “I know you are, but what am I?,” on the playground.
Sounds like Scherer nicely judged the participants’ tone and maturity levels. But read it for yourself and laugh out loud (which is more than you did if you watched the actual debate).
h/t: Jonathan Chait, TNR