Let the live-blog begin

7:50 Looks like Huntsman has been given the Siberia of podium positions. Bachmann, Romney, Perry, Paul are in the center of the stage.

7:51 Making turkey burgers. Hopefully will be finished by start time.

7:54 The vodka-cokes begin now. Take a sip every time someone says Reagan! #wontbeconsciousin10minutes

7:55 The Ron Paul ad about Rick Perry is airing now

7:57 Twitter is atwitter about the debate

7:59 Chris Matthews ends his debate intro with the word “balls” #professionallivebloggingnotahead

8:00 Brian Williams will be moderating? There is nobody better in this time and age. Props.

8:01 No opening or closing statements. Hm.

8:02 First question will go to Perry. He is making a funny face. Like a constipated school boy. OH BOY HERE COMES THE EMPTY RHETORIC.

8:03 Perry is tripping up a little. Just early nerves. Can tell he is going to settle down.

8:04 Romney is looking at Perry. Question to him. Lets see what happens…

8:05 Romney: “rabble rabble rabble not going to engage Perry from the start rabble rabble rabble not as good at pandering as Perry”

I suspect the rest of the debate will go like this. Romney isn’t pivoting at all. He is accepting the premise of Williams’s questions. Booooooooring. And bad strategy.

8:07 Perry already starting to attack Romney. WOO. This will be fun. The Perry from past debates is here.

8:08 Romney gets in very funny line about Al Gore and the internet. It insulted Perry somehow.

8:08 Perry says something about Dukakis. What is this, 1988?

8:09 Santorum is now speaking. Time for a bathroom break.

8:10 Cain now speaking. Very fast. He must have taken Ron Paul’s pep pills from the previous debate.

8:10 Cain: “If 10% is good enough for god, then 9% ought to be good enough for the government” Good line. Drew applause. He really is speaking too fast though. It makes me feel anxious and clouds his message.

8:12 HUNTSMAN TIME. He is given a question about China inre: Romney. Starts talking about the “core” of America. Says to Romney “now is not the time to start a trade war”.

Also pokes Perry then Romney again. Huntsman is prepared. Dunno if it will matter though. He doesn’t connect in the Republican way.

8:13 Bachmann time. She is given a shitty question about regulations. HERE COMES “DEATH TO OBAMACARE”.

8:14 I’d rather eat a boca burger than this turkey shit

8:14 There is a disturbing lack of Reagan love so far.

8:14 Bachmann pretends to care about unemployed black and hispanic kids. Moving along to Ron Paul

8:15 Paul given a question about libertarianism. COLOR ME SHOCKED. His answer about regulation is underwhelming. State by state regulations the way he would want is fucking insane. He sounds like the crazy uncle tonight. More than usual. He is rambling. Should have just talked about the wars or something.

8:17 Oh yea, Gingrich is here.

8:17 Gingrich tells a good joke. Perry gives a thumbs up and still looks like a constipated school boy.

8:18 Shabu Shabu going all REAGAN REAGAN REGAN

8:19 Gingrich accuses Obama of class warfare and socialism. #stale

8:20 John Harris adding to the chaos theory

8:20 Perry speaks out against Massachusetts. Perry is really hurling fireballs tonight. I don’t know how smart that is. Certainly didn’t expect it. No substance so far, which could be a liability in post-debate coverage.

Perry wins debates by attacking, not proposing ideas. I’m surprised he hasn’t yet tried to counteract that CW.


8:23 Perry blames uninsured levels in Texas on federal government

8:24 Huntsman gets to join in the Perry/Romney spat. Draws a very good contrast. Should not talk so long. He gets boring by the end. But he is lucky to be able to inserting himself into that duo.

8:25 Bachmann: “dubwubwubdub Obamacare is a giant slimy monster taking over the world dubdubdwubdub repeal and hitler and god and the bible”

8:26 Gingrich blames the moderator. This seems to be his go to move in debates. The ~Gingrich Crossover~

8:28 Twitter is having a field day about Newt’s predictable stupidity. Even conservatives.

8:28 Cain complains about “Rumney care” and is rambling about who knows what but is using great hand gestures so people will enjoy it. Lots of applause.

8:29 Santorum about to be asked about religion. COLOR ME SHOCKED.

8:30 Time to make a new drink while Santorum finishes talking about how gays are ruining life for people in the closet.


8:32 Perry quotes JFK at Reagan Library. Doesn’t really get much applause.

8:33 John Harris is a shitty moderator. Question about Bachmann’s gas promise now. Bachmann is getting  about 10% of the attention that she did last time. #sucksforher

8:35 Someone on Twitter is calling Perry’s facial expressions the “#TexasSquint”

8:35 Huntsman says Bachmann’s gas idea is “dictating prices”. Good line for him. Also makes a joke about teleprompters. Also speaking too long again.

8:37 Ron Paul attacks Perry about the Hillarycare letter


8:37 Paul promises gas for a dime a gallon.

8:38 lol….a silver dime worth $3 and something cents

8:39 Perry cannot help himself. Attacks Paul about Reagan stuff. Grinning like a jackass while Paul responds. Stupid to engage with Paul.

8:40 Commercial time. Also know as GET ME MY MAKEUP PERSON NOW time by Michelle Bachmann.


“Rick Perry attacking Ron Paul is like arguing with blog commenters”

“rick perry doesn’t give a shit. he’ll attack the janitor if he questions his conservative bonafides”

“Hey @JacobWe, can we start getting paid in silver dimes?” from Dave Weigel

“I don’t think he’s hurt his candidacy, but Perry’s performance has been surprisingly weak to the halfway point.” from Erica Grieder

“Bachmann. Glad we got that over with.” Pat Ruffini (GOP operative)

“Surprised to see Ron Paul ditch the gold standard in favor of Bryan-style silver coins.” Yglesias having some fun

8:46 Nancy Reagan is such a sweet looking woman. Reminds me of my Grandmother, may she rest in peace.

8:47 Ok, seconds after that we transition to “is social security unconstitutional” #buzzkill

8:48 Perry calls Social Security a ponzi scheme. No applause. Harris says Cheney said it is not a ponzi scheme. Pushing for an answer from Perry. Perry stands his ground. Romney now hitting Perry about it.

8:51 Prince Fielder has missed one game in the last 3 seasons #thisdebateisstartingtogetboring

8:51 Perry….quadrupling down about SocSec being a ponzi scheme. Not good for him, in my opinion.

8:53 It’s getting to that point where one must drink much faster in order to keep this debate from becoming either depressing or boring or infuriating. The first 45 minutes is always best.

8:54 Nate Silver on twitter: “Perry has that Brett Favre quality about him: lots of touchdowns, lots of interceptions. Just threw a pick 6 on Social Security.”

8:54 Everyone is bashing Perry about the HPV thing. I am bashing vodka cokes.

8:56 To be honest, Palin could probably get in and be the best “Tea Party candidate not to call SocSec a ponzi scheme” and have a real chance at gaining ground right now. Her inner circle is probably loving this debate so far.

8:58 Romney gets in a good applause line about Obama. Then Gingrich is about to get asked a question and says he wants to talk about national security first. #buzzkill

8:59 Ron Paul: private airlines should take care of airport security. fuck the TSA.

Jeebus, Paul is bringing on the crazy today. He should, again, just talk about getting us out of wars. That is an INSANE answer.

9:04 Huntsman again starts out strong then talks too long.

9:07 Losing track of all conception of time. Is this 1983?

9:07 OH GOD A BROWN PERSON ON STAGE #Bachmannthoughts

9:08 Immigration stuff now. Perry gets first question. Talks about securing the border. That won’t get boring over the next 14 months~

9:09 Romney says build a fence. ~_~

9:10 Perry has a boy scout pin on his jacket. Yes, I’m bored. These things suck so hard after an hour.

9:11 Newt talks about English as official language. Gets immediate applause.

9:12 Bachmann has not spoken since the commercial, as far as I know.

9:12 The brown guys says “What do you do with the 11 million illegals here?” and Santorum is all like “ehhhhhh dont want to answer that one”. Bachmann time. What would she do….?

9:13 Bachmann starts talking about narco-terrorists and ignores question. I wonder if the questioner will bother saying…please answer the question.

9:15 He did. She didn’t really answer.

9:17 Huntsman talking too long again.

9:17 Paul uses immigration questions to talk about drug decriminalization. Also says the fence doesn’t just keep people out but keeps us in. Which is a new way to look at it, at least with so many people listening.

9:19 Cillizza thinks Huntsman is doing well. Yglesias liked his immigration answer. It is possible (though unlikely) that the story coming out of this debate is that the 3 way race isn’t Perry-Romney-Bachmann but instead is Perry-Romney-Huntsman. #dreamsofhuntsman

9:21 commercial break

9:22 Holy balls, the Air Force One jet in there is directly over the crowd.


9:23 From David Frum on twitter “One of our FrumForum commenters: “Perry looks like a high school jock who took a wrong turn into a debate team practice.”” Yea, pretty much. His head is too small for his suit or too big for his body or something. Something is off.

9:25 Huntsman has a good line about pledge. STOP TALKING THERE DUMBASS.

9:27 funny from Larry Sabato on Twitter (he’s a prof) “Gov. Huntsman, you’re going to make a great college professor.”

9:28 Perry asked about his shitty foreign policy plan. Pivots to Obama and jobs. wtf?

9:31 Twitter having fun about Perry’s non-answer while Bachmann speaks. Nobody is interested in her anymore.

9:33 This is getting more boring. I’m just watching Twitter and waiting for Chris Matthews to get back on TV and say silly things.

9:35 Huntsman defending global warming and evolution. Sweet!

9:37 Perry doing a crazy man jig about global warming. Other candidates looking bemused and pleased.

9:39 Best tweet of the night (from Weigel) “”Look, we need to drown at least three or four witches before we make a scientific decision.” #reagandebate”

9:39 Gingrich calls Bernanke the worst whatever ever and says he made problems worse. How bizarre. Bernanke was nominated by Bush.

9:43 Brian William notes the Texas execution record. Before he finishes the question the crowd roars with applause.

9:50 Well that was interesting. Someone on Twitter say Perry both won and lost the debate. Won Republicans. Lost….everyone else because of SocSec ponzi scheme quadruple down. I buy it. Hope Huntsman gets deserved props.

Thats all folks

9:53 One more. Tweet from Erica Grieder:

The Republicans have three candidates (Perry, Romney, and Huntsman) who could plausibly beat Obama in the general.
9/7/11 9:53 PM

Maybe I was right about that one.



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