Perry wouldn't back down, which is the only thing that counts for Tea Partiers. Democrats too, since they have a president who seems to do little else.
The fact that Perry wouldn't answer straight questions with straight answers will not matter at all. Why do a quarter of Texans lack health insurance, if your state is so well governed? His answer: “What [Texans] would like to see is the federal government get out of their business!” In other words (we think), it's none of your effing business. He also attacked Massachusetts and by extension Gov. Mittens, for its government mandated, effing socialist health-care.
Perry was asked (twice!), Who are the scientists ("the many scientists") who you say have cast doubt on global climate change? Perry couldn't name a single one. Instead, he compared himself to Galileo in one of the dumbest moments of the night, as though Galileo wasn't the scientist of the 16th and 17th centuries who suffered at the hands of the science-denying Rick Perrys of that age. But never mind.
He pitched to the 20-somethings that Social Security is a criminal enterprise, a fraud, aimed at taking their money and giving it to granny. Some 20-somethings seem to have bought into this political head-fake. But 20-somethings also don't tend to vote in Republican primaries, so we'll see how that Social-Security-Ponzi-Scheme daisy chain works out for him in the long haul. But we've got it clear now: The Perry Doctrine is that Social Security = Public Menace.
The one issue on which Perry wavered was his executive order in Texas to vaccinate 12-year-old girls against the HPV virus, especially considering his withering contempt for Gov. Mittens' "government mandate" for health care in Massachusetts. Perry's executive order was a mandate for government-sponsored health care. Not only that. The HPV vaccination is the gateway drug for increased teenage girl promiscuity, since the vaccinations are really about making sexual activity safer. Apparently, Big Pharma won that round in Texas, since they had drugs to sell at government mandate. Can't personally think of a more un-Republican thing for Perry to have done, and it was the one piece of his past history that seemed to cause him some visible nervousness.
FADING, FADING ... GONE
Jon Huntsman, you disappointed us! Your campaign has characterized those other six guys and the gal from Minnesota as "a bunch of cranks," but last night you seem to have been blissfully on some other plane of existence -- perhaps posing for a GQ photo spread -- and you conspicuously refused to take the (calfskin) gloves off. If you're not willing to fight for it, how are you any improvement over the incumbent?
Michele Bachmann ... eh.
Newt Gingrich, whose Statler-and-Waldorf angry muppet act has become a drinking game at our house.
Ron Paul, who I believe promised to get me a gallon of gas for a dime.
Herman Cain, who wandered off into the dusty weeds over "the Chilean model" for Social Security.
You couldn't make this stuff up.