Open thread: The last Fred-less GOP debate; Update: Huckabee clashes with Paul over the surge; Update: GOP candidates smack Fred; Update: Rudy defends his personal life

posted at 8:30 pm on September 5, 2007 by Allahpundit

Eight elephants in a room and another who isn’t. The only one likely to mention Fred is Huckabee, who’s been knocking him regularly of late to try to boost his profile as a social con alternative. Count on a video highlight or two here later; the obligatory “Fred announces on Leno’s couch” clip will get its own post shortly after midnight. (FYI, the taping’s over and he’s already made it official.) Standard rules apply — if you’re watching and you see something, say something.

Some reading while we wait. Carl Cameron, who contributed to today’s earlier Fox News bombshell about Fred and who called the world’s attention to the fact that he rode around the Iowa state fair in a golf cart, kicks off the coverage tonight by noting how pissed the New Hampshire Republicans are at him for skipping the debate. Rush Limbaugh piles on by smacking Fred for devaluing the office of the presidency by announcing on Leno, an odd gripe for someone as media savvy as he is. Meanwhile, the last guy to announce on Leno takes a hard look at the electoral master stroke the GOP is trying to pull off in his state and comes out against it, naturally. And Rudy’s campaign trumpets the fact that he’s locked up Robert Duvall’s endorsement, which is somehow viscerally, if not logically, impressive, even if it does possibly reinforce the increasingly poisonous image of the party as “very old-fashioned, very old and not in touch with the realities of today’s society.”

I’ll leave you with Hillary’s awful new cookie-cutter ad about “change” with “experience.” It’s good at moments like these to remember the big differences with the other side.

Update: Here’s the first and quite possibly last highlight of a dreary affair — Mike Huckabee going toe to toe with the Only Conspiracy Theorist Who Can Save America. Don’t be thrown by the applause for Paul; his groupies turn out en masse for these events to try to create the impression that he’s doing better than 2% in the polls. Note the strain of conspiracy theorizing even here in the suggestion that it was a cabal of neocons, not the overwhelming majorites in the Senate and House that authorized the war and the 70% or so of the public that supported it, that’s to blame. Huckabee did a graceful job responding, as usual.

Update: Brit wasn’t going to let them dodge the elephant in the room. Here’s the very first question of the night, preceded by a transparent slap at Fred ducking the debate by the head of the New Hampshire GOP.

Update: Arguably the most interesting, and deftly handled, answer of the evening. Frank Luntz’s focus group says it was McCain’s night, though.

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I keep waiting for one of them to come out and say the o-word, as in: As long as we depend on mideast oil we can’t go home and let the region go all to hell.
Maybe McCain will. He has nothing to lose.

dhimwit on September 6, 2007 at 8:49 AM

RightWinged on September 6, 2007 at 2:46 AM

But you forget Rightwinged, Ron Paul r 1337 h4x0rz!

BKennedy on September 6, 2007 at 9:07 AM

Woke up this morning and they are all Coyote ugly.

Which arm is now the only decision.

Dersu on September 6, 2007 at 9:37 AM

I’m playing that Duels game Bryan linked to several weeks back. I’ve been messaging another player who is actually a Ron Paul fan. It’s nice that they have other interests other than online poll spamming.

FoxNews this morning announced that Ron Paul won the online vote with 33% of the vote. The female anchor dismissed it saying he always wins those things. One of the males commented that it’s good he has such passionate supporters.

Canadian Infidel on September 6, 2007 at 9:54 AM

Still Giuliani. I’ve seen no compelling reason to chenge yet.

jeanie on September 6, 2007 at 11:14 AM

What ticks me off about Ron Paul is that he tries his best to portray himself as adhering to the philosophies of the Founding Fathers… and then screws it up with the same misquote as most people.

The correct Ben Franklin quote is….

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Note the words RP left out and see if they matter.

dominigan on September 6, 2007 at 11:37 AM

We need Newt. Even if he entered the race, though, I don’t know if he’d even participate in these stupid “debates”–he’s made his scorn for them quite clear. But he would seriously push the envelope in terms of rhetoric and ideas among the candidates. He could reset the agenda to a far more conservative one with little effort. He is, after all, the only living person who has successfully led the Conservative Movement to victory, even if just for a short time.

aero on September 6, 2007 at 12:00 PM

and then screws it up with the same misquote as most people.

done deliberately I’m sure.

Spirit of 1776 on September 6, 2007 at 12:04 PM

Did you even read the thread before you posted? Seems you conveniently overlooked this comment in your zeal to attack someone you think is a Fred fan:
Gianni on September 6, 2007 at 7:15 AM

What are you talking about? It appears you need to go back and re-read that.

csdeven on September 6, 2007 at 12:09 PM

asc85 on September 6, 2007 at 7:41 AM

Huckabee said several things that really irked me. I had once thought about voting for him. Now, not so much.

jdawg on September 6, 2007 at 12:30 PM


aero on September 6, 2007 at 12:36 PM

I couldn’t find anyone at the shop who watched it. Not a single person.

Limerick on September 6, 2007 at 12:37 PM

God! That Ron Paul is a kooky p*ssy loser democrat whack job truther PUKE!

TheSitRep on September 6, 2007 at 12:51 PM

I couldn’t find anyone at the shop who watched it. Not a single person.

Limerick on September 6, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Anecdotal proof that the campaing started just way too dang early… Were your co-workers aware that Fred made it official?

RushBaby on September 6, 2007 at 1:13 PM

Ron Paul clearly demonstrated that he’s the Emmett Kelly of assclowns.

ReubenJCogburn on September 6, 2007 at 1:32 PM

God! That Ron Paul is a kooky p*ssy loser democrat whack job truther PUKE!

TheSitRep on September 6, 2007 at 12:51 PM

And the truly scary thing is the enormous degree by which that statement fails to convey the the truth and depth of the bat shit insanity that is Ron Paul and his followers. Could Ron Pauls supporters actually be democrat Trojan horse opperatives?

doriangrey on September 6, 2007 at 1:41 PM