8 p.m. ET on CNN. Look at it this way: Eventually, per the law of averages, something interesting has to happen at one of these debates. It can’t be an endless sequence of Romney looking unflappable and never taking a punch, Cain charming the audience while sometimes not quite knowing what he’s talking about, and Perry underwhelming everyone at every turn. Sooner or later, something will happen to justify the time you’ve put in watching these things. Tonight could be that night.
This evening’s dumb subplot is that New Hampshire is miffed at Nevada for moving up its primary (possibly at the behest of Romney’s campaign), which threatens the super-specialness of NH’s first-in-the-nation status. Huntsman, pandering desperately, decided to boycott tonight’s Las Vegas debate in order to show solidarity with New Hampshire or whatever. Romney, who was taken to the woodshed by New Hampshire’s leading newspaper this morning for the Nevada move, will participate tonight but paid lip service to NH a few hours ago by insisting that he respects the state’s primary pride of place. Good enough to soothe angry New Hampshire Republicans, or will they now dump Romney in favor of … er, there’s really no one seriously competing with him up there anymore, is there? If they really want to punish him, they should follow through on their threat to move their own primary all the way up to early December. Mitt will still win but the new schedule will kill any momentum he might gain from victory. Would NH really sacrifice its own relevance simply to get back at Mitt for snubbing them? Stay tuned!
Here’s the Hot Air/Townhall livetweet widget. Exit question: Second look at Gingrich?