Last night’s debate — as substantive and interesting as it was — clearly exposed the vulnerabilities of each of the GOP frontrunners. From Perry’s Gardamnesty debacle to Romney’s rehearsed talking points on Romneycare to the return of Bachmann’s sensationalism, the night was exciting, but hardly encouraging — until I remembered that Barack Obama will be the eventual nominee’s competitor on the general stage.
So, let’s vet the conservative candidates as much as we need to and give them a chance to defend themselves, even if it means, for a night or two, Perry appears less conservative than Tea Partiers would like, Romney more insincere, Bachmann more extreme. I’m comfortable that, as voters intimately come to know their weaknesses, they’ll begrudgingly accept them, never agreeing with mistakes made, perhaps, but understanding motives and rationale. For, in the end, not one of them is weak on what Americans care most about these days — jobs and the economy. And, on that, the president is so weak that late-night comedians just can’t resist the fresh fodder he feeds them. Not sure what the Tea Party dance party at the end is all about, but the early clips from “The Daily Show” alone make this video worth watching. Stewart questions the prosaic name Obama attached to his jobs bill. “That’s all you got?” he says. “The American Jobs Act? Was “Employment Ideas TBD’ already taken?”
To be sure, Stewart then does his best to help Obama by suggesting a title that reemphasizes Obama’s one great success — taking out Osama bin Laden. “Give us some spin,” Stewart says. But it’s clear Stewart knows the American Jobs Act includes no new ideas. If we can’t beat this guy, what does that say about us?