Since Eunomia was inaccessible on Wednesday night, I was unable to comment on the Republicans’ debate at the time. For those who haven’t had their fill of debate commentary, I recommend the live-blogging post by Justin Raimondo, who recorded his impressions from the night at Taki’s Top Drawer. I was watching the debate at CNN’s site and saw most of it alongside their “viewer response” graph. The striking thing about the comparison was that Romney consistently scored well every time he spoke–it didn’t matter what he was saying–and McCain almost always scored negatively regardless of the content of his statements. I am a poor judge of these things, since I am annoyed every time I see Romney, but he seems to have come across much better to that particular audience. Part of this probably had to do with McCain’s foul mood and harping criticism. If many undecided voters watched this debate, Romney should have won them over easily. However, being the umpteenth cable network debate it was probably not seen by very many people, and the media commentary on the debate struck me as surprisingly favourable to McCain. Casting the arguments the two had in a simple “clash of rivals” narrative, most reports did an injustice to Romney, since he did have the better of his exchanges with McCain, who was petulant and obnoxious the entire night. Ron Paul was absolutely correct, of course, that the two were arguing over inconsequential nonsense and right again that these debates ought to be about major questions of policy. Unfortunately, serious policy debate does not lend itself to snappy headlines and easily-digested stories, and these are the things that commentators and reporters want.
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