Las Vegas Republican Debate
Tonight's debate is critical for Herman Cain who can be expected to be attacked from all sides because of his meteoric rise. This is going to be difficult because his 9-9-9 plan is a massive shift of taxes from the wealthy to the middle-class, not to mention that he could never get it passed. Hopefully, the flack he's gotten over the last week or so has alerted him to the expected questions and he has been well briefed with answers. Cain also needs to stay away from glib answers like when he responded to a foreign policy question and said: “When they ask me, ‘Who is President of Ubeki-beki-beki-becki-stan-stan, I am going to say, Do you know?" and when he joked about electrifying a fence at the border and building a moat and filling it with crocodiles. He's getting a serious look and he needs to look serious. If Cain can withstand the attacks, it will help him immensely with fund-raising, which he desperately needs.
Perry needs to clean up his act and give a good performance. His last debates will be forgotten if he does well tonight and then spends his $15 million on advertising. The Republican political environment is so fluid that he could easily rebound and recapture the people who abandoned him for Cain. Tonight might be his last chance though, if he continues to perform so poorly. The Rs are looking to beat Obama and Perry's campaign to date has been pitiful. As much as the Rs dislike Obama, almost everybody credits him with excellent debate capabilities and they are looking for someone who can hold up in comparison. Perry needs to show that he can do that. Another dismal or lackluster debate will really damage his campaign. His wife needs to stop talking to burning bushes too.
Newt has the most to gain if Cain and Perry falter. He seems to be next in line for the anybody but Romney position. Newt is a danger to Obama if he gets the nomination. He has been there, done that, and can hold his own on any topic.
Romney is probably going to skate again because the focus is going to be on Cain. This is the last chance to attack Romneycare in a debate this year. The next debate is going to be limited to foreign policy so Romney may not have to really address Romneycare until next year and maybe never in a debate. His people are frantically pushing up the election dates so that he can pile up early victories. It is an excellent strategy. The other campaigns seem not to recognize the implications.
Bring on the debate!