The Candidates Debate


None of the participants in the Republican debate on MSNBC Thursday night looked particularly comfortable as they were being introduced. In fact, all the Republicans appeared pretty wooden, though they livened up a tad once the "debate" began.

Part of that may have been the logistics of dealing with 10 cadndiates. A real debate would likely be virtually uncontrollable from moderator's standpoint.

Candidates didn't get to bring in notes–or to write answers on their cuffs or load them onto their iPods, I assume, and they didn't get to address each other directly, which still seems strange for anything purporting to be a debate.

Rudi Giuliani appeared prepared, direct, and in control. McCain seemed nervously feisty. Tommy Thompson (former Wisconsin governor), was curt with what was almost a scowl and nearly spitting out his consonents. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California looked like someone Hollywood would cast as a Presidential candidate, but one who loses to the more mediagenic Mitt Romney. both wore red ties, but Romney's was redder. Sam Brownback, sentor from Kansas,  who was among the most animated, using his hands expansively like a preacher or a practice public speaker. Mike Huckabee, like Romney a former governor, had an even redder tie than Romney and a comfortable delivery. Jim Gilmore, yet another former governor was workmanlike but uninspiring at the outset. Ron Paul, a representative from Texas, was animated but a little out of control, shouting at times and never even stopping for breath.

John Harris from shared the hosting duties with MSNBC's Chris Matthew.

By John Eggerton