The PJ Tatler

Handicapping the Umpteen Hundredth GOP Debate

Honestly, I’d rather be playing Arkham City. I have it in my possession, but thanks to tonight’s debate it’ll stay in the box a while longer. On the other hand, we do have a real live Joker in the White House…

Will anything change tonight? Once again, the GOP has given the MSM license to pester and foil our candidates for a couple of hours on national TV. Great idea, let’s do it again in a few weeks. Last time it was Charlie Rose and Karen Tumulty, this time around it’s Anderson Cooper. The heart of the debate will supposedly be about national security. That’s a tough test for Cain, who sits atop the polls but has thus far demonstrated no foreign policy acumen to speak of. National security probably benefits Newt Gingrich the most, and probably Rick Perry and Mitt Romney somewhat equally after that. Ron Paul — RON PAUL — can be expected to bring his unique brand of blaming America for the world’s ills to the stage. Bachmann and Santorum are pretty solid in foreign policy, but Perry is a border state governor and Romney is a smart man who has studied foreign policy for years. Perry’s main task will be to not let the other candidates make it seem like he’s not there. Huntsman actually won’t be there. Guess he couldn’t score tickets to the big game.

The big questions are, can Cain maintain, and can Perry get his mojo back. Debates haven’t mattered in Texas politics for a blue moon, but they have mattered probably too much in this primary season. They have their place, but records really should count for something and they don’t seem to be counting for very much so far.

Gingrich will probably shine, and Romney is unlikely to stumble. Cain needs to seem plausible as a commander in chief (a task tweaked by the cheeky gamers at EA today). Perry needs to sparkle and deliver some YouTube-able moments.

If I’m not mistaken, the first part of the theme in that video is from one of the Command & Conquer games. Good times…

I won’t be liveblogging the debate, but I will be watching and will post a score after it’s said and done. The festivities begin at 8 pm ET on CNN.