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Afterthought from Republican Debate: Romney Has Promising Future Career As Game Show Host

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Following the Republican presidential debate on Saturday night in Iowa, it finally dawned on me that Mitt Romney's calling may be to be a game show host. Where some Americans during the 2008 presidential election commented that they could see Sarah Palin as a future talk show host, I can now see Mitt Romney as a future game show host. Kind of like "Win Ben Stein's Money", you could call it "Mitt Romney's $10,000 Bet". I could definitely see Romney as a game show host one day.

During the debate, Romney extended a $10,000 bet to Rick Perry regarding Romney's position on a national individual health care mandate. Perry replied to Romney's proposition, "I'm not in the betting business, but okay." Perry later responded to Romney's wager in that, "A $10,000 bet's not going to cover that." According to ABC News, "Romney's GOP rivals were quick to characterize the comments as proof that Romney, a millionaire, is out of touch with middle class America." Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman even gave Mitt Romney the Silver Foot Award, i.e. Romney put his silver foot in his mouth during the debate.

Nevertheless, "Romney's campaign insisted that the candidate's bet was no gaffe." Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom commented that "Romney made that bet because he knew Rick Perry wouldn't take it". Perry later said during an interview on Fox News Sunday that Romney's wager was a "little out of touch with the normal Iowa citizen." In my humble opinion, Romney's $10,000 bet was a bit tactless and reflected that he is out of touch with Americans' financial frustrations. In a society with rising food prices and rising energy costs with heavy burdensome taxes, one would think that the average American has grown to respect money more so than in the past. It could be just me, but I feel that someone who would offer an off-the-cuff $10,000 bet does not respect the value of money to an average American.

Prior to the debate, Newt Gingrich's campaign commented that criticism from Romney's campaign is starting to appear a bit desperate. In my opinion, some of this desperation on the part of Romney came out during the debate. At one point in the debate, Gingrich was the unspoken target on the topic of marital fidelity. Personally, I thought that was a bit over-the-top. I found it a bit ironic that ABC News would choose to bring up such a topic now when the mainstream media simply overlooked the issue when Pres. Clinton was in office. Stephanopoulos had a bit of nerve in pushing the issue in light of the fact that he served as a political advisor to Pres. Clinton. Bottom line: Leave candidates' personal lives out of the debate, and if you must discuss candidates' personal lives, discuss both Republicans' and Democrats' personal lives equally. As on other various issues, Ron Paul hit the nail on the head when he said that "character is obviously very important, [but] I don't think it should be necessary to have to talk about it. I think it should show through in the way we live."

To be frank, I thought that the ABC News debate showcased some serious problems between the news media and conservatives. I'm not sure if it was the mediators of the debate or what, but it almost felt like Diane Sawyer thought she was the star and focus of the debate or something. It was a bit comedic at times -- as if the debate moderators were frustrated that they had to share the floor with the Republican candidates. The goal of a moderator at a political debate should be like that of a referee at a football game: to not be noticed at all. Like a good referee, you know a moderator at a debate is doing a good job when you do not notice them.

Both Sawyer and Stephanopoulos appeared to be get frustrated with the candidates and even testy at some moments. Sawyer kept on referencing the "rules of the debate" when in reality, Americans watching did not care about the rules of the debate, they wanted to hear about the issues. On the topic of the relation between the media and conservatives, Rick Perry may have hit the nail on the head when he said on the topic of Gingrich's comment on Palestinians, "Let me just say that I think this is a minor issue that the media is blowing way out of proportion. We have a president of the United States who has put the most muddled foreign policy in place that is causing the problems in the Middle East... This president is the problem, not something that Newt Gingrich said."

Perry's comment regarding the news media blowing Gingrich's statement out of proportion echoed Gingrich's earlier statement in a previous debate: "I'm frankly not interested in your effort to get Republicans fighting each other. You'd like to puff this up into some giant thing. The fact is every person up here understands that ObamaCare's a disaster." Gingrich then directly targeted the news media: "I for one...and i hope all my friends up here...are going to repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other to protect Barack Obama who deserves to be defeated."

Despite the notable fumble regarding the $10,000 bet, I felt Romney really did well during the debate when he spoke of federalism and how to fix America. Romney: "This idea of federalism is so extraordinary. Let states craft their own solutions." Even if Romney's wager to Perry was a gaffe, I think Romney's comment on federalism made up for it. I've often discussed how federalism is the key to national prosperity and happiness, and I think politicians do well in realizing that leaving states to determine their own policies is for the best -- for everyone in the country.

To say the least, as mildly entertaining as the Republican debate was Saturday evening, the discussion was a bit lackluster. I've seen better and more entertaining debates in my day. I think a Real Madrid futbol match would have been more entertaining, to be honest. Those at ABC News may have sought to make the Republican candidates look like fools through the debate, but ironically, I think those at ABC News were the ones who ultimately ended up looking like fools. Even if you look at the questions and the amount of time spent discussing issues, the debate left something to be desired. From Gingrich's Palestinian comment to marital infidelity to candidates' religious beliefs to financial sacrifice, it was as if the questions were meant to cast the candidates in the worst light possible to average Americans.

The moderators and candidates wasted too much time discussing irrelevant matters. I'm not sure if it was the questions or the back-and-forth with the moderators or what, but the debate could have been much better. To be fair, I thought ABC News did a very good job of giving Ron Paul time and space to speak and to articulate his views. And if I had to choose a winner to Saturday night's debate, it would be Ron Paul. From Paul's eloquent, intelligent responses to the fact that several of the candidates commended him for his writings and political ideas, the winner of the debate was definitely Ron Paul. Even so, the main takeaway from the debate for me was that if Romney is unable to secure the Republican presidential candidacy, he may very well have a promising future career as a game show host.

 

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