Tonight’s GOP Debate–A Partial Report

I didn’t catch all of tonight’s Republican presidential debate–it started long before I got home from work–but I did form some definite impressions. Here they are:

1) It has been a long time since I was impressed by a Republican in a debate format–you would have to go back some time before Ronald Reagan, who I don’t think was very good in this medium, probably all the way to Richard Nixon. But I was impressed by Mitt Romney tonight. He is clearly ready for prime time and I think will crush Obama if he gets the nomination.

2) Michele Bachmann clobbered Rick Perry. If Tea Party credentials are your only criterion, vote for Michele.

3) The field generally was good, with the sole exception of Ron Paul. Gingrich, Cain, Santorum and even Huntsman contributed. It was good to see Ron Paul being booed–a reception he richly deserves.

4) The candidates were generally at their best when they were ripping President Obama. It was gratifying to be reminded how easy this is to do.

On the whole, the evening left me feeling highly optimistic about 2012.