I actually skipped the debate. Again. One reason is that I already made up my mind and no "words" will change that. The other reason is that all debates do is show talk and not action. These are politicians. The only time talk matters is if that is all there is to go on, and if politicians flip and flop all the time showing pandering. I don't mind true conversions on issues, but everyone knows I have little tolerance for opportunists or vagueness.
My concern especially this year among Republican primary voters is over reliance on debates and talk. Rick Perry dropped out because he's bad in debates. What does that really mean? It means he can't give 30 or 60 second soundbite answers to questions. That's it. Some are better at it than others. I don't speak fast. That's hurt me at times and helped at others. It doesn't change the fact that I have my strengths with some issues and weaknesses at others. What Perry's debate weaknesses do not reflect on is his 12 years as Governor of Texas.
Tim Pawlenty dropped because didn't gain traction due to him being "boring." Why the Hell should that even matter? Does that reflect on his two terms as Governor of Minnesota?
As primary voters or even general election voters, we need to stop worrying so much what politicians say, or if they are interesting. We need to focus on what they do. We need to do the research.
Mitt Romney has a four year record as Massachusetts Governor.
Rich Santorum has a 16 year record in Congress.
Newt Gingrich has a 21 year congressional record.
Ron Paul has a 23 year congressional record.
Actions count, and actions aren't hard to find. http://thomas.loc.gov has a long record of roll call votes from Santorum, Gingrich, and Ron Paul, as well as Obama from his senate years. Don't take some cherry picked advocacy group's word for it either. Look them up yourself from the times they were in office.
Romney was in office from the 2002 election till 2006 when he declined to run for re-election. It's not hard to find a governor's record either. It's a little harder to find things straight from the source since Romney's stuff was scrubbed, but there's plenty of articles about things he's done as governor.
I don't need to be given a rah-rah speech or to be lead. There's only a handful of people I will follow and presidents aren't one of them. I need someone who I can trust to sign the right legislation, appoint good people to the executive departments, appoint good judges and justices, and not screw up foreign policy. We're the board of directors looking to hire a CEO. No more no less. Don't lead me. Do your job, and stay out of my way.