Once again forgot to tape the debate (I work second shift, and couldn't watch it live) but managed to find it online. Not a whole lot to say, just a few things that jumped out at me:
-Chris Matthews did a decent job as a moderator, overall...but his asking the candidates whether they'd support the Republican nominee was idiotic, and I'd like to know how much Ron Paul paid him for all those softball questions (pun intended).
-Mitt Romney's showing signs of contracting FrontRunnerItis from Rudy Giuliani, going after Hillary Clinton on a number of occasions. I think that in Romney's case, there's a certain degree of desperation to it--he's trailing badly nationwide, and I believe his support in the early states is slipping, as well. It looks to me like he's trying to make people believe that he's a frontrunner without looking at whether he actually is, in hopes that his poll numbers will then follow suit.
-Not one candidate besides Paul gave a straight answer on whether the President needs Congressional approval for a military strike--read, Congressional refusal = no military action--which makes sense, since the right answer ("ABSOLUTELY NOT!") is political suicide, especially in the general election.
-Romney's rambling suggestion about consulting his attorneys might have been almost as bad, though.
-Scripted or not, Romney's "Law and Order" crack was the line of the debate.
-Fred Thompson did very well, I thought. He had good control of the material, and didn't seem out of his element. (He wasn't even tripped up by the cheap-shot pop quiz on Canada's prime minster.) Still too early to say whether he'll manage to overtake Giuliani, but this was an important milestone. He looked like he belonged up there, and there was some doubt about that.
-This debate was mostly about economics, and I can now safely say that I would feel comfortable entrusting this country's economy to any of the GOP frontrunners...which is more than I could have said for Romney or Giuliani before the debate.