In the emerging tradition of our GOP debate awards, we announce these superlatives in the wake of the CNN/foreign policy debate this evening at DAR’s Constitution Hall in Washington D.C.
Tom Clancy Sum of All Fears Award: Tie, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, for both mentioning the danger of a single nuclear weapon being smuggled into the country and blowing up a major city. James Cromwell is ready for your support, though I hear he supports Dennis Kucinich.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer They Will Eventually Come for You Award: Ron Paul, in response to Newt Gingrich “You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights.”
Yellow Piece Trivial Pursuit Historical Reference Award: Close race, with Rick Perry taking the ultimate prize. Santorum invoked Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas corpus (albeit obliquely) whereas Perry more directly cited the Monroe Doctrine and our still standing national policy of protecting the hemisphere.
George W. Bush Nicknaming Award: Herman Cain, for “Blitz.” Who turned it neatly by responding to the candidate as “Cain.”
Misplaced Jack Kemp Enterprise Zone Award: Rick Perry, for arguing that turning the Middle East into a free trade zone would eliminate the threat of nuclear war in the region. Not sure how it works, but some might say that applies to the Kemp idea as well.
I’ll See Your Pinochet Chilean Model And Raise You/Friendly Dictator Award: Mitt Romney, for praising the regime of Indonesian dictator Suharto during the 1960s.
Do Not Trust The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Award: Jon Huntsman, for noting that “listening to the Generals” did not pan out so well for Lyndon Johnson in 1967.
Nixon-Kennedy Actual Debate Award: CNN and Wolf Blitzer. At moments, we actually had direct, substantive debate over policy issues between people who were competent to discuss them. Blitz was willing to moderate in a way that allowed the candidates, even the “second tier” of the lot, to engage — e.g. the prolonged exchange between Romney and Huntsman over Mideast policy. Notably followed by Gingrich’s pontificating.
Ogden Nash Alliteration Award: Michele Bachmann, for “highly in hock” as a description of our fiscal state with China. Although she mixed the metaphor by suggesting the high hock was only a matter of Monopoly money.
Mr. Christian’s Pitcairn Islands/Lost Reference Award: Rick Santorum, for referencing the lack of American engagement in the crisis of government in Honduras. A point of personal privilege here: My parents were Peace Corps volunteers in Honduras, and watching the events unfold there left us all saddened. Santorum rightly pointed to this as a missed opportunity where American diplomatic pressure could have done much more.
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