Last night eight Republicans participated in a debate monitored by Fox News. The debate was held in Ames, Iowa as a lead into the Iowa "straw poll," that takes place on Saturday. Who won?
With Obama collapsing in the polls, you would think the field would be full of outstanding candidates, but if you watched this group of eight it was difficult to pick a winner. None of these folks seem up to the task for differing reasons.
The overriding issue of curbing big government was addressed only by Ron Paul. The other seven seemed to favor some limits on government, but, in other ways, seemed to favor expanding government's reach in ways that they like. Ron Paul is delightfully honest, but it is hard to see him as a serious candidate, even though his idea content is higher than any candidate in recent memory.
Rick Perry is riding to the rescue on Saturday, but he has so many enemies in Republican circles that it is hard to see how, even if nominated, he could pull the party together enough to give Obama a real race to the finish line.
So, for now, weak though he is, Obama looks like he could easily defeat anyone in the current crowd.