Did anyone else watch the GOP’s beauty pageant on FOX News last night?

GOP presidential debate candidates, Aug 11 2011

Image: CBS News

I had no idea that watching that thing was going to be as surreally entertaining as it was. The format was awful, because each moderator asked any candidate of their choice whatever they liked, so the candidates didn’t actually get to address the same questions most of the time. It was awkwardly designed, but with so many people on the stage I’m not sure how else they could have done it. But…on with the review.

TX governor Rick Perry’s entering the race has thrown them all off their game, and it showed. Romney did his very best not to answer a single question that was asked; he was slicker than a greased hog last night, and almost as dignified. Pawlenty and Bachmann took hilariously petty potshots at each other all night. Frothy-mixture-man-on-dog Santorum tragically oscillated between 1-man-1-woman boilerplate and standing up for the oppressed gays in Iran, when he wasn’t whining about not getting any airtime at all. It was precious.

Ron Paul sounded (even more so than usual) like someone’s crazy uncle who usually just shouts at everyone for being an idiot, but occasionally says something everybody likes. It also became very obvious that Herman Cain has no idea what he’s talking about. I can sympathize with wanting to get the hell out of the pizza business, but he really should just drop out of the race before he costs himself any more time and money. Newt Gingrich, who must have figured out by now that he has no chance at the nomination, spent the whole evening making sense and throwing bombs at everyone else because hey, what does he have to lose? Jon Huntsman was a total deer-in-headlights, but he’ll make someone a nice VP someday. Maybe if Biden takes ill, Obama can bring him on board. All in all it was well worth watching, and was almost certainly funnier than anything else that may have been on TV last night.

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