John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
June 14th, 2011
02:43 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– I'm home in Louisiana for the next several days. The Republican Leadership Conference starts in New Orleans. Most of the major presidential candidates will be there sounding out their themes for the election year. It'll be good additional exposure for people like Michele Bachmann. One person not speaking? Tim Pawlenty. One last-minute addition? Rick Perry.

– The CNN New Hampshire debate last night gave a lot of people their first impressions of the candidates. That's why I don't think Tim Pawlenty's retreat on "Obamney care" will have a lasting impact, but Rick Santorum and Herman Cain both seemed outpaced. Bachmann really stole the spotlight, reflected in the number of people searching for info on her today on Google.

– It was nice to see the candidates gang up on Barack Obama instead of each other last night. I think Mitt Romney won, not just because he held his own, but because he had great answers to most every question, though he was defensive on the Afghan question. Michele Bachmann really impressed a lot of people. Newt Gingrich showed he is great at giving a speech and debating, but then Republicans say Barack Obama is the same way and his management is bad. Kind of like Newt's management of his campaign.

Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:

– Mitt Wins by Default – The front-runner took no incoming shots and therefore remains the front-runner. A weak and uninspiring front-runner but the most responsible and presidential guy on the stage.

– Pawlenty Ducks And Bachmann Exceeds Expectations – Our own JK teed it up for T-Paw, asking why he wouldn't use his great “Obamney care” line face to face with its intended target. Maybe its just a measure of his nice-guy-ness, but Pawlenty looked weak. Bachmann, by contrast, exceeded expectations.

– Policy-palooza – Beneath the horserace analysis, there was some policy news in the debate. Romney and Pawlenty both support the federal marriage amendment, banning same-sex marriage states. There is deep internal dissension about the Bush Doctrine and Afghanistan/Libya. And apparently no Republicans running for president think that we need to raise the debt ceiling. That's partisanship over both principle and problem solving.

Editor’s Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Greg Butko

    I don't know who you think you are kidding. Romney and Bachmann came across as insincere talking heads. They are just retread Establishment Neocons, but then so is Newt. Pawlenty and Santorium didn't add much to the debate, and Cain shot himself in the foot with his remark about Muslims. Some people don't like blacks, some don't like Jews and some don't like Muslims. We have a word for people like that, and that word is bigot.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate that distinguished himself. And he is the only candidate with any integrity and an understanding of the Constitution. I would not even consider voting for any of the others.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  2. Voice of Reason

    I think Ron Paul was the only candidate who actually answered all of the questions. Moreover, his answers were all based on Constitutional principles, historical evidence, and logic. He did not demagogue the issues, like several of the other candidates. I think it is absolutely disgraceful that CNN threw out its own post-debate poll, that Paul won with 75% of the votes, in lieu of another poll that showed him with 0%. What is this, Russia?

    June 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  3. MeLoN

    Ask this question of Obama/supporters ... Why when Obama was a Senator he said that raising the debt ceiling is a sign of weak leadership in the Oval Office and now Obama is for raising the debt ceiling – what is the difference now?

    June 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  4. Jutta

    Greg, wonderful comment

    June 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  5. Scott T. Collins WA ST

    It was a great debate in all categories.. The candidates handled themselves well, John King was fair and not perceived to harbor any liberal bias in his questioning...

    I disagree with those that think Pawlenty should have attacked Romney more, he, they, have time yet.. I was the first, a year ago stating Pawlenty would be no where near the white house, I based that on my own knowledge and experience not personal vendetta.. O'Reilly just repeated what I stated. He needs to not sound so much like Walter Mondale.....

    Fox no longer allows a lot of comments on their Sunday show site which never seems to work properly, I have been watching CNN more and more and hope I can comment here on CNN....

    June 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm |