Tweeting the GOP debate, in reverse

Anybody see that movie, “Memento”? Well, here are my comments from during the GOP debate in Spartanburg — what I could see of it online (and here I thought I was smart, watching it from home).

And they’re backwards because that’s the way they look on Twitter. It’s just faster to put them up this way:

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Oh, EVERYBODY won except CBS… RT @davidfrum: CNBC wins this debate. Bad job CBS

2 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

This is a major black eye for CBS…

5 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen


@SC_Bill Thanks, but I think I’m getting it SLIGHTLY better on The Daily Beast:

7 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Best debaters tonight thus far: Huntsman, Newt, Romney, maybe Santorum.

8 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Are people who liked Cain starting to picture him as commander in chief and going, “Uh-ohhh…”?

9 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

WHEW! Thought for a moment Michele was going to recommend The Great Society…

11 minutes ago

davidfrum davidfrum

How can you talk about international economics w/out mention of euro crisis?

14 minutes ago

Retweeted by BradWarthen

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

I like Huntsman, but he needs to know that on the East coast, we don’t say “template” with a long A…

14 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

OK, I guess I made a big mistake not dragging myself up to Spartanburg. I stayed here under the mistaken impression this was 21st century!

16 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

What kind of feed is this? Bootleg? Is CBS jamming it or something? What century do they think this is?

19 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

I want to know who decided our local affiliate wouldn’t carry all of the debate?

20 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen


@SCHotline Old enough to feel stupid for having predicted that Perry would be the nominee…

23 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Did Ron Paul just say we shouldn’t feel compelled to stop the murders of hundreds of millions?

25 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

What Perry WANTS to say is, “Come ON, people — hair like Reagan, sound like Bush! What more do you want?”

32 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

With that outfit, Huntsman could be front man for a doo-wop group. He’s pulling out ALL the stops to get noticed…

35 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

I think Huntsman is saying really wise things, but the tie is so distracting that you can hardly even notice that his SUIT is metallic red.

37 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Perry overpronounces “virtues” like he just learned the word today…

41 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

There goes Newt again, talking like the grownup…

43 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Huntsman ALSO says wise and moral things (about torture), without being crazy…

45 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Ron Paul is seen as crazy, which gives him license to say wise and moral things occasionally…

47 minutes ago

marcambinder Marc Ambinder

Reminds me of Howard Dean’s boast that he had national security experience because he commanded the Vermont National Guard.#CBSNJDebate

52 minutes ago

Retweeted by BradWarthen

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

@scott_english A four-day delay doesn’t qualify as “quick” wit…

50 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Does Perry look dazed to anyone else?

53 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Rebuild the Navy? Hey, Newt’s pandering to me!

55 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Santorum’s assertion that Pakistan must be our friend because it has the bomb was off, but he seems to get it that security is complex…

57 minutes ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Is it just me, or does Santorum look and sound younger than last time I saw and heard him?

1 hour ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

See that? Perry just made Bachmann sound really smart. And he almost looks like he knows it…

1 hour ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

Perry’s “zero foreign aid” assertion makes his “oops” moment sound like soaring genius…

1 hour ago

BradWarthen Brad Warthen

This is the first real problem I’ve had with Huntsman to date. I can’t handle that tie. What do you call that color?

1 hour ago

20 thoughts on “Tweeting the GOP debate, in reverse

  1. Brad

    I’m having a back-and-forth discussion now with WLTX on Twitter. They say the plan was always for last half hour of debate to show only on West coast.

    Fine, it’s not WLTX’s fault. But if that was CBS’ decision, it was a monumentally horrendous one. The only reason to have the debate in SC is because of the role that SC voters play in this process. And they don’t even show the whole debate to SC voters?

    AND they don’t provide a modern, moderately serviceable web feed as a substitute?

    This is a major embarrassment, and a great disservice.

  2. bud

    I don’t know Brad. With all the mechanisms for watching the debate later does it really matter if CBS dropped the ball. I was actually much more upset about CBS coverage of the USC-FL football game (something that needs to be watched live). It was excruciating trying to deal with all the commercial breaks. Now that was a real travesty.

  3. Steven Davis

    So you’re the guy who watched it. I didn’t even realize until this morning that there was a debate last night. No big loss…

  4. Phillip

    I didn’t understand Gingrich’s comment about the “deniability” of taking out scientists and other Iran-thwarting moves. In the Gingrichverse, why would the US care about being able to deny taking whatever steps it felt necessary at any time, anywhere in the world? Seems like being the exceptional nation of the world, with only ourselves as ultimate arbiters of our judgments and actions, and with (therefore) infallible and unimpeachable motivations, we would not need to deny anything that we do. Don’t tell me the Newtster is plagued by moral complexities and ambiguities after all!

    Other than that, my favorite moments mostly came from Bachmann (from the transcripts, I didn’t see the debate), including her seeming preference for Chinese-style communism over LBJ-style liberalism, and her fretting over the impending “worldwide nuclear war against Israel” (maybe she thinks the French will nuke Israel?). Perry’s implication that in the 1980’s we thought Russia was economically strong in the way we think China is today, also was hilarious.

  5. Doug Ross

    Gingrich and Santorum have such sour personalities that it is unlikely they will ever rise to national prominence. All Santorum talks about are the things he did as a Senator years ago — and his own state didn’t re-elect him. Gingrich is just a condescending blowhard… who is driven by greed. $300K consulting fee from Fannie Mae? That should knock him out of the race immediately.

  6. `Kathryn Fenner

    Gingrich already rose to national prominence back in the 90s, regrettably. Perhaps folks can remember how that turned out.

    As far as Santorum goes, google him…

  7. Doug Ross


    I’m well aware of Dan Savage’s efforts to inflict massive Google pain on Santorum.

    The fact that Republicans are jumping from Bachmann to Perry to Cain to Gingrich and ignoring a decent, smart, hard working, experienced guy like Romney (or a guy with actual conservative pedigree like Paul) is too bad. But in the end, Romney will win, they will all get behind him, and we will see how Obama deals with a real opponent instead of a washed-up McCain and a joke Palin. Romney will have the luxury of selecting a VP who can help in a swing state – Rubio from Florida would be a big plus for the ticket.

    Here’s my other bold prediction. I think Biden will drop off the ticket before the election and Obama will give the spot to Hillary as a payback for being a good soldier these past four years and set her up for 2016. Biden has no shot of winning in 2016 if Obama wins.

  8. Lynn

    There was such profound ignorance on displace at Wofford that cutting is short by 30 minutes was CBS’s mercy rule. Even more pathetic was watching Geraldo and Mark Sanford on FoxNews. If this is the best the GOP can demonstrate, the US deserves to lose it’s status as Super Power. Glad I had enough alcohol to dull the boredom and pain.

  9. bud

    The surprising Gingrich surge continues. He now leads in at least one poll. Unlike Bachmann, Perry or Cain Gingrich is a well-known commodity hence his “skeletons” are long out of the closet and a meltdown seems unlikely. Since many in the GOP are now taking to him in spite of his problems it seems probable that he will have more staying power. Plus, Gingrich could be regarded as the guy whose turn it is, a big advantage in the GOP. Romney had pretty much established that mantle but Gingrich could make a good case that he’s that guy. Newt is now a solid number 2 and if polling continues to improve we may have a new front runner within a week.

    Given his continued inability to poll above 25%, in spite of his many strengths (money, endorsements), Romney must now be downgraded to slightly less than an even bet. The expected surge just is not materializing.

    All the others continue to fade badly. I suspect they stay in now hoping for a miracle in Iowa to salvage their chances. After that I expect a mass exodus.

    Romney 3-2
    Gingrich 2-1
    Cain 8-1
    Bachman 10-1
    Perry 10-1
    Paul 12-1
    Santorum 20-1
    Huntsman 25-1

  10. Phillip


    Agree with you that (as Jon Stewart said the other night), this (nomination) race is over, no one other than Romney can possibly win. And I agree that (esp. looking at the electoral map), Romney stands an excellent chance of defeating Obama.

    But I disagree with your Hillary prediction. Hillary has had a front row seat at witnessing how much MORE difficult a Democratic President has enacting a domestic agenda in the current divisive political climate than even her husband did. Given the continued vital importance of foreign policy these days (and the fact that the executive branch has more latitude to operate in that area), she has come to realize (I believe) that as Sec’y of State she has far more influence on the course of events than she would as VP for 4 years.

    The choice of Hillary at State has turned out to be one of the best Obama made (even though many at the time thought it ill-advised). I don’t think he’ll change course now.

  11. Doug Ross

    Here’s the best way to track the reality of who will be the Republican nominee.

    Intrade allows users to bet real money on the chances of various political events occuring.

    Romney gets 70% of the money vote. Newt is at 14%. Only political pundits who need to spin up stories think Newt is viable. Gotta fill all that time with something.

  12. bud

    I look at Intrade but they don’t always account for everything. I just don’t think they’re giving enough weight to the very latest polls right now. Romney is certainly the favorite but 70% seems a bit high right now and 14% for Gingrich too low. I’d suggest 40% and 20%.

  13. bud

    Agree with you that (as Jon Stewart said the other night), this (nomination) race is over, no one other than Romney can possibly win.

    This is probably the first time I disagree with Phillip. I’ve said all along Romney is the favorite for many reasons, not least of which is his good polling numbers against Obama. But in light of his tepid polling numbers among GOP voters it is just not a valid statement to say he’s the only one who CAN win the nomination.

  14. Phillip

    @Bud: even though you’re correct that the numbers don’t show Romney yet sewing up a large plurality of potential GOP primary voters, I think that’s still a function of the radicalized Republican party fantasizing about nominating one of their own, before things “get real.” But as nuts as Republicans seem to be these days, when things get down to brass tacks even I cannot imagine that Republicans are so suicidal as not to nominate Romney, simply because almost every other candidate sooner or later has committed (and seems willing to continue to commit) various forms of political harakiri (Cain’s Libya comments being just the latest).

    Of course Huntsman would be an even more logical choice but he’s obviously TOO centrist and reasonable for Republican tastes, Romney at least is willing to pay lip service to some aspects of the radical right. Simply put, Romney is Huntsman without the political honesty and integrity. I think Romney will have a clear lead by March and clearly be the presumptive nominee, most everybody else will drop out and one of the loons (probably Gingrich) will stick it out to the end with 2nd most delegates, in order to extract political concessions from Romney (maybe dictate a VP choice) and to give the “red-meat” speech at the convention. (Paul will probably stick it out too, to represent the libertarian/classic-conservatism wing of the GOP). A Gingrich speech may be to the 2012 convention as Ted Kennedy’s speech was to the 1980 Democratic convention. (Hopefully presaging a similar electoral disaster for the party in question that November.)

  15. Doug Ross

    The other thing to look at is campaign funds and on-the-ground campaigning in the primary states. Romeny is set there. He has the money and the infrastructure. Gingrich and Cain have nothing (in fact, Gingrich’s campaign is in debt as of the latest reports). Paul has the funds and the support to stay in it till the very end (he raised $1 million in online donations on Veterans Day alone).

    After Iowa, Santorum, Bachmann, and Hunstman will be done with their vanity campaigns. After New Hampshire, I’m guessing Cain will be gone (mainly because his shortcomings will become more apparent over the next two months). Gingrich will hang on til South Carolina as will Perry and Paul. If Perry doesn’t finish a strong second in SC, he’s done. Gingrich will get on people’s nerves after awhile and may not make it past SC. Without getting fundraising support that ramps up significantly, he’s done. After Florida, it will be smooth sailing for Romney with Paul hanging around as a thorn in his side to make him remember what a real conservative looks like.

  16. bud

    It’s fun to predict how things will play out and certainly I have no qualms with what Phillip and Doug are saying. But this year the Republicans seem so hyped up about the Tea Party issues it is making the logical, and in past years inevetible, Romney choice a difficult deal to close. My only issue is the whole inevitability aspect of it all. Politics makes for some strange choices, usually for the Democrats. So given the unusual weakness of Romney’s polling, something I think will change eventually, it is just not in this statistician’s genes to use words like “inevetible” or “certainty” or the “only one who can”.

    The next couple of weeks of polling will give us a better idea of whether Gingrich has staying power. He’s probably the last candidate that can make a run. I give him low but not zero odds being successful.

  17. Doug Ross

    Gingrich will be done sooner versus later:

    ” Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.

    The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.

    Gingrich’s business relationship with Freddie Mac spanned a period of eight years. When asked at the debate what he did to earn a $300,000 payment in 2006, the former speaker said he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” and warned the company that its lending practices were “insane.” Former Freddie Mac executives who worked with Gingrich dispute that account. …

    None of the former Freddie Mac officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said Gingrich raised the issue of the housing bubble or was critical of Freddie Mac’s business model.

  18. bud

    I’ll have a bit of fun too. Here’s one scenerio of how the primary season plays out:

    Going into the Iowa caucus Newt continues to gain in the polls. He’s able to pull a surprise upset there as his supporters, bouyed by the latest national numbers, show up in droves easily defeating tea party darling Michele Bachmann and Texas tough guy Rick Perry. Romney dismisses the results as Iowa being the renegade that it is looks forward to NH.

    As NH looms the polling numbers for a fully vetted Gingrich continue to improve despite negative ads and press over past scandals. Folks are now becoming tired of the decades old allegations of infidelity and are surprisingly supportive of his old battles with Clinton. Although Romney wins in NH the vote is far closer than expected as Newt comes in a respectible second. Bachmann drops out after a dismal showing. Santorum does likewise.

    The stakes are now very high in SC. Romney leads in the polls and has tons of money but the gap narrows. Surprisingly Gingrich shows strong and improving support. At the last minute Jim DeMint decides to throw his endorsement to Gingrich after earlier saying he would stay out. His comments during the endorsement show his frustration with the former MA governor over healthcare and other “liberal issues”.The first in the South primary becomes a nail bitter between Romney and a surging Gingrich with Perry running a distant third. In the end Perry’s supporters see the writing on the wall and go over to Gingrich in droves propelled the former speaker to victory. Perry drops out the next day.

    The next week in FL Romney gets a bit desperate and starts in on the negative ads in a big way. The strategy backfires and Newt wins big. With momentum on his side Newt cruises to an easy nomination win.

    But it’s all for naught as the improving economy sinks any chance for the GOP. Obama ultimately wins a 40 state decision.

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