Far as I could tell, the real meat of Monday night's GOP Florida debate was in the first few minutes.
I admit I got bored, and didn't stick around 'til the end. But early on, I learned stuff like:
Mitt Romney takes credit for what he called turning Massachusetts around. I wish he'd taken time to explain how he did it. Maybe he could have told us how he gave Massachusetts its own assault weapon ban in case the federal one expired.
Mitt told us he was "overwhelmed" by the final push in South Carolina. Really? This is the guy the Republican establishment thinks can triumph over Obama's Chicago-style crew?
And Mitt jumped all over Newt Gingrich about Newt's ties to Freddie Mac. Freddie hurt Floridians, Mitt says. But Mitt failed to disclose or explain why he holds Freddie Mac in his investment portfolio. Fannie Mae too. He has about a half million bucks spread between the two.
Finally, Mitt said all his recent income comes from capital gains. And he's only willing to cut loose two years of tax returns. Begs the question how many assets he shuffled three years ago. Refusing to follow his father's precedent of releasing a dozen years of returns only makes it look like he's hiding something.
Other things I noticed:
NBC played it boring Monday night. No one wanted to be the next Juan Williams or John King. Therefore, we were deprived of Gingrich v. commentator sizzle. Gingrich countered Romney attacks about his speakership with some quick bullet points of accomplishment. But he broke no new ground.
Ron Paul and Gingrich had a cordial exchange during the debate. I liked it. They acted like statesmen.
Rick Santorum was there. But when surrounded by the other three, he comes off as JV. I get distracted by his mannerisms and sometimes miss what he's saying. He needs to project a deeper voice or something.
As the debate was getting underway, my 10-year-old announced her endorsement of Ron Paul. He's the oldest and the nicest, she says. From her own research, she knows he has 18 grandchildren.
Her pick reminded me of my early pick in '68. I was eleven. And I liked Ronald Reagan. Reagan actually won a plurality of the Republican primary votes that year. But Nixon scored more convention delegates. And It was Nixon who emerged from the Miami convention as the GOP nominee.