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Published:October 12th, 2011 11:34 EST

NH GOP Debate: Rick Perry Lifeless, Mitt Romney Cool, Herman Cain Hot, Newt Slimy

By Robert Paul Reyes

Former Governor Mitt Romney and businessman Herman Cain were the stars of last night`s Bloomberg/Washington Post GOP debate.

Romney was completely at ease, he effortlessly buffeted Rick Perry, and he graciously lobbed a softball at Michele Bachmann at the point in the debate when the presidential hopefuls were allowed to question each other.


Herman Cain basked in the attention that his 999 economic plan received.. Bachmann may have pointed out that 999 turned upside down is the number of the antiChrist, and Huntsman may have cracked that 999 reminded him of the price of a pizza, but Cain was content that his economic plan elicited so much attention.

If Romney and Cain were the big winners, Texas Governor Rick Perry was the big loser. Last night`s debate was about the economy, and maybe Perry resembled a mute because he doesn`t have an economic plan. It doesn`t take a rocket scientist or a political guru to discern that it would have been a good idea for Perry to unveil an economic plan before he participated in a debate focused on the economy.

Perry blew a perfect opportunity to shine in a debate. The moderator and the other presidential hopefuls couldn`t ask him any uncomfortable questions about his stance on immigration, the infamous N-word rock, or vaccinating schoolgirls against the human papilloma virus. Perry should have seized the bull by the horns, and taken over the debate. Instead, as a wag said, he looked like someone watching a tennis match.

What did we learn from last night`s debate? Unless Mitt Romney gets drunk and strips down to his Mormon underpants and does the Macarena, he has this thing wrapped up. Herman Cain will not win the Republican nomination, but he has a career selling gadgets on late-night TV for $9.99. Rick Perry is so lifeless that I doubt he will ever stay up late enough to catch any of Cain`s infomercials.

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