It really captures what's most bizarre about the GOP field this year: its complete lack of seriousness. If you watch the debates (an exercise recommended only for seasoned professionals) you'll strain for hours trying to hear anything of actual substance. It's like watching a bunch of nervous teenagers reciting talking points they don't really understand, but which they're afraid to stray from because they think that's what their teacher wants them to say. Substitute "conservative interest groups" for "teacher" and you get the idea. It's a real spectacle.As usual, Kevin is dead-on correct. These presidential debates are usually just plain boring, filled with CYA, of-little-substance replies to generally overly-sanitized questions. However, this GOP lot offers much amusement with their asinine, nonsensical answers, trying their best to say what they think their base wants to hear and yet not go too far so as to permanently offend the larger electorate. Given the ever-widening chasm between their base and the rest of America, they end up sounding like they do (pretzel logic).
But while we're on the topic of lack of seriousness, let's spend a minute reviewing the physical appearance of these GOP candidates. With this past debate, I looked upon the stage and saw two tall guys (Romney and Thompson) amidst a bunch of shorter ones. Many of us know, or should know, about the track record of the taller candidate; since the TV age, it's been near undefeated (it held up until Bush/Rove vs. Gore and Kerry). The likes of Perot, Tsongas, Dukakis, Nader, and Kucinich never have/had a chance for this reason. To that end, it favors Romney more so than Thompson because the former at least looks alive and energized as compared to the latter who appears lethargic and listless, with unsightly bags under his eyes.
Interestingly, it's Giuliani who loses big-time when it comes to appearance. He's not particularly tall and in fact he seems to have poor posture with a crouched-over, droopy presence. In addition, when was the last time a bald guy has done well running for the White House?
Yes, of course, all of this is superficial, but who said the voting public is above being superficial?