The ‘Get Gingrich At Drake’ ABC Republican Debate

Have you noticed what little scrutiny establishment candidates receive at debates? In the 2008 election cycle Hillary Clinton performed brilliantly while Barack Obama usually stumbled and bumbled – the exception being when he would simply repeat Hillary’s answers. Obama was the establishment candidate of Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

This election cycle candidate after candidate has been beaten up on at the Republican debates – the exception being Romney. Pawlenty got beaten up because he refused to beat up on Romney. Rick Perry got the beat up treatment. Herman Cain got the beat up treatment. Tonight it is “Get Newt Night.”

Tonight’s penultimate GOP debate of the year will be broadcast on ABC (9:00 ET). Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will moderate the debate from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Jon Huntsman will not attend due to poor poll numbers and of course Herman Cain has been chased off.

Tonight’s “Duel At Drake” will provide both Gingrich and Romney the opportunity to bludgeon each other. Perhaps Rick Perry might get in the act too and resuscitate his campaign:

“There is some chatter in Republican political circles that Perry’s ads are (finally) starting to take hold in the Hawkeye State and that his support is beginning to bump upward.

No polling has begun to pick up on that movement just yet — he placed fourth with 11 percent among likely Iowa caucus-goers in a poll sponsored by the Washington Post and ABC News — but keep an eye on the numbers over the next week to ten days to see if Perry can make the difficult leap from spoiler to contender in Iowa.”

Tonight’s debate is attracting the attention usually reserved for world champion boxing matches starring Muhammad Ali. The Republican candidates should not forget that the economy is supposed to be the topic tonight and the economy is not doing well:

“The average US household lost $21,261 of net worth this summer, the largest decline in family wealth in nearly three years.

The drop in the third quarter, tied to falling home values and a cratering stock market, is the second straight quarter of eroding wealth, according to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly report, released Thursday.”

At tonight’s debate the Republican candidates should remember who is the enemy and who is a future ally. The Republican candidates should read the latest CBS poll wherein 54% of Americans say Obama does not deserve reelection:

“Since his speech to a joint session of Congress in early September, Obama has vigorously positioned himself as the champion of the middle and working classes, attacking Republicans as the party of the wealthy and pushing for redistributive policies, including those in his so-called “jobs bill” that even Democrats wouldn’t pass. That strategy has been a total flop. The numbers on the question of whether Obama shares the priorities of voters fell to the worst in the CBS series, 41/54, not coincidentally the same percentage as the question of whether Obama deserves re-election. In April, that was 43/53, and in May 2010 — as Obama headed for a historical mid-term rebuke — it was 45/47. It hasn’t changed the perception that Obama is helping Wall Street more than average Americans (42/38).

The damage can be seen in the question of whether Obama has been a uniter or a divider (38/47), with independents breaking 35/48 on the question. Obama is also -18 among independents on the re-election question, 37/55, a harbinger of disaster in November. Even while Obama keeps fanning the flames of class warfare, no one is sure what Obama intends to do with a second term anyway. Two-thirds don’t have a clear idea on his second-term goals (32/66) — and that includes a majority of Democrats (46/52) along with more than two-thirds of independents (29/69).

Obama’s reboot as a class warrior has not changed the trajectory of his decline. In some ways, it appears to have accelerated it. This might explain the new theme of desperately trying to tie himself to Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy, but if this poll gives any indication, Obama will end up going the way of the Bull Moose”

Eyes on the Prize Republican guys and gal.

Tonight the Republican debate, our next article will be the promised Hillary article.