Okay.  So I was going to publish the entirety of my notes from the CNN/Tea Party debate from last night, but there’s a TON of analysis already out there.

However I will touch on a few points:

I said this morning that Rick Perry won this debate.  I said that for a few reasons:

1) Rick Perry won by default, he came in as the front runner and remained the front runner.

2) The really deep hard-line attacks against Perry came on just as people were switching the boob-tube to NFL games and their other favorite television shows.

3) Rick Perry seemed honest, for good or bad the audience tended to like that he readily admitted mistakes, and was capable of hanging his head low.  To me, that shows humility. Something the current president has little of.

Bachmann could potentially be named a real winner.  She is far behind in the polls, but if she hadn’t kept her head above the fray this would have been the end for her campaign. She did manage to keep herself in the race by staying strong in the issues she needed to show some fortitude and principle in.

The real problem with the Republican nominee field is that the POTUS currently is being beaten by the “generic candidate” in polls, but the minute you put one of the current nominees in the equation, the stakes are much closer.

After much thinking, I’ve decided the debate was ultimately just really disappointing. Newt had a couple of good punch lines, Cain didn’t get enough air time as usual, Paul sounds great on economic issues and like a lunatic on foreign policy, Huntsman is the most “unknown” candidate, Bachmann has to keep recovering from the things she says, Romney hasn’t found anything else to wear besides his ‘flippy-floppies’ and Perry reminds people too much of G.W. Bush.

If Perry gets the nomination, he is hands down the best campaigner. If he can make it through the primary I think he’ll destroy Obama if the economy doesn’t improve significantly prior to the election.  If Romney gets the nomination he will carry independents and instigate voter apathy among social conservatives across the Southeast. I think Romney could potentially make for a landslide due to the independents he’ll grab.

However I’m perfectly willing to eat these words especially given the unusual political atmosphere that has culminated across the country.  I think far more citizens have “woken up” and paying attention to the political process.

The Tea Party speaks volumes for the difference in upcoming elections.  Never before has a grassroots political organization such as this has ever occurred to my knowledge in recent history.  The congressional election of 2010 I think is often forgotten.  The results from the 2010 election speak volumes for the political climate and I have a gut feeling that everyone that came out and voted for the 2010 election are going to be there for 2012.  It’s easy to think that Obama doesn’t stand a chance, but on the other hand he has also become Jimmy Carter faster than Jimmy Carter became Jimmy Carter.  An impressive feat for someone in office for 32 months at this point.