John compared tonight’s debate in Greenville, South Carolina, to the “first three days of pitchers and catchers [at spring training].” I don’t think that’s quite right. Tonight’s debate was more like the open tryouts that major league teams used to hold many decades ago. Anyone could show up and take a chance.
With the exception of former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, tonight’s crop of Republican candidates are those kids who did not have a prayer of signing with the team. Gary Johnson eliminated himself from the race with one whining complaint that he wasn’t being called on often enough. Rick Santorum claimed incredibly that he had an enviable record of beating Democratic incumbents, conveniently overlooking the fact that, as a Republican incumbent, he was soundly trashed by a Democratic nonentity. Herman Cain left me never wanting to order a pizza from Godfather’s. Ron Paul is the Harold Stassen of our time. His fans go nuts.
Perhaps if nothing else tonight’s dismal collective performance will convince accomplished Republican governors like Mitch Daniels, Rick Perry, Robert Riley, Bob McDonnell, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie to give the race a second or third look. If nothing else, the nomination race could use some men (and women) with a grain of seriousness, and perhaps more than a grain of a serious chance of winning.