Overall, I think that Santorum was the clear winner of last night's debate. He summed up the problem with Gingrich in one sentence,
“Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich, he handles it very well.”Gingrich responded that this was a grandiose country. Nope. We're a grand country, but not grandiose. For one who prides himself on his rhetoric, Gingrich should know what the word means.
characterized by affectation of grandeur or splendor or by absurd exaggerationYup, that's Newt. And Santorum knew whereof he spoke.
“I served with him. I was there,” he said. “It was an idea a minute. No discipline, no ability to be able to pull things together.”Santorum was strong in attacking the three other candidates. Romney did as well as he usually does, but the story will be his waffling about releasing his tax returns. It's still surprising that he was not ready with a better answer. All he's doing is building the story up. Any benefit that goes to Santorum will probably come from Newt's support and that helps Romney.
Gingrich has been improving in the polls and the movement seems in his favor. He could well win tomorrow in South Carolina. He is doing better now that debates are back on the agenda. But anger at the media will not be enough to carry him through the rest of the states. Don't Republicans want more from their potential nominee? And that anger was totally manufactured as was clear by the end of the debate when Newt was praising John King for his handling of the debate.
If Gingrich is the candidate, the entire campaign would be about him. The GOP needs a candidate who can keep the focus on Obama, not his own grandiosity.