Has Perry’s arrival caused him to up his game?
With just over four months to go before real voters start making real choices in real elections about the Republican nominee the main contenders slugged it out overnight at the Ronald Reagan Library in California.
This was the first outing at such an event by Rick Perry, governor of Texas, who has quickly moved into the favourite slot after entering the race last month.
The big focus of the evening was how he would do against the former favourite, Mitt Romney, and the view of many commentators was that Perry came out second best. Moving from the Texas scene to the national stage is quite a jump.
Romney impressed and this was by far his best debate performance of this campaign or the last one in 2008. The entry of Perry has caused Mitt to up his game.
Michelle Bachmann, who looked so promising two months ago, reinforced the doubts about her with a lack-lustre performance.
Jon Huntsman did well but his views on many things, including global warming, set him apart from large parts of the party. He was much more assured than in his first debate last month I still think he’d be the nominee who’d cause most problems for Obama.
The big question remains – what will Sarah Palin do?