I do not have a TV, nor did I hear the commentators remarks about Perry after the debate, but I do remember that Reagan did not do well int he debate with Carter in 1980, but people trusted him anyway because of the things he’d been saying all along. We need to look at the total candidate, not the ability to debate well. Newt can debate well, granted, but he cannot stay conservative (leadership values) because that is not who is he is really. He is a big government Republican who likens himself to Teddy Roosevelt. TR founded the first socialist party in America.
Not all people do well on stage. One who governs well may not be orally gifted, but I would 100 times over prefer someone who was a great leader than one who awes everybody with his speeches but destroys the land I love. After 3 years of the teleprompter and all the hooplah about how smart The One is, wouldn’t it be nice to have an ordinary American, one who loves America, has some sense about governing and a good track record at that?
Sure, it would be nice. I wish we could go back to the way campaigning was done in the Lincol -Douglas race.
And we would all probably like a president as "ordinary" and plain-spoken as Truman (if we could magically transform him into a constitutionalist Republican).
But that's not reality anymore, and we can't go back. Today a candidate, no matter how honest and philosophically true to the constitution, can get go nowhere unless he or she is also capable of cultivating a media-savvy persona and a quick wit. He or she will also be left in the dust without a comprehensive knowledge of issues both foreign and domestic, that the candidate is capable of drawing on, articulately, in front of the tv lights, and in an instant.