I watched most of the Huckabee forum for republican presidential candidates last night. It was a rebroadcast, and I am not sure when it first was aired. The format was what made it interesting. Each of the candidates got equal time, alone, with a panel consisting of three republican state attorneys general, from Oklahoma, Florida and Virginia. They then each got to deliver a one minute closing statement. The format totally eliminated the childish "you said" "did not" back and forth that cluttered earlier debates. Plus, it addressed a major problem of fairness by giving them equal time. The questioners were all very conservative. The Florida AG, Pam Bondi, is so good looking it was hard to concentrate when she was talking, but otherwise, it was a total break from the gotcha questions and hostile tone of the mostly liberal journalists who have moderated past debates. There were no real highlight moments, at least when I watched. I thought Perry did much better, but his increasingly radical proposals are beginning to make him sound desperate. He openly appealed to be given a second chance. Ron Paul had his most extended opportunity to speak to a national audience. I think his supporters loved it, and everybody else had mixed emoptions. I mean, how can you not respect the guy? He has been saying this stuff for 30 years and no one paid attention. Now, his warnings have been proved to have been spot on, both on the financial side and on the foolish foreign and military policies we have followed. But is he the guy to take on Obama and , if elected, force through these fundamental changes? He admitted it would have to be a gradual process because people were more or less dependent on unconstitutional programs, and you couldn't just remove them forthwith. Bachmann was again polished and clearly in her element. Rromney has been going through a minor crisis in his campaign, as he has lost ground to first Cain, now Gingrich. He had a disastrous interview earlier in the week on Fox News, where he basically denied altering his positions. Sorry Mitt, the video doesn't lie. I missed Gingrich and Santorum unfortunately, except for their closing speeches. Gingrich is trying very hard to look presidential. Santorum is making a big push for two constituencies, the family values voters and the neo-con militarists. Interestingly, Huntsman did not attend, even though this format would have been tailor-made for him. The more I hear him speak, the more I like him, but his campaign strategy baffles me. He seems to be going all in on New Hampshire, a suicidal strategy since it is Romney's back yard. He should be doing what Newt did, eg use the debates and other free media as a form of public financing, and try to hang in there as a conservative alternative to Romney who is also articulate and electable. Huntsman should be getting the attention Newt has grabbed. He is more conservative than Newt and has none of the baggage. It will be interesting in the next couple of weeks to see how the new flavor of the month, Newt, survives the attacks that are coming his way. The odd thing is that the most damaging attacks are coming from conservatives like George Will and Ann Coulter. Even Sen. Tom Coburn said on national TV yesterday that he thought Newt lacked leadership skills and he couldn't support him. I see a process where Santorum and Huntsman drop out pretty soon. Then we will have kind of a two-tiered race, with Romney and Newt and maybe Perry on one level, and Bachmann and Paul and maybe Perry on the other. I don't see Paul dropping out early, and I think Bachmann will try to hang in there as long as possible. She can rationally see herself as possibly being the last person standing versus Romney, if Newt self-destructs and Perry can't get traction. It's a longshot, but what does she have to lose?