The Republican Presidential candidates met last evening in Las Vegas for a joint news conference, billed as a 'debate,' broadcast by CNN. Although fireworks ensued between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, along with a few other barbs hurled Romney's way by Rick Santorum, the forum did not provide any new substantive information.
The candidates stuck to their campaign slogans and sound-bytes, which is only encouraged by the manner in which the media conducts these gatherings that are designed more as beauty contests rather than real discussions of the issues facing the nation.
And, lest Democrats take this as some sort of vindication of Barack Obama, the President himself is the classic epitome of sound-byte slogans, providing little depth or logical explanations for his constant flip-flops, gaffes, and outright untruths he is known to utter.
Frankly, watching the forum last evening left me a bit disenchanted. I came away from the event thinking that when it comes to supporting someone for President, my initial reaction is 'none of the above'--not Obama, not Romney, not Cain, not Perry, not Paul.
But there are a few exceptions that give me a ray of hope. First, however, an analysis of the 'state of the candidates' at this point in the campaign.