These events usually reveal nothing. From a distance, the eager and powdered candidates, as an erect phalanx in dark suits, appeared to be a bar code on a Wheaties box. And with 30 seconds to answer a question on the mysteries of the universe, they raced beyond their limits as CNN's John King served as a speed bump to remind them of their excesses.
Besides, it wasn't close to a debate, but rather what the boys back in my old neighborhood called a "gang bang", in this instance, of President Obama. Ron Paul, the Republicans' Harold Stassen, said he coudn't think of a single thing that Obama did right, and would you believe that nobody disagreed with him! Everyone promised to repeal the health care reform law, cut taxes and deliver us from liberal evil. Obama, Mitt Romney assured us, was a failure, so there.
Everyone told us how many children he or she had and how much they loved America. The air was heavy with sincerity.
And Michele Bachmann, just in the nick of time for the collegial symposium, announced to King that she was officially running for president. She wanted CNN to be the first with the scoop.
By the way, what was Newt Gingrich doing up there on the stage in New Hampshire anyway? He looked none the worse (nor none the better) for the exodus of his entire campaign staff. Maybe his recent Mediterranean cruise did him some good even if his former staff didn't.
And how about the woman in the audience who said she was a freelance "journalist" for corporate publications and wanted a pledge that we would all be freed from the oppressive health care law ASAP. Can you imagine that with that hostile point of view what industry publishes her stuff. You're right.
All of this in 19 minutes, folks. Would that their campaigns would last no longer than that.