She defended the tea parties as part of the three-legged stool of national security, cultural conservative and free market economic conservatives—the definition of the conservative movement pioneered by William F. Buckley many years ago.I thought that was a very nice complement.
The other thing he said was that it isn't over.
I think Bachmann emerged from this debate a more serious competitor and Pawlenty not a stronger one than he was before. You could extrapolate much from Pawlenty’s performance in support of the proposition that he is a serious candidate for the nomination. But you could extrapolate much from Bachmann’s performance that she is a serious competitor in the Ames straw poll. And if she could come out ahead of him, that would certainly shake up the race, and leave the way open for another competitor. Perhaps for Jon Huntsman, who wasn’t there tonight and who has indicated that he won’t compete in Iowa. Or perhaps for Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose 2010 race top advisers were part of the mass resignation last week from Newt Gingrich’s campaign, but who may not turn out to be a wine that will travel. Or perhaps for a draft for Paul Ryan, who it might be argued could enter late and be a substitute for Pawlenty as the competitor for Romney which Pawlenty did not succeed in being at St. Anselm’s flashy auditorium.And not once did he mention She Who Shall Not Be Named.
Hat tip to the Instapundit.
Regards — Cliff