Michael Tomasky: GOP Candidates Give Obama a Fighting Chance

Even with the economy in the tank, these candidates must be easing Obama’s mind, says Michael Tomasky.

Rick Perry, it’s now coming clear, isn’t all that good at this. He was reasonably competent at the first debate he participated in, not as good at the second, and in this one, meh. His packaged attack lines against Mitt Romney came across as far too rehearsed, and Romney did a reasonably good job of swatting most of them away or answering them back. I wouldn’t want to be in Barack Obama’s position, trying to run for re-election with the unemployment rate so high; at the same time, if I were Obama, I’d look at Romney and Perry and think, “I can take these guys.” They’re just not charismatic people.

As for the rest of them, they just don’t need to be there anymore. The day when the voting starts and begins to winnow these people out can’t come soon enough. It’ll be a Romney-Perry ticket, or a Perry-Romney ticket, or one or the other of them paired with Marco Rubio as his veep choice. We’re just going to waste lots of time and money before we get to that point.

The crowd again distinguished itself, especially the handful of people who booed the gay soldier. The audience at each of these has been far nuttier than the candidates, which is saying something.