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There’s something that has escaped me regarding the Republican presidential debates: perhaps they are carried routinely by Fox, but none of the other channels mention when and where they can be heard.

This was doubly irritating yesterday when I really wanted to listen to the Huntsman/Gingrich debate.  I started consulting my TV Guide around 5 p.m. concentrating on the 8 pm hour.  Nothing.

Finally I went to Huntsman’s website and saw that the debate had been held at 4 pm and that it would be viewable on C-Span at 8 pm.  But C-Span was showing hour-long House speeches til well after ten.  Finally, on the C-Span website, I was able to hear the debate.

Huntsman’s responses were much more structured, reflecting real knowledge, as opposed to Gingrich, who always seemed to be improvising generalities.  The most important things Huntsman said concerned our relationship with China. Although I don’t think we should elect someone president just because they’ve been Ambassador to the Middle Kingdom, Huntsman’s views are significantly more evolved than those of Obama. At a time when China is our main competitor economically and ecologically, the President has adopted a nineteenth century policy, consisting of beefing up our presence in China’s neighborhood.  (This reminds us of our efforts to install missile defenses to ‘protect Europe’, close to a justifiably wary Russia.) Huntsman’s most salient comment was: “We’re good at tactical thinking, but China is the best long-term strategic thinker.”

Naively, I thought the debate would be all over the morning news.  Chuck Todd’s team were only concerned with the Romney/Gingrich battle.

Maybe tonight we’ll hear about Gingrich and Huntsman, who could almost have been a stand-in for the former Obama, were it not for his insistence that Medicare should be on the table. I don’t know whether he packed the hall, but the applause when he walked out on the stage was twice the volume of that reserved for Newt.
In an article for the Wall Street Journal on December 10th /online.wsj.com/article/declarations.html, Peggy Noonan says that Gingrich “ described himself as "definer of civilization . . . leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces,."  She added: “He is a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, "Watch this!"

Just what we need in the China Sea.


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