The New Hampshire Speeches

It was an evening chock full o' speeches. CNN projected the results around 8:00 p.m. and as the rest of the ballots were counted, each candidate trotted onto a stage to address their supporters -- and a national audience.

Mitt Romney:

Romney did a great job of getting fired up. For the first time in a long time, I felt that Romney has that proverbial 'fire in his belly'. HOWEVER, I should note that the entire speech was highly scripted. Romney did not deviate from the teleprompter (insert Obama teleprompter joke here... oh wait), as he did in Iowa.

This is in stark contrast to...

Ron Paul:

Dr. Paul was, well, Dr. Paul. As opposed to the other GOP candidates in this race, Ron Paul is nothing if not consistent. At any point during his speech last night, you could have closed your eyes and imagined that it was 2008 (or, 1988?) as his message has never waivered.

That said, Paul is simply a terrible speaker. B-Diddy and I were texting back-and-forth throughout the evening and here's what we had to say about Ron Paul's speech, as it happened:
PJ: [when Ron Paul starts railing on the Fed and U.S. currency] This is where Paul loses a lot of people. When he starts to go off on the Fed.

Diddy: Right zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Diddy: Romney's speech was 10x better

PJ: Yes. I don't think that Paul is reading this [speech]. I think that he's just spitballing. Making it up as he goes...

Diddy: Yea but he sounds so angry like he's yelling at us

PJ: He is!!! Ha!

Diddy: I'm like "ok grandpa tell me abou tthe good ole days"
Now, B-Diddy and I are politicos who are very interested in this stuff. We know that this is Ron Paul's bread & butter. But what about those Republicans -- particularly in South Carolina -- who are just tuning into the GOP primary? What will they think when they watch Ron Paul ramble on for 20 minutes about monetary policy that few Americans truly understand? My guess is that they will succumb to the Ari Fleischer style of thinking; 'Ron Paul is unelectable anyway, so I'll just assume the nominee is going to be Mitt Romney.'


Jon Huntsman:

I like Jon Huntsman. I really do. He has a bipartisan appeal and, whether you think he is a Manchurian Candidate or not, that helps in the general election.

But, last night Huntsman seemed to be a bit, well, 'off'.

At around 8:00 p.m., Huntsman was interviewed on CNN and he seemed upbeat and cheerful about his then-projected third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary election. But, about 90 minutes later when he took the stage to speak to his supporters, I thought that Huntsman appeared to sway and slur his speech a bit. Now, I'm not accusing Huntsman of anything -- I just thought that it was a bit peculiar.

Watch the video embedded above and tell me what you think.

Putting my perceived strangeness of Huntsman's behavior aside, the speech itself was very vanilla. I thought that, if he's planning on riding his third-place momentum (?) to South Carolina, he would have a better, more inspirational speech prepared. Instead, it was the same old speech that declared that America is the best nation in the world, blah blah blah. Also, what's with Huntsman stealing (borrowing?) all of John McCain's schtick? "Country First" was a terrible slogan in the 2008 election Jon -- and it's not getting any better.

Don't misunderstand, I think that Huntsman's recent attacks on Mitt Romney are very effective -- and arguably helped him to garner just over 16% of the vote in New Hampshire. But as a campaign slogan on buttons, yard signs and the backdrop of your speeches, it smacks of 2008.

Truthfully, I didn't stay up to watch Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich give their speeches. If you did and you'd like to sound off, the comment section is yours.

Bottom line: for my money (free), Mitt Romney had the best speech of the night. I think that CNN's David Gergen was right when he said that Romney's speech last night was a preview of what his general election stump speech will be. If Romney can maintain that type of excitement that he exhibited on that stage, then I think that he will have no problem securing the nomination.