FROM Susan Estrich
Taking Stock of the First Debate In last night's debate , Mitt Romney was an aggressive challenger, not afraid to accuse a sitting President of not telling the truth. The consensus is that an aggressive Romney won the debate against Barack Obama , a President who was defensive and lacking in energy. We sample early reaction and ask how it might influence the remaining month of a close and hard-fought campaign.
Will Last Night's Debate Change the Momentum? In Colorado this morning, President Obama gave an energetic stump speech, but even Democrats agree he was uninspired in last night's debate compared to Mitt Romney . Republicans are cheering Romney's aggressive performance, and both sides are wondering why the President failed to seize several obvious opportunities. Was he out of practice? Was it part of his campaign strategy? Will a different Obama turn up the next time around? In the meantime, can Romney use positive news coverage to establish a lead among potential American voters?
Is Newt Gingrich Another Flash in the Pan? It's only January, and already the race for the Republican presidential nomination feels like it's gone on forever and that it might never end. Newt Gingrich clobbered Mitt Romney Saturday in South Carolina , and it turns out that Romney didn't really win Iowa after all. The Florida primary is just nine days away, with candidates raising the rhetorical volume before tonight's 18th debate in Tampa. There are four candidates left ( Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are the other two) and no real front-runner. We get the latest.
Mitt vs. Newt: Establishment vs. Grass Roots Insurgency South Carolina demonstrated there's no real front-runner in the GOP race for the Republican nomination. Maybe there never was. Newt Gingrich now leads Mitt Romney in Florida polls with nine days left until the next primary and with candidates raising the rhetorical volume before tonight's 18th debate in Tampa. Gingrich is still calling Romney a "Massachusetts liberal" and, in a message to voters old enough to remember Gingrich as House Speaker, Romney says Gingrich "had to resign in disgrace." Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are still nipping away, but how much longer can this go on, as establishment Republicans try to cope with right-wing populism?
Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Convention The latest foreign policy challenge comes amid talk of " Obama fatigue " and new attention's being paid to the role of Hillary Clinton at the Democrats' nominating convention in Denver. Clinton has not taken steps to quash a move to place her name in nomination two weeks from now in Denver. The result would dramatize that the Democratic Party is still divided.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.