At the top of Monday night's debate, Fox News' Bret Baier invited Twitter users to weigh in on the quality of each candidate's responses to the evening's inquiries, registering their opinion by using "#answer" and "#dodge" as hashtags to express whether or not they felt the candidates were shooting straight or avoiding the issue. And as we watched Mitt Romney finally take some sustained pressure from the rest of the field, we figured that was as good a metaphor as any. So our own Ben Craw ran with it, in a video mashup that puts Romney's game of dodgeball alongside the all-time greats at the game.
Romney's competitors managed to land some nifty blows on the frontrunner. Chief among them was Rick Santorum, who pursued Romney rather doggedly on the issue of voting rights for felons. But the way in which Romney glided around pointed questions was often more revealing. When asked as to whether he would be willing to release his income taxes, Romney unleashed a paragraph of dissembling as pure as ever did flow from silver tongue. When you have to worry about what your finances look like after you've boldly declared yourself to be an "unemployed person," though, you sort of have to duck and weave.
By the way, Romney's main weapon in the game of dodgeball continues to be Ron Paul. Whenever the conversation turns to Rick Santorum battling Paul over Paul's unorthodox positions, Romney can sit back and chill. Nevertheless, Romney spent more time in the hot seat last night than normal, and the conventional opinion was that by the end of it, he looked "rattled." If any of Romney's opponents had managed this feat in September, rather than waiting until January, they might not be losing to this guy.
[Video produced by Ben Craw]
[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]