After watching last night's debate, Bill Kristol says the official response of his conservative Weekly Standard is: "Yikes." What's more, he thinks lots of right-leaning observers feel the same way, even if they won't say it. None of the candidates seemed quite up to the task, especially Perry: "It was close to a disqualifying two hours for him." Mitt Romney was OK, but he remains "a technocratic management consultant whose one term as governor produced Romneycare."
"We do ask (again!), with a month left before filing deadlines: Is that all there is?" writes Kristol. Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, or Jeb Bush would be great, but they're not getting in. "That would seem to leave Chris Christie," he writes. Given the stakes, "don’t we deserve someone with a bigger sense of the task ahead, and a deeper sense of the solutions needed, combined with a proven record of bold governance, than the current field provides?" (Read more Rick Perry 2012 stories.)