The GOP presidential debates have distracted Americans so badly with their primetime drama that Republicans have created an unlikely winner: President Obama, sighs Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard. "The GOP candidates have reduced themselves to supplicants whose weak points are probed by media questioners," Barnes writes. "Meanwhile, they’ve given President Obama a free pass to set the terms of the 2012 campaign."
Obama's failed economic policies are getting little airplay because Americans are too hyped up about the next GOP debate, says Barnes. Meanwhile serious Republican ideas—like Jon Huntsman's tax reform plan—get "minimal attention." And the official "winner" of several debates, Mitt Romney, is behind in the polls. As for Gingrich: The showman "was expansive and had nothing but praise for the other candidates," which made him "the big winner of the debate sweepstakes. Along with Obama." (Here's what to look for in tonight's GOP debate.)