Holy shit. Mitt Romney looked about as presidential as is humanly possible during last night's Republican debate. He accomplished this goal by implementing a flawless two-part strategy: First, by speaking in coherent sentences and second, by sharing the stage with six blithering idiots. Nobody else scored any hits at all: Ron Paul sounded as crazy as ever (and he looked a lot more tired than usual, to boot); Michele Bachmann downplayed her zaniness and played up her fertility; Newt Gingrich looked and sounded like a petulant baby; Tim Pawlenty sucked up to Romney (good luck with that vice presidential nod, Timmy, but it ain't going to happen); Herman Cain continued his weird strategy of getting progressively dumber every single time he opens his mouth; and Rick Santorum continued to run for president of some alternate universe where values voters are a deciding factor in the race.

It felt as though everyone on stage—Pawlenty most of all—was running hard for vice president. Nobody wanted to rumble with the Big Man on Campus, and Romney looked doubly good because of that. If this keeps up, the campaign won't even be a contest, and an unruffled Romney will put up a very solid race against Obama next year. The best hope for Democrats is that someone goes on the offensive. There's a lot of anti-Romney sentiment in the Republican Party that's looking for an outlet. Someone—say, a firebrand candidate like Rick Perry—can ride that sentiment all the way to national prominence, and maybe the nomination.