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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman shakes hands at a campaign rally in Exeter, N.H., Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Editorials/commentary: After New Hampshire ...

Photo: If only having the coolest jacket was worth more votes.

- Huntsman in peril: Falls short in New Hampshire - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

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The best man did not win the Republican primary in New Hampshire. Jon Huntsman’s third-place finish, though respectable, calls into question his ability to carry on the fight. He gambled everything on the Granite State, and he came up short, polling third behind frontrunner Mitt Romney and libertarian Ron Paul. ...

... This is a shame, in our view, because Huntsman is clearly the better candidate. His record as governor of Utah leaves no doubt about his bona fides as a fiscal conservative. No other Republican can match his knowledge of foreign affairs as a former ambassador to both China and Singapore. We prefer his economic policy to that of Romney.

Unfortunately, Huntsman put his faith in old-fashioned, shoe-leather, retail politics in New Hampshire, campaigning person-to-person across the state. Those who heard him liked him. But he was not able to cover enough ground or shake enough hands, though he surged at the end, climbing from single digits to a solid finish.

The question now is whether he can attract the money to continue. We hope he can, but the odds are clearly against him.

- The unsatisfying Mitt Romney - Rich Lowry, The National Review/Salt Lake Tribune

... Romney’s campaign is all technique and no music. His speech in Exeter was schmaltz piled on top of saccharin in a perfect storm of substanceless sentimentality. ...

- An enthusiasm-free victory in New Hampshire - Mike Littwin, The Denver Post

... This is the era of the swing election and the time of the rapid rise followed rapidly by the scary fall. And yet Romney, whose poll numbers rarely waver, is winning without a hint of the excitement we've seen almost everywhere else. ...

- Romney rolls through New Hampshire - Orange County Register Editorial

... Absent a major campaign gaffe or a unified anti-Romney presence that deals him a surprise defeat in the South Carolina primary Jan. 21, Mr. Romney more than likely will be the Republican nominee. ...

- The Republican contest - New York Times Editorial

... The candidates’ economic arguments were disturbingly disconnected from economic reality. They spoke of government spending as if it were the sole cause of the federal budget deficit and cutting it the sole solution. In reality, it was tax cuts for the wealthy, an assault on social programs and a deregulatory zeal that allowed a recklessness that led to near economic collapse. ...



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