It remains unclear after Tuesday's Republican debate which of the leading GOP candidates will rise to the top to challenge President Barack Obama next year.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has taken a bit of a lead in recent polls, and he was fairly strong in the New Hampshire debate. But he is dogged by questions about the health care reforms he helped bring about in Massachusetts -- reforms on which costly ObamaCare was modeled at the federal level.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry did not put in a bad performance, but he was unsteady at times. He was right, though, to note that former President Ronald Reagan came to regret agreeing to tax increases in exchange for spending cuts. The tax hikes took effect, but most of the cuts never materialized.
A lot of attention appropriately went to Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who has been rising rapidly in the polls to challenge Romney. Cain has proposed a major revamping of the federal tax code, which desperately needs reform. But his plan will have to be studied in detail to determine what real-world effect it would have.
There were no "elect-me-for-sure" debate performances Tuesday. But couldn't you see several candidates who at a minimum would be preferable to keeping Obama in office for four more years?