It is remarkable that the first primary in the 2008 race for president is more than eight months away and yet the Republican candidates just finished their second, nationally televised debate. The debate was unique in several respects – first of which was the emergence of criticism between and among the candidates. Though the candidates' criticisms of each other were relatively mild, it is not a good sign that any attacks are starting so soon. Imagine what the candidates will be saying about each other over the next eight months.
Ultimately, I was glad tosee Rudy Giuliani turn the conversation towards the Democrats and the policy consequences of electing a Democrat as president next year. The highlights of last night's debate were those when the candidates described constructive solutions and why their vision for America is better than the Democrats' vision for America.
Finally, in a period of time in which terrorism, war and economic challenges are at the forefront, it is becoming quite redundant and unnecessary to spend so much time in these debates on the issue of abortion. Most of today's debate headlines say that the candidates sparred over Iraq and abortion - is it not obvious that one issue is far more important than the other? Health care, education and environmental issues were barely mentioned at last night's debate - certainly not to the degree that abortion was. I hope that at the next debate, the organizers will avoid divisive social issues on which presidents have little influence and spend more time on constructive solutions to important problems.