Debate starts at 9 p.m. Eastern.  Some things possibly relevant:

  • There is another debate Sunday morning on Meet the Press.  Are they kidding?
  • Via Instapundit, Byron York says that it was Newt’s reaction to the negative ads rather than the ads themselves which did the most damage.  I think there is some truth to that, but it’s overstated.  Krauthammer, Will, etc. were loaded for bear and the would have found something else about which to declare the old Newt back, and the punditry reaction surely influenced voters.
  • The story line on tonight’s debate already is written.
  • Santorum line of attack, “We don’t need a manager.” That sounds vaguely familiar.
  • Santorum had great line (can’t find link), voters don’t need to agree with me on everything, but need to know that at least I agree with myself.
  • Newt line of attack, “[Romney win] would certainly lead to deep questions about what we  stand for and who we are.”
  • Romney says “I’m independent of Wall Street.”
  • More to follow.
  • Romney spokesman pushing electability over principles: ““It’s not even about picking someone with your own beliefs and principles. This is about picking a person that can beat Barack Obama, period.”  It’s his strongest card, if you believe it.
  • George Will called Romney a Dukais candidacy, so expect others to pick up on that line.  Oh, wait.
  • “The Super PAC backing Mitt Romney says it’s keeping its New Hampshire radar on Newt Gingrich — revving up to unleash its newest attack ad on Monday — a move experts say suggests that, for the Romney camp, Rick Santorum’s recent surge poses no political threat.”  Remember, experts said it, so don’t doubt it.
  • I always appreciate press mention, but I am not a “Republican strategist.”  Am I?