To get an idea of foreignness of the first debate on the 2012 presidential elections - the first is an informal competition in 2012 in Punjab - consider this: on the Fox News audience to be carried out immediately by Herman Cain, the event is about to escape from nomination of the GOP.
If you wonder who it is, you're not alone: Pizza parrain's former CEO, who barely registers in national polls, has never had a choice. And is regarded as having virtually no chance of winning the GOP nomination.
But the vast majority of people who sit with Republican pollster Frank Luntz says that Cain won the debate with his frankness and a normal delivery. (And this despite the fact that when asked about what he would do in Afghanistan, said it would consider "the experts and their advice and comments." The Fox News debate moderators seemed incredulous that has not offered a position .) Luntz seemed overwhelmed by the response of Cain, who threw as unprecedented. "Something very special has happened tonight," he said.
Maybe. But the debate was considered a non-event on the device as chairman of the House John Boehner has spent the night to miss it, opting instead for a drink at a Washington steakhouse. "I'll read about it tomorrow," Hotsheet.
No more name-potential candidates - Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, even Donald Trump - an event meant he generated little attention despite its status as the first debate of the cycle. Among the five men onstage - Cain, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Texas Ron Paul, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and former Senator Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania - only Pawlenty is considered by Washington insiders as having a legitimate chance at the nomination of the GOP.
Pawlenty was to look presidential - despite the company's relatively unheralded - and pulled out a lot. The most difficult moment was when the former governor was asked to defend their past support for the energy cap-and-trade, which has received a few words Boos. Pawlenty to be explained, in part, saying, literally, "No is perfect. "
In its response may be the most interesting of the night, refused to take a lot less likely than his rival Mitt Romney on the right of health care Romney of Massachusetts.
"Governor Romney is not here to defend himself, so I have no intention of choosing him or in a position where he took the Massachusetts" Pawlenty said. Intraparty sparring exhibition, will have to wait.
Pawlenty found a way to go, when President Obama's foreign policy - despite the rise Obama has received about the killing of Osama bin Laden. He said that although the president "has done a good job and I tip my hat to him at that moment," raid on bin Laden does not "sum" of Obama's foreign policy record. In other sectors, Pawlenty has asked the president is "weak."
"The questions that come up when he was president, he got the wrong strategy, every time," said Pawlenty. At one point, he referred to the United Nations as "pathetic."
Santorum, who was on a much more combative of the night, Obama complained that "faced with the mullahs" in Iran during the protests.
"If you look at what Obama has done well in foreign policy has always been a continuation of Bush policy," said Santorum, who said that Obama has "done wrong" whenever others.
90-minute debate was held at Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, a key early voting state. Candidates not invited to participate with the other, limiting the fireworks.
The first applause of the evening came for Paul, who said the killing of bin Laden was a good opportunity to end the war in Afghanistan. Johnson, a fellow Libertarian, echoed that sentiment, saying the troops should come home "tomorrow."
Asked if they would support waterboarding terror suspects under certain circumstances - an issue rekindled by the killing of bin Laden, Paul, Pawlenty and Santorum raised their hands. Paul and Johnson did not. Both Paul and Johnson also discussed their support for barring the federal government from making drugs illegal. (Moderators pressed Paul on heroin specifically.) Paul drew another distinction with most of the men onstage when he said all foreign aid to the Middle East should be cut and that America should not be running secret CIA prisons.
Johnson, who supports abortion rights, became frustrated with debate moderators at one point, complaining he was not being asked enough questions. He also received the most frivolous question of the night, asked what his reality show would be about if he were offered one.
Santorum was pressed all night on being an extremist - he denied being "anti-Islam" or too socially conservative to win a general election - and pointed to his past electoral successes to cast himself as electable when debate moderators asked if Mr. Obama is unbeatable. (Unsurprisingly, he left out the 18 percentage point drubbing he took in losing his Senate seat in 2006.)
The also-ran nature of the debate was reflected in the fact that moderators asked a cluster of questions focused on the potential candidates who were not present. Paul was asked if Rep. Michele Bachmann had taken his mantle of Tea Party leader; Pawlenty was asked his thoughts on Huckabee. ("I love the Huck," he replied, awkwardly.)
The economy is the most important issue for a plurality of Americans, and the candidates certainly seized on it. Pawlenty, for one, called the National Labor Relations Board's bid to keep Boeing from building Dreamliner 787s at a nonunion plant in South Carolina "preposterous."
It was a good issue for Pawlenty (and Cain, too, who also cited it), because it allowed them to rail against big government, cast themselves as job creators, and spotlight an issue important to South Carolina voters. That's an opportunity they weren't going to pass up. (Indeed, Pawlenty focused on the same issue in a CBS News interview before the debate.)
Polls show a wide-open Republican race led by Romney, Huckabee and Trump, and Thursday night's likely-little-watched festivities were unlikely to move the numbers all that much. For the unknown candidates it was a chance to make a splash - and from that perspective, Cain certainly seems to have acquitted himself nicely. But with most eyes focused elsewhere, Thursday night is likely to be remembered -- if it's remembered at all -- as a footnote in the march to the nomination.