Michele Bachmann regains footing in ‘tea party’ debate

Michele Bachmann recaptured some of her stride tonight. After seeming to fade in last week’s debate at the Reagan Library, she was far more vocal and passionate. Of course, she was playing to her crowd -- the “tea party” has an uncomplicated passion for her -- but there was a new energy in her voice, particularly when she slammed Rick Perry for his executive order on the HPV vaccine.

If Perry felt like a piñata at last week’s debate, as he joked then, he must have felt like the human silhouette on the wrong end of a shooting range tonight. And Romney got off a good line early when Perry suggested the country might want to have a conversation about Social Security: “We’re having that conversation, Governor. We’re running for president.”

To end the evening on a lighter note, Wolf Blitzer asked the candidates what they’d bring to the White House if they won the election.

--Rick Santorum, father of seven: A bedroom


--Newt Gingrich: He’d kick out the czars and bring in the music that his wife, Callista, loves. (She plays the French horn and sings.)

--Ron Paul: Common sense and volumes on Austrian economics.

--Rick Perry: His wife, Anita, who would be a “most beautiful” and “thoughtful” first lady.

--Mitt Romney: A bust of Winston Churchill.


--Michele Bachmann: The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights “and that’s it.”

--Herman Cain: A sense of humor “because America’s  too uptight.”

--Jon Huntsman: To his wife’s presumed dismay, he said, “my Harley-Davidson and motocross bikes.”