There wasn't a ton at stake in last night's Republican debate in South Carolina. Tim Pawlenty was the only top tier candidate, and he continued having problems standing out. Some reporters thought Mitt Romney got the most benefit by skipping the event (good strategy). The big winner, according to a Frank Luntz post-debate focus group? The Hermanator! That'd be Herman Cain, the former pizza magnate and talk radio host who I recently profiled for The Atlantic. Doesn't surprise me. Although he didn't get much press for it, Cain was the clear winner in last Friday's Republican "jobs summit" in New Hampshire. He delivered a memorable, seemingly impromptu, speech about "big potatoes" and "little potatoes" (you had to be there), and then, when the host called for a benediction at the evening's end, only to realize no one had lined up a reverend to give it, Cain hustled up to the stage and did it himself.
"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."