Several things were clear tonight. Brian Williams was concerned with creating sparks between candidates, and discussing the election itself rather than the issues that need governing. Perhaps just as clear was the lack of interest in mixing Ron Paul into the conversation. Speaking an overall of 10:08 (mm:ss), Ron Paul received just 10 turns talking, and at one point even waited for the other candidates a combined 14.5 minutes of nominee talking whereas no other candidate even approached 10 minutes in between turns.
Mitt Romney made a point of calling out Newt's ethics violations and overall disdain the Speaker had from his own party. Speaker Gingrich made a point of being himself and refuting facts with redirection and audacious tones. The man deserves credit for being crafty, not that "crafty" is a good trait in a President.
The debate did maintain an air of respect, even if poorly moderated. With Gingrich riding high you can expect him to stay above the fray until he's next threatened in the polls. As long as Newt stays Newt, that could come at any moment.
Connect on Facebook, here's the GOP Statistics, they speak loudly:
|Avg b/w Talks||Longest Wait|