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Rich Lowry @ National Review: Rudy Wins

If any pro-choicer can win the Republican presidential nomination, it’s Rudy Giuliani. His abortion answer was bad, but what people will remember is his joking around about getting struck down by lightening during it. Otherwise, he was quick, commanding, authoritative-sounding—altogether the Big Man on stage, projecting the image of the kind of guy you can trust during a time of war. He kept taking digs at Washington, burnishing his outsider credentials, and was frank and feisty in taking it to the enemy both metaphorical (the Dems, the media) and real (Islamic terrorism). For all the invocations of Reagan during these forums, Rudy’s strength and emphasis on freedom is probably what is going to strike most voters as really Reaganesque. (All this said, I wish he cared to try to reach an accommodation with pro-lifers that would make his candidacy even stronger).

Agreed.

Hizzoner had a “COMMANDING PRESENCE” in tonight’s debate. He was extremely Presidential and someone you can trust in a time of war.

Rudy was RIGHT on the issues from the Scooter Libby sentencing debacle to calling the Democrats out on “socialized medicine.”

So, what are others saying?

New York Sun’s Ryan Sager: “Big Giuliani Win.”

National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez: “Rudy Won.”

National Review’s Kate O’Beirne: “Rudy Finishes Strong.”

NBC News’ Chuck Todd: “Rudy Giuliani was solid …”

Power Line Blog’s John Hinderaker: “Rudy Giuliani … broke away from the pack tonight …”

CBN’s David Brody: “On immigration, it’s a very complicated issue but Giuliani was able to boil it down to basically say ‘throw the bad people out’ and then was able to weave his idea for national ID cards into the answer.”

Captains Quarters: Post Debate Analysis: Giuliani Keeps The Crown For Now

Giuliani performed the best. He took advantage of a recurring technical glitch to demonstrate his sense of humor, and he gave great answers on national-security questions. He attacked Hillary Clinton — again — and was the only one on stage looking to move the debate to the Democrats — again. He stung CNN, too, by turning around a Blitzer hypothetical about what he’d do if Petraeus reported no progress in September by asking Blitzer whether he’d bother reporting progress if it was being made.

Update:

Hugh Hewitt: Giuliani “Looked And Sounded Great Tonight” And Would Be A “Formidable” Candidate

National Review’s Jim Geraghty: “Rudy … has been en fuego, as they say on Sportscenter.”

Townhall’s Mary Katharine Ham: “From his first answer on Iraq, in which he notably outdid Romney who answered the same question right before him, Rudy seemed on point tonight.”

National Review’s Michael Graham: “Rudy does it in one sentence: ‘It’s unimaginable that you’d leave Saddam in power while fighting a war on terror.’ That’s the argument the GOP should embrace, seize and use …”

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