I saw a good bit of it. It was worth watching. Here's how I rank the performances:
I like the way that Romney refused to be lead around by the questions from the so-called moderator. Romney has really "grown up" as a Presidential candidate since four years ago. This is this first time I have seen him in action.
I thought Pawlenty was foolish in answering the Coke vs. Pepsi question straight up from CNN's pro-Obama moderator. And I thought Pawlenty was foolish in paying extended obeisance to the Navy veteran after Romney had already made that gambit. He could simply have said that he agreed with Romney and then went on. Pawlenty had some good things to say, but he lacks Romney's gravitas. I don't think he's a light-weight, but he somehow projects it.
Paul and Cain were simply fun to watch, and I appreciated their candor. They were both refreshing. Paul's views on our military adventures during the last decade now resonate with me in a way they have never done before.
Santorem surprised me positively. The moderator tried to bait him into criticizing Romney on Romney's change of views regarding abortion. Santorem didn't rise to the bait exactly. But if I had been him, I would have said that I would take Romney at his word and then would have gone on to describe my faithful political history of supporting the pro-life movement.
Bachman seems smart and attractive. (Really, the first six on my list are pretty close together. Maybe there is a little more space between Romney and the other 5 of the first six.) But Bachman's no Sarah Palin. Maybe that's good. Maybe it isn't. I'm not sure. Was everyone making that comparison, Bachman and Palin, as I was every time Bachman took the screen?
As to Gingrich, I was already biased against him. It controls my evaluation of his performance. He did quite well. But every time he made a good, articulate point - and he made several - I thought to myself, "What a shame; the guy is so good and so flawed."
(OK, Governor Perry, when are you jumping in?)