The winner of the CNBC debate will not what people will be talking about at the water cooler on Thursday morning.
It will matter little that Herman Cain was able to shrug of the last week of sexual scandal news and actually thrive and win the debate with a solid performance.
They will not be talking about another solid performance by Mitt Romney. A candidate who is piling up so many B+ and A- debate outings that in three months we will not be able to look back at any major slip ups or flubs that would cost him the nomination.
What everyone will be talking about will be the brutal 45 seconds of befuddlement by Rick Perry as he stammered and flubbed his way through his answer on what federal agency he would get rid of if he took office.
As an observer of Perry in recent weeks this should not come as too much of a shock. His debate performances have gotten progressively worse since a strong first showing and as recently as last week he hit the red zone on the bizarre meter during a rambling, incoherent speech in new Hampshire.
The speech in New Hampshire should have been a red flag that something even bigger was on the horizon. Instead of a red flag, after tonight’s performance Perry should wave the white flag of surrender and head back to Texas.