14 June 2011 4:25 AM, PDT | The Daily Beast | See recent The Daily Beast news »

For the first time this troubled season, the Republican candidates looked like plausible White House contenders. Matt Latimer grades the New Hampshire debate, from Bachmann's entry to Newt's return to the Paul Ryan debacle and Santorum's Leno gaffe.Plus: More Daily Beast contributors on the Gop debate. And watch eight video highlights.

This evening commenced with a warning from CNN moderator John King. Tonight's forum, he vowed, "would be different than any presidential debate you've ever seen." Uh-oh. I hate it when journalists say things like that-it always means there will be lame gimmicks, such as having random voters we don't care about waste TV time with dull questions, or a demand that the candidates introduce themselves to an audience of millions using only a single sentence. Just one candidate on stage bothered to follow that stupid rule: Newt Gingrich. The famously undisciplined former House speaker actually showed some discipline. »

- Matt Latimer

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