Republican presidential candidates (from left) Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum participate in the ABC News, Yahoo! News and WMUR Republican Presidential Debate at Saint Anselm College on Saturday in Manchester, N.H.
Once more, the great media consensus was confounded. Saturday night's debate at St. Anselm's College in Manchester, N.H., produced another battle among half a dozen presidential contenders, much like a dozen before it. Front-runner Mitt Romney was neither knocked out nor even knocked down. He was scarcely even knocked around.
Once again, the evening ended with the bruises pretty equally distributed among the contestants. And with the New Hampshire primary bearing down on Tuesday, virtually no time remains for Romney's rivals to bring him down.
Many of the journalists and professional political types who dutifully watched Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire probably had the same thought occur to them at several points: "For this we missed most of the NFL wildcard game between the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions?"
Timothy Goeglein (left) spent nearly eight years in the White House as President George W. Bush's key point of contact to American conservatives and the faith-based world and was often profiled in the national news media.
Tim Goeglein worked in the George W. Bush White House for eight years, and it was in the Oval Office that the president forgave him.
While working as an aide to Bush, Goeglein repeatedly plagiarized columns he sent to his hometown newspaper under his byline. When his actions were discovered, he went to Bush to apologize, fully expecting to be fired.
"Before I could get barely a few words out," he says, "he looked at me, and he said, 'Tim, grace and mercy are real. I have known grace and mercy in my life, and I'm extending it to you. You're forgiven.' "
While people tend not to know much about New Hampshire, when it comes to presidential politics, the small state tucked into northern New England has some clout.
For the better part of the past week, all eyes have been focused on the 42nd most populous state, which holds its primary Tuesday. But who are the voters there, who play such a critical role in selecting the nation's next leader?
It's pretty easy to identify the classic stereotypes most outsiders associate with New Hampshire. Just ask long-time resident Earl Wingate:
Republican candidates are battling in New Hampshire this weekend, ahead of Tuesday's make-or-break primary election. With six main candidates still in the race, a main point of contention among them is, "Who's the REAL conservative?" Andrea Seabrook
Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) at the White House in October.
Credit Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images/NPR
People pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside Giffords' Tucson office a day after the shooting.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images/NPR
Members of Congress and their staff gather on the steps of the House of Representatives on Jan. 10 for a national moment of silence to honor the shooting victims.
Credit U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office via Getty Images / NPR
Kelly holds Giffords' hand in her hospital room at University Medical Center in Tucson on Jan. 11.
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President Obama hugs Kelly during a memorial service, "Together We Thrive: Tucson and America," at the McKale Memorial Center in Tucson on Jan. 12.
Credit NASA / Getty Images/NPR
Kelly was mission commander for the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour. The shuttle launched May 16 on a 16-day mission.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images/NPR
Patricia Maisch (right), who helped disarm Loughner, embraces Georgia Lerner, whose mother died in the shooting. Maisch testified on Capitol Hill in support of a bill to strengthen background checks for people who buy firearms.
Credit Pete Souza / The White House via Getty Images/NPR
Kelly hugs his wife after receiving the Legion of Merit from Vice President Joe Biden during a retirement ceremony on Oct. 6.
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Giffords was shot in the head during an event to meet constituents in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 8, 2011. Six people were killed and 13 wounded in the attack.
From 'Weekend Edition Saturday': An Emotional Year After The Tucson Shooting
The people of Tucson, Ariz., are commemorating the one-year anniversary of the shooting that claimed six lives and left 13 people wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). As NPR's Ted Robbins reports, community-wide events are scheduled all weekend:
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Pamela Adlon: From 'Hill' Kid To 'Californication' The veteran voice-over actress, who played 12-year-old Bobby Hill on Fox's animated comedy King of the Hill, now co-stars in the raunchy Showtime drama.
Rick Santorum (right) was put on one end of the candidates, Jon Huntsman (far left) on the other during a Nov. 12 televised debate in South Carolina. During the debate, Huntsman complained about being "a little lonely over here in Siberia," and Santorum responded: "Tell me about it."
Rick Santorum has complained about being disregarded during a string of Republican presidential debates. The former Pennsylvania senator has a point (more on that in a moment), but likely won't for long: He should be at the center of attention during a pair of televised debates this weekend that lead into the New Hampshire primary.