Been out of town for a few days, but I got back in time to watch last night’s CNN/YouTube debate. A few observations:

• Chris noted the largest mistake of the night: Mitt Romney’s hatred for the Confederate Flag (stars and bars edition). As much as people (myself included) give Mitt hell for saying what people want to hear, it was a refreshing bit of candor from the polished candidate. The problem, of course, for Mitt is that it was the worst thing that he could have said. Not only did he bad mouth the flag that is a staple in South Carolina, he showed absolutely no respect for the young man in the video who may very well be racist, but probably doesn’t think that he’s racist. Fred Thompson basically said the same thing, but he was much more respectful of those who ignore the use of the flag by white supremicists. What will be interesting is how Mitt backs out of this mistake.

• That said, it wasn’t a bad night for Romney in every other state. His only problem being that it was a much better night for Mike Huckabee, who seems to have hardly any barriers in his run to the White House. At this point, you have to look at these candidates as far as who won new voters over. Huckabee did that last night. Everybody else just fired up their base.

• The best candidate-submitted YouTube of either debate goes to Fred Thompson. Other campaigns have gone too low-tech or too polished. Thompson’s use of video with Romney supporting abortions and Huckabee supporting taxes was the essence of what YouTube is all about, particularly in the political realm. His response to Anderson Cooper’s question about the commercial was also priceless: “I wanted to give my buddies here a little extra air time.”