In the United States, Republican presidential contenders aimed their attacks at Barack Obama rather than each other, in the first major debate of the nomination race for the 2012 election.
The only female of the seven hopefuls at this stage is the Minnesota Representative Michele Bachman. She had no doubt that at least one of them will be in the White House next year.
“Just make no mistake about it. I want to announce tonight that President Obama is a one-term president.”
Conspicuous for her absence from the line-up was Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee. She has yet to declare if she will put her name in the hat but if she does there are high expectations that she’ll be a popular contender with some sections of the Republican vote.
But right now it is 64-year-old millionaire Mitt Romney who tops the polls among Republican voters. It’s the second time round for the former governor of Massachusetts. If he’s successful he will have to take on Barack Obama, who despite the pressure he’s under, enjoys the advantage of being the incumbent and not having to scrap through a bruising primary battle.