I just watched the big debate; I have not watched the early debate yet. The way it started I wanted to shoot Jake Tapper for his idiot questions, then he settled in and I thought overall CNN did far better than FOX did last time at getting meat from the candidates.
I rarely praise CNN for anything but I will give credit where credit is due; they did much better than FOX.
I was glad to hear Bush 43 defended for his National Security leadership after 9/11, only Trump, Carson and Paul were stupid enough to condemn his actions in light of recent history. I was also glad that the Planned Parenthood atrocity was articulated so well by Fiorina and Huckabee instead of just stumping to pull their funding like the others did.
My first takeaway is that Trump did not do himself any favors; as soon as all the others brought their guns loaded he did not stand out as much as a fighter and was exposed as being the least articulate and educated on the job he is seeking. I predicted this would eventually occur, I thought it would be in the last debate but I think the other 3 “outsiders” will begin to take some of his support now.
I like Cruz and Fiorina better than Trump (more about Carson later) but I am very concerned now that I think Trump will decline, the reason is because the GOP can use all of their typical Primary stunts to kill Cruz or Fiorina if they surge. Trump is the only one of the “outsiders” who can afford to fight them effectively, if Trump crashes to earth now the games will begin and we are almost assured an Establishment GOP hack will win the nomination.
Cruz did better but he is still spending too much time talking about the minutia of his resume, his resume is stellar but the practical application of his philosophy today is far more engaging; it is as if he is only talking to those who already understand the superiority of Conservative ideas instead of trying to win over everyone as to why the Conservative ideas are superior.
A large segment of America thinks the current GOP is what “Conservatism” looks like; nothing could be more wrong. Any candidate that wants to win with a meaningful mandate must educate the electorate as to what actual Conservatism is, like Reagan did.
If I had to pick a winner tonight it would be Fiorina, she fires both barrels all the time and somehow manages to never make a mistake; in my opinion that means she believes what she is saying. Fiorina also manages to control the narrative regardless of who tries to derail her. I have been holding off on directly comparing her to Thatcher but I am very close to doing exactly that.
Carson lost me. He does not understand Market Economics as evidenced by his non reform “Tax Reform” plan and his inability to understand that the minimum wage is like a gun to the head of the poor. He thinks Terrorists can be reasoned with, he thinks Democrats can be reasoned with, he seems to embrace all the Racist crap that Obama embraces and just does not think that fighting and defeating the immense forces that corrupt government will be necessary if he got the job.
It is no mistake that I started with Trump, Cruz, Fiorina and Carson; they are the only ones that don’t have a web of ties with the Establishment GOP. In my opinion defeating the Establishment GOP is the step that must be taken before anything of value can occur.
Walker just does not seem to get it; he gets time to speak and seems to say nothing.
Kasich does the opposite; he says a lot and all of it tells me that he would be a disaster as President. He condemns the idea of a “Government Shutdown” then touts the balanced budget he was part of in Congress that was achieved by the Gingrich “Government Shutdown”. He condemns the idea of communicating with the world via actions instead of “talking” and then rewrites history to claim that Reagan did it the Kasich/Obama way. He condemns those of us who know that the Iran deal needs to be trashed ASAP as naïve while considering his own “give Iran a chance” view as enlightened.
Christie did nothing but pander, poorly and embarrassingly in my opinion.
Rubio did a great job but I don’t really trust him due to his history of supporting the Establishment GOP, when he condemns “The Leadership in Congress” it sounds hollow since he mostly just watched Cruz take all the arrows alone. I am seeing Rubio the same way as I saw Santorum in 2012, close but not quite someone I can get behind.
Huckabee did very well, he is the only candidate that is right on the tax issue and he articulated very well the atrocity of throwing Kim Davis in jail. He also handled the Iran deal very well; but I know him too well to trust him or anything he says. Huckabee has very solid ties with the Establishment GOP and that is just too scary and nearly impossible to trust.
Bush did not help or hinder himself; he is proudly sold out to the Establishment GOP and wants to rid the GOP of Conservatives. If Trump becomes irrelevant this early Bush will probably be successful in doing just that, while that would be bad news for 2016 it might correct a lot of issues down the road.
Paul was the naïve child I thought he would be and like Trump said, he had no business even being there since he has rightfully sank to number 11 in the polls.
Well that is my first impression written minutes after the debate ended; I pretty much expected it to go this way except for Huckabee doing well on substance, which surprised me a bit. I expected Fiorina to do the same at the adult table as she did at the kiddy table last time so I was not surprised at her showing but I was pleased. I wish Cruz would hire someone to slam his hand in a car door just before the next debate; he comes off much better when he is mad.