I for one am not 100% convinced how much good debates really are in the months leading up to the Iowa Caucuses in February. Reality states that the American people are fairly busy after Halloween, becoming busier heading into Thanksgiving and are in a frenzy for several weeks leading up to Christmas. Be honest here; “what tax question from last night’s debate will you be remembering on January the 15th“? Furthermore, are you going to remember it was former Governor Mike Huckabee (in the first debate) that gave the answer you liked or was it the California Chihuahua named Carly Fiorina that gave the right answer?
Oh, I can hear the growls now. Ken, you can’t say that about Carly! I just call em as I see em. Does this lady ever actually smile at anything? Then when she does speak, it is usually interrupting the other candidates and then she goes on the attack. I am sorry, she just reminds of a Chihuahua. She doesn’t seem to have the ability to bite your head off, she just nips at your legs until you finally bleed to death. To be even more candid, if I hear one more time how she is good friends with Vladimir Putin and she is going to ignore him, I honestly think I am going to throw something at my television.
As if Carly’s anger issues were not enough, we had Governor John Kasich angry at everyone. I even Tweeted out last night that he appeared as though he was going to eat the camera at times. Kasich did give some good answers regarding debt, deficits, balancing the budget etc. but overall his demeanor seemed less than welcoming and he seemed to be giving the standard Republican talking points memo to me.
We almost had a full-scale cage match last night between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Florida Senator Marco Rubio over the subject of “just how strong should our military be and the role it should be playing on the world stage”. Of course, Rubio needs to present himself as a military hawk for a number of reasons, particularly because Florida has a very, very large military presence in Pensacola, Jacksonville, and many more cities. Kentucky, on the other hand, has one major Army base (Ft. Campbell) and that is pretty much all they have in terms of military presence.
In every debate, there is always at least one contender who delivers a line of the night. Sometimes we have two or three memorable lines, but last nights was delivered by none other than Donald Trump when asked about “how he planned on deporting 11 million illegal immigrants” from America back to whence they came. Donald responded with; “We are a country of laws, we need borders, we will have a wall, the wall will be built, the wall will be successful, and if you think walls don’t work, all you have to do is ask Israel.” BOOM! And the crowd roared their approval.
Many pundits last night (Charles Krauthammer, Karl Rove, Byron York to name a few) had said that Jeb Bush had to have a breakout night or he would become (their reference not mine) the “walking dead”. In other words, his campaign would be around, he would be talking a little, but nobody would be listening. Personally, I did not see Jeb with his breakout moment last night. He did have a moment when he decided to grab the gun, load it and point it at his head when he went after Donald Trump on immigration. That is when he served up Donald and begged him to shoot him, which Donald did with the memorable line of the night. Jeb almost literally did a grab a gun and shoot his campaign in the head when he went after Trump.
Believe it or not, one of the best performances turned in was in the first debate from none other than everybody’s favorite “in your face” Governor from New Jersey. Christ Christie had his talking points down and they were good. He delivered them with precision and he delivered them with passion.
I am sorry my friends, but getting excited over Dr. Ben Carson is like trying to get excited over a flu shot. It just isn’t there for me. While his uber soft-spoken style might attract some, it doesn’t impress me. It tells me that he is unsure of himself and is trying to evade the question. Carson was fumbling when it came to immigration, tax structures and his answer on the military was literally in the ozone layer some place. I couldn’t tell you what he said when I was listening to it, let alone now. Personally, I think Dr. Carson is a wonderful dad, great husband, supreme doctor, but it is time for him to go home. He is so far out of his league, it is almost embarrassing to watch him.
As the debate begin losing more contenders, we will see “who can handle” the pressure and who can’t. When we get down to that 4 or 5 range, that is when this is going to get very interesting. A couple of observations about what I think will happen.
Senator Cruz will shine like the North Star in a smaller field. Marco Rubio might be in trouble because he won’t be able to get away with quick one-liner answers to grab applause. Cruz will expose Rubio on several fronts. Donald Trump will be able to elaborate a bit more on his economic plans, but this is where it get’s dicey for Mr. Trump. He will now be expected to be more specific on his solutions. If he doesn’t have any workable and firm solutions, he had better get Dr. Sam Clovis in his office now and get these issues resolved. Lastly, Mr. Trump if you’re reading this, hire a debate coach. Seriously, last night you had several openings to jump in and show your expertise on a couple of subjects and you stood silent. YOU CAN’T DO THAT! There were literally several opportunities where it was quiet for a second, you could have launched and you did not. This is where the coach can be very helpful in teaching how to operate on a debate stage and be more effective.
Overall, great debate and the most impressive part was, “WE ACTUALLY HAD A DEBATE“! Hats off to Fox Business for running a great show! No stupid questions about fantasy football or their favorite movie and what they had for lunch. It was full of substance and the moderators were fabulous. Well done Fox!
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