Friday, August 7, 2015

Winners and Losers

Random observations about last night's debate:

Donald Trump did absolutely nothing to persuade me that he is anything other than the bombastic blowhard that I thought he was. He is an intellectual lightweight, politically incoherent, and by his answer to the night's first question, willing to see Hillary Clinton elected by refusing to forego a run as an independent. Oh, and what exactly do you call that hair color?

I felt sorry for Ben Carson, probably the finest man on that stage. He is clearly a very smart man, but seemed totally out of his depth, overmatched by the event. 

Ted Cruz might be the best debater in the field, but he sounded strident to me.

Jeb Bush started poorly but did get better as the night wore on. It seemed like every answer to every question began with the same phrase, "As Governor of the state of Florida...," which got annoying. I know he's raised a ton of money, but the thought of electing a third Bush is too horrible to contemplate. Family dynasties are fine on PBS, not in American politics.

How the heck did Mike Huckleberry get on the stage and Carly Fiorina didn't?

Chris Christie showed flashes of the thing that attracted me to him two years ago when his town hall performances in New Jersey got everyone's attention. Nobody is quicker on their feet, nobody is better in unscripted moments. His exchange with Rand Paul about data gathering and fighting terrorism was the highlight of the night, terse, intense and riveting stuff. Both men made good solid points, but Christie seemed to win the moment.

Speaking of Rand Paul, he disappointed. I like him. His views are the closest to mine from top to bottom. But there are times when he comes across as a bit of a petulant whiner. When the camera caught him rolling his eyes at something...well, it wasn't a good look.

Scott Walker did fine, I guess. But he looked small to me for some reason, as if the moment was too big for him.

John Kasich benefitted from the exposure. Even though he's been in politics forever, not very many people outside of DC and Ohio know who he is. He did well, I think.

Which leaves me with the night's winner...Marco Rubio. He looked great, sharp with his answers, directly responding to the actual questions instead of launching into speeches. He kept talking about how things have changed radically just over the past five years, that in order to keep up you're going to have to adapt to the future, not dwell in the past. He projected youth and energy, bringing to mind the John Kennedy of 1960. He was the only one who impressed Pam, for what that's worth. 

So, there you have it. I wrote this quickly this morning before reading any punditry on the debate. I didn't want their opinions to influence mine, Now I'll go read what all the wise men had to say and realize how wrong I am about everything!

One more thing. All I hear from my leftist friends is what a pitiful lapdog Fox News is for the Republican Party, a mouthpiece for conservatism masquerading as a news network. Well, last night I saw three tough as nails reporters eviscerating every candidate on the stage, asking tough, uncomfortable questions, forcing the candidates to account for their past statements. In other words, I saw three moderators holding political feet to the fire. Now, whenever the Democrats ever get around to having a candidate debate, let's see how CNN or CBS or NBC handle their candidates! And yes, I did say their. I'm not naive enough to actually believe that anyone in the mainstream media would ever vote for a Republican candidate...come on!! Let's see if the folks at the New York Times can be as in your face with Hillary and Bernie as Megyn Kelly was with Donald Trump. Something tells me I'll be disappointed.