Was There A Winner Last Night?

I watched the Republican presidential debate last night and besides coming away realizing that CNBC has no business covering debates (or news for that matter), I realized that once you got through the veil of bias and “gotcha” questions from the moderators, there were some things that stood out.

First, was the question that was on everyone’s mind. Would Donald Trump be “nice Donald” or “mean Donald”. He was pretty “nice”. In fact, I thought he didn’t hurt himself. He wasn’t bombastic, but he was forceful. He wasn’t hateful, and didn’t attack the others on the stage.

Ben Carson, the new leader nationally, as well as in Iowa according to four polls, was presidential, quietly assured, and in control throughout, mentioning early on that he was going to follow Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of other Republicans”. He lived up to it, and did a nice job.

The other big question was Jeb Bush. He needed a really good performance. He didn’t get it. He had some good answers, but wasn’t what I’d call a “tall figure on the stage”. He melded into the background.

John Kasich needs to realize, that we understand what he’s done for Ohio. He needs to be broader than that. He wasn’t impressive…he was repetitive.

Carly Fiorina was bold and decisive…funny when she needed to be, but got her point across. I was very impressed with Chris Christie and Ted Cruz. Both hit home runs in my book, re-focusing the “gotcha questions” to attack Democrats.

One guy that also didn’t live up to his standing was, I thought, Marco Rubio. How many times do we have to hear about his bartender father? We get it Marco…you were poor. You dragged yourself up from your bootstraps and made it. Good for you.

Mike Huckabee was another candidate who was good, but who’s time has passed. He needs to gracefully bow out.

And Rand Paul, once again, was almost a non-entity. I had to often wonder if he’d stepped out to try some of the Colorado Canibus. He hadn’t…it just looked that way.

I know there were a lot of talking heads that said that the “outsiders” (Trump, Carson, and Fiorina) hurt themselves and weren’t as fresh. I think the newness is starting to wear off is all. Carson did better than the other two, with Fiorina second. But my most disappointing candidate last night was Jeb Bush. I don’t think he’s got the horses to be in this race much longer. He had a few good jabs, but he didn’t land any punches. He and Martin O’Malley could probably join forces and maybe run on the “Who Cares” ticket. He’s becoming that much of a non-factor.

Out of this race, we’ll probably see one, maybe two people drop out…my hunch is Rand Paul leaves quickly.

And I beg this question…was there even a second tier debate? Did I miss it entirely? Is Rick Santorum, Lindsay Graham, George Pataki, and gee…who’s that other guy? still in it?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!