I think by the time the general election gets here next year, I’ll be pretty damn good at writing critiques on debates. And while the GOP debate certainly has a more serious, more combative tone than the Democrat’s love fest of their only debate, #4 seems to have lost a little bit of the luster. I’m thinking that it may be time for a few people to exit the stage. I can understand why they don’t, but they’re not getting any better.
I had thought going in that this would be a much better debate than #3 (hosted by the rookies at CNBC). It had a slightly more experienced moderating crew…but it didn’t seem to matter much. No, it wasn’t as snarky, and biased as the CNBC gang’s abortion, but it wasn’t “exciting”. Oh, there were moments, but nothing that stands out. Here are the winners and losers:
Fox Business News: For a first time debate, they did ok. Not great. They didn’t fall over themselves trying to blow up candidates, but they may have gone too far in the other direction. Something between CNBC and what you did last night would have been great.
Marco Rubio: Why is it this guy seems more and more presidential the longer I watch him debate? His answers were good, though well rehearsed, and his zingers were also pretty good.
Ted Cruz: He’s a master debater and he’s in his element. It’s what is going to save him in this campaign, if anything can. He knows how to excite an audience, and he knows when to be on the attack. Another good night…as expected.
Ben Carson: FINALLY, I saw a spark of energy. It was by far his best debate to date. He didn’t just have one good line like the first debate, or a couple good lines like the second. He was “on” throughout most of it.
Rand Paul: I think Rand finally got into this thing. The problem is it was too little, too late. He’s lucky he’s on the Big Boy Stage, and not polishing Chris Christie’s shoes at this point…but I don’t think his debate performance is going to help him out a lot.
Jeb Bush: Bush needed a home run to stay in the game. Maybe got a bloop single and a stolen base? He didn’t cut it. I think he realizes it’s over, he just doesn’t want to disappoint the millions of dollars sitting in his bank account before anyone in Iowa or New Hampshire has had a chance to tell him no.
John Kasich: John proved last night that he’d be a really good candidate….for vice president. Ohio is a swing state, and will help determine the outcome of the election. There’s a place for Kasich, but it’s not at the top of the ballot.
Carly Fiorina: I think the more Carly debates, the better she gets, and she’s getting pretty damn good. But I don’t think she’s got the stuff to be president anymore. We’ve heard pretty much everything she’s had to say, and it doesn’t change. Need more stuff, girl!
Donald Trump: Can you believe I actually had to go through and look up a list of candidates to see who I had left out…and it was Trump? Yes, he was that much a non-entity. We know you have a great company Donald. We know other countries are eating our lunch. Time for you to get serious and start telling us all what YOU plan to do about it…and be specific. I can see Trump losing more ground after this debate.
There you go. The debate in a nutshell. Watch for Rubio, Cruz, Carson, and maybe Fiorina to rise in the polls, and Trump, Bush, and Kasich to fall. I don’t think Rand is going to do much either way.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!