Last night the Republican Party staged its highly anticipated coming out party for the GOP’s slate of presidential candidates. The reviews are in and by all accounts the event met expectations.
Here are my votes for the evening’s winners and losers.
The post-debate buzz was all about Donald Trump and The Donald still holds serve the morning after. Trump was vintage Trump. Any expectations that Trump would tone down his “Trumpness” in order to appear more presidential were quickly squashed.
It was clear from the beginning that the FOX NEWS moderators intended to zero in on the frontrunner. The night began with the moderator asking the candidates to raise their hand if they were UNWILLING to pledge their support for the eventual Party nominee; and UNWILLING to promise that they would NOT run as a third party candidate. Donald Trump was the only candidate to raise his hand…and FOX knew that would be the case.
In quick succession the moderators asked Trump about some of his unflattering comments about women and his four bankruptcies. Trump dismissed them both; the first as an obsession with political correctness in this country and the second as a legal tool commonly used by all successful businessmen.
The questions were fair. The problem that I had is that while the FOX moderators were throwing fastballs at Trump’s head they were lobbing softballs down the middle of the plate to the other folks on stage. It is a view shared by a large segment of the audience and the subject of scathing remarks in both the conservative Drudge Report and the liberal New York Times.
In my opinion the clear winners of the prime time event were Marco Rubio and John Kasich. Rubio’s youthful appearance and flawless delivery of a number of salient points garnered him an “A” in my book. Kasich’s comfortable good guy persona, his ability to highlight his very successful record as Ohio’s governor, his moving views on gay marriage and his compassionate rational for accepting Medicaid expansion in his state placed him right up there with Rubio as a clear winner last night.
Jeb Bush got better as the night moved along but did little to assuage concerns about his readiness for the task. Scott Walker, much like Bush, was there but did little to stand above the fray. Chris Christie had a few good moments; thanks mostly to a back and forth with Rand Paul. Paul was the clear loser of the evening. It was clear from the beginning that he was desperate to draw attention to his floundering campaign. To me he came across as a desperate little boy throwing a hissy fit to get someone’s…anyone’s attention.
If your favorite candidate was on stage for the prime time debate…and I have not mentioned his name…it’s because I cannot remember who he is.
Yesterday I wrote that it has been my experience that many times in big events such as these it is a previously unknown personality that steals the show. Such was the case last night when Carly Fiorina not only dominated the 5PM debate but gave a performance that will undoubtedly get her on the prime time stage next month. Words would not do justice to her performance. Suffice to say she licked ass. And if last night’s “kids table” performance is a predicator of things to come; she will be a force to be reckoned with.
Carli Fiorina was he overall winner of the evening’s festivities with Rubio and Kasich right behind.
As for Trump…it has been proven thus far that any intellectual analysis of Mr. Trump’s future in this race has been dead wrong. It think Trump may slide a bit in his dominance in the polls but that will be more do to a surge from Fiorina, Rubio and Kasich then any damage inflicted by the FOX moderators. In fact according to early reports, the unfair manor in which Trump was treated seems to have strengthened his support among the Trump faithful and deflected what would be game ending blows to any other candidate.
We’ll see what the polls say next week.