the Cleveland Doubleheader

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Might as well get this out of the way – the FOX News/Facebook debates. The early game was clearly won by Carly Fiorina, and lost by everyone else. Judged only by the metric of their performances at the 5 O’Clock session, if a candidate didn’t threaten to break into the top-tier, they lost, and the only one that accomplished that was Ms Fiorina. And she did it in spades.

The late show wasn’t so much dominated by anyone as it was a peeking behind the Trump curtain – there’s no “there” there. I would rate Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee as winners, and Donald Trump and Rand Paul as losers, last night. The candidate who most exceeded expectations had to be Dr Ben Carson, because he was the largest unknown going in. He comes across as a decent, bright and articulate man, who is soft-spoken and honest. A great many people who had not heard him before, got to last night, and it had to have a positive impact on his prospects. Ted Cruz, whose public persona has been combatitive, showed why he was a top debater during his days at Harvard Law. His appeal to Independents will increase, even if limited by his Tea Party brand of conservatism. Mike Huckabee impressed a lot of Frank Luntz’s focus group, and I think that will reflect the public reaction somewhat. Marco Rubio impresses every time he speaks. He is charming, optimistic and has a great personal story to tell.

Donald Trump clearly lost, if only because he is still speaking in bumper-stickers, tap-dancing around requests for specifics as well as any of the “Washington Cartel.” In fairness, FOX began the debate with a “gotcha” question aimed at Trump – the question wouldn’t have come up (it never has before in either party) if he hadn’t threatened to jump parties. By staging it as an open question to all candidates, it was obviously engineered to demonstrate that Mr Trump was the only potentially “treasonous” candidate. I was disappointed in FOX for doing that (rather than just asking him about it during the course of the evening). His answer – that he would use his flexible loyalty as a lever – revealed more about Donald Trump than any other utterance of the evening.

Rand Paul, I thought, came across as shrill and petty. He, like Trump, will keep his loyal minions, but I think he, like Trump, is a no-show in the long run.

Overall, even saddled with a billionaire dilatant, the GOP showed a strong field of candidates, especially when compared to a congenital liar, a self-proclaimed socialist, and “Who?”, “Who?” and “Who?”.

2 thoughts on “the Cleveland Doubleheader

  1. I’m Back….!!! I’ve been laid up in the hospital since August 5th with a compound fracture of my right ankle. No access to a PC, laptop or any other means of online communication while in there. It was a BUMMER! Didn’t get out until last Friday after operation #2, but I’m still really limited to my ability to access my PC which is on a second level in my house and right now I’m still limited to mostly “one-level” living…Sigh.
    I saw some of the Cleveland debate but not all. I agree that Trump really fell flat and Fiorina put him in his place and made him look like the fool he really is. I thought is was kind of a mis-step on Fox’s part to allow the whole thing to devolve into a Trump vs Fiorina slug fest and didn’t really give the other candidates much time to make their case. Not sure how they could have handled it differently. Bush did get some coverage, Rubio less and also Scot Walker, Kasich, and the rest of them. Didn’t see them ask any questions of Rand Paul. As I said I only saw part of the debate. Now ( a couple of weeks later) the casualty of the whole thing was Scot Walker. Too bad…He was an excellent prospect. The beneficiary of his dropping out seems to be Marco Rubio. My thoughts.

  2. P.S. I’ll be posting comments to your blog from time to time, but not each day. Still limited in my mobility as I mentioned.

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