Friday, August 7, 2015

Debate Overview As Carly Fiorina Earned A Place Into The Starting Line-Up....

Carly Fiorina won both debates last night...My Tweet + Several Others

Make no mistake. Carly Fiorina was the big winner yesterday. Even a clip of her earlier appearance in the first debate interjected into the evening debate was priceless. (And good move by Fox News).

Perhaps the Fiorina quote that's been resonating with many Republicans and Conservatives last night was this one:

"Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi. She lies about emails. She still defends Planned Parenthood and she's still her party's front-runner. 2016 is going to be a fight between conservatism and a Democratic Party that is undermining the very character of this nation." Powerful!

Some other candidates were impressive as well.

Rubio was sharply focused, crisp and conspicuously self-assured. His youthfulness came across well. Reminded me somewhat of John F. Kennedy. I particularly liked his take on ISIS when he said, "If you join ISIS, if you wage war on America, you sign your death warrant." 

Walker, I guy I happen to like, didn't make much of an impact in my opinion. He also didn't make any mistakes. "I'm a guy with two kids, a wife and a Harley. One could call me aggressively normal." Still early Governor but don't be boring.

Kasich waited to the very end to come out better than I believe most expected. In particular he didn't back-off on his stand on traditional marriage but showed a great deal of compassion in his reply. I particularly liked the fact that he reiterated America's exceptionalism when he said, "America is a miracle country, and we have to restore the sense that the miracle will apply to you."

I didn't find Christie that impressive. However I did like his statement about Obama and the administration: "The president has had weak leadership which has led to bad choices..." He's was right on both counts.

Cruz, one of the few real conservatives left in the Republican Party, did well when he was given a chance. His face time was limited and not through his own doing. He debates well and is polished. Even with limited time to speak, he made points. His best line in my opinion: "We don't have leaders who honor their commitments." Short, sweet and directly to the point.

Dr. Carson, a man I admire immensely, very likable but didn't make any lasting impressions. But he did have the most memorable quote of the evening when he said he was "the only one to take out half of a brain, although if you took me to Washington you would think someone beat me to it." Moderators---give him more face time. Dr. Carson---my only advice---take a hit of speed before the next debate.

Rand Paul  didn't leave me with a lasting impression. But the take-away quote from him for me "I stood for 10 and a half hours on the Senate floor for your right to be left alone." Nevertheless, not a good debater in my opinion.

Huckabee, as always, a very good speaker. But I just don't think he left much of an impression either. His best line of the evening: "The military is not a social experiment...We have decimated our military." I believe many in the military and veterans would agree with that statement.

Jeb Bush did not impress me at all. Much to hesitant at time and dull. Not good for many of the elite in the Republican Party who have already anointed him. He needs to show more energy. He was right when he said, "I'm going to have to earn this. Maybe the bar is even higher for me. That's fine." It's only "higher" Jeb if you perceive it to be higher. If you indeed do, you're toast.

Trump was Trump with one exception. He does better when he's the only one on stage or in front of a mic. Having to share the stage with others---several more qualified than he---exposed more of his inflated ego. Nevertheless, his confidence shown through. Personally, I didn't like the fact he did not take the pledge to refrain from starting a 3rd party. Third parties have a poor history in terms of overall performance. We know what happened in '92 with Perot. It lead to 8 years of the Clintons. I don't want to see a repeat performance. He did try to assuage some fears when when he later said, "But I want to win as a Republican..." Also, if he was intimidated by Megyn Kelly, how would he respond to criticism as president?

Overall, I think it was a good debate. But it's just the start. Carly Feorina has the chops to make future debates more interesting. She earned a move into the starting line-up. In the future, I hope we see more of a rumble in the political jungle.