Thursday, September 17, 2015

Republican Debate Recap

Debates are opportunities for candidates to improve their position based on their performance and exposure.  Unfortunately, candidates that perform poorly can find that they move in the opposite direction.  So who got better, and who got worse last night?  Here's a breakdown:

Got Worse

  • Bush - Jeb just came off as the nerdy frat boy that is just trying too hard to fit in.  He seemed ill prepared, and certainly not presidential.  He is unelectable, and needs to exit this race soon.   He's not a viable candidate
  • Kasich - He's the winner last night for the ratio of face time to saying absolutely nothing.  Other than Ohio, this man brings nothing to the table.  He also needs to exit this race - he's going nowhere
  • Walker - Walker is quickly proving that he's this election's Tim Pawlenty - great back story as a successful governor of a purple state, but can't pull things together to seem presidential.  A third one that needs to exit the race
  • Paul - While he was good for a couple of historical anecdotes, he offered nothing of substance.  Yet another that needs to recognize it is over.
  • Trump - The Donald got exposed last night.  When pressed for specific ideas this guy had nothing but ego and bluster.  Despite this, he's being reported as the debate winner on Drudge's (unscientific) poll - by a long shot.  I find those votes dubious.  One could not have watched Trump's performance last night and felt confident in his vision, strategy, or capabilities.  He needs to study hard if he wants to be taken seriously.

Stayed the Same
  • Carson - The doctor neither helped nor hurt his cause last night.  He's made great strides of late based on his performance on the stump, but last evening we didn't see much of that.  That being said, he didn't lose ground
  • Cruz - Ted is who he is, and I believe that he's the sole pure conservative on that stage.  His performance, however, won't move the needle for him

Got Better
  • Christie - The NJ governor had a big night.  He focused on the American people, and came across as smart, tough, and dedicated.  He has a massive mountain to climb to get into the race, but last night's performance is a great start
  • Huckabee - This guy has absolutely zero chance of being elected president, but he performed very well last night.  Despite that, he can't salvage a sinking candidacy, and needs to exit the race
  • Rubio - With every exposure, this guy gets stronger.  I'm not sure if it enough to kick-start his campaign, but there is a lot to like with him

Blew It Away
  • Fiorina - She was the clear winner last night, and it was not even close.  She had specific answers that showed she'd done her homework.  She was passionate, tough, and sober.  She was the one on the stage that consistently looked presidential (as defined by pre-Clinton presidential presence).  She was also the one last night that clearly looked like she had one big set of testicles.  She was on fire, never missed, and rocked the debate.  And, as of now, she's earned my support.  Great performance 

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