Random debate thoughts.
1) Wow. Republicans are very confident and
very conservative. They were falling all over themselves to take the
most extreme positions. (Which made the debate very entertaining.)
Politicians used to whip up a slavering mob; now they ARE a slavering
2) Not everyone slavers equally well. Trump hangs around
because he's got great off speed stuff; when he admitted he was kind of a
jerk and that Bush was a gentleman, it really cut against expectations.
Kasich, Carson, and Rubio all managed a bit of this. Cruz and Walker
went down in flames.
3) The media is giving Rubio and Kasich the
win, with an acknowledgement that Trump is not going anywhere. But I
wonder whether the GOP base will warm to Kasich. He is by far the
biggest threat in the general. An impressive, real guy. Carson's a wild
4) Huckabee has gotten very sour and is a total
goner. His big thing was likeability, the happy warrior thing, and now
he's just nasty. Walker is not ready for prime time. He could survive in
a year like 2012 against Newt and Santorum, but not in this field. The
media absolutely despises Christie. I thought he was doing all right,
but the news will be that he crashed. And that news, though wrong, will
come true. Rand is also done.
5) Jeb, Jeb, Jeb. I think he's in
big trouble. He's not ready to defend his positions nor his family, and
he's not a good enough politician to bluff his way through. He looked
weak and equivocal. The money will keep him around, but he's taking on a
lot of water fast.
6) At some point, the GOP is going to have
to deal with actual foreign policy. Puffing out your chest and saying
"strong" and "Reagan" is not a foreign policy. It's middle school
idiocy. That was the truly embarrassing part of the debate, and revealed
most of these men as unserious candidates.