1. [mc_name name=”Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)” chamber=”senate” mcid=”C001098″ ]has my vote, but I’m not just writing what I want to read. Cruz won by successfully implementing his three prong strategy: 1. Don’t engage Trump. 2. Woo [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] supporters. 3. Beat [mc_name name=”Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)” chamber=”senate” mcid=”R000595″ ]. Check, check and check. Cruz once again had the best line of the night, “All horsethieves are Democrats. But not all Democrats are horsethieves.” He’ll probably clock the most speaking time, or close to it. Cruz was in command. Oh, and to everyone talking about a Cruz vs Rubio showdown, tell me: Does Marco want to be alone on stage against Ted for 2 hours? Nobody does, not even Wolf Blitzer;).
2. Donald Trump could be #1 on some people’s lists, I’m sure he tops his own. I put Trump in 2nd because he’s trailing Cruz in Iowa and nothing happened to change that. It’s great to be #1 in the national polls, but it also makes “winning” a debate much more difficult. That said; this was his best debate performance. Trump did himself a lot of good by reaffirming his pledge not to run as an independent. That may have moved the needle for him in national polls (slightly), it certainly impressed Hugh Hewitt. Trump emasculated Jeb Bush, again (which is getting harder and harder to watch). Good night for ‘the Donald.’
3. Chris Christie likely strengthened his position in New Hampshire, where some polls have him in 2nd. Solidifying your status as 1st loser in one state doesn’t make you a winner, but he still showed well. Christie is a media darling because he’s the highest ranking Republican close to Manhattan. Following Nixon’s 1972 landslide victory, a writer for the New Yorker said, “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon.” And the same is true today of the national media news media, they know one Republican, Chris Christie. He has benefited in these debates from the media’s affection.
Losers: We the people had a bad night. We deserve 5 or fewer candidates on stage. 9 is too many. Time send a few down to the “kids table” to drown out [mc_name name=”Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)” chamber=”senate” mcid=”G000359″ ].