My thoughts on the first GOP debates (part 1)

Here are my thoughts on the 2016 GOP race for the nomination, in no particular order . . . .


-I think I was wrong about Perry. He does good in interviews but he can’t handle the pressure of the debates, and as president you HAVE to be able to handle pressure-filled situations. He can’t relax, he tries too hard to get his points across.

-Jindal gave good answers, but unmemorable answers. He talks too fast and just doesn’t exhibit any passion or conviction.

-carly destroyed trump, but she was smart about it, she didnt demean his supporters, she appealed to them while showing why they shouldn’t support him. that’s the opposite of perry, who just goes after trump like it’s a personal fight
One of the first rules of politics is that u can’t get too personal or get too into the weeds or the dirt, u gotta stay focused on the big picture, that was the diff between carly and perry’s responses to trump

–I was actually impressed with George Pataki. He doesn’t have the personality needed to be president, but he gave great answers and clearly knows the issues.

—-Perry, like Santorum, is also way too eager to get his points across. He’s not nearly composed or calm enough to come across as presidential the way Carly is. He was too serious, intense, and energetic. Just not presidential. A future president doesn’t feel the need to go the extra mile to convince people he’s right, he has the confidence to let his words do the talking and let people decide if they have wisdom or not.

—-Another reason Carly stood out is because she gives direct answers to questions, and give specifics that are well thought out. Most of the other candidates just go back to things they wanna talk about or use talking points and dont answer the question. Americans want solutions, they wanna know how candidates will fix things, and so far only Carly is giving them clarity on that.

—- The first debate was pretty boring, no conflicts on the stage, and the candidates weren’t interesting except for Carly and maybe Santorum. But the moderators asked really good questions, like how it would be difficult to take people off of welare, and how to handle illegal immigration when you’ll have to tell a family that you’ll have to break them up.

-There was no drama in the first debate cause there was no time for a back and forth. Also, the moderators kept it focused on the issues and they didn’t bring up things candidates have said in the past or any controversial statements they made, or ask one candidate to comment on something another candidate did or said. They also didn’t force them to defend their record or any failings or weaknesses they had.
-Perry’s closing statement was good but he rambled on for too long and referenced himself in the 3rd person, which is a big turn off to a lot of people who wanna see at least a little humility in their president.

-Santorum’s statement was good, but he’s too focused on a single issue- manufacturing and the american worker. Some people are watching who are disabled, stay at home moms, people doing to school who can’t work, and they’re thinking, “what about me”? Santorum doesn’t seem to care about them, and perception is everything in politics. He’s breaking another rule of politics, which is that you can’t be a single issue candidate.
-Carly’s was the most powerful closing statement because it was blunt and direct. It took real guts to call Hillary a liar on national tv, but that’s what she did. She realizes what most of the other candidates don’t, which is that with a political hack like Hillary who’s willing to do or say anything to win, you have to call her out directly and not be nice or be on the defense. This kind of statement won’t work as a campaign strategy because it’s too negative, like walker says, people wanna know what you’re for rather than what you’re against. But for a first debate, it’s smart because it’ll help her move up in the polls.
-general thoughts on the candidates and the state of the 2016 race:


really impressive but at 22 min- this is the main problem i have with fiorina. She doesnt have a plan to reach out to minorities. Her answer to their problems is ideological and out of touch. She isn’t planning on going into their communities and she can’t relate to them because she’s been in corporate america and around rich people her entire life. She’s not like Romney, she’s more relatable than him, but she’s not like Rubio or Walker either.


What impresses me most about Rubio isn’t just his passion and eloquence, it’s his comprehensive vision for solving the biggest problems our country faces. He really understands the big picture, and he has very specific ideas and solutions for how to solve those problems.

Rubio doesnt have the gravitas and some of the personal traits of Reagan, but I see that same ability to inspire and give people a hopeful and optimistic vision of the future of America that Reagan had, that JFK had. In fact he reminds me a lot of JFK, but a more passionate and eloquent version of JFK. I’m convinced that with his charisma, eloquence, looks, sense of humor, ideas, and complete lack of corruption and baggage, Rubio could easily beat Hillary in the general. I’m not convinced he would make a great president because I think he’s not nearly experienced enough, but that’s a different matter.

—-I think I figured out Walker’s debate strategy. He realizes what most people don’t, which is that the eventual nominee doesn’t have to win any debates, he just has to avoid losing them, which means avoiding any gaffes or weak moments and generally turning in solid performances that show he has a command of the issues and is competent. Romney won very few of the 2012 debates, but he didn’t lose a single one, and that sticks with people.

Also, if you don’t have any memorable debates at the beginning, it lowers expectations from the voters, which is a good thing because then if you have a stronger debate closer to the primaries it’ll change more voters’ minds since you rose above their expectations of you.

I think it’s actually not a good thing for any candidate in the top tier to wow an audience at a debate early on, because that will create high expectations for them and voters will hold them to a higher standard than other candidates, and if they slip up at all in future debates, it’ll be a big let down for voters. If you combine that with another candidate doing well later on, it’ll make it much more likely that voters will move from the candidate who did well early on to the one doing well later on who has the momentum.

Gingrinch had a few great debates, but then he had a few bad ones, and voters ended up sticking with the candidate who was the most consistent and made the fewest mistakes, which was Romney. I believe that candidate this time around is Walker. People are looking for consistency, even if it doesn’t involve amazing performances or soundbites, because that projects gravitas and a presidential quality.

If a candidate is up and down too much they’ll be seen as pandering or too desperate to win the nomination, and that’s not seen as presidential. So I think we’ll see more of the same from Walker in future debates. He probably won’t attack his fellow candidates, just like he didn’t in the gubernatorial debates in Wisconsin. Instead he’ll lay out his vision for what he thinks should be done to reverse the course of this country and let voters decide if they agree with him.
-I was wrong about Trump’s supporters sticking with him no matter what. I think they’ll leave him for other candidates once he shows them how ignorant and stupid he is, cause that’s the one thing they won’t tolerate, ignorance and stupidity. Cause they know we need to win the election and they wanna win the election, and they know to do that we need a smart and competent candidate.

If tonight’s debate proved anything it’s that for all the things Trump is, he’s not that. So even though no other candidate “says it like it is” and stands out to Trump’s supporters, they’ll begrudgingly start looking for another candidate and hold their nose to vote for them.
—Another thing that separates the candidates by whether or not they’d be a good president vs just a great speaker and candidate is this: all good candidates are passionate about the issues this country faces, but the candidates who could be president are the ones who have controlled passion. They know when to throw punches and when to hold punches, and even when they do throw a punch, it’s in a controlled way that doesn’t come across as angry, undisciplined, or out of control to voters.

All of the great presidents were passionate, but could turn it off and on, and only turned it on at the appropriate moments. They weren’t passionate and fiery all the time, but when they were you knew it was authentic and gave them a sense of being in command. Reagan, Clinton, Bush, all had this character trait.

I think the perfect example of this and contrast is either Perry or Santorum vs Carly. Perry and Santorum only seem to have one gear, they’re intense and passionate about every issue, and that’s great, but a president has to have the right temperament and know when to tone down the rhetoric, and when to stay in the background and let things play out before making a statement. That’s what the virtues of wisdom and prudence are all about.

Carly has this characteristic. She’s been throwing punches at Hillary, but you can tell she prepared them and they were measured and accurate and could be defended. But when she’s not throwing punches she is a statesman, she speaks calm and eloquently about the issues while offering solutions and relating to the frustrations of the American people.

What Carly showed tonight is that she has two other traits that are necessary in a president: courage and conviction. In politics, one of the unspoken rules is that you can’t accuse a politician, especially one running for president or an opponent of lying, cause it’s almost always impossible to prove, which leaves you relying on making statements about the motives of that politician. But with Hillary Clinton there’s a rare exception to this rule.

Both with Benghazi and the email situation, she not only lied, but the gov’t was forced to release evidence to prove it. She said one thing, and the opposite was proven, but it was also proven that she KNEW the opposite of what she was saying was true AT THE TIME she said it. This is the definition of a lie. But none of the other gop candidates have been calling her out on it, either out of ignorance, or because they’re afraid of being painted by the media as an attack dog who’s willing to say anything to increase their standing in the polls. Or their ego is so big that all they wanna focus on is their own resume and plans, without actually talking about Hillary, who they’ll have to face in the general if they win the nomination.

But the truth matters, and all great presidents know this and are willing to face it no matter what the cost. It can’t be avoided, and a candidate who’s presidential material will be willing and able to not only speak the truth, but defend his or her statements without coming across as negative or a hack.

The other trait Carly has that is necessary to be a great president is determination. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks or what the polls say. She has a vision for what she wants to accomplish and has the confidence in herself that is needed to keep moving ahead even when most people don’t believe in her and it doesn’t seem possible that she can succeed.

Finally, a trait all great presidents share that Carly also has is wisdom, which I define as patience in the face of trials, conflicts, and crises, and the accumulation of learning from one’s mistakes, tragedies, successes, and experiences over many years in a wide variety of settings. It’s the ability to apply the knowledge one has gained from their life’s experiences to current situations, to never overreact, and to always see the bigger picture and not be a prisoner of the moment.

At this point the only other candidate I see in the gop field who has this trait is Walker, and he doesn’t have it to the degree Carly does because he’s a lot younger, hasn’t had the experiences she’s had, and hasn’t had to overcome the kinds of suffering and tragedies she’s overcome.
—–one reason i still favor walker over fiorina is that she can come across as too partisan or willing to attack her opponent (hillary), without spending enough time actually talking about how she’d fix things in the country. Walker spends all his time proposing positive solutions and explains that he did that already in wisconsin.

Carly can’t say that, plus she can be painted as a big business fat cat ex CEO who doesn’t care about the average american, walker can’t be pained that way, in fact it’s just the opposite for him, he didn’t even get a college degree and is struggling with credit card debt, and he has the appeal of a down to earth midwestern guy, which will appeal to indies, which is exactly what he did when he won 3 elections in a blue state.



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