Well, another one of these things is finally over. There were some decent moments in the debate tonight but for the most part I, like everybody else was cracking jokes on Twitter and asking the most important of question Americans all across the country were asking….“Who the hell keeps coughing?!?!” Good grief that was annoying.
So very quickly, here are five takeaways from tonight’s debate:
1. CNN should never be allowed to host a debate again. It was awful. The questions were awful and once again we were faced with journalists who have no idea how to moderate a debate and no idea what a valid debate question is. Once again, too much time was wasted asking questions designed to get the candidates to go after each other. Dana Bash created a spat between [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], then followed up with some red meat for Donald Trump and then has the audacity to ask Jeb Bush about the “tone” of the discussion. Horrendous.
2. Donald Trump was off his game. This was the first time I saw Trump rattled. Normally, his return punches are delivered with a smile as though he’s enjoying himself. Tonight he was stumbling over words, trying his best to throw insults that in debates past were kind of funny. Tonight it was just annoying. And petty.
3. [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] sounded too much like a lawyer. He did well but at times he would go off on a tangent and get into the weeds to the point most people would tune out. I said it reminded me of what happened in 2000 when Al Gore was asking George W. Bush “What about Dingell-Norwood?” (It was healthcare legislation). Also, he flat out lied when he said he never supported any kind of legalization for undocumented immigrants. That said, he had a lot of speaking time so it will help him.
4. It’s time for John Kasich, Carly Fiorina and [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] to go. Christie can stay by virtue of his numbers in New Hampshire and Jeb will likely pick up some support from Kasich people. But Kasich was his usual self, yelling the entire time and acting like he was disciplining his kids, not talking about issues. [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] has become a caricature. The big time libertarian was all about the border security tonight. Pandering at its worst. Carly had a good run, but every answer to she gives now is a mini-speech. Also, she went for the gender card tonight. Bad form.
5. Ben Carson will be out of the race before the Iowa caucuses. He is in a downward spiral I have not seen since Rick Perry in 2011 and tonight didn’t help. People are starting to pay attention now and I just don’t see anything stopping his descent. He almost looked like he didn’t want to be around anymore.
Who won? Rubio, Cruz and Christie all did the best tonight. Jeb actually had Trump sweating a little. Trump was off his game. The rest…meh.