The clear winner (besides Fox who got 24 million viewers) in Thursday’s debate was whoever is going to run as the 2016 Democratic nominee for President of the United States. From the opening moments, each of the candidates showed America exactly what he would bring to the table if elected. In every case, it was just more of the same out of touch rhetoric targeted to a small minority within their party that lost them the White House last time. The GOP still believes the message is fine, it was just in the wrong vessel in 2012.
John Kasich actually sounded the most reasonable, especially when answering the “gay marriage” question. Marco Rubio was passionate and articulate, and played his “born a poor child” credentials well. Carly Fiorina received a lot of buzz for her performance at the “kiddie table.”
Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Rand Paul all played true to form. Jeb Bush looked like a loser, just like Mitt Romney. Scott Walker used his overly rehearsed talking points to not answer the questions he was asked. Mike “The purpose of the military is kill people and break things” Huckabee is scary on so many levels. And I loved Dr. Ben Carson saying it is time for America to get past race. Easy for him to say, he’s a neurosurgeon and income-wise is in the top 2% of the population.
All in all, the debate belonged to The Donald despite the fact that he obviously didn’t prepare for it. He refused to pledge not to run an independent campaign, he bashed Rosie O’Donnell while answering a question about treating women badly, called our leaders and politicians stupid, stated he was tired of “political correctness”, claimed that he had evolved and become Republican, and inferred that he bought and sold politicians, including some in the room. His use of the plural of majesty (We) puts even Scott Walker to shame. It was like watching some twisted version of The Apprentice where he auditions to be the Boss.
Finally, I am happy that I chose not to play Matt Taibbi’s Official GOP Debate Drinking Game, I would have been blind drunk in the first half hour.