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What Good Issued From the Candidate Debate?
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Did you hear about the ratings?

Over 24 million people watched the first Republican debate Thursday. That’s the largest audience ever for a cable program, save for sports.

Everybody knows why so many watched: people wanted to see a fight break out between Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

Donald Trump’s presence probably didn’t hurt. Let me clarify that. Trump’s appearance helped rating. His performance might have ended his campaign.

Donald Trump comported himself with all the dignity and gravitas of a George W. Bush as portrayed by Will Ferrell.

At the risk of receiving angry tweets from Trump and his minions, I tweeted:

There’s plenty of good analysis of the candidates’ substance, so I won’t get into that. Instead, I tried to watch the debate like the majority of American voters. They don’t like politics, but they figure it’s their duty to vote with a bit of knowledge.

[More on Donald Trump here. And here.]

Who Else Lost Ground

Trump was not alone in turning off voters. Governor Jeb Bush struggled. He seemed a little needy at times, like a kid who wants to be left alone with his toys at his own birthday party. He defended his unpopular positions mostly by saying “I know better.”

Senator Rand Paul, with whom I probably most agree, needs a bit more seasoning. I never looked at him and thought “Mr. President.”

Senator Ted Cruz, I’m afraid, suffers with familiarity. I honestly can’t put my finger on what it is about Senator Cruz that irritates me, but something does. Anecdotally, I’m not alone. When people ask themselves which candidate they’d like to hear speaking on the news every day for four years, Cruz won’t be the answer.

Governor Scott Walker struck me as smug and a little arrogant. He memorized lines and recited them like a high school senior accepting his Prom King crown. And I so wanted him to do well.

Who Did Well

Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie performed well. Neither man wins on conservative values, but I like them more as people after their performance. Christie gets points for having the courage to propose changes to Social Security which is an important safety net that’s about to rupture from too much weight.

Senator Marco Rubio could smile more, but he seemed at times the readiest to be President. His speaking style would wear well over four or eight years of constant news about him. The panel on MSNBC declared him the winner by a mile. That might overstate the case, but he did very well.

Governor John Kasich might be the most electable in a general election. He is smart and quick. His sarcasm comes across as sincere. He never seemed to be giving a prepared speech, which afflicted all but one of his debate partners. Katich will suffer in the primaries over Medicaid Expansion, but his very popular in Ohio, and Republicans will not win the White House without his state.

Who Won?

No one. But Dr. Ben Carson won a lot of hearts. He was the most human. Somehow, when he explained that he’s separated conjoined twins and performed amazing neurological surgeries it came off as if he were apologizing. I believe his humility is sincere. His closing statement was absolutely brilliant, and the words themselves were too simple, the structure too casual, to have been scripted.

At some point before the Republican Convention, the electorate’s mood will coalesce. After ten years of heated, cynical attacks and great suffering through wars, terrorism, mass shootings, and chronic underemployment that afflicts so many families, I believe the national mood will crave a human voice, a gentle spirit, and a confident smile. Those qualities will trump ideological purity and mad-as-hell bombast.

Ben Carson might not appeal to the dogma worshippers on the right, but he could win the love and respect of millions of people who simply want to get through life the best they can in an America renewed of spirit and prosperity. Sort of like 1980.

I’ll leave you with Ben Carson’s closing words:

But I am very hopeful that I am not the only one who is willing to pick up the baton of freedom. Because freedom is not free and we must fight for it every day. Everyone of us must fight for it because we are fighting for our children and the next generation.

–Dr. Ben Carson

Thank you for reading. May you have a blessed weekend, friends.

  • After banning Trump from Red State’s 8/9/15 Republican forum you have to remember, Eric Erickson at his convention would not let the people ask the Chairman of the RNC Rence Priebus anything about the sordid Mississippi Senate race between Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel. Chris McDaniel got more votes in the Republican primary over Thad Cochran, but the vote tally was not over 50%, so there was a runoff election. If Thad Cochran had any principles he would have retired after losing in the primary, after 40+ years in Congress and not have a run-off election and endorsed and supported Chris McDaniel. But that is not the case. Establishment RINO’s played the race card and advised Democrats to vote for Thad Cochran. Cochran was re-elected and has continued on his RINO ways. Why was Erickson protecting Priebus? What is the point of having a convention if it is scripted and the attendees are not able to get their questions answered? Why did Erickson not want to get to the bottom of the sordid Mississippi Senate race? Could it be he sides with Establishment RINO’s?

  • I like the fact that Trump has been stirring it up and taking it to Hussein Obama putting him on the defensive, along with some Republicans. However, do not get too enthralled with Donald Trump. He may or may not stay in the race. Trump told Sean Hannity on his radio program 6/16/15 that he would drop out of the race if his message was not resonating with the people. The problem with Trump is he has ran or said he was going to run before and dropped out. More importantly, Trump has contributed to many Statists, including the Clinton’s and he has changed his position on numerous topics. He was for a single payer healthcare plan, but now is against it. He has used eminent domain to steal other people’s property. He clamors against China, but has his clothing line made in China. He has contributed to many of the Statists who are destroying this country, such as Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and more recently Rahm Emanuel. Why Rahm? There were other Democrats in that race so why contribute to “Dead Fish?” Trump’s announcement and speech proclaiming he is entering the presidential race has/is resonating with the public, because he talked up America, unlike Hussein Obama. Hopefully, Trump will continue to speak out about things that need to be spoken about and wake up America. With that said, in the end can you/we trust Trump? Probably not, but he is stirring it up which shows the cowardice of the RINO’s.

  • The first debate is in and it seemed like the Fox News moderators were looking for a gotcha moment from Donald Trump from the questions they asked. Brett Baier started off with the question of a pledge from the candidates to support the nominee. Trump was not willing to make that pledge tonight, but he was pressed on the issue and reaffirmed his answer. Megyn Kelly asked Trump about his comments about women (Rosie O’Donnell) and some of his comments he made about women on his reality show. Chris Wallace asked about evidence Trump has that the Mexican Government is responsible for the influx of illegal’s entering this country. He also hit Trump on Trump’s casino’s going bankrupt. Brett Baier then finally asked Trump a pertinent question about foreign policy and the Iran deal. For the most part Trump held his own, but it sure seemed like the Fox News moderators got their marching orders to take down Trump with the questions he was asked. I do like the fact that Trump has been stirring it up and taking it to Hussein Obama putting him on the defensive, along with some RINO’s, but I am supporting Ted Cruz.

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