OK I’ve had a few hours to sleep on it and here are my debate takeaways.
Winner: Main Debate Rand Paul: Despite not having much time in the early rounds won two segments. Made strong cases for everything he believed and sold his positions well. Accomplished everything he needed to do, the only question is do people agree with those positions.
Winner: First Debate Lindsey Graham: Memorable lines , humor and again made the case first for a ground war against isis, the single most important issue for the future of the country and for pressing the Obama administration in the senate.
Graham will get a small bump because he’s polling so low with Paul it’s harder because he’s making cases for things that many in the base disagree with.
Five interesting points.
My two “winners” are both people I disagree with.
Not only were there no bad debate performances in either debate but there was an awful lot of substance in them (particularly in debate 1)
The debate was specifically designed to promote confrontation . It did and the candidates made the most of them. I’m sure to the ratings delight of CNN
While it was a very long night for the Candidates it was even longer for the moderators who did an excellent job.
There wasn’t a person on either stage (even the ones I disagree with) that didn’t make themselves more credible it was like a convention of British Sea Captains from the Napoleonic Wars
Let’s go through the candidates starting with debate 2 in sort of the order of how they did.
Marco Rubio: 2nd place Did exactly what he had to do, got noticed, had memorable moments and made excellent cases over an over. Gave donors a reason to stay.
Carly Fiorina: Completely justified her promotion to the main debate stage in a situation where he needed to do so. Strong answers, and played to the MSM expectations and brought up the Planned Parenthood videos which will play very strongly to the base.
Chris Christie: Reminded every conservative in the country why he was so popular before and used his time wisely.
Mike Huckabee: Every chance he got she knocked it out of the part and really did a great job on the Kim Davis question noting the accommodations for Islamic Terrorists vs a Christian Clerk.
Jeb Bush: A slow start but showed energy and reassured the donor class that was worried with a friendly establishment audience.
Donald Trump: Target #1 of everyone there. Brought up two excellent points (having to be friends with everyone in business and the threat of North Korea) that had previously been ignored. Proved he could take a punch which is an important quality in a front runner.
Ted Cruz: Like Huckabee took good advantage of every chance he had to talk, if he had been given the chance to make his climate change response might have been able to win.
Scott Walker: May have saved his campaign by coming back strong
Ben Carson: Gave good answers but criticized for being low key. But that’s how he is.
John Kasich: The least memorable performance of the night, yet still a good one, seemed kind of a poor man’s Lindsey Graham.
Rick Santorum: A very strong performance, made the best case for a min wage hike (I disagree there) that I’ve heard so far.
Bobby Jindal: Really strong appeal to the base, very energetic again did the job he needed to do getting noticed.
George Pataki: Had the single best hit on Hillary in either debate noting that she was a Senator from NY the target of terror attacks and still did what she did.
Short Term: Tactical results:
Who was helped the most last night? Carly Fiorina, she realized right away what the pundits were looking for & gave it to them. Lots of credibility.
Who was hurt the most last night? Ben Carson, the media has spun this as a defeat even though he is presenting himself the same as he always was. The media template is to give Carly the push at his expense.
Long Term Strategic results:
Who was helped the most long term? Donald Trump: Not only did he dominate time and prove he could take every punch thrown at him but because nobody did bad enough to be eliminated that guarantees the vote will remain divided. The longer that’s true the bigger advantage he has.
Who was hurt the most last night? John Kasich: Not because he did bad, he didn’t but because Jeb Bush did better and he is the establishment Bush fallback position.
A much longer post is coming about:
The flexible 14th amendment Kim Davis Birthright citizenship
Ironic moment of the night: Jeb Bush hits Kim Davis for not obeying nonexistent federal law while insisting he would not hit Colorado for ignoring explicit federal drug laws.
Most significant post debate moment: Frank Luntz group, nobody in the group said Ted Cruz won but every single person in the group was impressed by him. Continues to play the long game.
Am I the only one who noticed….The post debate interview with Donald Trump where he talks about getting to know his opponents. I think it was rather revealing & will affect the way he counterpunchers in the future.
The only pay I get for this work comes from you. If you think this is of value I ask you to kick in and help me reach my monthly goal $1834 a month or Twenty Two grand a year.
I’d appreciate it if you would hit DaTipJar
That gets all the bills paid. Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done and then some.
Additionally our subscribers get our podcast emailed directly to them before it show up anywhere else.
I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what they’re good for.