Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Random thoughts on the debate

I think Carson had the best opening statement to connect his career to why he's running. I bet that Marco Rubio's joke about his own bottle of water eluded most people. How many people remember a response to Obama's State of the Union six years ago?

Trump starts off being braggadocious while denying that he's being braggadocious to talk about making billions. Sure.

Chris Christie echoes Reagan's winning line against Jimmy Carter, "Are we better off now than we were four years ago." Nicely done.

Trump immediately goes after Rand Paul when he's asked about people being comfortable with his finger on the nuclear button. Then he tells us how calm he is and how he's going to make us great again. Then Paul says exactly what I was thinking - what a non sequitur that was and how sophomoric Trump is to bash people's appearance and Trump goes ahead and bashes Paul's appearance. So mature.

Trump takes his time to bash George Pataki for some insult from the first debate. He hasn't learned that you don't punch down.

There goes the idea that Trump was going to tone down his demeanor.

Someone woke Walker up and he got off a good line that we don't need another apprentice in the White House since we have one there now.

Kasich reminds me of the kid in class who tattled to the teacher.

Christie doing well talking about dealing with the Dems in NJ. He might benefit from other candidates flailing at Trump. He had a nice manner responding to Ben Carson's criticisms of politics. He found a way to make himself seem as an outsider.

Carly Fiorina did a nice job connecting her outsider status to a real issue that people are angry about - how veterans have been allowed to die because of bureaucratic mismanagement.

Here is the proof that Trump was lying about not trying to get casino gambling in Florida that Jeb blocked.
Donald Trump openly boasts that he donates to politicians so he can exact favors from them after they reach office.

He did so for Jeb Bush in 1998, holding a high-dollar fundraiser for the gubernatorial candidate in Trump Tower and shelling out $50,000 to the Florida Republican Party. But when Bush took office in 1999, Trump didn't get the political help he needed to make his casino dreams a reality in the Sunshine State.

Instead, Bush maintained his hardline stance against gambling in the state, delivering a death blow to Trump's hopes of building out a multi-million dollar casino endeavor with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and prompting him to abandon those plans.

Rubio clearly is the best on foreign policy. His answer is so informed compared to Trump's braggadocious posturing.

Fiorina had a great response. She demonstrated her knowledge and command of events and what it means and she gets in a little dig in at Trump. Well done. She's bringing it. Trump meanwhile tells us that he'll solve the problem because he'll handle it. That's all we need. What an insult to voters.

Kasich comes off as a squish on Iran. He said that he would act if Iran is arming Hamas and Hezbollah. Huh? They've been arming them for years.

Go Rubio for his answer that we're not going to give a president war powers if he doesn't plan to win.

Trump had such an incoherent answer to the question about Obama crossing the red line. I couldn't follow the pronoun references in his sentence. He's just not as fluent talking about actual issues than he is talking about his own poll numbers or bank balance.

John Kasich seems to think that there will be some thing we can do to snap back sanctions "if" the Iranians violate the deal. Cruz demolishes that thinking. I don't think Kasich will go far in the GOP primaries supporting the Iran deal.

Chris Christie is doing a good job separating himself from the GOP Congress.

Carly Fiorina did what no one else did - explain exactly why Planned Parenthood is so horrible by explaining what is in some of the videos. Everyone just keeps saying they're going to defund Planned Parenthood, but don't make it clear why that is the right thing to do. From what I've observed among my moderate or liberal friends, they don't have a clue about what is in those videos. Carly gave them more information with her answer than all the guys have done.

Carly had a very short and sharp answer to the question about Trump's words on Carly's face. Slash. She connected her response to Trump's answer about Bush's words so her response seemed unrehearsed. She paused to consider what she was going to say and then blew him up. So far she's been better than anyone else in the debate. And then Donald has to give his totally insincere answer that he thinks she's got a beautiful face. No one believes that just like they don't believe how wonderful Trump will be for women. He was willing to slam her in a joke in front of a Rolling Stone reporter, but not defend what he said in public. But he wasn't willing to simply apologize. An honest apology from Donald Trump would have been so startling.

Rubio had a good answer about speaking Spanish. He tied in his grandfather and then got in that he can talk to Hispanics in Spanish to give them the conservative message. Jeb was fumbling around with his defense of speaking Spanish and his bland response about Trump's attack on his wife. And his crack about wanting Spanish speakers to hear the news from him and not from a translator at Univision was very nice and should resonate with GOP voters who worry about losing Hispanic voters.

Yes! Carly slams Trump for running up mountains of debt using other people's money which is the problem that our country is facing.

Chris Christie channeled his inner Newt Gingrich to criticize the discussion of Donald and Carly's financial careers by pointing out that that doesn't matter to an unemployed worker. But then he went too far telling Carly to be quiet. And the subject came up because she was asked about it. And she was making a substantive point about Trump's financial record in his own companies.

Rubio had a good answer about his missed Senate votes by setting himself against the Washington establishment.

IF Trump is going to know so much once he gets elected, can't he learn some of it now. All he has is bluster and the promise that he will know at some time in the future. That's not a comfort.

Instead of bashing John Roberts, how about Anthony Kennedy appointed by Reagan?

Why have a question on vaccines? Trump peddles dangerous untruths about vaccines and autism.

Ben Carson gets in a great snarky reply saying Trump "is an okay doctor." I don't know how many people will remember that Trump said Carson is an "okay doctor."

Geez - a question about a woman on the $10 bill. Ugh. But cheers to Cruz for saying he wouldn't take Hamilton off the $10 but would do it for the $20.

And I like that Carly rejected the token symbolism of putting a woman on currency.

If we had to pick one woman, I would pick Harriet Tubman. She demonstrated more such raw courage going back again and again into the South.

Overall, I would say that Fiorina and Rubio did the best in connecting their knowledge of issues with personal connections. Chris Christie had some very good moments. Donald Trump was his usual arrogant, clownish self lacking any real substance to his answers. I thought that Scott Walker did not help himself at all. His answers were dull and forgettable. He just didn't do what he needed to do to grab the moment. Ben Carson was his usual affable self, but his answers rambled and were hard to follow. Ted Cruz did his little shtick which I like as a conservative, but I don't see winning a general election.