Who won or lost the 5-hour long, 2nd GOP debate in 2015 on CNN last night? The biggest loser was host/moderator Jake Tapper. He was simply dreadful. The producers of the CNN debate also get a big ′L′ for their foreheads due to the format. Seriously, it was lopsided with only 4 candidates on the afternoon debate followed by 11 candidates for the main event. Yet, time-wise, the ′Funky-Four′ got to split up nearly 2 hours of face time. Seeing as how CNN bent their own rules to allow Carly Fiorina on the evening debate, they should have bumped at least two or three from prime-time to drive-time. While many of the professional pundits are claiming Lindsey Graham won the ′Kiddie′ debate, I think Bobby Jindal won that one, hands-down! He was ′high-energy′ and far more passionate about going after Planned Parenthood than Carly was during her ′big moment′. As predicted, Donald Trump was attacked during both debates by nearly everyone. But Trump came through just fine with both the Time Magazine and Drudge polls giving him the win.
Donald Trump was a bit tamer and pleasant last night. But when attacked, which was often, he defended himself. Some 44% of all of the questions asked to the candidates were about Trump, his statements and positions. Of the 26 questions about Trump, 18 were directed straight at him. The whole thing reminded me of movies like ″The Dam Busters″ or ″The Bridges at Toko-Ri″ where pilots are flying their planes through a hail of flak to hit their targets. But like Luke Skywalker flying his X-Wing fighter deep in the Death Star′s flak canyon, Donald hit the pickle at the right moment. ″Trump, use the Force…″ He even managed to score a victory after being set up by Tapper to confront Carly Fiorina, face-to-persona.
The loser of the drive-time debate was, without a question, George Pataki. Seriously, he looked like a dopier Gerald Ford, if that is even possible! From the very beginning during the singing of the National Anthem, Pataki looked like somebody had given him a Double-Plus-Good dose of Soma. He was just awful. Rick Santorum and Graham had their moments, but did little to real inspire any confidence. By the end, Graham pretty much made it obvious that he was a wet noodle. A spineless jellyfish with no commitment to do what is right. Jindal, on the other hand, was throwing plenty of raw, red meat to the disruptors and faithful of the Republican base.
I will say that there was no real, single, clear winner of the prime time debate. Trump succeeded in defending himself and all attempts to torpedo his campaign had failed. Even the ′high-energy′ Jeb Bush attack may have backfired on Jeb. A preliminary ′fact check′ shows that while a Trump lobbyist in Florida did spread some cash around at the time when the state legislature was considering the casino vote, there appears to be no direct link to the vote, nor any cash directly to Jeb Bush. Many pundits are praising Carly Fiorina for her performance, but I found her very annoying. There were too many times when she interrupted others and tried injecting herself into questions and conversations. Dare I use the ′B-word′? She did benefit from having a hometown crowd on her side in the audience. They were clearly staged to support her, Jeb Bush, and some of the other Establishment candidates.
Yes, Carly is an Establishment candidate! I don′t know why people are buying this nonsense of her being an ′outsider′? She is now a professional politician. This is her second big campaign and yet she thinks that she can get elected president even after losing her senate race. Only a career politician would think like that. On top of that, she was a member of The Club for Growth. The same organization that is attacking Trump now with million dollar ad buys. Why? Because they want amnesty for illegal immigrants. So if you think she′s going to build a wall, forget about it!
I don′t agree with Chris Christie very often, but he had a good night yesterday. Ben Carson was lukewarm at best. Ted Cruz was on cruise control. Marco Rubio gets the award for worst joke of the night, bringing his own water to California. He should have added that he brought his own diaper, too, so he wouldn′t have to flush of toilet in the drought-ridden state. I wish Rand Paul would have been on the drive-time debate and just shut up about Trump. If he were to focus back on what he knows best, he would be doing much better. He knows the Constitution and even backed up Trump on the anchor baby issue. As well as on the whole Iraq War thing!
On the one hand, the CNN debate was more engaging than the Fox News debate as the candidates got to mix it up more. Much of that due to how Jake Tapper isolated and minimized the other two moderators, Hugh Hewlitt and Dana Bash. They looked like they were in a penalty box, feeling shame. But overall, CNN did a horrible job in executing the event. They even goofed during the pre-debate show misidentifying Nancy Reagan. We′ll see if the October 28 debate on CNBC is any better. I can′t imagine why it would be?