Random Debate Thoughts

I’m just going to do a bit of stream-of-consciousness writing today with regard to last night’s GOP debate. As thoughts come to me, I’ll put them down in no particular order or preconceived outline.

January 2016 Debate

Ted Cruz took the center spot, so he was subject to the greatest scrutiny. Great start with his humorous swipe at Trump, but he mystified me by his complaint about the questions. Was he serious or attempting humor again? If the former, stop complaining. If the latter, it didn’t work.

Too bad he had that little hiccup because he was superb on certain questions later, particularly on how to replace Obamacare and with his explanation to an Iowa audience why no one should support subsidies. That was risky in ethanol country, but it showed his knowledge of limited government and sound economics. It also revealed his willingness to stand on principle. Hope people in the audience learned something.

Marco Rubio, despite not doing very well in his back-and-forth with Bush on immigration, was otherwise excellent. Many think he “won” the debate, as much as anyone can “win” any debate. Sometimes he comes across as too intense, but he had some great laugh lines along the way to relieve that tension.

I’m impressed, of course, by Rubio’s strong Christian faith but not sure his insertion of Jesus as his Savior fit into that one answer. I understand he was responding to the question about how many in the GOP had been looking at him as their “savior,” but I don’t think anyone really was confusing the two.

Back to Cruz: afterwards, in a sit-down with Megyn Kelly, he got some good news from her. She said she and her colleagues had combed over all his comments about illegal immigration and that they came away impressed he truly has been consistent throughout his Senate tenure. I’m sure he appreciated that affirmation.

Bush was stronger than at any other debate. He came across as very comfortable in his own shoes for the first time. I don’t despise Jeb Bush; I think he is a good man. But I won’t be voting for him.

Likewise, Ben Carson is a good man who deserves much praise for his life and faith. I just don’t believe he should be president.

Chris Christie always has some good lines, and he was quite up front about the murder of innocent children via abortion. However, I think he made sure he said that to counter his past support for Planned Parenthood. He might be a fine attorney general in a Republican administration, but he should not be president.

Rand Paul offered some valid comments along the way and appeared relaxed and confident. That might be because he knows the end is near for his campaign and he still has his Senate job. While I have always disagreed with his basic worldview with respect to foreign policy, I do believe he is a man of principle. His voice is welcome, if not in the presidency.

Did I forget anyone? Oh, yes, John Kasich. Well, nothing to add there.

I watched the first debate of the evening also. I’m always impressed with Carly Fiorina’s ability to cut to the chase and offer intelligent commentary. I hope she gets a high-level position somewhere in the government.

I was saddened by Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum’s decision to go the Trump event after the first debate. Regardless of their reasons, I think that act may have ended both of their campaigns.

The Fox moderators were fair to all. I actually liked that they used videos of what Rubio and Cruz had said earlier to make them answer for what appear to be inconsistencies. They need that practice, and they have to be able to offer solid rationales for what they have said and done.

As I said in a previous post, my two top candidates at this time are Cruz and Rubio. What I really hope for is a decisive Trump defeat on Monday and a 1-2 finish for those two. Then I will continue to watch them closely and be able to come to a personal decision by the time the Florida primary comes around in March.