The big loser of the evening was CNN. The format CNN used was terrible. The network was only concerned about sound bites, bickering between the candidates. There seemed to be very little interest in talking about issues or positions. Even when the candidates complained about the format CNN refused to adjust. At the end of the evening, we knew very little more about the candidates positions than we did before the debate.
Because of CNN, I believe those Americans who had previously made up their minds on which candidate they were supporting had no reason to change their mind. For a three-hour debate, there was very little new information learned. For those who entered the debate uncommitted, or undecided, chances are they left the debate the same way.
That is not to say that certain candidates did not step up. Carly Fiorina did have another good night. This woman had to fight tooth and nail to get herself onto the stage with the “big boys.” Once there, just like the first debate, she stood out and impressed. She projected knowledge of the issues and articulated her positions very well. Carly also refused to enter the personality squabbles, and took advantage of her time to promote herself.
It is impossible to discuss the evening without mentioning Donald Trump. He is always the elephant in the room. Trump entered the debate by going on the attack. His questioning Rand Paul’s appearance in the debate was thrown down without any provocation. After Trump attacked three of the candidate in the first five minutes, he sensed his attacks were falling flat. On the fly, he changed tactics to a softer, kinder Donald. If this new attitude continues, Trump may gain even more strength going forward. I think, and many others agree, that Donald Trump’s biggest enemy is Donald Trump. If he can show that he can act civilly toward those who oppose him, he will be showing he can represent America in a positive way with foreign leaders.
Chris Christy acted like the adult in the room by complaining about CNN’s format. John Kasich brought out his accomplishments. His time in Washington was so long ago that many voters have no idea who he is. Marco Rubio may have helped himself. Same for Jeb Bush. Bush showed “energy” which was missing in round one. Ben Carson ‘s quiet personality may have hurt him with viewers.
Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul seemed to be the candidates who were squeezed out. It will be interesting to see if their funding allows them to continue.
I did not watch the first debate of the evening. I could write what the TV talking heads say about that debate, but you can watch the shows and decide for yourselves. Personally, I think all four of those participants will soon drop out of the race for lack of funds, unless one of them becomes another Carly.
Of the eleven prime time candidates, I could support maybe ten of the eleven. And I could vote for the eleventh if I hold my nose. The stage was filled with some very talented people. The Grand Old Party should be proud of those who are representing their positions.