Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The morning after: Who gained and who lost in last night's GOP debate

There were few (if any?) surprises in last night's GOP Presidential debate. Trump was a bombastic bully who got boos. Bush was eclipsed by Kasich. Fiorina was Fiorina. Rubio was a scary war monger. Cruz managed to be impressively repulsive. Carson seemed asleep - so much so that he put us to sleep.

Here are some observations from Frank Bruni writing at the NY Times - in no particular order.

... during [an] argument over federal spending, one in which the insertion of Bush’s voice would have made complete sense, he stood mute, unable to find a way into the discussion even as John Kasich successfully butted in and took up residence there.

[Fiorina] went bolder, louder and snarkier, noting that when she met Putin it was "not in a green room." She thus dismissed Trump as nothing more than a frivolous TV presence, a talking head with a tepee of hair.

And she really got under his skin.

"Why does she keep interrupting everybody?" Trump said, seemingly forgetting that he’d been trying to make nice with her ever since that sexist, ugly comment about her face. He was booed.

Earlier, when [Trump] spat out some nastiness at Kasich, there were also boos.

Speaking of Kasich ...

Kasich and Bush have each made a firm, last-ditch decision to play the seasoned, reasonable veteran among interlopers spouting nonsense and hard-core conservatives who could never beat Hillary Clinton. Sadly for Bush, Kasich played the part with more passion.

"On-the-job training for president of the United States doesn’t work," Kasich said, alluding to President Obama and taking a dig at Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz without mentioning their names.

But those two had some thunder.

[Rubio] was scary, charting a course of unrestrained interventionism, and when he fielded a final question about how he’d stack up to Clinton, he reverted to talking points.

Cruz then grabbed the ball, skewering Clinton more sharply and showing that he could out-eloquent Rubio and out-nasty anyone. Has a young politician ever managed to be so impressive and so repulsive all at once?

Cruz reminds me of scenes from Ghost Busters in which a guy in a dark suit gets covered in alien slime.

Carson seemed to sleep through the thunder.

[Carson] sounded utterly out of his depth on foreign policy.

Like I said: few surprises.

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