Winners and Losers from the First Debate
Carly Fiorina- She was thoroughly prepped, knew what she wanted to say, and is a much better candidate now than she was during her unsuccessful run for the U. S. Senate in California.
Bobby Jindal- The Louisiana governor nearly ruined his future prospects a few years back when he gave one of the most boring responses to the State of the Union that I have ever seen. But then again, the first glimpse we had of Bill Clinton was when he gave a neverending speech at the 1988 Democratic National Convention and he was able to bounce back. Jindal did not exactly knock the ball out of the park, but he did show that he is a legitimate contender.
Rick Perry- His time has come and gone.He is saying the same things now he said four years ago and they were not that impressive then.
George Pataki- It's all fine and well that Pataki was governor of New York on 9-11, but that association with the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history did not help Rudy Giuliani to become president and Guiliani did much more during that time than Pataki. Pataki seems like a relic of a bygone era.
Rick Santorum- In 2012, with nowhere near as many viable candidates, Santorum did much better than expected in becoming the chief challenger to Mitt Romney for his party's nomination. Republicans have candidates who are much stronger than Santorum on his key issues this time around.
Lindsey Graham- Graham seemed out of touch with reality. There is no way that Republicans are ready to nominate someone who is ready to send ground troops into Iraq and Syria. Plus, Graham, who has always been considered to be a likable politician, came across grim and dour today.
Predictions for the Main Event
Donald Trump will make headlines- What's new? What will be new is that Trump is going to fare far better than many think. The idea that he is a loose cannon and will say whatever comes into mind is an accurate one, but it is also an image that Trump has carefully cultivated. If he comes across, even every once in a while, tonight as a serious candidate, he stands to build his current lead.
Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie Will Be Shaky- I am not expecting much from these three. Jeb will be better than his brother was (George W. Bush's early 2000 debate performances were terrible), but that's not saying much. I have seen nothing yet to convince me that Scott Walker belongs on the national stage, and Chris Christie's New Jersey tough guy act does not play well outside of that area. Lately, it hasn't been playing that well in New Jersey either.
Mike Huckabee will do well- Huckabee's previous presidential run and his years as host of a Fox News Channel program have him uniquely prepared for forums like this one. He also has the ability to personalize his answers with strong short stories, something I have not seen from his opponents.
Rand Paul is the wild card- It is hard to predict what Rand Paul will do. His Libertarian strain, though not as pronounced as his father's is a refreshing change of pace in this field. He has fought for privacy rights and he has come out against much of the interfering in other countries ideas that Lindsey Graham and John McCain are still promoting. Paul is one candidate who could trump Trump, but he is also one who could shoot himself in the foot and damage his candidacy.
Ted Cruz will not make headway- I am expecting a decent performance from Ted Cruz, but his major differences with GOP regulars have been pushed aside with the emergence of Trump. Cruz has to prove that he is not yesterday's news.
John Kasich will have an impressive showing- Kasich has the same advantages that Huckabee has- a successful time as governor, plus being the host of a Fox News Channel program. He is personable and has moved a long way just to get into the top 10.
Ben Carson will boost his name recognition- Dr. Ben Carson will come across as a much quieter, dignified outsider (in comparison to Donald Trump). He is well known in Fox News circles, but this should serve as his introduction to the rest of the U. S.
Marco Rubio will gain much needed experience- Marco Rubio stands to gain the most from tonight. If he handles himself well, he could leap into the upper echelon of the candidates. Since this is his first big event as a candidate, I am expecting an up-and-down performance, which won't hurt him a bit, and will prepare him for the rounds to come.
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