I totally FAILED to mention CARSON!
I suppose in a sense this brain fart is a bit telling. Carson just doesn't "come on strong."
That said... he's pretty clearly (one of) the smartest guys in the room - in EVERY room he enters.
See, folks, even I get caught up in the "performance" aspect of these dog and pony shows!
(Which is why I actually prefer reading transcripts to watching/listening via TV or radio.)
Carson is brilliant... he's MATURE... he's clearly an ADULT in the "perception" sense...
He also CLEARLY comes across as honest... moral... sincere...
BUT HE NEEDS TO ME MORE ASSERTIVE!
He was smart in not rising to the bait as offered up by the moderator, interviewers, and other candidates. He played it cool... and, again... MATURE... as an ADULT.
From my perspective he's mostly right on the issues. Perhaps just as important (indeed, perhaps MORE important), he comes across as a guy who is confident and informed, yet, who KNOWS he doesn't have "all the answers." In other words, where I disagree with him on policy... or where I feel he needs "tutoring" on certain specific components concerning certain issues... Carson comes across as the kind of guy who WANTS to be educated; who SEEKS to have his assumptions challenged and new information and countering perspectives lobbed at him. In other words... he's not just a talker... he's a listener... and he's a "ponderer." (Read: Principled but open to being convinced to change his mind.)
Frankly... I'd LOVE to see Dr. Carson as the VP candidate. (Yep. Over Carly Fiorini.)