Some heartfelt (yeah, really!) advice on how to process the debates:
First of all... if you watched the debates - one or both - GREAT! This is what you need to do! (And the same goes for the Democratic Party debates when they occur!)
If you didn't watch the debates... either find and view the debate videos (at least the "Main Event" online), or, locate and read the transcript(s). (Which brings me to my first piece of advice...)
DON'T let the media tell you "what you saw" or what to make of it. If you watched the debates then you should have your OWN opinions concerning who "won," who "lost," and which candidates impressed and/or disappointed... YOU!
The media sucks! They all have their own biases and agendas and few have the integrity to simply "report" rather than editorialize (and try to manipulate readers) via the "narrative" they choose to deliver.
As for the polls... don't let them sway you. Most of them are skewed in order to (attempt to) manipulate you!
(And even if they weren't, why focus on others' opinions and reactions rather than focusing upon your own? If you watched the debate... go with your gut... go with YOUR initial take!)
Second of all... some harsh (perhaps obnoxious) truth. (Ready?)
Media bias, partisanship, incompetence, and lack of honor aside... it's hard to judge the candidates' responses if one isn't intimately acquainted with the reality (or lack of!) of their premises and claims. This is just common sense; and it's a fact. If one doesn't know the objective truth... if one doesn't have a well thought out worldview of one's own... then one will tend to judge a candidate's performance on just that - the "performance."
Folks... I didn't take notes... and I'm not gonna bother to review and outline examples via the transcripts... but believe me... by and large, most of the candidates were/are NOT giving us "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." While it's more common to avoid actually answering the ACTUAL QUESTIONS and instead embarking upon a distracting ramble, at times certain of the candidates simply... lied!
Jeb Bush was all over the map! He contradicted himself left and right!
Chris Christie? As regular readers know, I simply despise the guy. Two points though: 1) On style... or performance... Christie was one of last night's winners. He came across as "a grown-up." However... 2) He avoided actually answering certain questions and contradicted himself on others. Bottom line... Christie can be entertaining... he can get you cheering... but in the end... ya just can't trust the guy. (In fact, he may very well be indicted before next year's election... but that's a story for another day...)
How'd Trump do? MY opinion? He was one of the losers. Not badly; certainly not disastrously so; but he certainly didn't kick ass! He knew the moderator and questioners were going to "go after" him. (And they did; the first policy question didn't come until the 35-minute mark!) He knew many of the other candidates were going to target him... and they did. This clearly rattled him in the sense that he overcompensated with regards to going right back after them personally. Oh... don't get me wrong; Trump WON some points; WON certain exchanges; but on the whole (especially during the opening half-hour of the debate) he came across as... "immature." (Hey! Just my two-cents worth!) (Note: Bush did MUCH worse overall!)
Who won the night? Rand Paul.
Of course... I based this not just on his performance - which was calm, controlled, almost professorial - but upon the "meat" - the substance - of his answers and positions. (But, hey... this is from MY perspective. We'll see how the rest of America felt.)
The other big winner (in my estimation): Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz has stage presence... brains... and sincerity. (And of course he's RIGHT on most of the issues!)
How'd Carly Fiorini do? Not as well as she needed to, in my (never) humble opinion. Her performance seemed uneven to me. Too rehearsed. She needed to hit a home run last night and she didn't. She did no better and no worse than Rubio or Huckabee. She PERHAPS did a bit better than Walker.
Kasich...??? Geezus... he melted down right before our eyes last night. I wouldn't be surprised if he's out of the race before the first primary! (We'll see!) At times... watching the guy... I was worried he'd stroke out right on stage!
Anyway... did I leave anyone out? Yes... in a sense I did. Jake Tapper! Yep... the moderator. He SUCKED!
Again... folks... these transparent morons representing the fourth estate (look that reference up if you must) can't help themselves! To reiterate: The first POLICY question didn't come till 35-minutes into the so-called "debate!"
It really is a disgrace what the media does. Partisanship... "gotchya" journalism... most questions prefaced with "so and so has accused you of blah-blah-blah"...
Bread and circuses, folks; red meat to the mob; not even the pretense of caring more about substance than style.
This country is in DEEP trouble, my friends. We deserve better. Some of us DEMAND better. Most of us don't, though.
And that's my "surface" analysis of last night's GOP debate.
P.S. -- As for the opening debate - the 6:00 p.m. "minor candidates" debate - Jindah did the "least worst" in my (never) humble opinion. Pataki...? A fake, phony, crooked, lying fraud. (*SHRUG*) Santorum? My question is... how's this guy support himself - let alone run for president every four years? Does he have a friggin' JOB to go along with his wife and seven children...??? (Oh... and wasn't there a fourth candidate? I believe there was... but, frankly... I can't recall who he is!)