Atlanta, GA – Tomorrow is the New Hampshire Primary, which makes the GOP Debate that happened on Saturday so crucial, as it was the last time New Hampshire voters will have a chance to see all of the viable and slightly viable candidates on stage at the same time before they cast their ballots.
Marco Rubio came out of the gate spinning in circles and looking like a man who forgot to take his motion sickness pills before riding a merry-go-round on a ship cresting thirty-foot waves. He was so bad that I almost felt sorry for him…almost, because sorry is not something I ever feel for politicians. If they got themselves into this mess, they will have to get themselves out of it.
Chris Christie went after Rubio and took him down, time after time. With line after line, attack after attack, Chris Christie had his best - in what has been a string of good debate performances. This was his first hands-down debate victory. He still won’t be the nominee, but it was fun to watch.
Ben Carson also did very well in the opening moments of the fight, going after Cruz and shutting him down. Had the former brain-surgeon had more time to speak, he may very well have challenged Christie for the victory title, but such is the luck of those who are doing poorly in the polls. Carson will not make it to Super Tuesday, or if he does, he will come in crawling.
Ted Cruz’s night was a bowl of meh. He needed to dominate, to prove that Iowa wasn’t a fluke, and that his horrible debate performance last time was. But instead he stayed in the background, not having a bad night, but not having a good one either. He won’t win New Hampshire unless Trump’s plane crashes, but as we move towards more conservative southern states, expect Cruz to start racking up the victories.
Jeb Bush reminded everyone he is still here, although that was about all he did. Unless something happens, (it won’t) that somehow propels Bush into the top tier of New Hampshire voting tomorrow, I expect by the end of the week to hear him at last say the welcomed words “I am suspending my campaign.”
Donald Trump was so-so, no fireworks, which for him is surprising, he is still on top with the numbers, and tomorrow he will have something to brag about when he wins New Hampshire, but after that, who knows? The Trump bubble will burst someday, but when?
And then there was some guy…oh yeah, John Kasich. I won’t waste your time. Remember the really annoying nerd from the movie War Games? “Mr. potato head”? Yeah, he was on stage last night.
As for CBS. From the moment George Stephanopoulos aired some silly little video about McCain and Graham, the whole thing had the feel of a high school musical directed by the last person available,
David Muir was leaning like he had balance problems when he stood on stage to announce the candidates, and what a job he did of it. If George Schultz had written a Peanuts strip about Charlie Brown’s worst nightmares come true, it would not have been as bad as David Muir on Saturday. It sort of left you wondering, when the whole debacle was over, how did Brian Williams get fired and Muir get to keep his job?
The moderating had a general feeling of ineptness, with candidates constantly having to remind Muir (who was often blushing visibly, even under twenty-nine layers of makeup) that they got to answer when their name was mentioned. To make matters worse, Ham’s opening line screamed of unprofessionalism, (you don’t say “hey guys” to the candidates…ever).
So that was how it went down. I didn’t learn much, except that Chris Christie would probably be a great guy to invite to a party.
I look forward to the Saturday Night Live Spoof.
Andrew C. Abbott