Nearly 24 hours later, the third GOP presidential primary debate, held in Boulder, Colorado and moderated by CNBC media personalities, has me feeling a little bipolar.
Aw snap! Becky Quick (great first name), John Harwood and Carl Quintanilla are asking some pointed, tough questions!
The love is gone! Jeb and Rubio are cannibalizing each other onstage!
Did Ted Cruz just make a semi-funny pot joke?
It’s on! Trump just called out Kasich as a hypocrite! Managing Director at Lehman Brothers when it declared bankruptcy! Boom!
Trump keeps saying we’re not ‘winning’ anymore. Are he and Charlie Sheen drinking the same tiger blood?
Holy shit. Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz are the voices of reason on Social Security??? MIKE HUCKABEE AND TED CRUZ???
You are not Hillary Clinton’s biggest nightmare Fiorina, no matter how many times the claim is repeated. I’d venture that the HRC doesn’t bother thinking of you at all.
These guys and gals know that a flat tax of ANY percent still favors the rich! And creates a bigger deficit than the one they collectively claim to hate! Bastards!
I’m still struggling to integrate the conflicting moods this shit show gifted over the course of two hours. It was refreshing to hear Kasich level with the country about the unfitness of Carson, Trump, et al for the nation’s highest office, the lack of practical experience. But talk about the lesser of two evils. Mike Huckabee was the Governor of Arkansas for 11 years. Ostensibly this should qualify him to lead the country. But does anyone – Republican or Democrat – feel comfortable with this response to a question about the economy:
“Why don’t we say, let’s cure the four big cost-driving diseases: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s?…If you do that, you don’t just change the economy, you transform the lives of millions of hurting Americans.”
I think I speak for the rational among us when I say…what now?
And I believe my sister echoed the feelings of a wearied many after Rand Paul’s closing statement. Upon claiming, “I want a government so small, you can barely see it,” she expressed yearning for a Republican candidate field of similar size.
So many questions in the aftermath of an ongoing exercise in excruciating national embarrassment. But the most important one remains unanswered today. With 14 candidates left in the field and the actual primaries just a couple months away, is anyone going to make like Scott Walker and go back to screwing up his or her regular day job?
The New York Times Editorial Board makes an emphatic case for Chris Christie’s exit in a piece succinctly titled Gov. Christie, Time to Go Home. They write:
“It’s that time in the ever-long presidential campaign when candidates lacking money and mojo are starting to go back to their plows. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey should join them.”
Jeb Bush is struggling in the polls, cutting spending and seems to hate his own life more with each passing second of this primary travesty. Does anyone really believe he has the spirit to travel the Straight Talk Express a la McCain 2008 and come back from the dead? It’s clear he thinks he has to be here, to try to be the adult voice of reason. But it’s not connecting with voters and you’re not happy Jeb! (logo exclamation marks only make the situation more ironic). Trust me when I tell you it’s fine with all of us if you hang it up.
Bobby Jindal is out of touch and out of money. What’s more, his ongoing, reckless campaign has offered Republicans legitimate fear of losing the Louisiana governorship next round. If Jindal is not experiencing public pressure to drop out of the presidential race, it’s almost certain he’s facing it privately.
We know for certain who’s in it for the long haul – eminently unlikable Texas Senator Ted Cruz. He’s the political equivalent of a Gremlin without the cute, furry initial phase. The more water gets thrown on him, the stronger, more smug and entrenched he becomes. He’s securing new financial backers. He’s immune to the collective disgust of his colleagues and his own 42 percent unfavorable rating. It’s fitting that as the choice of conservative evangelicals he’s opted for the living, breathing biblical plague strategy.
The next GOP debate is around the corner on November 10 whether we want it or not. It would be great if some of the chaff I’ve mentioned would heed good sense and spare themselves further humiliation. However, that goes against everything we know of this bunch.