Hmmmm…I think I am going to go from biggest loser to biggest winner.
Biggest loser without a doubt tonight was the CNBC moderators. Oooooouch. After Ted Cruz destroyed them, it was open season. Before he made those comments, I was thinking to myself about their tone and how disgusting the tactics and lines of questioning was. In fairness, they allowed Ted to answer a question after he squandered his time, but even if they hadn’t, he still won with that response. After that, the candidates (and later on the audience) would hit them back when they thought the moderators were being unfair or just trying to start a fight. I think they might need a strong drink tonight.
Bush NEEDED tonight. He is stuck in 5th place after spending way more than anyone else. I hate to break it to him, but that is as high as he is going to get. The only people that like him are establishment types. After Chris Christie and Kasich drop out, there are no more votes coming his way. Basically, that’s not even enough to put him in contention with Trump or Carson. It didn’t help that every attack he made on opponents got turned back on him in a crushing fashion. His campaign is DEAD.
Kasich had a bad night too. He has some good selling points, honestly. But he came across as a hater. He felt like ripping into the favorites (making himself more unlikable) and didn’t bother to really spell out how his solutions were better. Basically, he called other people vague (or fantasy) while being vague about his own plans.
Huckabee made some good points and came across as likable. He is also forgettable. He didn’t get a lot of airtime, which also hurts him. However, I believe he does these things for exposure for his talk show, so I don’t think he’s too broken up about it.
Rand Paul didn’t do what he needed to do. God, it breaks my heart to say this. If you listen to his ideas and what he says, he is 100% spot on. I agree with him near perfectly, and that doesn’t happen too often. However, he needed to break out. He appeals to people that listen to ideas and really thinks about it. He just doesn’t have the personality and showmanship to stand out in this crowd. This is not to say he’s not a GREAT candidate or that he doesn’t have GREAT ideas, but this night was a bit of a loss. However, he has a MOTIVATED group of loyalists, and I believe that he isn’t out. He can actually run his campaign much cheaper than any of the others because his campaign depends upon motivated individuals. I think he will stay where he is. People supporting Paul are doing it on principles.
Now for the winners.
Chris Christie actually made himself seem likable and funny. He wasn’t as mean and nasty this go around. His pollsters had a talking to him. He also made a lot of good points. However, I still don’t trust the slimy bastard and think he is an authoritarian. Still, I think he will get a bump as Bush supporters switch over to him.
Fiorina also won, I think. She is constantly moving up and down. She is someone you like more when you are listening to her, but then she fades when she is out of sight. She is so sharp and measured. Really like her, and I think she did well.
Rubio did well. He had a couple of tight spots, but he also have some good shots at Bush and was able to turn attacks against him back on the attackers. Still there were a few moments when he had some trouble and sweated a little. Good job on him pointing out the hypocrisy of the Benghazi coverage.
Cruz did something he really needed to do. He made himself likable. I’m not 100% percent behind Cruz. I do think that he is a little more big government on some things (like the military) than I would like. I prefer Paul who is a pure Constitutionalist. However, Cruz is still strong on the Constitution, and he helped his weakest spot–his likability and him coming across as a robot.
Trump did well too. You see, the thing about Trump is he refuses to be beaten. He had a lot of trouble moments in the debate, and he just bashed it down with pure force of will. You can talk about his stances and such, but I’m talking about who had the best night. Trump did great because he stayed at the fore and never backed down. As long as he never retreats and never apologizes, he will be first or second. That’s just the way it is. That’s all he really has to do.
Carson was the big winner. He continues to learn and evolve into more and more of a Libertarian. He is still so damn rational and calm and just damn likable. If he wins the nomination, he is going to DESTROY Hillary.
LONG LIVE THE CONSTITUTION!