Probably the best performances were made by Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson. Carly had a great grasp on the facts, but I am still concerned about where she really stands. I remember when she ran for office in California a few years back she campaigned in the general election as a squishy moderate. I fear that she would do the same in a Presidential general election and, frankly, I have never been a believer in her old employer, Hewlett-Packard. Could there be any truth to Trump's claim that the company's recent announcement of thirty thousand layoffs bases itself all the way back to Carly's style of leadership? It seems to me that she "gutted" the company severely before her ousting and yet the company IMHO has not been a technology leader.
But let's move to Ben Carson. Dr. Ben was clear, had a great grasp of the facts and was above board in all of his comments. His demeanor is soft, yet he has a strong base, and whatever happens I hope the next Administration, assuming the Republicans win, will use his talents for the good of America.
Ted Cruz was clear as always, leaving no doubt about where he stands on the issues, a stand which Conservatives obviously love. Unfortunately, Ted doesn't do as well in a mob scene debate as he would in a smaller, less combative environment. As long as he sticks near the top of the pack his chances will improve as the field shrinks.
And that leaves the current leader and the object of the opening salvo of attacks, Donald Trump. Donald took a bit of a different tack last night. Yes, he fired a few salvos but they were much softer and less direct. I think he realizes that the mob scene debate before the most liberal media host network was one he had to survive if not outright win. He did that well, holding himself in check at times when he could have blown the lid off and that would not have been good for him long term. Americans know where he stands and they are largely cheering him on, barring any last minute explosion.
Actually, I think The Donald is much more composed than people realize. He uses his outbursts for effect at a moment when they can be used effectively; with the business seasoning that he has I'm sure he knows just as well when to hold his fire is appropriate. That's why I think some of the comments from Rand Paul as well as Jeb Bush questioning his ability to be effective in dealing with our enemies is a myth. Frankly, I'd much rather have The Donald going head to head with Putin or the Chinese than either of the others. I think they would not be nearly strong enough to hold their own.
A few others had a couple of good moments, like Rubio and Huckabee, but I don't think they stirred the passion of the audience to change the rankings. So while Fiorina probably won the debate on points and both Carson and Cruz did well, The Donald actually won by not losing. I don't think his performance will do anything to lessen the excitement of those who think he's the one to turn this country around.
I think the big loser was Scott Walker. He tried to attack but was parried effectively, and I think he's running out of time with the big money contributors that he desperately needs. I know he did some great things as Governor of Wisconsin, but being a governor doesn't necessarily mean he will be effective on the main stage. This was likely his last big opportunity.
And that's my story, folks, and I'm sticking to it. I would welcome your reply and comments whether we agree or disagree.