As a political junkie, I was eager to watch the Republicans debates on Thursday to see how things would turn out. With Donald Trump in the mix, it was a mystery about how he would perform, what he might say and how the others would react to him. I was not disappointed.
Let me say at the outset that I am NOT a republican. Contrary to many in the LDS Church, I try to be open minded and look for the best person, yet I have been a registered Democrat all of my life except a brief 4-month period when I registered Republican in order to vote in a primary for a Republican candidate I liked. My first election was 1972, when Richard Nixon ran for President.
Anyway, I tuned into the junior debate very late (the last 30 minutes) because I hadn’t known exactly when it started. When I turned it on, Carly Fiorina was launching one of her Hilary Clinton attacks. Let me say at the outset, that I despise Carly Fiorina. I was working at Hewlett-Packard when she was hired as CEO. Many of us were hoping she would breathe new life into a rather stodgy company because she was so good at public speaking and thus creating the illusion of competence.
Unfortunately, she lacked leadership skills, business acumen and the foresight to understand what made HP the great company it had been for more than 50 years. As result, she ruined one of American’s most innovative companies that was part of Silicon Valley. So, when she was fired, HP was in bad shape and frankly, has never recovered. She talks a good game, which makes her so good as a politician. She never held another hi tech CEO job and had a disastrous US Senate bid in California.
When Rick Perry was speaking, my wife yelled from the other room, “is that George W Bush?” I said I thought the same thing, he sounded exactly like him. Not good.
One of the other observations was that it took 22 minutes into the major league debate for someone to utter “Ronald Reagan.” In the minor league version, I must have heard Ronald Reagan twenty times in the 30 minutes I watched. In fact, I would swear that one of the candidates closing remarks went like this:
“Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, taxes, Ronald Reagan, Obama’s fault, illegal immigration, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Isis. Greatest Country on earth, Ronald Reagan, Thank you”
So, how do I rate the 10 candidates:
I made a mental list of them under the categories:
Trying a Bit Too Hard
Some of the obvious highlights were:
- Donald Trump not pledging to run as a 3rd Party Candidate.
- Rand Paul going after him at the first chance.
- Trump’s remark about Rosie O’Donnell.
- The great fight between Chris Christie and Rand Paul.
I thought the answers were pretty typical of a Republican-oriented debate fed by Republican-oriented Fox News. You’d think the country was totally in the toilet based on some of the responses. The audience certainly agreed. And while there was some Washington bashing going on, especially from the outsiders, these are politicians (for the most part) we are talking about and they always know what side their bread is buttered on. And in most instances, they failed to answer the questions posed to them, even when asked repeatedly to do so. The most favorite word spoken was “I.”
Trump was his usual self, speaking off the cuff, not really saying anything concrete beyond making American great again. Nothing new there.
BTW, no Mormon candidates this time. Only one ex-Mormon, Marco Rubio, who has claims that his family left the Church after he did research about the Church at age 8. Not likely.
So, I think in the end, Jeb Bush will be the Republican nominee against Hilary Clinton. I also think Clinton will probably win for the following reasons:
- The fierce fight for the Republican nomination will weaken the eventual nominee (Bush) just like in 2008/2012.
- The country is not as conservative as the right wing of the Republican party and even moderate candidates like Bush will have to move right to get the nomination.
- Republicans continue to shoot themselves in the foot regarding women, minorities and social issues.
- It will be history making time to elect a woman. So it will happen.
Did you watch the debate?
If so, what did you think?
Is this too early for this type of engagement?