The pundits are all over the place about who won and who lost the recent Republican debate, so I thought I would add my two cents’ worth, starting with the worst and heading towards the best.
Asa Hutchinson came across as a non-entity. I doubt he could be elected dogcatcher.
Doug Burgam seemed like a nice enough guy. I’d talk to him at a party, but I wouldn’t invite him to mine. I don’t think he’s presidential material.
Mike Pence, the former VP, looked like an actor a studio picked to play the president in a low-budget movie. Unfortunately, one needs to do more than look presidential and insult people to get elected. Plus, I tried to think of one example of leadership that I could recall from his time in the Senate, and I came up empty.
Note to Hutchinson and Pence: I think we’ve had enough of old men who have been in politics for decades. Being president is not a reward for years served. Your time is over. Move along now.
Middle of the Road
Chris Christie proved he could still be combative, and he made some good points, but while he would make a good attack dog for someone, I don’t see him in the White House. Maybe the eventual president could appoint him to clean up the DOJ or lock down the border.
Tim Scott came across as likeable with some good policy ideas, but he didn’t show he had what it takes to leap into the top spot.
I like Vivek Ramaswamy and I think his performance should garner him lots of attention from fresh eyes. It would not surprise me if he gets a bump. However, he made some blunders. If he learns from this and calms down a bit, he could be a strong competitor in the future. If Trump were to bow out, many MAGA voters will head for Ramaswamy and he’d have a lock on the nomination.
Nikki Haley exceeded my expectations. She performed well, made good points, had some good one liners, and didn’t let anyone push her around. I can remember Haley from when she was our UN ambassador, and I liked what she did while in office.
Ron DeSantis finished first out of everyone on the stage because he emerged largely unscathed. He started in the lead and he didn’t hurt himself. He may even have helped himself a little. It could have been far worse, but the other candidates were gunning for Ramaswamy, not DeSantis. It’s almost like the politicos wanted to get rid of the only non-politician who might shake things up…
The Biggest Winner
In my opinion, Donald Trump won by skipping the debate. It was a good tactical decision.