Roger’s Rules

Who won the GOP debate last night?

I mean the grown-ups debate, the one with 11 people. Let’s start with do did not win it. Top losers:

  1. CNN: pathetic serious of “gotcha” questions intended (as Ezra Pound said in a different context) to be stirrers up of strife among the candidates rather than to illuminate the issues.  Plus, Jack Tapper is no Megyn Kelly.
  2. John Kasich: too high a quota of semi-coherent accommodationism.


  1. Best line goes to Scott Walker: “We don’t need an apprentice in the White House.”
  2. Rubio was excellent overall: a bit of humor, polished, commanding answers all around, excellent grasp of the issues.
  3. Christie was eloquent and moving on planned parenthood. Almost put himself back in the race.
  4. Carly, along with Rubio, gave perhaps the best all-round performance.  She’s clearly in command of the issues.  Spoke to the point and was even good dealing with Trump on CNN’s stupid question about his remark about her appearance:  the women of America heard him loud and clear. She too was splendid on planned parenthood, also excellent on the liar-in-chief in the other party, i.e., Hillary.
  5. Cruz, as always, was excellent on the issues but, also as always, seemed to be lecturing more than speaking.

I thought Walker, Rubio, and Christie came out looking stronger. Cruz treaded water. Carly Fiorina did herself a lot of good.

Trrump? He was marginally more mature last night than during his first performance. No women were called pigs.  Punditry is not prophecy but here’s a prediction,  when we look back on the 2016 election from the safe distance of November 2016, the high watermark  on the wall next to Trump’s name will be September-October 2015.  He will start to recede soon.

Rand Paul seemed like somebody’s mascot.  Jeb Bush actually did have more energy: the “Everyready” line was amusing, and Trump’s response was nearly generous.

Hukabee?  ‘buff said.

One great tidbit from the first debate: Bobby Jindal shone.  His line about Obama waging war on trans fats but negotiating with Iran was a stunner.

The overall take-away from the evening should encourage us about the strength of the GOP bench and the reinforce our impatience with the media.