VodkaPundit

Program Note

You’re damn right I’m sleeping in this morning.

But in case you missed it, here’s the wrap from last night’s drunkblog.

*****

At the end of this, I’m looking back and thinking I was too harsh on the moderators — but they could have been better.

Tonight, in fact, would have been much improved with just two changes.

First, the Kiddie Table should have had eight candidates, and you can sort out which eight in the comments. I look forward to reading those.

Second, the panels should have been switched. The first set of panelists took their duty to take a backseat to the debating candidates more seriously than Neil Cavuto’s panelists did. The Kiddie Table Debate was focused on tonight’s issue in a way the Main Event simply wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, tonight wasn’t a disaster like CNBC put on two weeks ago. But it could have been so much better. And the first half, the half which ironically enough didn’t even matter, was so much better.

On now to the horse race aspects.

Jeb! didn’t lay a glove on anybody, and nobody laid a glove on Trump or Carson.

The two top contenders then remain the two top contenders, and the winner of the Money Primary, Jeb!, remains the also-ran in single digits. Whatever you or I may think of Bush, the stubborn fact remains that he didn’t win any votes tonight and he desperately needed to. If there’s anything worse than telegraphing your punch, it’s telegraphing your punch — and then pulling it. That’s what Jeb! did tonight.

Cruz played to his base, as did Paul. Fiorina is very strong in second gear, but it seems like her only gear. Kasich proved again, and this time I think the audience finally noticed, that he’s a right-wing progressive and out of tune with the GOP.

Rubio addressed America directly more than he debated his fellow candidates. It remains to be seen — and he’s stuck in most state polls in third or fourth place — whether that’s a winning stratagem.

Anyway, that’s how I see it tonight. Maybe a lousy night’s sleep and a prescription-strength Ibuprofen will provide more clarity in the morning.