Presidential debate

A Trump-Sanders debate?

Featured image There’s talk of a debate between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. It would occur before the California primary. Sanders says he’s up for it. Trump said so too, but now it seems he may have been joking. For Sanders, a successful debate against Trump could propel him to victory in California, something he dearly would love to achieve. However, it wouldn’t propel him to the nomination. Hillary Clinton has that »

Tonight’s GOP debate — basically a non-event

Featured image Tonight’s Republican presidential debate produced virtually no fireworks and nothing that is likely to change the trajectory of the race. In other words, it was a good night for Donald Trump. The mild tone of the debate was due, in part, to CNN’s approach. Perhaps feeling embarrassed by their previous outings, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash asked policy questions almost exclusively. Food fight questions were left for near the end, »

A good night for Ted Cruz; a good enough night for Donald Trump

Featured image Tonight’s Republican presidential debate was not a game-changer. In fact, I’m not sure it will have any impact on the race. Obviously, this is a bad outcome for those of us who are anti-Trump, so I wish I could report otherwise. But I just didn’t see anything that seems likely to (1) cause Trump to lose support or even (2) cause the considerable anti-Trump sentiment in the party to deepen. »

On Libya, Kasich is right, Rubio is wrong, and Trump is lying

Featured image During last night’s debate, Ted Cruz criticized Marco Rubio for supporting U.S. military intervention in Libya to topple the Qaddafi regime. Qaddafi’s demise has, of course, resulted in awful consequences, including, but certainly not limited to, the rise of ISIS in Libya Rubio responded that he supported our intervention because it was foregone conclusion that Qaddafi would fall and he wanted the U.S. to facilitate a satisfactory post-Qaddafi future. Unfortunately, »

What is Telemundo running for?

Featured image There were five official presidential candidates in tonight’s GOP debate, but six debaters. The sixth was a female reporter from Telemundo. She was running a single-issue campaign. Her issue was relief for illegal immigrants. Her performance was nauseating. The Telemundo woman, María Celeste Arrarás, asked the candidates this question: “Do you [or your fellow candidates] get it?” By “it,” as she made clear in a speech masquerading as a question, »

There’s no evidence that Trump opposed invading Iraq

Featured image Last night, Donald Trump repeated his claim that “I’m the only one on the stage that said we should not go into Iraq.” As I’ve pointed out before, however, there is no credible evidence that Trump said any such thing. Trump had plenty to say about the Iraq invasion after it had taken place. In the early days, when it wasn’t going well, he called the invasion a mess. But »

A good night for Bush and Rubio, if that’s possible

Featured image In an earlier post, I wrote at length about what I thought was the big moment of tonight’s debate — Donald Trump’s attack on George W. Bush. I’ll now offer my overall impression of how the various candidates did. I thought Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio had the best debates. Jeb went toe-to-toe with Trump and was considerably more forceful than in their previous encounters, especially the early ones. Bush »

Trump channels Code Pink

Featured image It’s no secret that Donald Trump is a vicious bastard. It’s no secret that his views have often been more aligned with liberals than with conservatives. But until tonight, I didn’t know that his stance on George W. Bush is more vicious than that which leftist politicians are willing publicly to take. Nor did I know that Trump once urged Nancy Pelosi to impeach President Bush. In tonight’s debate, Trump »

I wonder who’s Kissinger now

Featured image If I had known that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were going to debate about Henry Kissinger, I would have kept watching last night. Having been outdebated on foreign policy in the previous debate, Sanders opened a new line of attack featuring the 92 year-old former Secretary of State. At Politico, professor Gary Bass reports: Sanders announced that he had a “very profound difference” with Clinton. “In her book and »

Tell me why

Featured image Tell me why no one attacked John Kasich last night. He’s leading the governors/former governors in New Hampshire, and conventional wisdom holds that only one (or at most two) governors will survive the New Hampshire primary. He’s a bona threat to finish ahead of Marco Rubio (and this was true even before last night) and Ted Cruz. If he finishes a close second, he could even hurt Trump going forward. »

Chris Christie’s suicide mission may make this a good night for Trump and Kasich [With Comment by John]

Featured image The first portion of tonight’s GOP debate, as well as the post-debate coverage, was dominated by the clash between Chris Christie and Marco Rubio. Christie assailed Rubio for not having governing experience and compared him to Barack Obama, who was also a first-term Senator when he ran for president. In addition, Christie criticized Rubio for allegedly relying on 25-second sound bites. Rubio responded by saying, in effect, that Obama’s problem »

Iowa loses

Featured image Tonight, the University of Maryland defeated Iowa’s third ranked men’s college basketball team 74-68. Maryland forwards Jake Layman and Robert Carter held Iowa all-American Jarrod Uthoff to 9 points on 2-13 shooting. Carter had 17 points on 7-11 shooting. In other Iowa news, there was a Republican presidential debate. As expected, Donald Trump boycotted it. I still don’t know whether this was a good decision, but it’s not looking too »

Is Trump just “being himself” in skipping the Fox News debate?

Featured image I agree with Steve Hayward that (1) Donald Trump’s decision to skip Thursday’s presidential debate looks more like a blunder than a stroke of genius, but (2) in light of the way Trump has gone from success to unorthodox success, we should be reluctant to conclude he has blundered here. The polls suggest that Trump is ahead of Ted Cruz in Iowa, but that Cruz is within striking distance. If »

A desperate Hillary attacks Sanders for supporting legislation Bill signed

Featured image Under powerful attack from Bernie Sanders in last night’s debate over her cozy relationship with Wall Street titans like Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton stated that Sanders is “the only one of this stage that voted to deregulate the financial market in 2000. . .which [was] one of the main causes of the collapse in ’08.” Sanders, of course, was the only one of the stage who could have voted to »

The Dems’ debate: Sanders comes on strong, but misses an opportunity

Featured image With the Democratic presidential race tightening, I decided to check out the candidates’ debate tonight. I stuck with it for an hour and a half. Here are my observations: First, Hillary Clinton turned in another strong performance. Republicans who think the GOP nominee won’t have his (or her) hands full should think again. Second, unlike in the first debate (the only other one I’ve watched), Bernie Sanders was also strong. »

A good night for Donald Trump

Featured image I hate to say it, but Donald Trump won tonight’s debate, in my opinion. He did so mainly by winning his big exchange with Ted Cruz on “New York values.” This, he accomplished by playing the 9/11 card and playing with a solemnity I hadn’t seen from him. Gone, momentarily, was the show biz Trump. This was Trump speaking compellingly from the heart, or so it seemed. Cruz could have »

A dance to the music of polls — previewing tonight’s GOP debate

Featured image The GOP presidential debates are like a typical television series. The quality of actors doesn’t vary much from episode to episode, nor does the general nature of the characters they play. What varies is which character[s] they come into conflict with in a given episode. In the debate context, this variable is driven by which candidate poll data tells a candidate he (or she) must try to smack down. Early »