Presidential debate

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 »

The winner of the Rubio-Cruz immigration fight? Donald Trump

Featured image Open warfare between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz broke out during Tuesday’s debate. The topics were (1) intelligence gathering to protect the national security and (2) immigration. As I wrote immediately after the debate, it’s the immigration clash that will count most. Both issues matter greatly to Republican voters, but disagreements about immigration matter more than disputes about particular data collection methods. This is why Rubio was desperate to claim »

Last night’s debate: some lowlights

Featured image The quality of last night’s debate was good overall, I thought. This is a talented field when it comes to debating. Even most of the candidates who were assigned to the undercard are fine debaters. There were, however, several low moments. I’ve already discussed the lowest — Donald Trump saying that the most important component of the (nuclear) triad is the nuclear part. Trump, though, is bullet-proof for the time »

Trump’s nuclear howler

Featured image Tonight, Donald Trump delivered the biggest howler of the presidential campaign (at least on the GOP side). But don’t worry, the topic was a trivial one — nuclear weapons. Hugh Hewitt asked Trump which part of our aging triad would be his priority as president. Trump answered, the nuclear side. But the triad, as Marco Rubio explained, is entirely nuclear. It consists of ships that can deliver nukes, planes that »

Tonight’s debate: more of the same but with a key difference

Featured image In a sense, tonight’s debate was more of the same. Once again, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Chris Christie excelled. Carly Fiorina was strong for the most part. Rand Paul defended his libertarian views well. Jeb Bush couldn’t quite kill, or even much injure, the Great White Whale. The Great White Whale spouted plenty of nonsense, but who cares, right? John Kasich was John Kasich. Ben Carson was again the »

Hillary Clinton: “I come from the ’60s, a long time ago”

Featured image I didn’t watch the Democrats’ presidential debate on Saturday night. There was too much good college football on tap, which probably helps explain why the Dems staged the event in this time slot. Or is it just coincidence that the debate, held in Iowa, conflicted with the game between undefeated Iowa and the University of Minnesota? This report from the Washington Post suggests that the Democrats were wise to hold »

Philosophy and the Republican debate

Featured image In the absence of gotcha questions at Tuesday’s debate, philosophy moved to the fore. It was trashed twice. In an exchange with Ted Cruz over a hypothetical bailout of Bank of America, John Kasich said: That’s the difference of being an executive. And let me just explain: when a bank is ready to go under, and depositors are getting ready to lose their life savings, you just don’t say we »