Presidential debate

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 »

Google Poll: Trump won the debate; Bush lost it

Featured image In the view of Republican voters who watched last night’s debate, Donald Trump won the encounter and Marco Rubio finished second, according to a poll conducted by Google Consumer Surveys for the Wall Street Journal. Trump was the winner in the view of 28 percent of Republicans; Rubio in the eyes of 23 percent. After them come Ted Cruz (16 percent), Ben Carson (14 percent), Carly Fiorina (7 percent) and »

How’s this for objective political reporting?

Featured image The headline in today’s Washington Post (print edition) reads: “Debate exposes a rift within the GOP — rigid conservatism vs. a flexible pragmatism.” The story, by Philip Rucker and Ed O’Keefe, leads off this way: The leading Republican presidential candidates clashed sharply over immigration policy, military spending, and other intractable and emotional issues in a debate here Tuesday night, bringing into sharp relief the party’s fault line between rigid conservatism »

My take on tonight’s debate

Featured image I suspect that it’s “as you were” after tonight’s debate. In other words, not much about the race is likely to change, with the possible exception that Jeb Bush may be finished. Let’s do a candidate by candidate analysis. Donald Trump caught a “yuge” break because his first major topic (after a few words on the minimum wage) was immigration. This is the issue that helped propel him to the »

Outrageous media bias yields good night for most GOP candidates

Featured image Let’s start by identifying the two biggest losers of tonight’s GOP presidential debate. They are CNBC (along with the mainstream media in general) and Jeb Bush. But since CNBC isn’t running for president, I guess Bush is the biggest loser. The winners tonight were the candidates who most effectively trounced the blatantly biased CNBC moderators. Heading that list are Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Honorable mention (and I do mean »

Why the Sanders-Clinton email love fest?

Featured image Bernie Sanders prides himself on not going negative in his political campaigns (whether it’s true that he never does, I do not know). So it wasn’t entirely surprising that he did not attack Hillary Clinton over her emails. The surprising thing, I thought at the time, was that Sanders made such a flamboyant point of not attacking Hillary. On reflection, though, I suppose that once he decided not to attack, »

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and the Danish model

Featured image The Democratic presidential debate featured a clash between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton over Denmark. Clinton reminded Sanders that “the United States isn’t Denmark. The Vermont socialist responded with a stirring defense of the Danish model. Both, for once, weren’t entirely wrong. Unlike the U.S., Denmark is moving in the opposite direction of socialism, and this represents a healthy model. Kevin Williamson of NRO provides the details: Denmark, like Sweden »

Whose lives matter to Democrats?

Featured image Anderson Cooper asked some good questions during tonight’s Democratic presidential debate. But the best question, I thought, came from a young black man, via Facebook. He wanted to know whether “Black lives matter or all lives matter.” Sanders had the first shot. He answered unequivocally, “Black lives matter.” Martin O’Malley was up next. He once landed in trouble for stating the audacious proposition that all lives matter. He wasn’t going »

Who won tonight’s debate?

Featured image I really shouldn’t be picking a winner of tonight’s debate inasmuch as (1) I didn’t watch all the way to the bitter end and (2) I don’t understand Democrats very well anymore. However, it seemed to me that Hillary Clinton was the winner. The only serious competition on the stage was Bernie Sanders. However, he took a beating early on over his lack of willingness to support extremist anti-gun legislation. »

What I learned from tonight’s debate

Featured image You can learn a lot from watching a Democratic presidential debate, or even two-thirds of one, which was all I could tolerate. For example, I learned that Bernie Sanders honeymooned in the Soviet Union. Did you know that? Sanders was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war. I knew that. But tonight he said that he doesn’t oppose war in general, and took conscientious objector status because of his opposition »

How Fox News and CNN screwed Scott Walker

Featured image Before we complete the post-mortems on Scott Walker’s campaign, I want to note how unfairly he was treated during the debates. According to Nate Silver, Walker spoke for only 13.7 minutes in the two debates. This was the the least for any candidate on the main stage in both events. It was less than half the time Donald Trump spoke. It was ten minutes less than Jeb Bush spoke. It »

Donald Trump at three levels

Featured image There are at least three ways of looking at Donald Trump’s performance last night: (1) as an argument about issues, (2) as entertainment, and (3) as an appeal to the viscera of supporters and likely supporters. In my view, Trump was awful on the issues and good, but no more than good, as an entertainer. I don’t feel qualified to judge his effectiveness with his supporters, but suspect he was »

Some thoughts about tonight’s debate

Featured image My main thought about tonight’s debate is that Jake Tapper did a horrendous job of moderating. As John says, he devoted way too much of the first portion of the debate to bad questions about Donald Trump, presumably in the hope of perpetuating the food fight and, perhaps, making candidates look bad. By doing so, Tapper froze out part of the field. The freeze out was exacerbated by the fact »

Bush’s Common Core obfuscation

Featured image Many informed voters who watched Thursday’s GOP presidential debate may have come away confused about Jeb Bush’s stance on education. Bush is known to be a supporter of Common Core. Yet there he was insisting that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in creating educational standards. Bush said: “I don’t believe the federal government should be involved in the creation of standards directly or indirectly, the creation of curriculum or »

Donald Trump’s latest fact-freedom

Featured image Last night, Donald Trump began his first answer to a question about immigration by modestly declaring that we wouldn’t even be talking about the issue without him. Like much of what Trump says, this is self-inflating nonsense. Trump didn’t run for president in 2012. Yet, somehow, the issue was front-and-center in Republican debates that year. In fact, before Rick Perry’s “oops” moment, he got himself into trouble for being soft »

Ten thoughts about tonight’s debate

Featured image 1. I think each of the ten candidates did decently well in his own way and many did quite well. It’s a flawed field, but viewed collectively, a good one. 2. In my opinion, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz — neither of whom I favor at this time — did the best. In that order: (1) Rubio and (2) Cruz. Both, for example, knocked it out of the park in »