Debate Prep

This combination of photos, from top left, shows Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and from bottom left, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Scott Walker. The candidates are scheduled to participate in a Fox News Channel Republican presidential debate on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AP Photos/File)
This combination of photos, from top left, shows Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and from bottom left, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Scott Walker. The candidates are scheduled to participate in a Fox News Channel Republican presidential debate on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AP Photos/File)

Tonight is the first debate among the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates.

By the way, the Democrats have yet to even plan one for their candidates. Keep that in mind when someone tries to tell you the Democrats weren’t planning on a coronation for Hillary.

In any case, there are some who have a beef that only the “top 10” are in this first debate (with the “Happy Hour” pre-bate among the others left out). Rick Santorum argues that “August polls mean nothing” and that another New Yorker, Rudy Giuliani, was leading the pack back in 2008, and everyone had written off John McCain.

In any case, there are STILL 17 to choose from. Having seen the much smaller, yet still multi-candidate debates in the Nebraska Republican Governor and Senate primaries, I don’t have much hope to get anything out of this.

Frankly the idea of two debates randomly split amongst all of the candidates may have been a better idea.

But, for tonight, we have what we have.

***

So, weigh in with your predictions and/or desires.
What do you want to see?
What do you THINK you’ll see.

Do you have a favorite?
Do you have a drinking game?

Who do you think will win?
Who do you think will get hurt?

And, as always, what of The Donald?
Does he dominate?
Does he take it over?
Does he come out over the top, or a big disappointment?

And what will EVERYONE be talking about tomorrow?

And even better, will this debate have any effect, and will people remember it come Labor Day?

***

Here’s some thoughts…

I want to see how one candidate differs from the rest.
These are all “rock-ribbed” Republicans, right?
Sure they all want to defund Planned Parenthood and kill the Iran deal.
That’s good — and will likely kill their chances if they say otherwise.
But what’s next?

I think we will see very little separation, except that there will be ganging up on Jeb Bush on immigration issues. I think he will try to give some “sensible” answers and I don’t think he will be able to give more than what amounts to a “Tweet” response, and it will likely get drowned out.

I have a few candidates that I like, but I’m not sure I have a favorite. There are a few that I do NOT like, but I’ll play that closer to the vest for now.

The main question will be the over/under on when Planned Parenthood and Iran are mentioned. I’ll go ahead and set the House number at 1:30 minutes in for BOTH. You may choose the over or the under.

I think that in general, Bush and Scott Walker will play it safe. I think Chris Christie and Ted Cruz and maybe Rand Paul will try to break out and show their bravado — and I think it will be difficult in the format.

I think Trump will be jam-packed with one-liners, and will risk getting stumped on something nuanced. In general, my bet is he still gets most of the coverage tomorrow, but it isn’t just saying his name over and over and it will be less “glowing” than it has been for him.

Tomorrow, everyone will be talking about…how the format was terrible and how one of the Happy Hour Prebate candidates broke out.

No one will cite this debate after Labor Day except to say they should never do this format again.

***

What say YOU?

And just in case you wanted some more insight, here are some podcasts that include

An interview with Prime-time debater, Ben Carson.
An interview with Happy Hour debater, Lindsey Graham.
Some Q&A with Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz at the Iowa Ag Summit.
Some Q&A with Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham at the Iowa Ag Summit.

14 comments

  1. Sparkles says:

    “By the way, the Democrats have yet to even plan one for their candidates. ”

    CNN, October 13th, Nevada

    (as if it matters, 460 days out from the election)

  2. Sparkles says:

    “there are some who have a beef that only the “top 10″ are in this first debate (with the “Happy Hour” pre-bate among the others left out). ”

    Therefore the GOP will treat the nation to a Happy Hour pre-bate, followed by a Prime Time master-….

    (come on, you had to see that one coming)

  3. Sasse Supporter says:

    Ben Sasse should run. He kept his promise to repeal Obamacare and to move DC to Nebraska. Didn’t he also say his family was going to stay here?

  4. Debates can eliminate people. Perry was eliminated in 2012 by that one flub about which cabinet departments he’d eliminate.

    On the other hand, Trump has already said so many stupid things, I’m inclined to think he’s gaffe-resistant.

  5. Sparkles says:

    Gerard,

    You might try reading the new (May 2015) Politico Magazine feature article, entitled:
    “The GOP is Dying Off. Literally.”

    Also, I seem to recall the GOP famously considers age an asset. No?
    “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

  6. You really were impressed with that article? It claims 400,000 more Republican voters than Democrats die every 4 year cycle. That’s minuscule. In contrast, 60% of millennial voted for Obama in 2012, compared with 66% in 2008.

    There are 75 million millennials. That means 4,5 million fewer voted for him in 2012.

    People move to the right as they get older. Always have, always will. It’s part of growing up.

  7. Sparkles says:

    Gerard,

    You should take your case up with a few hundred fine folks in a big, shiny new building down along Omaha’s riverfront.

    America is moving left –
    May 22, 2015
    ..These longer-term trends may be attributable to changing attitudes among Americans of all ages, but they also may be a result of population changes, with younger, more liberal Americans entering adulthood while older, more conservative adults pass on. Gallup found evidence that population replacement is a factor in explaining changes in overall ideology using an analysis of birth cohorts over time.

    The 2016 presidential election will thus be contested in a more socially liberal electorate — and a less economically conservative one — than was true of prior elections.

  8. Macdaddy says:

    Sparkles, reading comprehension is clearly not your strong suit. RWP clearly was referring to all the old, white people running for the Democrap nomination. I guess O’Malley is young or he at least thinks he is judging by the amount of time he likes posing sans shirt. But man is he white. Whiter than white. Whiter than sour cream.

  9. Lil Mac says:

    After that “circus-like” first GOP debate, my prediction remains Biden vs Trump, with Trump winning because Trump makes me cringe.

    When Trump opened his mouth, I cringed. I couldn’t help it. I am an informed partisan. I know the backgrounds of everyone in the debate. I wish Boehner and McConnell weren’t so easily manipulated by Democrats. Yet I am exactly the opposite of Trump’s target GOP audience, who are the tip of an enormous electoral iceberg that includes Independents and conservative Democrats who hate seeing Obama call Republicans “enemy” while apologizing to countries that want to kill us.

    These are the same Americans to whom Reagan appealed. And they include a large chunk of nominally registered Republicans who wants to shoot Boehner and McConnell in the kneecaps and throw them in a ditch along with Reid and Pelosi.

    Trump voters are like the angry wife of a habitually drunk husband who fights in bars and loses the paycheck. She isn’t interested in who hit her hubby first. She isn’t listening to his pleas. She will crack his skull with a frying pan to either fix him or kill him and move on. For her, it’s a matter of survival.

    Many Americans don’t want another candidate who is loyal to his party. They want someone who won’t automatically support any and every jerk who might be his party’s nominee. They want to hear someone say, “I don’t have time for total political correctness and to be honest with you this country doesn’t have time either.” Trump said that and I cringed. But then I realized its deeper truth.

    The rest of the GOP candidates aimed for GOP votes. — Walker and Kasich did well. Jeb was uneven so as to improve in later debates. Rand ranted. But to what end? — All of them except Trump strived make the old guard elephant smile. Trump made the old guard elephant cringe.

    Trump seems to be putting up Reagan’s “Big Tent” where loyal elephants are uncomfortable. Trump intends to tranquilize the beast and drag it along behind him into the oval office, just as a former-Democrat union president once did.

  10. Sparkles says:

    Macdaddy,

    Re:
    ” reading comprehension is clearly not your strong suit. ”

    I understood exactly what Gerard stated, hence the Reagan quote.
    Sorry if the progression was too difficult for you to follow.

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