The Republican presidential debates, sponsored by CNN, that took place on Wednesday, September 16, left me as confused as ever. I didn’t like the format and question whether or not CNN, who is no friend to Republicans/conservatives, did this on purpose to make the Republicans look stupid.
Big decisions about such things as going to war, raising or lowering taxes, large entitlement bills, etc. are not made by one person along is one minute while that person is on display. Those types of decisions take up to months of deliberation with trusted advisors. This is the main reason I’m not a fan of debates.
Missteps such as President George H.W. Bush looking at his watch during one of the presidential debates in 1992 and Mitt Romney giving way to Barak Obama on Benghazi can put nails into your coffin. Then we have a humorous one-liner where President Reagan promised not to exploit the opponents’ youth and inexperience. While I loved President Reagan’s response, one-liners such as the above, shouldn’t make a difference in a presidential race, or any political race for that matter.
You might have called the 9/16 debates the Jake Tapper show. Tapper took charge and hardly let the other two moderators speak. Some candidates got more air time than others with Donald Trump getting the most and Scott Walker getting the least. This shouldn’t happen, but I acknowledge that it’s hard to control with that many debaters.
I also want to know where the candidates stand on the issues, and don’t particularly care to delve into what someone on the campaign trail said about someone else and why they said it. After Donald Trump made a disparaging comment about Carly Fiorina’s looks, I was totally turned off by the advertisement Ms. Fiorina did afterwards where she talked about how she earned every one of her wrinkles. That was a waste of time, in my opinion. When asked about it during the debate, I thought Carly should have said that because this country is in such bad shape, we need to be focusing on the issues, not my looks and what Donald Trump said about my looks. Let’s move on.
Also, allowing candidates to jump in/interrupt the proceedings, in my opinion, was counter-productive. Some of the more reserved candidates, such as Dr. Ben Carson, were put at a disadvantage because they’re not bombastic. However, I was happy when Chris Christie interrupted the “you know whatting” contest between Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina about their careers. Governor Christie was right. They both had great careers, but a 55 year old out of work construction worker doesn’t want to hear about their career accolades.
All the talking heads were insistent that Carly Fiorina won the debate, whatever “won the debate” means. Maybe she did “win” it, but she didn’t help herself with me. After watching her for several months, she does come across as cold and calculating. Kind of like a conservative Hillary, maybe? I don’t know if I would go that far, but her demeanor does get on my nerves. I thought Governor Mike Huckabee did a good job, but no one is mentioning his name.
I was hoping that the debate would lead to a number of Republicans dropping out of the race, then it would be easier on the American people to make choices and the debates would be more helpful.
Four years ago, there were so many Republican candidate debates that I grew weary of them and quit watching. Will that happen this year? Probably not because as a political blogger, I have to be aware of what is taking place.
Having said all of the above, I still think debates are over-rated and would love to ignore them, but I can’t.