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One Opinion

One Opinion: A cursory glance at the debates

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Elaine Kolodziej is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

August 10, 2015 | 1,285 views | 10 comments

As I watched a recap of the debates, I realized that there was so much more to the debates than Donald Trump -- so much more that the media have not discovered.

The problem is, there were just too many candidates for a “debate.” A more effective and probably more interesting way to have gone about setting up the debates would have been to draw straws and randomly select each panel, limiting them to six or seven at the most.

But we all know this arrangement was designed for maximum ratings. Fox News took the top 10 in the polls for its prime-time debate and put the remaining seven in an earlier forum. I watched them both.

Fox News did get the ratings -- no small thanks to Donald Trump. Of the 17 candidates, Trump still is in the lead. It’s too soon to tell what that really means, so we’ll just enjoy the race for what it is.

Looking at all the candidates, going alphabetically, with apologies to Rick Perry, there were no “oops” moments in these first two debates. There were some real zingers, to be sure, but also a lot of serious, in-depth responses.

Starting with Jeb Bush: He gave a perfunctory performance, but that is all he was required to do. I did think his response when grilled about his pro-life stance was strong.

Ben Carson: The amiable and confident retired neurosurgeon landed a couple of zingers, such as when he said he “was the only one up there to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.”

On the serious side, he nailed it when he responded to a question about race. He said that the office of the president could do a lot to create unity instead of encouraging the purveyors of hate. As a surgeon, he recognizes that it’s what’s inside a person that makes them who they are -- not their skin color or outward appearances. Carson, unlike the current occupant of the White House, would use his race to unite rather than divide.

Chris Christie: He held his own against Rand Paul.

Ted Cruz: Ted Cruz was Ted Cruz. He speaks with conviction and determination, and never waivers from his conservative message.

Carly Fiorina: She was relegated to the “second-tier” debate, but was one of the stars. Her knowledge and un-canny ability to articulate her views with poise gained her valuable praise. She explained foreign policy with the ease of an experience diplomat and was not afraid to call out Hillary Clinton on Benghazi, something that few men have been willing or able to do.

Jim Gilmore: An-other member of the second-tier team who likely will remain in the second tier.

Lindsey Graham: Where is he from again?

Mike Huckabee: He had some good points, just as he did in his previous unsuccessful campaign.

Bobby Jindal: Alt-hough a no-nonsense governor, his delivery lacks the punch needed to garner headlines in the campaign. His knowledge, though, should earn him a high place in the new administration.

John Kasich: He did fairly well in explaining his experience, but I don’t remember what that was.

George Pataki: Why is he running?

Rand Paul: He was true to his libertarian leanings, and claimed his place as a “different kind of Republican.”

Rick Perry: The personally likable governor is a good leader, but not a good de-bator. Come to think of it, though, are we electing a leader or a member of a debate team?

Marco Rubio: He came through as fresh and qualified.

Rick Santorum: A nice guy, I’m sure, but not sure why he’s in the race.

Donald Trump: A line that stuck with me was when he said, in exasperation, that while Christians’ heads are being chopped off, he is being criticized for his “tone.”

Scott Walker: This governor certainly has a claim to fame through his successful battles against the unions and the liberals in a blue state. His performance was low-key, but his experience is not.

We have a long way to go. In the meantime the majority of Americans probably just think this is a new reality TV series.
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Your Opinions and Comments

Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
August 13, 2015 3:33pm
NG, "old middle-aged woman?" ... h-m-m-m ... Middle aged is not old! Therefore, you must be making fun of women. And which candidates are you describing as good-looking young men?

New Guy  
Wilson County  
August 13, 2015 3:20pm
4th, handful of attractive candidates? You are an old middle-aged women easily impressed with a young good looking man.

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
August 13, 2015 9:58am
I have already spotted 3 or 4 candidates that I really like...and, that was before the Debates. The debates did not change my mind about them. I would vote for Trump if the Rep candidate but he is not my first, 2nd or 3rd... More ›

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
August 13, 2015 9:52am
"new guy"...of course you blame this on GWB. You're a far left leaning liberal Democrat, who else would you blame? Certainly not the man "in charge". Even the most loyal Democrats sound lame still... More ›

New Guy  
Wilson County  
August 13, 2015 8:59am
I blame this on Bush for going to war and then starting the drawdown to early in Iraq. The withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq began in December 2007 at the end of the troop surge of 2007. So don't blame this one... More ›

New Guy  
Wilson County  
August 13, 2015 8:49am
Elaine: Like millions before him, he goes in the name of the Lord. It is not worth one American Soldier's life to stop a religious war. Remember Acts 6:8-8:3: While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive... More ›

Elaine K.  
August 12, 2015 11:31pm
"Kidnapped Priest Killed, Chopped Up by ISIS as 'Christians Become a Form of Currency' in Mid-East War,... " THIS IS GOING ON and, as Trump says, Americans are worried about his "tone." Read more... More ›

Elaine K.  
August 11, 2015 9:07am
Two good points, Deci! This campaign has become too much like reality TV. ... could be why folks watched the last debate. It doesn't really mean they are interested in the bottom line.

Deci Murphy  
Floresville, TX  
August 11, 2015 8:55am
Another insightful and unbiased analysis. As another point - not to the debate but to the campaign as a whole, I would like to add: 1. The length of time campaigning is ridiculous especially in light of "social media". 2.... More ›

Elaine K.  
August 10, 2015 3:10pm
Another zinger by Rubio: The Republican Party has been blessed with many good candidates; the Democrats can't even come up with one.

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