March 04, 2016

Did #AnybodyButTrump work at the #GOPDebate?

First, some quick grades — taking note that these are relative, and GOP-specific.

1. John Kasich — B. Can't quite given him a B-plus, even with the GOP relativity. He took the high road, and touted his achievements, without mudslinging. Flip side is that he didn't throw enough elbows to get himself more comment time. With two more debates, one before and one after Second Tuesday on March 15, he's going to have to figure out a way to get more air time, without looking either negative or whiny.

2. Marco Rubio — D. Yeah, the yoga joke was funny. But, it was flip. And, while he traded some punches with Trump earlier, he didn't really explain himself as far as what he's about.

3. Ted Cruz — D-minus. Aside from the gob of goober or whatever was in his mouth, he did little on the plus side. Per many analysts' notes, he and Rubio refrained from attacking each other, but both seemed to do little new on the positive side. And while his "count to 10, Donald," was funny, like Rubio's yoga, it had the flip side. In this case, it reminds one of Rafael Edward Cruz, junior high teacher's pet, in this case out to help Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier run the debate.

4. Donald Trump — F-minus. Talking about his package size to start off the debate was the highlight of his lowlights.

Once again, I have to laugh at some other scorings of the debate. And, not just from conservative leaning sites, although first with them. I simply do not get the love a fair chunk of Texas media has for Cruz, even going by relativistic current GOP candidate standards.

Wallace/Kelly/Baier. B overall. The first two must have gotten some memo direct from Rupert Murdoch that it was time to go after Trump. Baier was left to play straight man, if you will. I'm disappointed, both seriously and sarcastically, that none of them used Caitlyn Jenner's apparent bromance with Ted Cruz to ask them further about civil rights.

As for the strategery of Rubio and Cruz, and the Anybody but Trump movement? I agree with other pundits that he likely can't be stopped, for a variety of reasons. I don't guarantee he can't be stopped, but it doesn't seem likely. Cruz, of course, has had the worst strategy in dealing with Trump for the longest time. The bigger deal is that the "GOP Establishment" has been shown to be a hollow shell. But, it doesn't totally favor the Koch Bros. and their outside money, courtesy of Citizens United. Now, as Trump has shown, any grifter with enough money and enough prior visibility can surge to the lead by tapping the perceived pulse of the voter.


And, a sidebar. Trump has generally beaten Cruz even among "evangelical" voters, whose hypocrisy I've covered before. Will the "package" comment change that?


Sidebar 2: Because Kasich is too far behind the curve, and probably distrusted by some Tea Party types to boot, the real winner last night, per this analysis, was probably the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton.

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