Disclaimer: Your opinion on the debate performances are far more valid than mine. My perspective is skewed because I’m looking through a filter of how Wall Street RNC/GOPe and DNC interests will view and perceive the debate performances.
Baseline – Going into the debate all the candidates, other than Trump, had something to gain and little to lose. Donald Trump had everything to lose and little to gain. With that in mind:
Carly Fiorina will most likely be represented to the public as the “winner” by the professional legacy media structures. New York and Park Row will advance a specific pro-Carly meme; in part out of necessity for their financial overall objectives and interests.
However, for the high-information voter, all of the 30-second talking points -which will be highlighted as reasoning for her great performance- were really just repetition of well-rehearsed sound bites we have heard before.
None, absolutely NONE, of the Carly applause lines were original. Fiorina has used each and every one of them before in the exact same word and sentence structure.
The visibly negative aspect to Carly’s performance was her zealously in delivering those well-rehearsed points; increasingly evident in her interruptions to present them. Seven times in the first 3/4 of the debate Carly was exclaiming “jake”, “jake”…. or “Dana”, “Dana”,… in her effort to deliver them. It was simply too much. And was also transparently obvious based on twitter recognitions therein.
However, for the lower information voter it was probably less noticeable.
However, when he was not on script he seemed small and wonky. If there was a loser in the debate it would probably be Jeb because he needed to get back some of his polled loses; he didn’t.
From a Wall Street perspective Jeb Bush did not deliver the goods, and that doesn’t portend well for his long term considerations. Those who are financing his campaign have been given assurances; those assurances are not being met.
Anticipate static Jeb polling or perhaps even lower polling moving forward.
Ben Carson also suffered a bit from seeming small against the backdrop. It would not be a surprise to see some of Carson’s “outsider” but anti-vulgarian support, (especially the lower information and emotional voter), jump ship and land on Team Carly giving her a modest lift.
Obviously either Carson or Fiorina will work well for the current needs of the Wall Street Jeb crews. They don’t really care which person fits the bill, just get Trump’s coalition split ASAP is all they require.
[ Expect Karl Rove to soften his approach of favorability toward Carson, and begin to lift up Fiorina. It will be subtle but the objectives with each are the same. ]
In essence, Carson held his own, but didn’t advance himself.
However, on the down-side he sounded more like he was applying for Secretary of State or President of the 2016 U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
For some reason Rubio’s nervousness comes across on TV. When he’s comfortable with the topic he’s on message and sharp; however, when he’s uncomfortable his delivery is awkward and bothersome.
Scott Walker didn’t advance nor damage his cause. Unfortunately given his 3, 2, 2, 5, 1 results in the last five polls, he did not provide a solid reason he should be polling higher.
Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Ohio Governor John Kasich took the high-road as expected, but were essentially invisible amid the issues of the day. They presented themselves as typical Republican brand holders.
Rand Paul needed a good debate and while he made some good points in a general sense, he gave the impression of phoning it in. Overall no substantive benefit from the debate. Also, Rand Paul tweeted out in the later commercial break for a fundraising drive to “help him finish”. It appeared awkward at best.
Ted Cruz didn’t appear to have as much time to respond perhaps due to the structure which was heavily weighted to use “Trump said _____” to question the other candidates. Because there’s been no substantive disagreements between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, this format decision put him on the losing end of debate time.
Chris Christie also did well; actually, none of the candidates did “badly”. The polling support that Jeb or the other establishment candidates may lose will probably go to Chris Christie. Oddly, Christie was able to come off as more conservative in this debate. I somewhat expect a bit of a bounce from this coalescing anomaly to head to Christie.
He maneuvered his way through the debate well despite the framework of the questions which were transparently structured to have the other ten candidates, sans Cruz, attack him.
Unpredictable Trump was again remarkably able to be unpredictable Trump; and in doing so he solidifies an oddly appealing authenticity. Because he was able to navigate the various angles of incoming, and simultaneously express non-political authenticity, he exits the debate unscathed.
The final question/answer by Donald Trump was excellent and summed up his candidacy: “Actions speak louder than words – what you heard tonight was a lot of words, what I will deliver is action“.
Specifically because Trump exits unscathed, he also wins.
Consequences – As a direct result of the RNC/GOPe collective inability to destroy Donald Trump we can expect to see Joe Biden enter the Democrat side of the race within the next 10-days.
Wall Street was hoping for Trump to be taken down tonight – they didn’t get that; and now they can’t wait much longer….. Wall Street cannot risk Trump -VS- Clinton where they are holding the weaker side of the coin in Hillary.
ps. Three Hours is TOO LONG! I have a hunch many viewers tuned out after hour 2.