This is a quick follow-up to my first post on Election 2016, Picking the POTUS #1–A Voter’s View on Election 2016, to capture my reaction to the Second Republican Debate that was held last night.
On of the great things about the debate for me is that both my 17 year old and my 10 year old joined to watch and stayed pretty engaged (at least until bed time). Going from memory, I’m going to describe my reaction and takeaways for each of the candidates in roughly the order of impact they had on my opinion. I will to try to capture my impression first in a single word, then expand a bit.
Carly Fiorina. Prepared. She clearly has a good team behind her, they prepared her well for the likely issues that would be discussed, and she handled them like a pro. She was really very impressive and I look forward to seeing if she can build on this success and sustain it for the long haul.
Ben Carson. Unprepared. I would be astounded if Carson didn’t drop a large amount in the polls. Clearly a smart man, he spent too much time re-interpreting past remarks instead of demonstrating a clear agenda and delivering a set of clear messages. I can’t see him being much of a factor moving forward.
Donald Trump. Managing. Having made himself the center of attention with his antics so far, Trump seemed to be consciously toning it down a bit. That’s a relative statement, since his arrogance is still the most visible trait, but I felt like he was intentionally less provocative than in the past, trying to be seen as a serious candidate. He repeatedly drew parallels to CEO business duties and Presidential duties, trying to paint a picture of how his experience applied. (I still would not vote for him, fyi.)
Marco Rubio. Contender. If this man was polling like Trump, he’d be the candidate that could win the White House for the Republican Party. I think he has serious potential and would like to see him gain some ground in the polls. Coincidentally, he is my closest match on the ontheissues.org vote match.
Chris Christie. Redeemed. Christie didn’t interrupt or speak as much as some others, but when he did, he made a point of distinguishing himself from the “me, me, me” rhetoric of the others. Yes, he’s a politician, but he also comes across as sincere, capable and likeable. Like Rubio, I’d like to see Christie rise to be a real contender.
UPDATE: I found this article to be interesting, “Chris Christie’s Final Debate Answer Was a Google Winner.”
John Kasich. Outmoded. When I looked at Kasich’s stance on the issues (on his campaign site) before the debate, I liked what I saw – especially as relates to my core issues on balanced budget and local decisions. Unfortunately, I think Kasich came across as indecisive and outmoded – part of the old guard political engine.
At best, he seemed like good vice-president material for one of the outsiders like Fiorina.
Rand Paul. Disappointing. Rand Paul has priorities I like, combined with some innovative ideas about taxes, national debt and balancing the budget. I wanted him to be a stronger candidate, but was disappointed. He came across as weak and lacking the passion that we saw in other candidates. Did not appear ‘presidential.’
Ted Cruz. Programmed. Cruz delivered his sound bytes, but in contrast to Fiorina, he sounded like a well-programmed politician rather than a well-prepped leader speaking to positions on the issues. I like his first answers, but as the night went on, he seemed more polished and less authentic. I’m keeping an open mind about him.
Jeb Bush. Improved. He came across better than Kasich, and had some good answers, but still lacks charisma.
Like Kasich, Vice-President comes to mind rather than President.
Mike Huckabee. Basic, in the urban dictionary sense. Huckabee is a basic republican politician. As is clear from the polls, this is pretty much the opposite of what the voters are looking for.
Scott Walker. Forgettable. Sadly, Walker is the one candidate that I had to look up, because I couldn’t remember who the eleventh candidate in the debate was. I literally forgot him. Having refreshed my memory, he wasn’t bad and I’d vote for him before several of the other candidates, but he simply didn’t stand out.
UPDATE: I also liked this write-up of the debate, “The Donald Trump Debate Show By the Numbers.”
Best regards ~ Jeff / @securityjones
All of the posts in this series:
|September 16, 2015||Picking the POTUS #1–A Voter’s View on Election 2016|
|September 17, 2015||Picking the POTUS #1.1–Republican Debate No. 2|
|October 14, 2015||Picking the POTUS #1.2–CNN Democratic Party Debate|
|November 6, 2015|