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Debate is All about The Donald

Debate is All about The Donald

I plan on sitting back, and enjoying the show.

On August 6 Fox News will host the first Republican debate.

The top ten in an aggregation of polls will make it on stage, with the seven who don’t make the cut relogated to a panel earlier in the evening.

The names who appear certain to make it on stage are Trump, Bush, Walker, Carson, Huckabee, Cruz, Rubio and Paul, with Kasich and Christie just above the cut, though that could change (via NY Times):

Just below the cut is Perry, with Jindal, Santorum, Fiorina, Pataki and Graham clearly not making it onto the stage. :

But let’s face it, it’s all about The Donald.

As I predicted when he first announced, Trump announcement like “throwing a hand grenade into the room”:

“Donald Trump entering the race is pretty much like somebody throwing a hand grenade into the room. He is going to get attention, he’s probably going to cause some casualties, and he is going to absorb a lot of the oxygen in the room.”

Granted, that was an easy call a prophetic and brilliant call, but I should have seen The Donald phenomenon coming long before his official announcement.

At CPAC in March, long before anyone seriously thought Trump would actually run, and ages before his popularity soared, two friends of mine said they were supporting Trump.

These are two Tea Party, grassroots conservative activists. Their reaction to the question of who they were supporting was instantaneous and certain. I don’t remember the precise wording they used, but it was something along the line of what we are hearing loudly now: Trump is the only one who tells it like it is.

I was somewhat stunned. Really?

I should have paid more attention.

So now it’s all about Trump. Do I care?

At one level, yes.

I’m particularly interested in how Walker reacts, since he likely will be standing next to Trump. Unlike Bush, Walker doesn’t want to be the designated non-Trump candidate.

I’m most disappointed that Carly Fiorina will not be on stage. Contrary to some punditry, I don’t think Trump has stolen her thunder, I think she failed to establish herself as a first choice Presidential candidate. I still think she is running for Vice President, even if that’s not her intention, so she polls unusually low in Presidential rankings.

The others will all be competing for attention. Should be a spectacle.

Oh, the horrors for the Republican Party.

I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show. Whatever will be will be.

[Featured Image via Fox News 8 Cleveland]


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Anyone else watch the first “debate” in NH tonight?

    CloseTheFed in reply to clintack. | August 3, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I did. Jeb was having trouble speaking.

      clintack in reply to CloseTheFed. | August 3, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      That was my take too.

      Bush flubbed the end — the tee-shirt thing had to be a scripted bit and not only did he flub it, but it couldn’t possibly help him. And it was his closer.

      Walker and Fiorina were excellent. Cruz and Rubio and Christie were good (Christie surprised me). Jeb and Jindal were okay (Jindal had good and bad moments). Many were boring.

      A bunch of good moments — Lindsey Graham was surprisingly strong on national defense.

      I was surprised when the moderator asked Christie if his moment had passed. Seemed like a more apt question for Bush, Perry, Pataki, Santorum, Graham…

I get Trump, but Huckabee…While Perry, Jindal, and Fiorina sit? There’s a social demographic at work here. I hope the presentation helps clear the air a bit, but I’m skeptical.

Not intended as a plug, but Glenn Reynolds did a poll this morning in Instapundit. It asked for a single name choice for top of the Republican ticket from the same list of names discussed in your piece. Granted, it was an Instapundit crowd, but the only three who garnered any significant number of votes were Walker, Fiorina, and Cruz – heartening.

    mrtomsr in reply to Owego. | August 4, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I was wondering the same thing, but then, I figured the counters of the poll numbers at Fox must have had orders on how to weigh their tally.

The GOP establishment loathes any conservative other than fiscal ones. And they aren’t enamoured with fiscal ones either. Which explains the debate criteria.

In what rational universe do you use a national poll to determine debate participants, when our system focuses the candidates on specific early primary races, such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Only the very early monied, ie. establishment, can meet such criteria.

Rick Santorum, who was opposed to Obamacare, won what? 10 or 11 primaries by shoe leather in specific primary states, is out. That is a corrupt method of choosing particpants. And the GOP elite loves it. Pieces of crap.

By the way, Jindal warms my heart every time he speaks. He speaks “American” and I love it!

Does Trump have core beliefs? I doubt it. Will it show? I think so.

    Trump is a New Yorker and business man and business is business.

    He, like every major corporate giant threatened by liberals, walked the thin line of political placation.

    Trump brought much of the past judgement & skepticism on himself.
    Which is the real Trump? This one? Or, that one?

    Well, both actually.

    I remember a late spring meeting in 2011 between Trump and Sarah Palin in New York City. It was widely publicized by national media. Many theorized it was related to Sarah’s hinted interest in running for president in 2012.

    I kept a keen eye out for anything Sarah said about Trump following that meeting.

    Sarah Palin has a finely-tuned weasel radar and she says Trump is a go.

    If he is good enough for Sarah, he is good enough for me.

    If Trump were to stray from his now chosen political path?
    He may as well retire for the rest of his life & hide.

    With three exceptions in American history (Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter) men elected president have, for the most part, risen to the job.

    Trump seems to be rising to the occasion. Unlike Barack Obama, he is an American. Unlike Bill Clinton, he is not a criminal. And unlike Jimmy Carter, he is not a complete pussy.

    It would be a personal disaster for him to pull back on his statements. To the contrary, he keeps elevating himself.

    Trump is positioned to become an historical figure, in the greatest of contrasts to the affirmative-action psychopath occupying the White House, and the GOP Squeaker who has his tongue up that psychopath’s ass.

    Trump’s going for it. It’s just too easy.

      Just to be clear, you think that every man ever elected President (except for the three Democrats you witnessed firsthand, rather than in history books) rose to the job?

      Is it possible your history books have given you the rose-colored-spectacles view of these men?

      James Buchanan was an unmitigated disaster. Woodrow Wilson. Lyndon Johnson.

      There have been lots of horrible, failed Presidencies. And it’s never good for the country. We’re still living with the negative repercussions of each.

      “Trump seems to be rising to the occasion. Unlike Barack Obama, he is an American. Unlike Bill Clinton, he is not a criminal. And unlike Jimmy Carter, he is not a complete pussy.”

      Just needs to be said again.

    tom swift in reply to gasper. | August 4, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Does Trump have core beliefs? I doubt it.

    Are “core beliefs” good?

    Obama has core beliefs; socialism, authoritarianism, racism, and his own total magnificence.

    And we all know how well that’s working out.

      gasper in reply to tom swift. | August 4, 2015 at 7:38 am

      Didn’t say they had to be good. But they do have to give one direction. Obama has only succeeded for two reasons: he is black, and the media has given him one humongous pass that has been good to cover up scandal after scandal and blunder after blunder. No other president could have survived the day-after-day screw-ups committed by this administration.

        tom swift in reply to gasper. | August 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

        Didn’t say they had to be good. But they do have to give one direction.

        So, a “direction” is good, even if it’s a bad direction.

        That’s not an easy thesis to defend.

        Obama has only succeeded for two reasons

        Obama is a “success”?

        That will be hard to defend, too.

          gasper in reply to tom swift. | August 4, 2015 at 11:19 am

          Tom, what is a bad direction for you may be the perfect direction for another. Core beliefs only need to be correct to the believer. Hitler had core beliefs. Churchill had core beliefs. Most great people in history had core beliefs. Not all were good. Belief is what gets me to where I want to be, not necessarily where you want to be.

          gasper in reply to tom swift. | August 4, 2015 at 11:20 am

          Obama has not “succeeded” by your and my standards, but so far he has by the left’s standard. He is on a roll right now thanks to a weak GOP leadership which has no core belief system.

Midwest Rhino | August 3, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Megyn came out and downplayed any other “debates”, saying it was just prep for the “real” debate. Total BS. I love Carly (for example) appearing for more than five minutes in other forums.

They may ask pertinent probing questions, but it seems FOX is trying to get ratings with the claim THEY are the real deciders, the real purveyors of Truth. I occasionally flip off the TV, but Megyn earned two thumbs fingers up.

NO Megyn, I will judge the candidates on their full content, NOT how they respond to the contrived questions FOX has predetermined to be the pertinent decisive answers that must be answered per FOX prioritization.

So early in the race, and Megyn is pushing FOX as the dominant judge of who will pass their muster, who will survive their oh so carefully studied questions that must be answered correctly.

They are obviously lined up to play a dominant role, but they don’t OWN the debate. We don’t need them to feed us the candidate they have chosen. Megyn’s adamance that only her and Brett could ask the pertinent questions … that is the only REAL debate … is disturbing.

I’ve liked Megyn, but this promotion of FOX above “country”, or above the citizen’s ability to think for themselves, earns her ten demerits on saying ONLY FOX has the REAL debate, pay no attention to all the other dialogue. No one voted to accept FOX as the decider. Of course we didn’t vote to accept the RNC either, but FOX has direct corporate interests at heart. How ’bout a little humility?

    FOX pushed for Romney in 2008 & 2012.

    There is a disagreement reported between Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch and it is all about Trump vis-a-vis Jeb Bush.

    Guess which one Murdock wants FOX to push and at the painful expense of the other?

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Midwest Rhino. | August 4, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I see it somewhat differently. I started noticing her dropping casual references to the Fox debates a while ago. At first she didn’t dwell on it. It was little more than mentioning that she would be a moderator and the date of the debate. Then as we got closer to the date, her references became a bit more substantive. Recently she’s been talking about how much time the Fox moderators are brainstorming to decide which questions to ask. She’s promoting the event to make sure viewers know when to watch, building suspense, and persuading viewers that they should watch because the Fox folks can be trusted to ask the “right” questions. I see it more in terms of building ratings.

    O’Reilly spent a segment talking about what a wild card Trump will be. He’s promoting the potential drama. He wants you to watch the debates if for nothing else than the Trump drama.

    There are exactly $0.00 switching costs to you to punch a different button on your remote control to watch something else. So the producers have to build suspense, drama, establish trust and after all that, provide content people actually want to watch. They know most cable and satellite TV subscribers have hundreds of other channels to choose from. Plus, there is an infinite amount of content on the internet, radio, games, books, spending time with the family, etc. It will cost you exactly $0.00 not to watch the Fox debates.

    Roger Ailes knows how to do political/newsy TV better than anyone. Watch the ratings afterward. My guess is they will be better than the ratings for the Fox debates in ’12.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | August 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      yeah, they will probably ask good questions, and I was being a little “flippant”.

      It just seems they are a little too cavalier about the “only trust us”, since most conservative blogger types feel we are in a war for the country’s soul. I have higher hopes for Megyn than for O’Reilly, and think even from a marketing perspective she’d do best selling herself as her own self. She’s been pretty independent so far … it just struck me as too corporate when she downplayed the other “debate”.

      And it’s irritating that FOX is deciding which ten deserve to get prime time, so early in the race. Fortunately we have blogs, but MSM vs FOX is its own “cage match” in some ways.

Henry Hawkins | August 3, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Didn’t watch the NH forum and I won’t be watching Wednesday’s ‘debate’.

It’s a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy at work. As we know, early polling is heavily dependent on name recognition and current coverage, hence most candidates got a boost from coverage when they announced, but it doesn’t last long.

Media no longer deals with issues, they are too difficult for the poorly-educated reporters so they only cover polls and the “horse race” aspect of the campaign – who’s up, who’s down, who has momentum.

– –

Trump is known, made a splash, and is always good copy, so he gets the coverage. And for now, that’s enough to drown out the lesser-known and less controversial candidates, no matter their qualifications.

The Entertainment-News Media Complex Has Decided – these are the Candidates deemed Important for the mindless Country Class. If a Candidate was not On The Stage, they are not Important.

I don’t give a dipilated rat’s left hind dew claw what ANY EMN/MSM organization says, Mrs. Fiorina is my first choice for President or Vice President. Donald Trump would make a good President and a Trump/Fiorina ticket would certainly shake things up in the Ruling Class.

We can thank the GOP Elites for the rise of Trump.

If Trump stays on message and continues to tap the built up anger of the silent majority with the status quo, he’ll dominate the debate(s). If he doesn’t, he’ll quickly become an “also ran…”