February 6, 2016

GOP Debate winners and losers

This debate was an easy one on which to provide post-analysis. Kasich, Bush and Christie did indeed go after Rubio even though they had claimed there was no agreement to do so.  Trump played it safe, protecting his lead.  Rubio did an okay job defending himself against Chris Christie, but not as well as he should have done.  Jeb Bush was not as effective at the Rubio attack as Christie, or the I can govern message as well as either Christie or Kasich.

Ben Carson had some good lines and some humorous answers.  He did not stand out enough though.  

Ted Cruz held his ground, though right now, CNN is claiming he's evil because he's misrepresenting what CNN reported about Ben Carson leaving the race/not leaving the race.

3 hours and that's about the most notable stuff.  The only other point I'd note was that it seemed like there were a lot of Bush supporters in the crowd.

Winners:

Donald Trump - he was smart to play it safe and stay above the fray because the attacks were all focused elsewhere.  He's protecting his lead and did nothing to hurt it. He did nothing outstanding, but he did what he had to do.

Chris Christie - Most effective attacks on Rubio came from Christie.  He'll be more memorable than Bush or Kasich.

Losers:

Marco Rubio - He like Trump, needed to protect his position.  He didn't respond well and came across as needing more time to refine his resume and his skills.  He didn't come off badly, but he needed to better than he did.

Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson - Wallflowers with no memorable moments.

Carly Fiorina - MIA. Not her fault but she didn't make it to the stage.

Meh:

John Kasich and Ted Cruz - For very different reasons. Kasich did better than the losers.  Cruz on the other hand was stilted.  He had some very good moments and some flat ones as well.  He did himself no harm, and New Hampshire is not going to be his state.
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