Debate Download

God help me, but I watched the Republican debate tonight.  UJ — who for some mysterious reason lacks a functioning TV — decided he wanted to come over and watch the debate, and Kish and  I watched it with him.

My thoughts?  The Trump balloon popped tonight.  The forever-frowning Donald looked like a self-mocking SNL skit up there.  He’s a pompous blowhard who obviously doesn’t know much about the issues at a granular level, and it shows.  When he talks about how his businesses are taking “advantage of the federal laws” he’s not exactly speaking to the lives of normal Americans.  I think we’ve seen the scowling, high water mark of the populist uncandidate.

As for the rest of the field, I thought Ben Carson was a clear loser until the last few questions, when he recovered somewhat.  I was surprised by how well John Kasich fared.  I thought Chris Christie and Marco Rubio did well, and I have to believe that the evangelical element poses clear upper limits for Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.  Jeb Bush seemed to flounder a bit, Scott Walker is Everyman, and Rand Paul looks likes he’s wears a wild animal pelt on his scalp.  Let’s see . . . have I forgotten anyone?

I’ll say this for the Republican debate tonight:  I’m not sure you’re getting much nuance and sophistication in answers that are limited to 1 minute — or in some cases 30 seconds — but it was fast-moving.  What does it mean?  I think nothing.

This Election, Ohio Truly Is The Heart Of It All

Ohio used to call itself “the heart of it all,” because of the state’s purported heart-like shape and central location.  This presidential election, Ohio truly seems to be the heart of it all.

You can’t walk around downtown Columbus without hearing about a political event.  This afternoon, Florida Senator Marco Rubio gave a speech at the Ohio Statehouse for Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  President Obama showed up a bit later for his own event in German Village.  I was working at my desk when I heard the distinctive sound of a presidential motorcade rolling past, with sirens blaring and deep klaxon-like horns barking. The President stopped at the hotel a block from my office, where the street was blocked off by police cars and motorcycles and those huge black Secret Service SUVs.

Hey, Mr. President!  Could you keep it down the next time you come to town?  I’m trying to wrap up a conference call here!

Some polls have indicated that the President has a growing lead in Ohio.  If that is true — and I’m a bit skeptical of polls — I’m not seeing it.  More importantly, the campaigns certainly aren’t acting that way.  I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of President Obama and Mitt Romney, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, and their high-profile surrogates, here in the heart of it all.  From all appearances, President Obama and Mitt Romney are going to be fighting tooth and nail up until Election Day to try to win the Buckeye State.

Goodbye, Charlie

In Florida, Republican Marco Rubio is projected to defeat Independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

Charlie Crist

I don’t know much about Rubio, but I am glad to see Crist go down to defeat.  Crist lost to Rubio in the Republican primary and promptly decided to run as an Independent.  In my view, Crist’s willingness to say and do anything to try to get elected epitomizes everything that is wrong with American politicians.  Principles obviously meant little to him; his campaign was all about voting for Charlie Crist.  Voters apparently decided they would rather vote for a candidate who stood for something other than his own advancement.

It will be interesting to see how Rubio performs on the national stage.  As a conservative son of Cuban immigrants, he will be the focus of some significant media attention.