Like most of you, I’m sure, I watched the Republican Presidential Debates on Fox News. This column will be a discussion of my thoughts on those debates, who won, who lost, and who just showed up. Truth be told, it is extremely difficult to get one’s points across in one or two minute sound bites, but those were the rules and the same rules applied to everyone on the stage. All in all I thought the debates were entertaining, enlightening, and fair.
There were for me some surprises. Surprise number one was Carly Fiorina. She came across much more intelligent and prepared than I thought she would. She showed herself to be a true statesman/stateswoman. Polished, smooth and sophisticated. I liked her. My next surprise was Marco Rubio. I was expecting a very young inexperienced politician. What I saw instead was a mature educated Senator with a firm grasp of the world and our place in it. I liked him too. Another surprise for me was Gov. John Kasich. He looked Presidential. He was calm, assured, and competent. I came away with a new appreciation for Kasich.
A big disappointment for me was Donald Trump. He looked out of place. He was angry, dour, and mean. I didn’t like him and I doubt many others across the country did either. The sooner he goes back to his other world, the better.
I watched the debates looking for another Ronald Reagan and sadly I didn’t find him. I was hoping to see an individual who showed heart and courage but with the strength it will take to be President and deal with this world. I wanted to see a traditional American with the heart of a conservative. I’ve been told that Reagan was a once-in-a-lifetime guy. That’s probably true but that doesn’t mean I can’t hope. There was no Ronald Reagan there but there were some very good stand-ins.
Who won the debates? I think the American people won the debates. They won because in this group of candidates on the Republican side were people of character, wisdom, and true leadership ability. Almost any one of them would do a much better job than has been done over the past few years.
I think the loser in the debates was the Democrat party. When compared with the quality of individuals on the stage in Cleveland, the entire Democrat entourage looks lame and second rate. I cannot imagine Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief of our military and God help us if Bernie Sanders gets the nomination. In fact it is clear to me that any of the announced Democrats will just be a continuation of the failed Presidency of Barack Obama or worse.
I am not prepared at this time to tell you my personal favorite. I like Bush, Walker, and Huckabee. They are all Governors or former Governors. I like that executive experience. Like you I will watch closely as this race unfolds. There will be several more debates. All of these fine people will be vetted to their fullest. Picking among them makes America the winner and we need a win. Those who don’t make it will be great candidates for the Cabinet. I like Dr. Ben Carson. An intelligent man with the heart of a surgeon. Our government needs people like Carson but in a policy making job. Not as the ceremonial Surgeon General.
Finally, the world is watching. They are watching and hoping we make the right decision. What we need is a Republican candidate who can win. America needs that, the world needs that. I need that.