Carly Fiorina came, saw and conquered the GOP debate at the Reagan library. Donald Trump did a decent job and others kept themselves afloat. Jeb Bush is still going, Marco Rubio suddenly became a foreign policy wonk, Ted Cruz was well, Cruzy.
Looking ahead, MSNBC should preserve CNN's candidate sparring format for its October 28 debate in Boulder, but there should be more of an effort to provide each candidate with comparable time, overall. Let's rewind to summarize the eleven major candidates.
Are they fools or fascists? Probably the former, but there was a disturbing cast to the second GOP debate, a vituperative jingoism reminiscent of the xenophobia that periodically scars western capitalist societies in moments of disarray.
The drug war has failed, and it's astounding that many on the GOP debate stage still cling to drug war scare tactics reminiscent of Ronald Reagan.
Do we see the big money begin to gravitate toward Carly Fiorina? She surely knows how to excite the base. But she is a loose cannon whose extremist rhetoric will not play well in the general election. Still, if I had to guess, my hunch is that we shall very soon start seeing the big super-pac money come her way.
CNN was (obviously) baiting everyone into getting into little personal spats, which did happen a number of times, but more than just fireworks this did provoke some interesting back-and-forth exchanges between candidates with differing (even, at times, opposing) viewpoints.
So here's what we learned from the second Republican presidential debate: Carly Fiorina knows how to sell her message -- and how to plant a shiv. Jeb Bush was a prep school pothead. And Donald Trump has neither the inclination nor the capacity to transcend his shtick and become a serious presidential candidate.
American anger is real. It's time to stop pointing fingers solely at the people serving in office. It's time to start zooming the lens in on the less obvious, yet highly consequential drivers of the dysfunction. Let's take a look at the rules.
Just a few years ago, politicians with the experience of Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz would have been considered lightweights and have "no business" running for the highest office in the land. Today they are being treated as establishment guys by many voters.
Fiorina is engaging in a (typical Republican) tactic of betrayal. Extol the virtues of some group (women, minorities, the poor) and then refuse to do anything that would actually help.
It's early in the political race, yet it has quickly become a race unlike any other from recent memory with a group of non-traditional candidates changing the course of the election.
If you hear someone say, "Oh no she didn't," you have an instant news hook. Today, many people are saying that about Kim Davis being compared to Rosa Parks.
The repeated conservative attacks on Donald Trump have failed, because they are off the mark. Candidates like Rick Perry, Rand Paul, and Bobby Jindal did not have the positive image and standing to attack, and they came across as desperate and petulant bottom-feeders.
Six weeks have passed since the first Republican debate of the 2016 race, and as the cast of characters returns to the stage for their second match, campaign dynamics have come more sharply into focus.
The second debate of the Republican nomination race is fast approaching, so in preparation I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the entire GOP field once again. First, though, a word about the debates themselves.
It's no secret that we as a country still have a long way to go when it comes to paid maternity leave. Right now the United States is the only advanced economy that does not have a paid maternity leave requirement. And it's not just paid maternity leave where we fall short.