Last night the Republican Party candidates for President had a debate. It was the first debate since this entire process got started.
“What,” you may ask? “There have been several debates.” No there haven’t been. Debates by their very nature are designed to elicit distinctive differences between opinions, based on factual data. None of the previous “debates” came close to that standard. Last night we finally began to see a little substance.
What we saw, from the evidence, were a couple of candidates articulating defensible positions. Others, not so much so!
Governor Chris Christie won” the February 6, 2016 debate in a convince and informative manner. All of his answers were articulate and well reasoned.
The purpose of the debates are varied. First, they should demonstrate a candidates understanding of the issues. Second, they should allow the candidates to demonstrate their position relative to those issues. Third, it allows the candidates to distinguish themselves from each other. Fourth and fifth are far less meritorious purposes for the debate but have a little relevance.
- How does the candidate respond under pressure?
- Is the candidate capable of articulating a philosophical difference between themselves and the potential “banner carrier” for the other political parties?
Last night Governor Christie convincingly accomplished what was necessary under all five questions, while each of the remaining candidates stumbled on one or more.
Governor Christie demonstrated through reason and argument exactly why leadership experience is essential in the presidency.
Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were systematic picked apart, or fell apart, under the wither gaze of a Governor who has “been there, done that.” If ABC had remembered that they invited Dr. Ben Carson to participate in the debate it is likely that Governor Christie would have demonstrated his superior leadership talents in comparison there as well.
Rubio and Cruz were the definition of losers in the debate. Dr. Carson was unfortunately also a loser because of ABC’s astonishing level of disrespect toward him (and also toward Carly Fiorina, in her banishment). Rather than “manning up” ABC chose to intention subvert Dr. Carson since they had created a scenario which forced them to allow him in the debate.
A just debate would have eliminate Rubio, Cruz, and Carson right along with Carly. Or it would have created a spot on stage for her as well. I toss Rubio and Cruz into that mix of “forgettable bystanders” because of their abysmal performance with the criteria listed above.
Philosophically Rubio and Cruz are twins from different Hispanic parentage. Neither has distinguished themselves for leadership. With respect to philosophy it would be a rather easy argument to make that both use their “contitutional compliance” arguments more as a talking points than actual comprehension or seriousness.
The presidential race should be weaned down to a very few candidates. Folks, some will not like my list. It is a list based on the criteria noted above, certainly not solely on my preferences.
- Governor Chris Christie
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- Governor John Kasich
- Business Magnate Donald Trump
Obviously missing from that list are Senator Bernie Sanders and former governor, Jeb Bush. I eliminate them because they have both failed to meet substantive elements of that criteria.
In terms of executive capability to get things done those four meet the criteria. Granted, what they have accomplished may not be to a person’s liking. I personally am appalled at some of their achievements, while strongly embracing the principles behind the rhetoric of both Rubio and Cruz. However, when it is necessary to actually get thing done rather than get things talked about, capability should be demonstrated. Those four demonstrate that capability, under the scrutiny of the five criteria listed.
Now, the question becomes; Of those four best qualified candidates for the presidency whom do you believe will best pursue your objectives?
That Is How I See It.