First, let me state that I have great respect for people who are willing to put their personal lives on the line to run for the office of President of the United States of America and for their families as well.
That being said, here is my take on the early debate tonight. Let’s look at soundbites, # of times buzzed, and overall impressions of the interviewers and the candidates.
Here are my sound bites I heard from tonight that might be interesting – in a good way – or maybe a not so good way. One point for good sound bites.
Jindal – “Take the political handcuffs off”
Fiorina – While it isn’t a sound bite, she did use the word “languishing.” Very nice touch.
“America is back in the leadership business.”
Pataki – “Replacing dependency with opportunity.”
Perry – “Border is porous.” I like this description choice.
The sound bites were certainly not flowing in the early debate, but the second round made up for it. Please take into account that my screen cut off a little early. It was after Pataki talked about being pro-choice.
Here is our early round score for sound bites:
Jindal – 1
Fiorina – 2 (counted languishing)
Pataki – 1
Perry – 1 (use of word porous)
Now for buzzers. I like a candidate willing to take his time and say what needs to be said. Unfortunately, most of what they have to say is not necessary. I still offered a point for each buzz (again may have missed some at the end).
Graham – 1
Santorum – 1
Gilmore – 1
Pataki – 1
Perry – 1
Fiorina – 1
Overall impressions of candidates based on my random opinions:
Perry – A point awarded for sounding tough an standing tall. One more for getting tongue-tied when trying to passionately share how he feels about what we are doing to our military by giving money to Lebanon. However, “I’m the man for the job.” and “I’m the only man on this stage…” seem like overkill on the sales job to me. In reference to immigration, he stated:
“Americans are tired of hearing this debate…”
I was so glad he finished the sentence, because I was about to agree with the man right then and there. So 2 points for Perry. He is tough and passionate, but stiff as they come. And you almost lost a point for the bouncy movement thing after border is porous. Completely weirded out by that one.
Rick Perry – 2 points
Fiorina – I might just get excited over this one! Calm, cool, collective, yet firm and confident – 3 points. I believe the highest calling of leadership is to serve, but we’ll agree to disagree there. I know that isn’t popular in DC. She talked about complete unification at the highest levels of national security. That I’ll believe when I see it. Nice ideal though. Stands with Israel. 5 points just for that one Carly.
Carly Fiorina – 8 points
Santorum – Brought up Planned Parenthood first. 3 points for that one! Only moves one arm and seems to be saying “Are you talking to me?” with that face. No points for poise from me. Concerns about federal entitlements brought up, but we have differing opinions on where to start – how about no lifetime retirement for congressman and yes to term limits? HHHMMM…didn’t mention that, did you?
Santorum – 3 points
Jindal – Stiff. Stiffer. Stiffest. Strange. Looked like he’d been taking lessons from Perry. He moves both arms, but only from the elbows. Brought up China and debt – 3 points. Work on pauses. No one likes a speed-talker during debates.
Jindal – 3 points
Graham – Nothing to say. No energy. No emotion. Nothing. Looks like he took some sinus meds just before heading to the stage. And FYI, Hilary supporters probably weren’t watching your debate.
Graham – 0 points
Pitaki – Wow – you were blue tie man at first. Had no clue who you were. Finally caught on. Pro-Choice. Not happening. Defund Planned Parenthood? Yes. A permanent ban on money going to abortions? Sounds great when you talk, but we’ve seen what pen-wielding Presidents can do with things like this.
Pitaki – 1 point (blue is my favorite color)
Gilmore – Didn’t know who you were at all at first, but decided you were a mix between a rogue border guard and a politician. Reminded me of Sheriff Joe. 3 points for tough. 1 point for mentioning overtaxed businesses. You missed a chance to stand against abortion. I won’t scream about no litmus test by you, but you missed an opportunity. Middle East NATO? Sounds a little complex and messy to me. Isn’t one NATO enough? Would it be METO?
Gilmore – 4 points
Moderators Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum of Fox News
While they were better in my opinion than the second set, I feel the casual nature of Fox News carried over too far into the debate – both debates. These are important debates, and the casualness stole from them the credit they deserve. Not to mention all of the questions they began with?
Here is my opening questions summary:
Some of you were on top before, and some weren’t ever on top. Now, all of you except Carly Fiorina (maybe) are sucking wind. Why are you even running?
Donald Trump is winning. He is better than you, so why are you running?
The buzzer sounded like a Price is Right “WRONG” buzzer. And the comment by Bill Hemmer – “Wait til you hear what they get next hour?” WOW – rub it in that they didn’t make the top cut why don’t you.
Everyone gets 10 points to make up for the moderator and the too-casual atmosphere.
BONUS POINTS! Jindal and Santorum each get 1 point for wearing a flag pin.
Jindal – 15 points Fiorina – 18 points
Pitaki – 13 points Perry – 14 points
Graham – 11 point Santorum – 15 points
Gilmore – 15 points
There you have it. My summary of the early debate. If you missed it, I hope this read is fun and not helpful at all. It wasn’t meant to be.
But seriously – a favorite quote to take away –
And it is preserved on the battlefield!