Photo Credit: Newsweek

#CNNDebate: What Really Matters

I am nothing if not opinionated, however, today I’m going to set some of those opinions aside and take a stab at a logical outlook for the current candidates. At this point, the candidates need to prove to those writing the checks that they are viable and worthy of continued support. Those who do well with the click bait public may not do as well with them, nor with serious conservatives.

Think of it like the appeal of a brand new toy. Johnny wants the new Nerf Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster, and he has dreams of sneaking through tall grass to annihilate the enemy, which is really just Jimmy and Billy, and so he begs his parents for this elite level of foam warfare. Johnny’s parents give in, and three months later the foam bullets are found bent and destroyed in the bottom of a toy box, and the Nerf Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster has yet to kill any zombies, and Jimmy and Billy have already purchased the 2.0 version. The shiny new gun that consumed all of Johnny’s time for approximately one week is now collecting dust on the floor in his room. However, every time Johnny gets bored and realizes that his fun new toys have lost their spark and appeal, you can find him on the living room floor building a castle creation made with the bucket of Legos his parents purchased him 4 years prior. You see, some candidates are Nerf Zombie Strike Doominator Blasters, and others are Legos, and one special candidate is like a blow torch in the hands of a toddler.

Last night, bottom tier candidates had something to prove, and many of them failed. Everyone at the first debate is out of luck, we all know this. But here is my breakdown, and prediction, for the 11 candidates on the main stage last night. Some exposed themselves as a good investment, others did not. They needed to set themselves apart in policy, not just in pizzazz.

John Kasich and Mike Huckabee (F):

I’m combining them to save time and sanity. They’re old news and have absolutely zero appeal to anyone under the age of 45, and that’s even stretching it. They won’t win anything. I predict that by Christmas these two will either be out, or they’ll be a joke. Both of these men would be a risky investment, all but guaranteed to yield a loss. By the end of the second fundraising quarter, September 30th, both of these candidates will feel the sting of defeat creeping up like rigamortis.

Rand Paul (D+): 

I have a feeling he’ll struggle for air longer than most, but still won’t make it much longer. He won’t even come close to winning the nomination. While many politically vapid millennials who appreciate his indignation for “The Man” tend to hang on his every word, the rest of us gasped in pity when he danced his campaign down the suicidal road of isolationism on Wednesday evening. We look around our world and see horror and fear, mass hysteria and pain, and our greatest concern with Paul was his foreign policy deficiency to begin with, last night only solidified our prejudice.

Ben Carson (C):

Ben Carson is the prime example of the Nerf Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster appeal. He’s a good guy, the people love him, the politically immersed conservatives even love him, but we cringe a little when he speaks on policy. If our country was not in the state it’s currently in, he would have a much better shot. Unfortunately the brilliant brain surgeon feels more like a dose of Tylenol for a patient fighting Ebola. We really like him, and if it was just a minor headache he’d be the first choice, but it’s just not a job for Tylenol. I suspect he’ll be all the rage for a few more weeks, but Wednesday was the beginning of his fizzling, by November he’ll be on his way out. The irrelevance of early polls will be on full display.

Ted Cruz (D): 

I once cheered on Teddy, no lie. I supported his endeavors, spirit, and full-on spunk. He was strong and against the grain. Now he annoys me. His speaking abilities, once hailed, now feel stiff and rehearsed. Worst of all, I cringe in horror whenever I think of the way he’s pandered to Donald Trump. I understand that he plans to collect votes from the disappointed leaches who are sure to drop from Trump once his campaign is doused in salt, but I can’t help but be angry for the conservatives like myself who had faith in him to rise above such low tactics. I am unforgiving in the world of politics, and while my personality is normally one of mild mannered – sarcasm laden – optimism, I quickly become Michael Corleone when you cross the line politically. Betrayal is intolerable, and while others sing his praises, I’m acknowledging my historical accolades for the man while also knowing what needs to be done. “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.” He’s cooked for many of us who are paying attention… Candidates don’t get elected by leaches alone, and the dedicated few who stand by him through his moments of weakness will accept the disappointment and move on, as well. I don’t hate the man, by any means, but I have no problem making him an example on how to lose.

Scott Walker (C):

Meh. Take him or leave him. I think many of us would appreciate him, and he is a step above plenty of candidates from yonder years, but he’s in over his head at this point. He’s a victim of sensory overload. He’s like a chocolate chip cookie on a table of premium desserts; when sitting on a platter next to dry muffins, Scotty is incredibly exciting… but when sitting next to cake, brownies, or premium pies, he just doesn’t outshine their appeal. He definitely could, but I find myself staring at him with my head tipped to the side like I do at an empty wall, “What will make this work, what does it need?” Before the debate I saw his great demise on the horizon; however, I believe Walker purchased himself a bit of time. That said, I believe it will be money wasted, because I’m predicting the great Scott Walker exit before the third fundraising quarter ends on December 31st.

Chris Christie(C):

Chris Christie is similar to John Stewart for me, I hate him and love him at the same time. I would never vote for him, but his presence doesn’t annoy me as much as others. He’s funny and good with one-liners, and he was very smart to involve the crowd on Wednesday night. That said, he won’t win. He’ll trudge on for a while, and he’ll make a lot of really great points, but in the end, he’s vying for the votes other candidates have in the bag. His strong points are genuinely held by most everyone else on the stage, and he really has no unique qualities that make him a viable long term investment.

Carly Fiorina (A+):

Girl brought game on Wednesday. She owned the stage. She’s a strong candidate, and I have a feeling she’ll be around for quite a while. More than anything, she’s perfect for a VP nod. She’s strong, she’s blunt, and she’s articulate. She’s strategic, and she combines policy with personal narrative. She’s not a politician, and unlike Donald Trump, she knows the issues rather well. I see her as a great asset to the Republican party, not only because she is a clear voice of reason, but because she could annihilate any argument Hillary would throw her way. I see her being here to the end, and I see other top tier candidates treating her with dignity and respect because they most likely see her as VP material. If you’re wondering what her appeal is, watch the mashup below. Like her or not, let’s admit a good candidate when we see one. Don’t like her, I recommend getting over it, because she’s not going anywhere.


Jeb Bush (B):

Don’t be angry guys, but Jeb did alright yesterday. He hit Trump with a few brutal punches, he defended his brother and his wife, and all in all, his outing was much stronger than I expected. I don’t want to see another Bush in the race, but when I remove his last name and look at the entire picture, he wasn’t bad last night. People say, “he’s awkward,” but the facts are, those arguments are as weak as picking on a lisp, tone of voice, or hand gestures. He did well, and he’s not going anywhere. He has shown himself to be a solid investment for donors.

Marco Rubio (A+):

Yes, Marco is my candidate, and I’m not shy about saying so. However, I merely echo the sentiments of a vast number of pundits, bloggers, and various conservative personalities when I say that he was in the winner column right next to Carly. Carly gives a solid punch, but Marco is substance in its purist form. Marco is a Lego candidate; he’s dependable, he’s consistent, and if you try to step on him he inflicts a blow that will take your breath away without stooping to theatrics. He did not stumble – he doesn’t stumble, for that matter – and he outlined solid strategies; more so than anyone else. If you determine that foreign policy is of high importance when choosing a candidate, you cannot overlook Marco Rubio and still be taken seriously. In addition, I spend a lot of time on politics and blogging, trolling Twitter for opinions. I’ve found that the vast majority of people I know in the “new media” support Marco Rubio, or at least lean in that direction. Rubio has staying power because investors know that the “new media” Andrew Breitbart created has even more pull than the high end – well known – journalists. A candidate backed by the majority of dedicated conservative “grassroots” writers – those much greater than I – has more staying power than Ann Coulter’s flavor of the week. When the celebrities exit the race, and 2016 rolls around, the game is in the hands of the new media, and Marco Rubio is doing quite well in their eyes.

And that’s just a sampling. Whether all of these wise men will fully support Rubio in 2016 is yet to be determined, but the general consensus is that Rubio ranks in the top three for the vast number of solid conservative names, as he should. The idea that he’ll faze out is unfounded, and quite honestly, a mere illusion thought up by those who just really, really like to cling to their favorite sputtering candidate like a baby blanket, hoping they won’t make the exit they’re surely headed towards.

Donald Trump (Crazy stalker you have escorted off school property):

Donald is running on angry fumes, but to think they’ll get him to 2016 is like me thinking that I can get from Florida to Washington on one tank of gas. Eventually his campaign is going to die on the side of the road – most likely in Georgia – surrounded by zombies with no Daryl to the rescue. His base may not shrink, but it also won’t grow, and as other candidates fizzle out his numbers will become less appealing. Hopefully the damage done in the Republican party by his bloviated rantings doesn’t linger into the general, but since it more than likely will, we have an even better reason to pick a candidate who can overcome them.

If you’d like a few highlights of Donald completely bombing it, here you go:

– Though they’re normal, his low blow remarks were on full display. After saying that Rand Paul shouldn’t be on the stage, a cheap shot at the very beginning of the debate, he also said that he’d have a lot of “subject matter” if he wanted to go after Rand Paul’s looks.

– He played the “rich people should pay more taxes” card, straight out of the progressive handbook like Obama was feeding him talking points.

– His business record was attacked, and he couldn’t defend himself in the slightest. The truth is that Donald ran on Daddy’s money, has had multiple bankruptcies on Casinos (which is, well, crazy), and plenty of his deals have been incredibly poor.

– He once again flopped on foreign policy and eluded to the idea that he’d learn it before getting to the White House. Meanwhile, Rubio and Carly gave eloquent and detailed answers. Can you honestly look to the Middle East, see the horror, and then turn around and vote for a man who doesn’t even sound like he could find Iraq on a map?

Speaking of his confusion between “Kurds” and “Quds”: “Hugh was giving me name after name—Arab name, Arab name, Arab—and there are few people anywhere, ANYWHERE, that would have known those names. I think he was reading them off a sheet.”

Crazy, one of those “few people” who know those names (Rubio) happens to be standing mere feet from the Lord of Darkness himself.

Those are just a few of the bullet points I had to pick from.

Now, if you read this until the end, THANK YOU! I’m known for long posts, but this may have taken the cake, so I appreciate you sticking around. I’m not a professional, and this isn’t what I do for a living, this is just my opinion on how I see the election moving. You never know exactly what will happen, but if Carson, Walker, or Cruz are on the general ticket, I’ll be eating my words. And if Trump is on the general ticket I’ll be writing in “Sweet Meteor of Death.”