There are some interesting outside the box ideas being bandied about now regarding the choice of moderators for Republican debates. Reince Preibus, chair of the RNC, has even jumped on board – sort of.

Well, damn. Finally.

The ideas being talked about today are in this American Thinker article from August of 2011. There is a good breakdown of how even Fox does not moderate debates properly – and here is a key pull quote that predates a lot of chatter we are hearing since the CNBC debacle a few nights ago:

Presidential debates are not about the journalists’ reputations. At least they shouldn’t be.

Perhaps it is time to totally rethink some debate assumptions, at least from the party standpoint during the primary process. The Jurassic media is really not a necessary ingredient in this process in this day of the new media and the social media. Engaged primary voters, who are the entire ballgame at this juncture, are easily able to follow the candidates through talk radio and the internet — including the social media.

In other words, there likely are not legions of Republican primary voter in the country who care a whit what Chris Wallace thinks. After last night, many will not be particularly interested in what Bret Baier or Byron York think either. Neither the candidates nor the voters need these people, and if they are not going to add anything to the process, they should be jettisoned.

Why not have folks like say, Mark Levin and Andrew Breitbart and Ann Coulter ask the questions? Admit it, that would be a fun night and at the end of two hours, you would have a great idea on which candidate or candidates would be Barack Obama’s worst nightmare and the free enterprise system’s dream come true. And isn’t that the point of the primary process?

I submit that it is. It is time for some outside the box thinking. RNC, are you listening? (Wait, don’t answer that).

Now of course this was written ahead of Breitbart’s death – and I would never suggest Coulter today, as she has become a shill for a particular candidate and is focused on one single issue. Four years ago I didn’t think Rush Limbaugh would even consider doing it, but today? He might…so I’d add that name.

But the specific names are not that important. The concept is. It’s a no brainer – then again, even no brainers are out of reach for the GOP establishment.

There was a disturbance in the force last night at CNBC’s Republican debate, and it left no doubt of who won and who lost the debate. The loser was CNBC, and the winners were all ten Republican candidates – in varying degrees of course. (More on that later). And there is no doubt when this shift in the axis happened either. When Ted Cruz dressed down Carl Quintenilla and John Harwood – two of CNBC’s far left commentators – and literally mocked their absurd line of questioning, everything changed.

And Cruz didn’t just criticize the questions, he made sport of them. He demonstrated just how infantile most of the CNBC crew was (Tea Party originator Rick Santelli not included). Cruz  flat out embarrassed them, and they knew it.

After the crowd stopped roaring in approval of Cruz’ protest, which took a while, the rest of the Republicans followed the Texas Senator’s lead and there was almost no Republican on Republican crime after this exchange. In fact, we then saw numerous examples where Republicans made it clear that any of the ten on the stage would be far preferable to what we have now, and to Hillary Clinton.  These comments were met with loud approval from the audience every time. Meanwhile, Quintenilla was literally booed loudly three times.

Later in the night, Christie embarrassed the mods again with his fantasy football reply, as did Mike Huckabee by turning a gotcha question related to Donald Trump into praise of Trump. I have my problems with Christie and Huck over all, but both are demonstrably nimble on their feet.

And because these precious egotistical and not very bright media mavens crave the love of the audience,  I submit that this dynamic will go further than just recasting the last hour plus of this debate. I think the moment was a torpedo across the bow of any future liberal moderators in waiting for Republican debates. These candidates have now seen the light, they will not be cowed by the gotcha questions nor will they accept the liberal templates underlying the questions. The candidates will fight back and they will get cheered while and the moderators will get booed. The mods don’t like that. Quintenilla turned noticeably flushed.

Sean Hannity even led his show with the notion that Cruz’ reply was a turning point for all debates, a conclusion I also reached. And yet, this meme is not new. It just seems to escape almost everyone’s memory.

Consider: We saw from Newt Gingrich four years ago in Myrtle Beach – and then Charleston three nights later – that this is what the Republican primary voters want to hear and need to hear. Newt turned hard against the media’s gotcha questions and went on to win SC by 13 points. But more to the point, the SC turn out was a record by some 35% as a jazzed electorate just could not wait to go to the polls. It was a win for the entire field in a way. This was in contrast to lower turnouts in both Iowa and New Hampshire, where the Republicans attacked each other and forgot Barack Obama, whoever the hell he was.

Why Newt gave up that strategy in Florida is a mystery, and another topic for another day. But after SC, turn outs were down and the dye was cast for a low turn out of the base on General Election Day – and the rest is history.

Perhaps this lesson won’t be forgotten this go round. I can’t imagine Cruz abandoning it. And certainly Trump, Fiorina and Christie are well equipped and not afraid to take off the gloves with media idiocy either. Meanwhile, we saw Marco Rubio’s willingness to push back as well. It cannot be said enough; CNBC lost the debate hands down. The Republican field won hands down.

Which leads to a comment Cruz made to Hannity after the debate, suggesting that a moderating panel of Hannity, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh would be far more appropriate for a GOP debate. I love the idea, and in fact put it forth four years ago here in American Thinker. It only makes sense. A Republican Primary should be fought on Republican turf, and from a Republican (conservative) POV.

As for how the candidates did stacked up against one another, I would agree with last night’s analysis consensus (a rarity) that Cruz and Rubio probably helped themselves the most, while Trump, Christie, Fiorina and Huckabee had good nights as well. Jeb was the big loser, as he’s appearing more and more dis-engaged and perhaps over his head. Kasich played well to his constituency, but sadly for him, that constituency is not in the Republican base. Ben Carson seemed tired, and yet even he scored in his low key and subtle way.

I suspect over the next couple of weeks, we’ll see Cruz and Rubio creeping up (as they have been for a couple weeks) while Trump and Carson will remain about where they are. I think Jeb will drop some more, and perhaps he’ll be gone before debate number 4. Same for Rand Paul. And hopefully, we’ll see more scorn for and criticism of Reince Preibus and the RNC for the bone headed tone deaf approach to debates.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that CNBC peaked on the morning of February 19, 2009, when a little known (at the time) trader named Rick Santelli threatened to hold a “Chicago tea party on Lake Michigan. Since that day, CNBC has noticeably lurched far to the left, and it was on display again last night.



Cruz told Hannity Rush Levin – see CEW article from 5 years ago.

DEBATE 2: Quick analysis

by C. Edmund Wright on September 18, 2015

So debate 2 is in the books, although the full impact of it won’t be know for a couple weeks. Often first impressions are not lasting impressions with these kinds of things.

The thing that remains clear is that no one seems to understand what a debate should be about, and how to moderate it. Jake Tapper made a big deal prior to the debate about how he was going to “craft questions” in a way as to get candidates going after each other.

How childish. And by the way Jake, this is not about you and about how brilliantly you “craft” your questions. How about asking something simple, like, “how are you going to clean up the border mess Obama has made? Or how are you going to clean up the health care mess Obama has made? Or the Iran mess? Or the racial tension mess?”

But moderators won’t ask such questions, because such questions do not allow the moderators to demonstrate their magnificent intellects.  Human nature plagues our politics, doesn’t it?

Now, about that potential – and I stress potential – “disturbance in the force.”  Think about the 2012 election, and how it appeared that Mitt and Ryan were steaming to victory. Then the hurricane hit New Jersey, and Chris Christie gave Obama the hug on the airport tarmac (if memory serves.) At that moment, when I saw the photo, I thought oh hell, a disturbance in the force. The dynamic changed that very second.

It is hard to explain. And it’s impossible to track. We can never go back and run the election without that hurricane. The disturbance in the force happened, and there’s no rolling it back.

So, fast forward to now. I sense a possible disturbance in the force from two moments in the debate this week. Moment one is when Carly Fiorina smoothly and elegantly pimp slapped Donald Trump on the “look at that face” comment. Seconds after Trump has refused to let Jeb off the hook for a comment Jeb made about women’s healthcare – because he :”heard” what Jeb said – he then tried to clarify his “face” comment about Fiorina . Carly was having none of it. Showing brilliant situational awareness that few do on the stage, she turned it around and used Donald’s own words against him saying that “women across America heard what you said.” Boom.

Now the Trump kool aid crowd – which appears to be about 80% of his supporters – insists Trump won that. Strange. But I don’t think that is how it’s going to play out over time. I think it’s a chink in the armor.

Moment 2 may be even bigger ultimately. And that’s the issue of Trump donating to Jeb’s Florida campaign with the goal, among other things, of getting casino gambling in Florida. Jeb brought this up on the stage, and Trump flatly called him a liar twice. Well, I think history indicates that Jeb is right on this issue – and this is something that might become demonstrable and put another chink in the armor. A disturbance in the force moment? Maybe. Watch for it.

Meanwhile, who the hell is over scripting Ted Cruz? And why won’t he be more assertive with mods who refuse him time? If he doesn’t solve both of these problems, he will never get his voters back – which includes most of those now supporting Trump. It is precisely Trump’s lack of being scripted – a talent Cruz does possess but is not showing – that is pushing Trump. People do NOT want anything to do with normal political speak/scripting at the moment.

Carly showed how to butt in and get more time than she would have otherwise. So did Christie and Kasich and Rubio at times. Cruz, Walker and Carson would be well advised to take note.

Donald Trump – who has been obsessed with China and seemingly ambivalent about much our own self inflicted liberalism over the years – took the occasion of the one thousand plus point drop in the DOW today to continue to hit the China button. Remember, according to Trump, China is kicking our butts nine ways from Sunday – we’re always losing to China.

But are we?

If this were the case, our stock market would be a lot worse than China’s. Just think about it. Common sense. Instead, the opposite is true. China’s market closed down almost 9% today. Our market – at 1pm – is almost back to even par. We’ll see where it closes, but it won’t close down 1400 points, which would be the China equivalent. Oh, BTW, China’s market is down over 60% for the year. Yeah, really kicking our asses, aren’t they?

And this: countries don’t “trade” with each other anyway. Individuals and individual companies do. To hear Trump, and his liberal populist fans, when China sells us a piece of steel, China wins and we lose. How is that?

When one of our companies buys Chinese steel – we can assume that it’s a win for that American company and their American customers and American workers.  If it’s also a win for China, who cares? Why must every deal be a win/lose proposition? The answer is that it doesn’t work that way.

When our companies buy steel, they do so to produce cars, buildings, farm equipment, lawn mowers, gas grills – and on and on. They create jobs and profits by doing this, and consumers are served. Many of their consumers are other businesses, who will use that farm equipment and trucks and commercial cooking equipment to make more profits and create more jobs. This is how free market economics work.

Trump is in denial on that. So are his fans. It’s a shame. This is not conservatism folks. Just sayin….

Trump on top for moment: I think I nailed it…back in March:

August 18, 2015

Donald Trump is atop all of the polls, many of them by wide margins. He can do no wrong it seems. The momentum behind him is truly astonishing. (not all of it logical, but that’s for another day). One reason, in addition to his bigger than life personality and incredible situational awareness of what Americans […]

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Fox Debate: No Real Theme

August 7, 2015

In last night’s Republican debate on Fox News – there were a few moments of tension – most of which featured Donald Trump. However, the big story is that there is no big story. Trump was neither his normal bigger than life personality, nor was he just another candidate. He and Jeb Bush were polite […]

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UPDATED WITH BREITBART FEATURE: 40, 31 and 59 – All You Need to Know about Fox Moderators

August 7, 2015

How low has Fox slipped? That’s among the questions on the mind of conservatives today across the social nets. Their debate moderation was nothing short of cringe worthy. This network remains remarkably uncurious about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – while remaining obsessed with their own face time and with starting fights on stage between […]

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Prelim Debate: Carly Clearly…..

August 6, 2015

As I tweeted out as the first preliminary debate came to a close, the winner was Carly Fiorina – and this view is now widely agreed upon. Bobby Jindal was second, and Rick Perry third. Lindsey Graham was last, while Pataki, Santorum and Gilmore were in there in the middle.

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Memo to the arrogant Chris Wallace: It’s NOT about YOU!

August 6, 2015

The safest prediction to make about tonight’s highly anticipated Republican debate on Fox News is that the ratings will be through the roof – initially – until the self absorbed and pompous Chris Wallace ruins it. Even before Wallace promised that a few days ago that some of this questions will be “doozies,” his presence at […]

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Heads Up: The Democrats Toxic Mixture of death and political expediency….

August 3, 2015

Planned Parenthood….the use of Beau Biden’s death to raise money for a Draft Biden for President Campaign….all the way back to the Wellstone Memorial in 2002. Article coming soon on this….tying it all together in one very disturbing package.    

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