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:

by C. Edmund Wright on 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 are looking for – is that he’s currently winning what I called in March the ‘most important primary of all.’ Here is excerpt:

No, the most critical Republican primary, at least for non-establishment candidates, is the Rush Limbaugh-Drudge Report-Breitbart-Mark Levin-Sean Hannity-Glenn Beck internet message board primary. For a conservative base candidate to win the nomination, he or she must carry most of the above precincts.

Now at the time, Breitbart had not started their online poll – called the “Breitbart Primary” – which Ted Cruz is currently winning by just a fraction over Trump. I was not referring to that. I mean the primary in the general sense that the candidate who got the most positive coverage from those outlets would win the nomination. And there’s no doubt, none, that Trump is that candidate now. By far.

Of that group above, only Beck is anti Trump – and only Levin is even circumspect or talking about other candidates. Rush is all in the tank – even has he has spent a few seconds trying to say he’s not officially in the tank – and while Breitbart has a few anti Trump (or really just circumspect) Trump pieces – their coverage is overwhelmingly positive.

As stated in March, I think ultimately Ted Cruz will win this primary – and the nomination. I think for a number of reasons that Trump’s staying power is suspect. We’ll see. He’s outlasted what I thought already, but we’re still in batting practice… where near the late innings.

Fox Debate: No Real Theme

by C. Edmund Wright on 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 to each other, although Trump did bump elbows with all three moderators on one occasion -and also had a pretty testy exchange early with Rand Paul.

Rand also had an angry exchange with Chris Christie, and got off a good line about the “big hug with Obama.” That was the testiest moment of the entire night, and it did not involve either Trump or Bush.

On balance, I think the night represented a very small slippage for Trump – but given that he had more to lose than the rest of the field put together – he did what he needed to do. He will still lead all the polls, and now he has one of these events under his belt. His refusal to pledge support to the Republican nominee drew some pretty big boos, however.

Jeb did not have a great night – often stumbling a bit over his boiler plate and unexciting talking points. He looked defensive and unsure. John Kasich, boosted by the home Ohio crowd, had a good night and probably is getting a look from worried establishment types. Ditto Marco Rubio.

However, a case can be made that Carly Fiorina won the night with her dominating performance in the preliminary debate, while Governor Bobby Jindal was strong too. Carly and Rick Perry were even featured in a question from Baier.

Thus those two faired better than Ted Cruz for example – who performed very well when given the chance – but  was ignored by the moderators for practically the entire second hour – even on questions about Iran and Obama Care. He did get a “hear from God” question however. Well.

One gets the idea that not only does Fox want to take Trump down, they want to make sure Cruz is not standing in the wings if that happens. It’s clear that the network’s talking heads still do not understand Trump’s appeal, nor have they figured out Cruz’ filibuster and 2014 either.

And they seem remarkably uncurious about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It is instructive that for the first 59 minutes of the Fox News Republican Debate, the Fox moderators never mentioned either, or any other Democrat. Finally, in minute 59, Wallace did mention Hillary. Before then, Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier spent their time trying to set up little infighting spats between particular candidates. Three of Wallace’s first four questions were direct attempts to do just that.

There were some very good individual moments, the best being Ben Carson’s double whammy about separating Siamese twins and the removal of half brains in Washington. Huckabee had a well played dig at Hillary in his closing statement, and Scott Walker drew laughs with a remark about Russia and Hillary’s emails.

The best moment for the Fox moderators was at the close of the televised coverage, when they said that all ten candidates had good moments and did well.   And that’s not too far from the truth. But Carly Fiorina also had a good night,  who will probably move to the big leagues for the next event.




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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Published on Breitbart….bump for later…no one wants to admit it yet.

July 30, 2015
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Bi-Polarizing: Trump now attacks GOP – From the LEFT

July 27, 2015

Without a doubt, Donald Trump instinctively understands the mood of the country on key issues and is tapping into this anger at all of Washington – the Democrats, the Jurassic media, the Republican establishment politicians, consultants, lobbyists and donors, and of course the right leaning establishment media – as only Donald Trump can do. He […]

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