The winner of last night’s Republican debate was Ted Cruz.
Just like a Chuck Berry John B. Goode performance at an Alan Freed Brooklyn Paramount Theatre stage show, Ted Cruz carried the night. Donald Trump, with his Jerry Lee Lewis like best effort, threatened to, at any minute, burn down the house. Carly Fiorina gave her best, measured Connie Francis interpretation. Chris Christie performed in Fats Domino style, solid but not the pacesetter. Marco Rubio took a viewer back to the polished days of Paul Anka, but, of course no match for Chuck or Jerry Lee. Ben Carson brought Brook Benton to mind, mellow and professional but standing in the shadows of the front-line guys. Rand Paul reminded me, in musical terms, of Joey Dee from the Starlighters—a nice presence in a small corner of the big stage, but not a good match against the big boys. Jeb Bush was Bobby Vee like. Remember “Rubber Ball”? How insipid and second tier.
The whole show was pathetically hosted by an over-matched John Harwood who Trump, Cruz and Christie kicked around like a beach ball at a Jimmy Buffett concert.
In the end, Ted Cruz made the case for small government that Rand Paul has been trying to unsuccessfully deliver. And Cruz made the case well enough to draw enthusiastic audience response for a number of his laser like comments. Ted is going to quietly and methodically gain traction much to the chagrin of the big government, establishment dinosaurs.