Engaged, Serious, Caring?
What is the point, it’s easy to wonder. Ben Domenech in Spectator wonders, “are they designed to help the GOP or just do favors for its partisan enemies?” The answer, he maintains, is not to pat as you might think.
… the point of debates is to offer people a view of the Republican Party as engaged, serious, compelling and caring about the priorities of the American people. That’s all expressions of mood as opposed to policy or ideology, but we’re not getting any of the latter or the former to this point.
Instead, this looks like a party squabbling over the little things, like whether Vivek Ramaswamy is a hypocrite for joining TikTok, whether Nikki Haley overspent on curtains, or if Ron DeSantis tried to spin the silver linings of slavery.
And if the candidates had engaged in the gimmickry of the debate instead of rejecting it, today we’d also have the image of all these folks holding up pieces of paper with the name of an opponent on it they’d like to “vote off the island.”
Whose brilliant idea was that?
Mr. Domenech gives the winning award to Ron DeSantis for rejecting the “stupid moderator tricks,” responding like a front runner, and coming away once again unscathed. Nikki Haley held her own, and Chris Christie gets kudos for telling Vivek to put his hand down. Tim Scott got a lot of airtime, but to what purpose?
But of course, the real winner, opines Mr. Domenech, is the guy who wasn’t there.
Susan Page at USA Today has the right of it. The more these debates go on without anyone hitting a grand slam, outlining an alternative message on Bidenomics, the border and foreign policy that hits with the viewers, the more likely it is that Donald Trump never joins the debate stage fray. It’s still a risky proposition to avoid these debates because Trump has become confined to courthouse appearances, and his dominant performance in past debates are fading away in people’s memory. The impressive show of Trump showing up and swatting away Chris Christie with the back of his hand is something that would only solidify his support. But he’s content to do alternate programming and just wait it out… even if the UAW gave him a chilly reception.
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