There was something for everyone who tuned in to the goat rodeo that was last week’s GOP presidential primary debate. Jokes, barbs, God stuff, even the occasional discussion of real issues (though not climate change or gun control – duh). Here’s my take on the Republican Party’s top ten and how they performed.
Jeb Bush: He mentioned our state! Jeb said ISIS controls “a caliphate the size of Indiana.” Pretty good job overall. Also the tallest candidate, which will help him.
Dr. Ben Carson: I’d definitely trust him to operate on my brain, but not run the country. Suggests basing the U.S. tax code on church tithing and says, “You make 10 billion dollars, you pay a billion, you make ten dollars, you pay one.” Um, no.
Scott Walker: As he cradles an imaginary fetus in his hands he explains why abortion should not be legal even in cases of rape, incest or the probable loss of the mother’s life. This dude is a straight-up mullah. Creepy and evil, in a dumb kind of way.
Marco Rubio: I thought he was a good speaker and I suspect he is a great listener. That is because the guy has HUGE ears. I mean, Barack Obama is known for his big ears, but they’re the stick-out, car-door kind of ears. Rubio has the ears of a 90-year-old man.
Ted Cruz: Just weird. Seems like an annoying uncle who constantly wants to tell you how he thinks things should be done. (If you need further proof of just how weird Cruz is, go online and check out his impressions of characters from The Simpsons.)
Chris Christie: A fine speaker and debater with feisty flashes. I didn’t appreciate his spiel about hugging the families and loved ones of 911 victims, which to me seemed to politicize and disrespect these folks, but hey, that’s what politicians do.
Rand Paul: While small in stature, this guy is definitely big on ideas. Not that I agree with all of them, but it does seem like there’s a brain under those unruly, curly locks. Also a feisty guy – I suspect he would do well in a knife fight, a political one or a real one.
Mike Huckabee: A self-righteous caricature of himself throwing out red meat for the most rabid conservatives. He’ll have a great career as a professional blowhard, but not as president.
John Kasich: I thought this guy made a lot of sense. He showed real compassion for the poor and did a good job of explaining his experience and accomplishments. Kasich seems like the Bernie Sanders of the GOP. I’ll bet he gets good reviews and a bump in the polls, but he’s way too rational and moderate to be chosen by his party.
Donald Trump: Jackass, plain and simple. Insults one of the moderators, Megyn Kelly, spews his usual blustery b.s. and tells the nation how “stupid” most elected U.S. officials are in comparison to him. Barf. Still, most of the other candidates were careful not to totally diss The Donald in hopes of garnering future support from the legions of Trump fans.
And there you have it. This debate was clearly one of the most-watched, most-entertaining pieces of political theater that has ever been broadcast. It really is a deep GOP field of contenders, from serious and seasoned pros to clowns who have no business even being in the arena. With more than a year to go, this is going to be one of the best goat rodeos ever.
Harry Cheese is a local bon vivant, bocce enthusiast and freelance writer who used to contribute regularly to NUVO, then got very lazy.