WASHINGTON, September 17, 2015 – Carly Fiorina won the second GOP debate. Hands down, no question about it. By the time you woke up and dragged yourself to work this morning, she moved from curiosity to a a serious contender.
Pundits will go back and forth as to whether it was a good debate. Did it get out of control at times? Sure. But that’s what you get when Donald Trump is on the stage.
Overall, it was a well-rounded debate.
The biggest takeaway, by far, is what a strong field the Republicans have put out this year.
They could barely cram all the candidates onto one stage, and every single one of them belonged there. The list of accomplishments between all the candidates could fill the Rose Bowl. Governor Michael Huckabee saying words to the effect of “We have all done big things, that’s why we are here.”
The candidates include dynamic senators who have filibustered for hours on the Senate floor in defense of their principles, successful governors who have managed remarkable turnarounds in deep blue states, the most respected pediatric neurosurgeon in the world (who successfully separated twins conjoined at the head), the architect behind the last federal balanced budget amendment, and we haven’t even gotten to the unbelievably successful billionaire business man yet.
Even those who disagree with some of the candidates have to concede that they are all qualified. None of the candidates earned a failing grade in the second debate. Not one candidate scored lower than a C or C-, meaning that every single one of them would make at least an average president.
The Democrats on the other hand, not so much.
This really leads to the crux of the whole argument: President Obama’s controversial presidency has absolutely decimated the Democratic field.
The two historic midterm elections in 2010 and 2014 are the main reason there is no one credible running on the Democratic side. No successful governors, no powerful senators, no mayors ready for prime time.
This Democratic field is unprecedentedly bad, and the president is to blame for that. The Democratic Party may never recover from the Obama administration’s reign.
It’s not as if the small field has any new ideas either. We all know about Hillary Clinton, the candidate who criticizes innovative companies like Uber while claiming that even more government spending is the solution to our $18.3 trillion debt.
Not to mention the FBI investigation she is facing.
Bernie Sanders. There has never been a candidate in political history who is more entrenched and ingrained in Washington but still embraces the outsider role. Bernie has his fingerprints all over everything that has burdened the country the last 20 years, including funding all the wars he pretends to oppose.
The rest of the crew is hardly even worth mentioning. Martin O’Malley is largely responsible for the current mess in Baltimore, and Lincoln Chafee’s most consequential issue is the metric system. Most people don’t even remember that Jim Webb and Lawrence Lessig are also running.
That’s it. Six people on the left, only three of whom are even remotely serious candidates. Eleven people on the right.
The Republicans are in the driver’s seat when it comes to winning the White House in 2016, and Wednesday’s debate reaffirmed that.