Third GOP Republican Presidential Debate – “Good bye”, Jeb Bush?

CNBC GOP Presidential Debate, Octoberr 29th, 2015.

I was not able to watch the CNBC debate tonight – I was foreced to listen to it over the Internet as I am currently in Japan working.  However I had to follow the debate in order to get my political fix.  It turns out that it was a good time well spent.  I made a number of notes, but not as many as before.  I will give you a few key points, and then sum up with my view on the ‘horse’ race.

First, some patterns that emerged in previous debates persisted.  For example Carly Fiorina did her usual effective job of not jumping into the fray too early.  She would often wait and let the guys chew each other out, then she would swoop in and wrap up the argument with some clever quip.  She is very good at this – it makes for good PR.  I guess the impression that she waits for a considered response could be seen as a good trait for a president.

Trump was effective again.  He draw a number of roars, and jeers, fromt the audiance, as he tends to do.  He did not do himself any harm that I can see.  Ben Carlson also did OK though I remain a fan of his as a vice president ticket.

What was clear though is that Jeb Bush is just not cutting it.  At one point, while listening on the (Internet) radio I even forgot he was on stage!  He litterally did not make any sounds for several large sections of the debate.  He does not seem to demonstrate leadership traits – he is no bulshy, he is not vocal, and when he does pipe up, he seems to stumble sometimes with words.  I think his chances are slipping badly.

Chris Christie, who I like, was robust and strong.  He was clear and verbal, but he didnt really move forward too much.  John Kasich sounded like a winney child and his attempts to out-do his peers were ineffective.  Marko Rubio did a great job tonight.  He was articulate and clever and he moved up toward the front.  Cruz treaded water, and Huckabie and Paul drifted.

What was also disapointing was the quality of the questions from the CNBC team.  I am a fan of CNBC but the “substantive” dave did not really materialize.  It was more an attempt to wind up the speakers.  I wish Larry Kudlow had been there!

This is how I see the GOP “race” right now:

  • Front runner by a couple of lenghts: Trump.
  • Second: Fiorina, tiring.
  • Third: Improving Rubio.
  • Pack led by Carson, including Christie (pushing through), with Huckabie on his shoulder. 
  • Back of the pack and drifting: Cruz, Bush (just stumbled),  and Paul.
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