Saturday, October 31, 2015

The #GOPDebate on CNBC: My Thought

Last week, CNBC hosted the third Republican Primary Debate, which was probably a mistake. This debate, smaller than the last two, certainly packed more punch, but that was directed more at CNBC than at the contenders themselves. Nonetheless, there were several major highlights from the debate, most notably that all the candidates appear to have closed ranks against the Democrats, with even Donald Trump being less combative (he didn't even speak the longest). Indeed, I am starting to like Trump despite of myself, because behind that clown-like exterior and presumably rabid xenophobia seems to be a fairly logical, if egotistical, person. His opinions on the Middle East are quite accurate, as are his thoughts on immigration.

The star of the debate was certainly Marco Rubio, while the biggest loser was Jeb Bush. That is discounting even the presence of Rand Paul and some of the others, including Gov. Chris Christie, whose time in this race ended long back. This race appears to be between Carson, FIorina, Trump, Bush and Rubio, with even Ted Cruz failing to get too deep in. Of course, given the number of people it started with, five probable candidates is not so bad.

Unlike the FOX and CNN debates, this one went into a variety of issues, with a grater focus on domestic issues. Contrast this to the last two, where Iran seemed to occupy half the time. Some of the candidates seemed to take a leaf out of Bernie Sanders' book this time round, talking about 'real issues' without really saying much about them, and with utter disregard for time limits. This actually made it very interesting to watch because while most Republicans seem to agree on foreign policy - with Rand Paul being a notable exception - the real faultlines lie in domestic issues. Nonetheless, CNBC could have chosen a much better format than the rapid-fire one that essentially left candidates with little time to speak and the audience hoping for more insight. 

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