Last Thursday, the GOP held, not one, but two debates. Here are some of my thoughts regarding the debate and the aftermath. Any candidates that were not mentioned does not mean that they did a terrible job.
- Since this is the first of many debates, everyone should relax. Like any pre-season, the candidates were rusty. Hopefully for the candidates, this would be their floor in terms of their performances.
- That being said, I do not think Senator Rand Paul is ready for the prime time stage. His response to Governor Christie’s statement regarding the burying of friends after 9/11 in the context of the NSA debate showed immaturity on the Senator’s part. His answer of “It is the 4th Amendment and It is the Constitution” reminded me of my “ He started it!” defense that I used when I got in trouble in elementary school. It would have been wise not to appear to discount or disregard a tragedy that not only affected us as a nation, but to the families of those who died-whether they worked in the Towers or were the rescuers.
- Keep an eye on Carly Fiorina. It was disappointed that she was not on the main stage. Her performance will draw away from Trump. She is similar to Trump through her executive experience at Hewitt Packer. Unlike Trump, she knows how to control her tongue much better. Although her executive experience will be scrutinized, her response to the lessons learned at HP will be telling as to whether or not she is qualified to become the GOP nominee or even President.
- Trump should not feel the need to go after any perceived slight. He is the front-runner, please run as such and explain why you should continue to be.
- I was surprised that no one went after Senator Ted Cruz’s “defeat ISIS in 90 days” statement to the Joint Chief of Staff. That comment reminded me of Sun Tzu’s advice from the Art of War. Sun Tzu wrote that a sure way to guarantee defeat in war is to have the sovereign interfere with the general’s planning. Wars are a protracted matter with no time schedule, except the one that guarantees victory. However, I do support his proposal that any American, citizen or resident, that fights for ISIS is stripped of their citizenship or residency. I hope that Congress will pass such legislation.
- Jeb Bush’s answer regarding Common Core was a good answer. If the state has a better education plan with higher standards, then go and try to implement it. There is no need for a state to be a part of Common Core. I think his answer might placate those who are on the fence for supporting Jeb because of Common Core.
- I am glad that Senator Rubio touched upon two aspects of our immigration problem. The first aspect is that you have frustrated Americans who feel that their generosity have been taken advantage of. The second aspect is the fact that those who have played by the rules have to deal with a 15-year wait because of the bureaucracy. Both issues need to be addressed. I would hope that the Senate would have a hearing addressing the latter. It might cool down the heat of this issue, although I get the feeling that for some in the right, all immigration- legal or illegal needs to be stopped.
- Another great answer came from Dr. Ben Carson regarding race. What makes a person a person is his mind, his character, not the hair or the color of the skin. In addressing the issue of race, we need to strive to the ideal that the character of the person is what matters, not their skin color or their ethnicity. That does not mean that their experiences are not relevant, but what matters is their character.
- Finally, for those who complain regarding FOX News, here is my response. I do not mind the hard questions. If you are going to be running for office, expect the press will ask hard questions. I would rather see the nominee go through the tough gauntlet of hard questions and be ready for the general than get softball questions. If the candidate does not like the questions, then get out of the race and live in the real world where the rest of us live.
I do think that the GOP has some quality candidates this election cycle. I’ll be looking forward to the second debate.