It is 11pm central on Wednesday as I am writing this missive. From my vantage point, It was clear Carly Fiorina won the second GOP presidential debate from a policy and presentation standpoint – although, she came in third after Trump and Rubio with some 13 minutes of air time.
It’s interesting to hear pundits assert that Ms. Fiorina came across as too stern. Well, let me tell you something, in these days and times we need stern. Golda Meir was stern. Margaret Thatcher was stern. If we want a joker, then check out Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger in the Batman films.
CNN did spend a good amount of time early in the debate with the Entertainment TV tabloid subjects. It was interesting to see Gov. John Kasich interject and try to pull a Newt Gingrich from last cycle’s South Carolina CNN debate. There was no doubt that CNN and Jake Tapper, wanted to start an “Animal House” food fight and a circular firing squad. It seemed they wanted to create the Circus Circus atmosphere – and why not? After all, the Democrats still haven’t had a debate. I think we can call that protectionism.
Regardless, as we sat and watched the debate, there is a very interesting item happening in the world of geopolitics.
As reported by the Jerusalem Post, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Moscow next week to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and discuss Russia’s recent troop deployments in Syria, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Wednesday. This will be the first visit by Netanyahu to Moscow since November 2013. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu will speak to Putin about the threats Israel is facing from the transfer of lethal, state-of-the-art weaponry to Syria, and the danger that some of this weaponry will find its way into the hands of Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. The visit next Monday will come just a week before Netanyahu is scheduled to go to New York on September 29 for the UN General Assembly meeting, and just over a month before a scheduled meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington.”
One of the obvious truths we must admit is that America under President Obama is no longer a leader. And just as Barack Obama left a void in Iraq, there is a larger void in the strategic geopolitical realm that is being filled by one Vladimir Putin. It was Putin who stepped into Syria in the area of chemical weapons when Obama’s vaunted red line was crossed — now apparently ISIS is using some of those chemical weapons. It is Putin who has landed Russian forces in Syria and invited others to join a coalition to fight ISIS. And now, Prime Minister Netanyahu recognizes who has the moral high ground and is meeting with the “stander on the mountain.”
It is against this backdrop that we have these chucklehead moderators who do not allow us to truly ascertain who has the ability to grasp these critical issues. I would have preferred the focus of the CNN debate to have been on the critical issues of the past two weeks. We do not need the gladiator match approach. And based on the time distribution calculations, it was clear the CNN moderators had a certain intent — including the lack of shared time between the moderators. I believe the American voter deserves better. But, there is a time coming when we need to see a serious winnowing down of the field. You can’t have an effective debate with eleven people. And I will suggest, the early four presidential debaters probably should consider the course of action former Texas Governor Rick Perry took this week.
I have an idea, why not, over a week-long period, have a format where each presidential candidate is grilled for a 45-minute period by a two-person team. That way we cut down on the ridiculous back and forth and it’s just about the candidate and the issues. Sadly, the problem is we, the American public, have turned our political scene into a reality TV show and the media plays to that all for the holy grail of ratings.
The real loser was CNN who never seemed to have control of the debate — then again, perhaps that was their intent. How about we get a debate moderated by Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin? As a matter of fact, those are the two who should conduct the live interviews of the GOP presidential candidates, and let’s limit this to the “Magnificent Seven.”