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On June 7, I will vote in the California primary. I will vote for Donald Trump to become the GOP nominee for President. This statement will ...

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Republican Debates

Ok, I am not very good at the instant punditry, therefore, feel free to demand your money back. That said, I provide my quick and rough take on the debates.

Too many candidates for it to be a real debate. Time constraints made it mostly just a quick sound-bite competition. Not always, but most of the time.

The first round of debate, where the low-poll number people were concentrated, was actually the better one. I have to agree with the media consensus (Horrors!) that former HP exec Carly Fiorina "won". She was focussed, had a good command of facts, quick on her feet, articulate, witty, and tough. It was an impressive performance. I think she did herself a lot of good and if she sticks with it will get promoted to the Major League. As noted before, in the campaign against the Dems, she might be handicapped by her controversial tenure at Hewlett-Packard, and would find herself having to defend that record from all sorts of real and crazy accusations. I think, however, that whomever gets picked as the GOP candidate could do worse than have her as VP. Also in the Minor League debate, I thought that Gov. Jindal did well. I was disappointed in Governor Perry's performance: he needed a home-run and got nothing close to it. He still comes across as awkward and almost tongue-tied in these debate settings. That is unfortunate because he is actually a very good politician and a thoughtful person.

Turning to the Major League debate, Trump didn't disappoint those who wanted a bit of a show. Right off the mark he was the one who refused to take the pledge to support whomever is nominated. He would not swear off the possibility of a third party run, a run that would, in all probability, ensure another Democrat in the White House in 2017. He obviously had done little to no homework in preparation for the debate and relied on his abrasive style and cutting one-liners to keep him going. I continue to believe that he believes in nothing except Trump. He is way too thin-skinned for my taste and would prove a personally vindictive sort of SOB were he in the White House. Do we need another one of those?

None of the other candidates made major gaffes although I thought that Senator Rand Paul came off a bit weak and even hysterical in his exchange with Governor Christie. If anybody got hurt last night, I think it was Paul. Dr. Ben Carson proved a delightful change of pace and had some funny comments. He seems a genuinely smart and nice man, one who would get eaten alive in the piranha infested waters of Washington DC. Jeb Bush, blah beyond belief. He seemed uncomfortable and awkward and did not get the breakout that some think he needs. Bush continues to stumble on the Iraq question. I thought Governor Walker was good, took some tough questions and turned them around nicely. Senator Rubio seemed to me to be the most articulate and passionate and he might have done himself some good. I found Senator Cruz a bit off and not as lively and engaged as he is at other times. Governor Huckabee seemed the most comfortable as befits his long experience with these formats. His closing statement was clever as he managed to take swipes at both Trump and Clinton. Governor Kasich? I know some are impressed by him, but he strikes me as a Democrat-light when it comes to spending and government activities.

That's enough of that. We are going to hear so much more about all this, that we all will want to tune out and go find that perfect classic car . . .


  1. some quick and humble thoughts: democrats craftily run against republicans, and republicans run too much against republicans. republicans need to fire up and wage war on the democrats. last night i wanted to find a republican candidate who can win in 2016 and remain true to undoing the progressives' damage. im not there yet. trump gets it but is not potus material. jindal and fiorina (need to learn more about what actually happened at h-p) get it and are vpotus timber. carson is pleasant and cerebral, would be a great surgeon general with a bully pulpit. perry for dhs secretary. the senators should fight the good fight as senators, though rubio may deserve a rerun at potus later with more experience. the ex governors are unelectable and should go home, most especially bush, whose name is toxic in the general election. jindal aside, of the other sitting governors, christie needs to crawl into a deep hole for the rest of his political life for both hugging obama in 2012 and his dismal anti 2nd amendment record in nj. walker and kasich are accomplished though may be a bit too flat to carry the nation. i hope the republican potus slate shakes out.

  2. Carly would do well to get a serious and detailed position paper on line about her record at HP so supporters can sift the details. That will be the line of attack on her much as it was at Romney and he did not handle it as well as he could have.

    1. Under said CEO, HP planned a large round of layoffs. For 60 years, that had never been "the HP way". Somebody pointed out: "If you ask HP employees to take pay cuts and job-shares to avoid layoffs, you'll be surprised by what HP employees are willing to sacrifice to keep the company going."
      The administration finally *did* make that request. The response was large. The result was Compaq, large executive retention bonuses, *and* massive layoffs. Capellas had a $20m+ golden parachute.
      I saw too many people slashed and burned by Carly.
      I don't even blame her. I blame Lew Platt, the prior CEO of HP who was so eager to play on his vineyard that he couldn't be bothered to groom a successor. And there were plenty of them. Carly did not have the capability to win in that role, and she wasn't smart enough to know that they didn't.
      I guess this is just all my opinion. She speaks well. Can't get to burning companies without speaking well to audiences.

      - reader #1482

    2. I tried to reply but it didn't work so I replied down near the bottom. Now of course the reply box opens...

  3. Hmmm. Carly knows her facts. Cheney knew his facts. Carly has a business history that will be electoral baggage. Cheney had Halliburton (although I was never convinced that was as dark a history as the haters darkly make it out to be.) Yes, I think Carly would make an excellent VP, especially when it comes time to begin cutting cabinet agencies. Just saying'. . .

    1. Whatever Carly puts up on the block, China will be the highest bidder.
      The problem with Carly as VP is that it's one heart attack from potus.
      Whatever happened to Palin?
      It's amazing how Carly thinks she can just 'fail all the way up'.
      Failed at HP, failed at a senate bid, and now what?

      Wait wait wait.. that's how we got Obama... Obama never contested (or almost?) an actual election until he was up against McCain. Everything else involved an uncontested run or a run with the primary opposition exiting in disgrace mid-campaign.

      - reader #1482

  4. Dear Dip, I quite agree with your take on the "debates." I do wish Cruz had gotten more questions, and that Jindal would learn to talk a little more slowly. Perry does still seem uncomfortable with the format. A shame. I wonder how Eisenhower, a terrific president, would have done in such a "debate"--not well, I'm afraid. What are we doing with our strange candidate selection process?
    If someone is interested in some 50s nostalgia, a good recent book about the first Eisenhower campaign is "Citizens for Eisenhower," by Stanley Rumbough, Jr.
    BTW, I too am looking for a classic car, in my case, for an early 1950s Ford or Studebaker.

    1. I visited the Studebaker museum in South Bend, IN a couple of years ago.

      The museum shop offered a license plate frame - "My Studebaker is worth more than your Mercedes"

  5. I'm a Cruzer/Fiorina fan at the moment, Trump worries me, but speaking of the hairdoo, I found this clip of his effect:
    James the Lesser

  6. Carly haters seem to be cut from similar cloth as Romney haters.
    I;'m rereading a biography of Cheney. Imagine what great shape we would be in if we had had either Cheney or Rumsfeld as a president.

  7. I wish I'd been able to see a debate; all I saw were mean-spirited, personal "gotcha" attacks mostly aimed at destroying Donald Trump. The very opening was aimed personally against Trump, essentially asking him to endorse whatever glob the RNC establishment chooses as their candidate; it was no surprise to me that Trump refused to give up his leverage, his advantage. Why should he? Virtually every question was a "gotcha" after that, while Jeb! got lots of opportunity to waffle on.

    Our system is broken. The DNC and the RNC are two heads on the same beast, and it's a monster! Vote for Jeb! or Hitlery, no difference in the end. Life goes on as normal in Washington, with the fat cats getting fatter & voters getting lied to. Trump said as much in the "debate". He buys politicians, as a businessman, which he has to do in our broken system. That's what's wrong! That's what he said! That is TRUE!

    Most disappointing to watch Fox News engage in this fake reality show crap instead of a real debate. I sure would have liked to actually find out where candidates stood on the issues, but all we got was high school mean girl crapola.

    I have written to Fox to advise them that if I want to watch MSNBC, I wouldn't have chosen Fox. As it is, Don Lemon looked like a real reporter, while Fox should hide their heads in shame. Megyn Kelly needs to go back to local news.

    I'm still for Trump. I'd like a Trump/Cruz ticket- but Cruz, much as I like him, has an eligibility issue; too bad we didn't have a debate, where that could have been addressed. Also too bad Cruz got ignored through most of the show; he even asked to speak at one point, but to no avail. Not impressed by Kelly or Wallace, they both did have blood in their eyes, and were hoping to dance in Trump's blood at the end of their PC attack. Didn't work, thank God!

    Our system is sadly broken. Go Donald! Make America Great Again!

    1. Rubio and Jindhal also have eligibility issues. Native-born is not Natural born (born in USA to two citizen parents). Neither were Obama or McCain NBC's.

    2. This is garbage, the court precedents do not suggest an eligibility issue for anybody who was born of a US citizen.

  8. I'm with Diplomad on the Trump question, but understand your frustration with both parties. I take pretty much the same position as Codevilla on that: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/07/does-trump-trump-angelo-codevilla-on-our-present-moment.php

    I don't want to change the subject, but wondered whether Diiplomad is planning on commenting on this story: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/04/us-usa-humantrafficking-disputes-special-idUSKCN0Q821Y20150804 Now it looks like Sen. Corker might go after this.

    I've been reading and enjoying your blog since I discovered it about the time it went to 2.0, but haven't commented before. Thanks so much and keep up the good work!

    I guess I'll call myself "Treefrog" here.


  9. Unfortunately for Californians, this is all irrelevant. Moonbeam Brown reset our Primary to June, so by the time we vote, the nominees of both Parties will be long decided. We are little more than an ATM for money to be spent elsewhere.

    1. That's been the case in Connecticut for years. When it comes to the general election we don't even get candidate advertising in our state; it's such a lock for the (D) candidate, neither party bothers wasting money on us.

  10. I agree 100 percent with your analysis!

  11. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/358361.php


    And as icky as it might seem, *seem to make us feel icky, (Ace admits as much with his, "I can't believe I'm linking to Vox") I'm generally of the opinion clicking and reading in toto can only be healthful.

    (Much ink - and in the case of the blogosphere .. many pixels - has been expended *explaining "the MSM is not on our side!" to which I'd retort, Ya think a media enterprise headed by Rupert Murdoch somehow doesn't qualify as part and parcel of the MSM?)



  12. I saw this article over at WZ and a comment: Liberals cannot offer citizens local, state or national security.


    We have a lot of work to do to undo the wrath of Obama. Steady and consistent and undeterred -- Walker. Clean up -- Cruz. And West as SecDef to start. For the same reasons, undo what has been done to the Military.

    Trump and Fiorina (like them both) not even in the rear view mirror when the dust settles.

    As for State -- couldn't we just level it? :) :) You guys know better. Surely there is someone out there.


  13. I suggest, in this connection, the most controversial sculpture in the history of sculpture. Hints: It is kinetic. It is related to the concept "wheel".

    I know what you're thinking. Marcel Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel (1913). Pfft. That merely addled the "art world," a parochial little hamlet of perhaps ten thousand souls (the estimate is Tom Wolfe's) little influenced by and little influencing the real world.

    I'm talking about something that drove supposedly sober economists and the whole of conventional wisdom into fantasies of administered prices, just as the Edsel was proving their folly.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I have the honor to suggest the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, designed by Chuck Jordan, 1320 examples produced. Ideally in Seminole red.

    Or you could live in Berkeley and drive a Trabant.

  14. A piddling little quibble Diplomad Sir.

    Do you recall how, with the assistance of Candy Crowley back when Romney was debating what's his name and a little "fib" occurred which knocked Mitt back abit?

    Of course I'm the guy who some months ago floated Paul and Ayotte as a possible .. though at present I'm tending Cruz .. admit I'm uncommitted though. Anyway,

    "I thought that Senator Rand Paul came off a bit weak and even hysterical in his exchange with Governor Christie."

    It struck me as mighty doggone convenient in rather the same sort of way - certainly not so momentous I readily admit - that Chris says to Paul [paraphrasing] "I was appointed DOJ the very day before 9/11 ... [and] I remember all the hugs I had to give to the victims."

    I got the impression that remark kinda did a little bit more than "glance" Paul off his game - just an impression mind. And as I say, it's just a piddling quibble but I think it says more about Christie that he used that "pretty effective tactic" when, what he asserted might actually have been ... oh a little stretchy I guess is how we'd describe it here in Arkansas.



  15. Trump missed an opportunity when replying to Kelly's question about bankruptcy to turn it around to all those people who lost their homes - were they evil too? He gave the correct businessman's answer but that will impress few but MBAs. He also was too subtle with the punch to Christy over the failure of Atlantic City, NEW JERSEY.

  16. I was already long gone (1988) by the time Platt and then Czarly radically changed HWP. I was there during the dry years (84-86) when HWP was in bad shape due to the delays in Vision, then Spectrum and we were asked to take a 10% pay cut. We did it and kept working 50+ hours/week to get the job done because HWP was us and HWP was a tremendous place to work. Recruiters tried hard to lure HWP engineers but I don't recall any who took the bait.

    I agree that Lew was coasting and consider Czarly an AA hire but the kindergarten BOD was no help either. And then LSD Leo? I spared no criticism of the Compaq deal, the number were all wrong. Czarly traded high quality printer cash flow for low profit PC cash. And her style was not HWP. But then I'm not sure that the HWP of my relative youth could continue. Linux and high-performance, low-cost Intel h/w killed MPE and HPUX; Itanium was a last gasp.

    1. carly cast herself as 'turnaround'.. and I'm just surprised she didn't get the rename to say "Carly's HP".. must've been a lot of guff that stopped it.
      - reader #1482

  17. I've said what I wanted to say (above) but this morning I found an article backing me up, from Karl Denniger at Market-Ticker, which Diplomad readers may find interesting:


    Also lots of Trump information at the Conservatve Treehouse:


    That latter site has lots more coverage, including Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, etc. and I highly recommend it!

  18. I'm a Cruz supporter. My friend, who also supports Cruz, noticed that Cruz spoke more slowly than usual in the debate. He thought it was intentional, perhaps to make sure people would understand him and/or to appear calm. If so, I wonder if that made Cruz seem "off" to some viewers?