Debate Prep

This combination of photos, from top left, shows Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and from bottom left, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Scott Walker. The candidates are scheduled to participate in a Fox News Channel Republican presidential debate on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AP Photos/File)
This combination of photos, from top left, shows Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and from bottom left, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Scott Walker. The candidates are scheduled to participate in a Fox News Channel Republican presidential debate on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AP Photos/File)

Tonight is the first debate among the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates.

By the way, the Democrats have yet to even plan one for their candidates. Keep that in mind when someone tries to tell you the Democrats weren’t planning on a coronation for Hillary.

In any case, there are some who have a beef that only the “top 10” are in this first debate (with the “Happy Hour” pre-bate among the others left out). Rick Santorum argues that “August polls mean nothing” and that another New Yorker, Rudy Giuliani, was leading the pack back in 2008, and everyone had written off John McCain.

In any case, there are STILL 17 to choose from. Having seen the much smaller, yet still multi-candidate debates in the Nebraska Republican Governor and Senate primaries, I don’t have much hope to get anything out of this.

Frankly the idea of two debates randomly split amongst all of the candidates may have been a better idea.

But, for tonight, we have what we have.

***

So, weigh in with your predictions and/or desires.
What do you want to see?
What do you THINK you’ll see.

Do you have a favorite?
Do you have a drinking game?

Who do you think will win?
Who do you think will get hurt?

And, as always, what of The Donald?
Does he dominate?
Does he take it over?
Does he come out over the top, or a big disappointment?

And what will EVERYONE be talking about tomorrow?

And even better, will this debate have any effect, and will people remember it come Labor Day?

***

Here’s some thoughts…

I want to see how one candidate differs from the rest.
These are all “rock-ribbed” Republicans, right?
Sure they all want to defund Planned Parenthood and kill the Iran deal.
That’s good — and will likely kill their chances if they say otherwise.
But what’s next?

I think we will see very little separation, except that there will be ganging up on Jeb Bush on immigration issues. I think he will try to give some “sensible” answers and I don’t think he will be able to give more than what amounts to a “Tweet” response, and it will likely get drowned out.

I have a few candidates that I like, but I’m not sure I have a favorite. There are a few that I do NOT like, but I’ll play that closer to the vest for now.

The main question will be the over/under on when Planned Parenthood and Iran are mentioned. I’ll go ahead and set the House number at 1:30 minutes in for BOTH. You may choose the over or the under.

I think that in general, Bush and Scott Walker will play it safe. I think Chris Christie and Ted Cruz and maybe Rand Paul will try to break out and show their bravado — and I think it will be difficult in the format.

I think Trump will be jam-packed with one-liners, and will risk getting stumped on something nuanced. In general, my bet is he still gets most of the coverage tomorrow, but it isn’t just saying his name over and over and it will be less “glowing” than it has been for him.

Tomorrow, everyone will be talking about…how the format was terrible and how one of the Happy Hour Prebate candidates broke out.

No one will cite this debate after Labor Day except to say they should never do this format again.

***

What say YOU?

And just in case you wanted some more insight, here are some podcasts that include

An interview with Prime-time debater, Ben Carson.
An interview with Happy Hour debater, Lindsey Graham.
Some Q&A with Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz at the Iowa Ag Summit.
Some Q&A with Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham at the Iowa Ag Summit.

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