I know no one cares and I should go to sleep, but my mind is still fresh. As a reminder, I support Scott Walker. I also like Donald Trump, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz (even if hes not eligible).
First off, the format was heavily criticized by conservatives. Despite it being Fox News, the moderators lobbed tough balls at the candidates, and every single one was able to score. It was an ingenious format that probably boosted ratings greatly and brought huge attention to the Republican race. CNN has a huge bar to meet in September, as do all the future debates.
Donald Trump absolutely wiped the floor here. There was a huge question as to whether he would be able to handle an actual debate, and he went above and beyond. He hit every question, used his trademark style, continued to say what needed to be said, and even got in some new zingers. He absolutely dominated, especially with a backhanded jab at moderator Megyn Kelly, as well as other sarcastic lines. A certain amphibian comes to mind.
Its hard to pick a second, so Ill skip to the bottom. The worst was John Kasich, who is boring, shouldnt be in the race, and offered nothing. I read earlier today that he is like Jeb Bush crossed with Jon Huntsman, which means beyond awful.
Topping him, however, was Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who has a lot of fans somehow and no political experience (may be a plus). He sounded very tired during the whole debate and didnt offer much. He channeled Alan Keyes a bit, if anyone remembers him from 2008 or whenever. His closing remarks when he said he was the only person there to separate Siamese twins got a few chuckles and saved him a few points, but he likely wont remain where he is currently in the polls after this.
Unfortunately, while I am a Walker fan, he only did decently. He did not do bad, but he did not stand out really, which is important in a debate. I cant really remember any memorable lines from him, altho I do remember clapping once or twice.
I hate Rubio, and while he did better than I expected, he did not say that much of interest. He was a bit wishywashy and factcheckers will likely uncover a number of lies.
Ted Cruz did alright and took some nice jabs at people, but has a weird voice. He didnt really do that much that was memorable.
Huckabee did pretty well despite being irrelevant.
Christie did well to make himself relevant again. He got a bit repetitive, but he showed that he deserves to be in the race. He had some nice lines and defended his turf. He almost lost it early on, but regained his composure, while maintaining his style.
Rand Paul could have done a lot better, but he did have some good policy to present and differentiated himself. He absolutely slammed Christie, but the latter had a good comeback, which deflected the sting.
And that leaves us with Jeb Bush. I hate to say it, but while I severely dislike him and do not understand where his supporters in the rank and file are, he outdid expectations. He wasnt a boring wonk, he wasnt embarrassed by some of his idiotic nature (brother of W, no speak English wife, etc). I was impressed that he could hold his own.
I wish I had more to say, but I am half asleep and losing my memory. I am sure I got a few things wrong here and forgot some good lines, but I think this pretty well reflects the debate. Trump definitely won, which is great for him, bad for the rest of us. He showed he might have some presidential merit. I am not sure I could pick a second place, but I gave it to Jeb anyway. Next debate, Ill be sure to keep notes!