Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fourth GOP Presidential Debate: Rand Paul Scores

Herewith my assessment of the just-concluded fourth GOP 2016 Presidential debate, as always with the proviso that I've only voted Republican once in my life - for John Lindsay, for Mayor of New York City, in 1969 (because he was against the Vietnam War) - but I do try to call these debates as objectively as possible.

I think Rand Paul made by far the most lucid and logically sound points tonight, on a variety of topics, and contra what some of the other Republicans were saying.  His single best moment was countering Marco Rubio's and just about every other Republican's assertion that we need huge military expenditures - Rand correctly explained that such expenditures are not only contrary to conservative fiscal policy, but unlikely to keep us safe, especially if they undermine our economy at home.   Rand also punctured Donald Trump's posturing about China and the trade bill, observing that trade with the Chinese was not part of the territory covered in the massive bill.   And he made better sense than anyone else about the U.S. carefully considering its military policy in the Middle East and towards Putin, rather than just rushing in.

I'd rate Jeb as second best tonight.   He spoke truth to Donald Trump and his inhumane and unworkable deportation policy.  John Kasich spoke well on this point, too.

The rest, I thought, were unremarkable.   Obviously, a lot of people currently support Donald Trump or Ben Carson, but it's hard - at least for a progressive like me - to see how either of them will go on to win the nomination.   Trump continues to have a good sense of humor - though little of it came through in the debate tonight.  And Carson is a complete enigma to me - or, at least, why anyone would support him.

The best point I saw about Carson tonight came from my Fordham public relations colleague Gina Vergel, who observed on Twitter -


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