If nothing else, the camera offered up some personality compare-and-contrast between Trump, Walker and Bush. Otherwise, last night was a brutal indictment of political celebrity, horse race journalism, and the ludicrous significance afforded largely meaningless early polling. This early in the game, stage placement should have been drawn by straws. Instead, the party enabled its clown.
Never thought I’d see the day a FOX anchor took it to a presidential candidate for being a misogynist and a bully. (The fact she got bullied in return and the audience ate it up was more true to form.) In this troglodyte moment, you can see the boys behind Ms. Kelly back there tittering. (“…Hey, did you hear the one about the women’s vote?”)
Two sitting governors, a sitting senator and a chance to frame and address the critical issues of the day, and nobody shows up for what was demeaningly classified as “the undercard?” Instead of a sports arena, you could have at least held this forum at a university. Summer notwithstanding, you’d actually draw an audience, and people would learn something.
(photo 1: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. caption: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush take the stage for the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls. image 2: FOX News. photo 3: Doug Mills/The New York Times. caption: A sparse audience listens to the preliminary GOP debate among the 7 Republicans who were left out of tonight’s main event in Cleveland: Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal,Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, George E. Pataki.)