alright, alright, i'm watching the candidate forum from st. anselm college on c-span.
first wave of cuts: perry, fiorina, jindal. pataki is a non-starter. graham will go out early too. this could be a worse group, though. much better than last time round. i'd cut bush too - he's a miserable candidate - but he has more money than mugabe.
8:57 wait, bush now totally rejects common core etc in the strongest possible terms? bowl of oatmeal. 'my dad's the greatest man alive, and if you don't think so, let's go outside.' he's the least scary bar-fighter who ever existed. let's send him outside with christie. let me say this: your father is not the greatest man alive.
8:45 as i guess some people are saying, kasich is a sleeper: quite impressive in his rumpled way; pretty thoughtful; very comfortable in his own skin. interesting and maybe fundamental religious commitments? potentially, the christianity of some of these folks at some moments could be used for moral decency rather then puritanical judgment. that's a whole wing of tempered conservativism. cf. michael gerson. hope kasich is on the stage thursday.
8:37 carly fiorina is sort of running against wall street. that plays anywhere. even clinton, wall street's serving girl, will pull up the rhetoric.
8:35 at least graham is a bit funny. he really thinks his parents' deaths when he was 22 should be brought up again and again, though. i guess maybe he wants us to vote for him out of pity for his trauma from 40 years ago? it's 'humanizing'. what a motley crew the parents of the candidates are; they keep getting gratuitously brought up. it's 'humanizing'.
8:30 jindal "has the band-width to get us through this." what the f?
8:27 yo, rick perry: get off my television. come back if you ever master subject-verb agreement or learn how to form plurals, etc.
8:25 on the other hand, i don't see walker playing long-term. i could be wrong there.
8:20 carson really is remarkably good. relaxed and confident and and sincere and he doesn't sound like everyone else. he seems human, which you wouldn't think would be that impressive. here, it is. i'd expect him to do surprisingly well here and there.
8:16 rubio, doing that scare-monger thing of which graham is the most extreme example: 'we are in the most dangerous era in our entire history.' seriously.
8:15 cruz 'will make 2016 a referendum on obamacare'. no, that moment is over. it's not going to play. it's done.
2nd round: paul doing well on a basic definition of his positions: constitution, individual and state's rights, and modified isolationism. criminal justice reform, etc. he's been an effective advocate for these positions, if you ask me.
8:07 rubio comes off as well as (or, better than) anyone. he's calm, seems actually to be thinking as he's speaking (also a property of rand paul), seems sincere and relatively knowedgeable. that's the nominee, i predict. back to immigration, of course.
8:00 tell you what: ted cruz will kick your ass. looking forward to seeing him in an actualesque debate on thursday. he's worried about iran's money going to 'jihadists'. i don't think he's got the right people on that, really. he's an iran obsessive these days. 'the greatest personal crisis you have faced'? 'serving in the united states senate'. well, that's a flub.
7:55 rand has been struggling the last month or two. doing ok, but maybe a bit deer-in-the-headlights at the outset. he's still obviously the best candidate in either party on civil liberties, nsa, etc. he said we made a terrible mistake with japanese-americans during ww2, and we need to 'individualize responsibility' instead of vilifying groups. who else in this field is going to come up with stuff like that?
7:50 ack! it's pataki! better and more substantive talker than some, though. this is a pretty miserable format; it just insists that you produce again your best three empty soundbites.
7:45 walker: "i was an eagle scout." that is totally disqualifying, i believe.
7:41 jindal has decided on the relentless hyper-partisan demonize-the-democrats approach. that's how he's going to unite america, he says. he blames democrats squarely for the partisanship, the classic meta-partisan approach. i don't think this, or he, is going to play this year, for either party. michael tomasky will retire.
7:36 not feeling fiorina: not responsive, just giving her boilerplate speech. very nervous, i think. ok, maybe picking up some momentum. ready to rip hillary up of course. benghazi: hillary 'stood over the bodies of the fallen'. what is that supposed to mean?
7:32 jeb bush on the war on terror: 'it must be reinvigorated; this is a war of civilizations'. christ. he was hinting that this civil liberties thing has gone too far. really he's promising another george w disaster. in the words of the indian chief: guantanamo!
7:27 ben carson, in a gentle way, is extremely compelling: principled, sincere, thoughtful even when extreme, whatever you may think of his positions. obviously he has some cred on healthcare. now, he describes planned parenthood as 'depraved' and committing 'atrocity'.
7:25 christie is always impressive, always formidable. bridgegate put paid, though. very clear: 'the war on drugs is a failure. addiction can happen to anyone. there but for the grace of god go i.' the last bit surprised me.
7:20 lindsey graham just said that under obama 'terrorist organizations have gained a greater capacity to distract the homeland'. good point. if he's elected, we'll be at war with everyone all the time.
7:15 with like two questions to each candidate, it's immigration immigration immigration. i think there really is a racist element.
7:10 santorum, on the other hand, is always pretty articulate and always a little better than you expect. i'm not sure why the candidates, and apparently the voters, are obsessed with immigration. i just don't see it as a problem compared to many others.
7:06 rick perry really is a dolt; there's just no blinking it. unable to respond to the questions except with semi-relevant material from his stump speech. many small incoherences, grammatically ill-formed sentences, etc.