DHD: 6 Takeaways from Presidential Debates
I’m focusing on one overall topic this week, with six aspects. If you are tired of the presidential debates, this DHD may not be for you. However, I have a fascination with the debates. They showcase who we are to consider to be the next leader of our country.
Debates also have historical value. Many significant moments have happened during past presidential debates, especially the televised ones. From Kennedy choosing to wear makeup, and Nixon not, to Reagan’s “There you go again” line, to Dan Quayle being “no Jack Kennedy,” in the 1988 V.P. debate – there isn’t a shortage of election trivia generated from past debates.
This week, I am sharing the six significant aspects I got from watching the four Republican debates and the one Democratic debate. Obviously, with more opportunities come more content, so yes, there will be more commentary on the GOP events.
- Rubio rises repeatedly
This may surprise you, but before the first GOP debate, I was not a major Marco Rubio supporter. I liked him well enough, but I had skepticism due to his limited experience and lack of executive-level involvement.
Sen. Rubio has knocked it out of the park every single time. He has not claimed a bad grade in any of the debates, and from what I have personally observed, as well as from other political pundits commentary, Rubio is the only candidate who can claim such unanimous high marks with all of the debates combined.
Ted Cruz has graded well lately. Carly Fiorina has some good results. Donald Trump has done well with many viewers, but not all. And though Ben Carson doesn’t seem to be near the top of the overall debate rankings, he has had moments to shine. Carson is the best in solo media interviews though.
The fascinating thing is, no governor in the race looks good. All Republican candidates with gubernatorial experience have struggled. The only ones who look promising at this point are either senators or political outsiders.
- Interruption corruption
Every single candidate has flopped when they chime in on another candidate’s question. This applies to both Democrat and GOP debates. John Kasich and Rand Paul are the worst. I don’t know who is advising them on debate strategy, but interrupting and taking on candidate directly is a weak tactic. It simply doesn’t work, and in fact, it backfires. The attacked candidate appears more favorable.
One of the most significant debate moments happened when Jeb Bush criticized Rubio in the CNBC debate. Some have said this moment alone may have sank Jeb’s battleship.
- Poor performance can lead to early departure
Scott Walker was a candidate I wanted to like. Long before the debates occurred, he actually was a poll leader. However, along with Trump entering the race, Walker’s uninspiring debate performance led to him dropping out.
He is not the only one. Dem. candidates Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffee were totally awful.
- Moderator mishaps
There has been a long standing criticism of the mainstream media, especially among conservatives. Some past criticisms may have lacked objectivity, but for the past decade, the liberal fangs of media members have been largely exposed, and news personalities have treated Republicans in a heavy-handed fashion.
Such has been the case in the Republican debates moderated by CNN and CNBC. The CNN Democratic debate, though, was more like a love-fest. “Which enemy are you most proud of?”
CNBC moderators were definitely out to make Republicans look bad by asking very pointed questions. Even then, they provoked some candidates to shine, especially Rubio and Cruz.
I will be curious to see how future moderators perform. After what CNBC did, it would be hard to do worse.
- Polls not always driven by debate performance
As I have said before, Ben Carson does not rank among the best debaters in the presidential race. He is a current leader in the polls in spite of his debate deliveries. Yes, he has scored some good marks, especially in the last two debates, but he has gotten bad marks as well.
But Carson is not a speaker who comes up with the “cute quotes.” He doesn’t speak in slogans. He is excellent at delivering speeches, and he handles critics in an excellent fashion.
I have disagreements with Dr. Carson on certain policies, but on most social issues, I am impressed with where he stands. And apparently many others are impressed because his poll numbers do not reflect how he does in debates.
- Party divide
With four GOP debates and only one debate for Democrats, it may seem slighted for those considering to vote Democrat. However, here is one thing I know for sure, regardless of the number of debates. There is no middle ground.
Pick any political issue to discuss — economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, military, immigration, abortion, Planned Parenthood, marriage, racial issues, religious liberty… From what was revealed from the debates, Republicans appear to be extremely on one side, and the Democrats are extremely on the opposite.
If you consider yourself a moderate on the issues, you may have a tough decision. This is why I believe voters need to be informed. What issues are important to you? Why are they important? Do you base your views according to Biblical teachings? If not, then what is your basis?
Is there someone you trust to help you with questions you may have about the issues? I encourage you to find such a person who is wise, and find good books by respectable Christian authors who speak on the important issues and explain why they are important.
“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:9).
Politics may not be very important to you, but politics are instrumental in shaping our culture.