Friday, October 30, 2015

Rocky Mountain Debate Revives Republican Race

The Republicans have a new enemy. Actually, it’s an old enemy revisited – the mainstream media. CNBC’s poor debate performance became the main story from the Colorado debate. And, the Republican presidential field relished bashing it. They gained points with Republicans and even regular viewers around the country.

Jeb Bush (L) and Marco Rubio at Republican debate in Boulder
Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill
In spite the CNBC moderators being a distraction, the candidates appeared relaxed, competent with the subject matter, and willing to mix it up with each other and the moderators.

After two weeks of stories contrasting the Republican disarray with Hillary Clinton’s inexorable march to the nomination after a good debate performance, Biden not running and the unharmed Benghazi testimony, this debate shifted the narrative to the Republican race that still has surprises and many talented players. As Valerie Richardson reported in the Washington Times (CNBC Debate Fires Up Republican Base Over Media Bias, 10-30-15):
[Republicans] have been down because the narrative over the last two weeks has been, ‘The Democrats have their nominee, she did well before the Benghazi committee, she did well in her debate, and the Republicans are in chaos,’” said Denver-based political analyst Floyd Ciruli.
“That was essentially the narrative, and last night changed that,” he said. “You saw a little revival here.”
It’s not clear the field will be much affected. We’ll have to wait for polls, but there were winners and losers.

There is slightly over three months until voting in Iowa. Still time for lots of surprise, but the Rocky Mountain debate has given the party some new energy and new soundbites to mull.

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