Friday, January 15, 2016

GOB Debate Highlights

 It's primary season and the Republican party has yet to really narrow down candidates, a move which splits up the party significantly. However, all of this divide makes for an entertaining debate.

One of the most consistent things I observed from the entire debate was that every single candidate felt the need to a) seriously bash on Obama, b) say "when I become President of the United States...," to show off their confidence and c) practically ignore the question asked to bash on someone or endorse themselves for the first minute. I guess this is what it takes to be a Presidential candidate.

The main debate last night was between Trump and Cruz. After claiming that Cruz's "poll numbers have changed, but the constitution has not," he attacked Crux's eligibility to run due to his birth in Canada to an American mother, saying that if he gets the nomination, he may not even be able to run since the Democrats would sue. A little later on, Cruz attacked Trump on his "New York values," claiming that not many Republicans come out of liberal New York. This took a hard hit on Trump, who then went into a story about the strength of the people in New York after the 9/11 terrorists attacks.

After the debate, Trump said: he guesses the "bromance is over" between him and Senator Cruz.

Many minor battles also took the stage last night. Rubio accused Christie of being too liberal by donating to Planned Parenthood and restricting gun control laws, to which Christie claimed was all false. Later into the debate, Rubio swung at Cruz with claims concerning his immigration and trade policies. It seems Rubio is doing his best to put himself out there in the chance that one of his competitor's polls drops. 

In class, we are currently learning about primaries, party conventions, and Presidential campaigning. The debates are a good way for a candidate to publicize themselves and their viewpoints to a vast amount of people at once. Also, polls usually raise or drop after an appearance such as this, which spices things up. However, many of these events have turned almost superficial, especially since they take the questions from facebook, which just doesn't seem professional to me. The content discussed seemed much more personal than political, but I guess much of this is a popularity contest.

1)What do you think about these debates in general? Do they accurately represent the policies and personality of the Presidential candidates?
2) Do you think debates help or hurt most participants? Why or why not?
3) Can we blame the media for this "shift" from focusing on politics to bashing on competitors in events such as debates? Or has politics always been like this?


Brianna Panozzo said...

Sources (oops)
NY Times:
USA Today:

Emily Shen said...

I agree with Brianna's observation that the candidates behaved egotistically. After all, it takes someone pretty egotistical to believe they could succeed at being the leader of the free world.
On the debate, I definitely felt like it was dominated by Cruz and Trump. Cruz bounced back quickly from the Goldman Sachs scandal, even though not disclosing (was it an accident? was it really?) a suspiciously low-interest loan from Goldman Sachs sounds like a pretty solid example of New York values.
You can see the other candidates slowly falling away. Bush's appeal to reason is not being received well, unfortunately, as we can see in his rebuttal to Trump's anti-Muslim policy. In another notable moment, Rand Paul actually excused himself from the debate because he was upset at being demoted, like Fiorina, to the undercard debate. Apparently this also worked out for him pretty well, because he gained the second most number of Twitter followers from any of the candidates that night. Looks like bold moves are in, and candidates have to do anything they can to attract attention to themselves.

Huayu Ouyang said...

I think that the debates are a good way to find out more about the policies and personalities of Presidential candidates. However, I think that the debates usually only help the participants who are good at speaking or are already very well-known and hurt the participants who don't perform as well. For example, Jeb Bush has often been hurt by the debates by his lackluster performance, and Carson has often been criticized for being too mellow during debates. However, Fiorina was helped by her strong performance in one of the first undercard debates, which boosted her poll ratings enough to join the subsequent main debates. I am not sure if politics has always been this contentious, but it does seem like nowadays, the campaign season starts much earlier and gains a lot more media attention, especially because of outsiders like Trump or Carson who generate a lot of media buzz. In addition, if there are a lot of attacks or shocks in a debate, such as Cruz's and Trump's argument, the media covers it a lot more.