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In the middle of the “2016 Republican Debate Moderator and Candidate Side Show” – thanks to a celebrity candidate not known for his manners and a television presenter who constantly dresses like she’s going clubbing and never seems to brush her hair – one voice has emerged calling out all of the above for the spectacle that was the prime time show on Thursday evening.
Mark Levin spent valuable air time explaining just how disappointed (that’s not strong enough language, but this is a family publication) he was in Fox’s bid for ratings, Megyn Kelly’s completely unprofessional performance, and, well, Donald Trump, not that anyone had high expectations for anything other than entertainment value there. (Seriously, what does he stand for other than making America great again?)
In the immediate aftermath of the whole day, this writer wrote some first impressions. I wasn’t that hard on Megyn Kelly at the time, but did think that her question about what Trump really thinks of women was out of context. His personal history when it comes to the treatment of women is troubling – and it is a matter of public record. (How much staying power does he have with women, anyway? Is there any other candidate with a string of more than one ex?) However, in 2016, the survival of the republic is as stake, and that question could have been left for another time, and used in advertising. The threat of running third party is far more worrisome. If Republicans don’t stick together this time, we’re done as a nation. Most of us political junkies wanted to hear more about his plans to revive the country if he actually has any.
Yesterday, I did say that I would have liked to hear more of what the wider group candidates had to say. Levin and I agree there. There was too much posturing from the “moderators”. (And Bret Baier needs classier partners for this. Sorry, but Megyn Kelly has always rubbed me wrong, and Chris Wallace sank to her level.) There was not enough discussion from experienced men who who have actually been public servants. (Carly Fiorina has never been elected to office and the people at Hewlett-Packard have nothing good to say about her ten years later. Yes, she can speak well, and her Rolodex is impressive – show me the rest.) How each of them would approach balancing the budget, paying off the debt, rebuilding the military, etc., is what most voters want to know.
Levin is correct: the 5 pm debate (or 4pm my time) was more professional. It was also more sedate. There was more room for the candidates to get their points across even if it was largely resume items. Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum were tough, but no “gotcha” questions – and Martha was wearing a suit with her hair and make-up done nicely, and tasteful pearl earrings.
Note to Megyn Kelly: you want to be treated like a lady, start with presenting yourself as one, and follow up with manners. Actually, it would be very helpful in the whole war on women nonsense. Among the Fox ladies, KT McFarland, Dana Perino, Martha, Jedidiah Bila, and Harris Faulkner can help you with this. Then we’ll talk about voice training. That cigar-laced sound will eventually cause vocal damage says the opera singer.
Now that the sparring match has gone on another 36 hours, and sides are being taken between Trump and Kelly rather than calling for both of them to knock it off because they are both in the wrong in one way or another, this incident threatens to sink the Republican cause – not that it’s all that credible with the conservative movement these days – and Fox News altogether. The side taking is reinforcing some not so nice thoughts a lot of us have. (Carly, needs to be careful. Her “instincts” have been dead wrong more often than not.)
At this point, among the 17 people running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, it’s too early to pick a favorite, but this writer has an idea of who can win, and who would do the best job based on a track record. In 2016, that’s more important than liking the candidate.