I didn’t watch the entire debate, but this account basically registers true for the parts I did see, including the bits about Kasich’s decency, Carson’s charming final statement and Huckabee’s hilarious conflation.
I disagree, of course, with Kasich on marriage equality. Carson was getting at something substantive, philosophical, even, about race with the conceit about how he works on the part of the body (the brain, literally) that makes a person who they are, but that still misses the larger and, in 2015, unmissable point about systemic racism. Huckabee’s sly Clinton jab was precisely that, and, if I do say so, a few beats better than the typical pulpit joke.
I didn’t find the Christie/Paul scuffle very riveting, but when you think about its implications, you understand that this is one of the hardest and most important tensions of our era.
Cruz, it turns out, sounds exactly like the Bobby Moynihan impressions. It was very hard to take him seriously.
Rubio seemed sincere and earnest when talking about saving the American Dream. He shared some of the personal narrative that shapes his lens, and he did it well.
Jeb Bush was solid, but has absolutely none of his brother’s charm. That’s either a good or bad thing.
Walker had some strong answers.
Trump was Trump. He is Trump.
Graham, by the way, from the JV debate, had some very interesting things to say about boots on the ground in Iraq and elsewhere.