Home Insider Assessment And then There were Eight! (With one Missing)

And then There were Eight! (With one Missing)

Elections fever in the US is coming. With criminal charges against Trump growing on a monthly basis, all the republicans candidates must be hoping for a guilty finding in the upcoming trials and fancy their chances of become the chosen republican to pit themselves against the sitting democratic president Joe Biden.

Now the field has been opened up for public to see, on August 23, during the , in Milwakee, Wisconsin. There were altogether eight candidates showing off their credentials on why they should be the nominee for the Republican party in 2024 November elections. Yet the elephant in the room was clearly missing. The presumptive nominee Donald Trump was missing from the debate. Trump was clearly leading the opinion polls everywhere, ahead by 30-40 points from the second-place person. He decided to appear in an interview with the disgraced ex-Fox anchor Tucker Carlson, the interview being aired at the same time as the debate itself.

The ambitious eight include…

Mike Pence: the former VP within Trump administration.

Nicky Haley: former governor of South Carolina and ex-UN ambassador under Trump administration.

Chris Christie: former two-time governor of News Jersey.

Asa Hatchinson: former governor of Arkansas.

Tim Scott: Senator from South Carolina.

Doug Bergun: Governor of North Dakota.

Ron Desantis: Governor of Florida.

Vivek Ramaswamy: A multi-millionaire businessman from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Will the real slim shady please stand up!

Obviously the guy who can talk fast and talk over others, would normally be the one who prevail. And this award went to Ramaswamy, even though majority of the statements he made are either false or half truths. Putting him right in the centre of the stage also made him stand out compared to those being place in the periphery.

Who might disappear from later debates?

As in previous primaries, some of the candidates dropped out along the way on second and third debates, or before reaching the first primary poll in New Hampshire in January. The likely candidates for that honour include Doug Bergun, Tim Scott and Asa Hutchinson. Doug Bergun brand name is largely unknown at the national level. So is Asa Hutchinson’s. Both of their records are below par compared to the others, to induce a substantial following at national level. Tim Scott lost his chances to sound presidential during the debate, talking mainly about himself and his faith, rather than showing how he is on top of the issues when challenged.

Note Worthy Issues and Responses

Anyone in the world listening to the debate would be dumbfounded after they heard that all eight do not believe that the climate change the world is facing now is man-made. Sea level is rising. Ice caps at north and south poles are melting. All scientists agreed that it is caused by global warming, caused by human activities. Yet, the republican standard bearers, as usual, refuse to believe in science.

The next issue was even more disturbing. The candidates were asked, if they are still willing to support Donald Trump, if he is convicted of the charges indicted upon him so far. All but two candidates raised their hands. What has happened to the party of law and order! What has happened to the foundations of the democracy that no one is above the law! Kudos to Christie and Asa for being man enough to stand up against a crook who became the President. Contrast to Nixon – the President who became a crook.

The would-be king is not the king after all

Desantis, polling right behind Donald Trump, albeit 20-30 points, prior to the debate, totally did not look presidential at all during the debate. His fake smile is too conspicuous. His relentless evasion of straight forward questions from the moderators are excruciating to watch. Even for the question mentioned in the above paragraph, he raised his hand only after he noticed the other four or five on his left raised theirs. What little conviction he has got!

Who are still in the ring?

Pence came out reasonably ok, as Christie et al confirmed his correct judgement and decision not to overturn 2020 presidential elections results.

Christie still got the chance with his poll numbers rising in New Hampshire, falling right behind Trump. He stood up for the truth with conviction and went head to head with Trump, despite the boos he received.

Nicky Haley also showed off her credentials in foreign policy arena in a tete-a-tete with Ramaswamy and came out on top.

What is next?

We would have second debate on September 27, at Ronald Reagan library in Simi Valley, California, followed by the third towards the end of the year in Tuscaloosa in Alabama. We have to wait and see if Trump can stay out of these debates forever, without fatalistic consequences on his poll numbers.