Proper Political Punditry
Proper political punditry, especially in Washington, requires the use of disdain. Nothing can ever be good enough especially for the likes of an erudite pundit such as, for example, the author of whatever piece you happen to be reading.
As to last night’s Republican debate, I will, yet again, fail in my quest for insider-ness by admitting to liking both debates and learning from them.
Here is a link to my Twitter feed https://twitter.com/LibertyPell where you can see about 60 tweets that constitute sort of a play-by-play of both debates interrupted only by an important daughter phone call at the end of the first session and wifely dinner during most of the second. Click on “tweets” if you check it out.
I do agree that 4+ hours for both debates was long. Attention spans suffered to say nothing of the stamina of the participants.
The free market approach would be to let the candidates decide and suffer through as many more four-hour evenings as they choose to inflict upon us. On the other hand, there is a desire to cull the herd, if only to learn more about the most likely winners.
In an effort to sort this out, I created a “top-third, middle-third, bottom-third” spreadsheet including: the name of each candidate; his or her current poll ranking; how each did in the debate (totally subjective); should the candidate continue (again, totally subjective); why should the candidate continue; what should the candidate really run for; and, finally, the “Pundificator Index,” which is simply the average of the candidate’s three numerical scores.
Here, in Pundificator Index order, are the results including the reason to continue running and the office to seek.
Next go-round, I’d put these seven on the main stage.
Marco Rubio should continue to run for president but in 2020 or 2024. His goal should be to make it his turn next time.
Jeb Bush should try to win the presidency in 2016.
Carly Fiorina should continue to try to win but prepare herself for a possible vice presidency.
John Kasich should keep trying to win the nomination.
Donald Trump should build his personal brand as a celebrity entrepreneur. He should keep doing so as long as his combined advertising budget and ego trip permits. It’s his money. Carly Fiorina likely delivered Trump’s Joseph Welch vs. Joe McCarthy moment — “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” — when she replied that American women had taken note of his comment about her appearance.
Ben Carson should seek a cabinet position, perhaps as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Chris Christie should continue running to keep the others focused and should aim to be Attorney General.
The undercard next time could include these five.
Bobby Jindal should continue to show some modest level of diversity on the right but should seek to chair the Republican Governors Association.
Mike Huckabee can keep the socially right advocacy groups happy as he tries to invent the role of an evangelical Pope.
Scott Walker can keep the focus on state and local government expenses while competing with Bobby Jindal to chair the Republican Governors Association.
Rand Paul should keep drawing attention to the process of declaring and making war, but then seek a permanent role as an Aspen Institute panelist.
Lindsey Graham should try to win the South Carolina primary and solidify his chances of becoming Secretary of Defense.
Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, would do us all a world of good by getting the last three to pack it in.
Ted Cruz should continue his advocacy for dour and angry people as he pursues the role of Lord High Executioner.
Rick Santorum seems to be providing an ego trip for his backers but his best role would be heading a religious right advocacy group.
George Pataki should avoid further shame and run for cover.
Two debates down, 14 to go. In time the list will shorten.