Four debates within the debate
1. Trump v. Carson: They are the clear leaders in the polls, they believe they need to demonstrate to voters why they should be the next president and not the other guy. At least that’s what Trump has to believe. Maybe Carson just has faith in the Bible?
2. Bush v. Rubio: They believe that it’s the support of Republican party elites and wealthy donors who will determine the victor in the nominating process, and that Trump’s support in the polls will magically disappear without that, and that Carson is just the Huckabee of the current election cycle who will only win in Iowa and a small handful of Bible-Belt states. Certainly that’s what Bush believes and he has to go after Rubio despite the fact that the strategy failed miserably during the last debate. This is a make-or-break debate for Bush. If he does as poorly against Rubio as he did in the previous debate, Bush is toast.
3. Paul, Fiorina, Kasich: Don’t they realize they have no chance of winning? Why are they still in these debates?
Rand Paul believes in his namesake, Ayn Rand. Didn’t Howard Roark turn around a trial he was doomed to lose with his amazing oratory? Paul thinks that if he just keeps showing up, eventually he will say something so amazing and so logical that everyone will have to realize that Paul is the only sensible Republican nominee. I really wish that Gail Wynand would walk out of the novel, Lloyd Bentsen-like, and say “I competed over the same woman with Howard Roark! I knew Howard Roark! Howard Roark was a friend of mine! Senator, YOU’RE NO HOWARD ROARK!”
Fiorina is still here because she believes that her psychopathic pursuit of power is best served by participating in another debate. And she has nothing better to do with her time. It’s not as if she has a job.
Kasich’s goal is to impress the mainstream media with how much smarter and wiser he is compared to all of the other wingnuts on the stage.
4. Ted Cruz: Last but not least. Cruz doesn’t know who he’s supposed to be debating against. Is he supposed to join up with the “real” politicians, Bush and Rubio, and try to win support from party elites and wealthy donors? Is he competing against Carson to be the choice of evangelical Christians? Should he be trying to poach support from Paul and Fiorina? Should he play it safe and only have an imaginary debate against Hillary Clinton?