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Personal Observation on GOP Debate

Personal Observation on GOP Debate

I titled this commentary as “personal observation” because that is what it is.  It is not an objective analysis of the debate in terms of the political rivalries and the political impact on the fortunes of the respective candidates.  Some of my views will run contrary to the responses of many Republican voters.  I will do the more professional political analysis in an upcoming commentary.

For me, the big winner was former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.  I think she moved up from an “also running” to a first rank contender.  She was as good a debater as any – and I believe she could handle President Trump in a face-to-face confrontation.

It was not only her platform ability, but the debate brought forth her experience and knowledge of “presidential issues” – domestic and foreign.  If the election were today, she may have earned my vote.  But it is not today, and I am open to other possibilities.

Haley was the only one to address Republican culpability in excessive spending, adding to the National Debt and acting like Washington establishmentarians.  I have often written that I would not vote for Trump in the GOP primary.  He is off my list of possibilities.  And so is Vivek Ramaswamy.  And he fell off because of the debate.  He has a great stage presence and looks great on the tube.  However, he reminds me of a glib salesman – rattling off his sales pitch in machine gun fashion.  He sounds good – but fast-talking salesmen always do.  Behind the platitude, however, I do not see a person ready to take on arguably the most important job in the world.

It is not just inexperience that has dropped Ramaswamy off my list of possibilities.  I find his hardline opposition to world leadership a deal breaker.  His commitment to withdraw American and western support from Ukraine is political Neanderthal-ism.  He supports surrendering part of Ukraine’s territory to achieve a Neville Chamberlain-style peace.  I take a hardline against Putin and his ambitions to rebuild the Soviet Union.  And I is see America’s security linked to defeating Putin.  I do believe in an America First policy, but that also means first as a world leader in peace and against evil aggression.

Ramaswamy compared himself to President Reagan at one point.  I would remind him that Reagan brought down the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War.  Reagan would not be inclined to allow the Mad Man of Moscow to rebuild it. I knew Ronald Reagan, and Ramaswamy is no Ronald Reagan.

Ramaswamy did very well in the debate – and came out of it more popular than going in.  Many pundits believe he won the debate.  He may have, but it cost him my vote.

Florida Govern Ron DeSantis was my original pick.  I slipped off team DeSantis in the early phase of his campaign.  I was one of those who caused the drop in his polling number.  I was a little rattled by his avoidable fumbles – at least avoidable if he had been taking my advice.

DeSantis opened with an impossible strategy – to defeat Trump without offending him or his rock-solid supporters.  How can one run against and not offend a guy who takes offense to anyone who does not kow tow to him?  I also thought some of the fights DeSantis picked were not the wisest choices.  While he tries not to be definitive on the subject of Ukraine, it appears he would not provide the existential support for invaded ally.  The pushes me away from him.

On the other hand, I thought DeSantis gave a very strong performance in the debate.  Certainly, no gaffes.  He is a better communicator than the left-wing media – and some Republicans – claim.  With a little fine tuning in his messaging, he could still be the non-Trump candidate to beat.  He is one of the three who I believed helped themselves in the debate.  The others being Haley and Ramaswamy – although he did not gain my future consideration.  In the first event in the political Olympics, I awarded the gold to Haley, Silver to Ramaswamy and Bronze to DeSantis.  I will deal with the others in an upcoming commentary.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. frank stetson

    I came away with the feeling of it was better than I expected and I hope all a good try for the VP slot, except Chris.

    Ramaswampy lost but his teeth were two white anyway. Apparently everyone got the memo that he was the prime target. Low hanging fruit I guess.

    Burgam should have stayed home with Asa (who I like). They both seemed on drugs.

    Scott was meh and considering the fire of the road so far, he sure didn’t erase his previous rhetoric for the left and I doubt the magarats like him toned down.

    Haley impressed me mightily with her 3% factoid in that she thought of it, looked it up, did the math and was locked and loaded with a good insight into Ukraine spending. Even Russian ears must have perked up for that. But she probably pissed the magarats by telling the truth.

    DeSantimonious did OK but he did not win, he just did not lose. And when he got excited, he looked bad, big ears and all. And he got excited a few times. Since he was basically ignored by the others, didn’t seem well prepared to light into anyone except Ramaswampy, he mostly faded into the background screen. Time to re-engineer his campaign for the fifth time…

    Pence was better than expected until he flew his God against abortion flag. Don’t matter, he may have done the right thing, but he did it as a pussy, not a patriot. Otherwise, he would be telling the truth, the whole truth, already under deposition. Too late Mike, the middle don’t want you, the magarats want to hang you.

    Christie too was better than expected, took Trump apart well, stood his ground, but I might be biased being from NJ (even though not a fan there, will admit he almost survived until he had to jump off that bridge). But again, magarats will do him in.

    Bottom line: Haley, Pence, Christie had good nights, DeSantis didn’t falter and everyone else can stay home next time. Haley showed she really knows her stuff, but no one had a break out. They are still the undercard fight to the main event. In the end, Biden won, there was nothing yet to put a grave knock on him and plenty of red meat for his base, and the independent, to chew on.

    FYI: yes, NJ allows abortion up until birth, although at the end it’s really forced labor. Only 2% of abortions are post 20 weeks and rarely at point of birth unless for Mother’s health if baby deemed not viable. We leave it to the individual, doctors, and counselors, to determine what’s best. 98% are under 20 weeks with 80% under ten weeks. Give it a rest debaters.

  2. Tom

    Ramaswamy’s teeth are to white?? I that a covert way of saying the skin on his face was too dark? Too much contrast for you? LOL I did like the way he pointed out that Haley is on the board of directors for Raytheon and one other defense contractor that I do not remember. Both contractors are very involved in selling weapons for Ukraine. Seems a bit like more swamp to me! And now she is running for POTUS?

    All in all, I thought Ramaswamy and Haley were most prepared and were both winners. The issue I have with Ramaswamy is that he has only voted in two elections and he is 40 years old? I doubt he knows much about the process and less less about how government works. We already had one trainee that thinks way to much of himself, not looking to elect another.

    Most of them were rather boring. I was glad Trump was not there. Its the most patriotic thing he has done!

  3. frank stetson

    I read the Forbes article and based on it, she made 8M or so pretty fast but worked hard too. Yes, the boards pay hundreds of thousands, the other was Lockheed, but she also cashed in by speaking raising a few million there in a couple of years, plus a few books, before you even get to portfolio. She was driven since parents were going down the hole and she gave them a lot of cash.

    Beyond the “the way most politicians make it. speaking and books, Forbes didn’t note any red flags.

    Between the two, he seems more the flim-flam type than she the illegal stock sales. And no, he just looks like he had work done on those teeth, either crowns or whitening. I needed sunglasses…… Skin was flawless frankly. And of course, I’m trying to be woke so I can’t see color you redneck :>)

    I will say d-fense b berry berry goot to me: 12% per year about lately. I just love industry funds. My high tech blend just went positive, glory to God, but China and Emerging Markets make Disney look grand….. They’re the canary in the coal mine telling me it ain’t clean air yet….better, but not breathable yet. So, it’s defense, defense, defense……heh heh. Glory to God for defense, but Fixed Assets pay steady and they be paying my salary this year. It’s the stairway to heaven —– Ladders….

    • Dan tyree

      Frank is a racist. He refers to spades in a recent post

      • Mike f

        Dan-That’s rich coming from a homophobe like you!

        • frank stetson

          Actually, Dan is right on this, but not for the reason he dreams in his latest wet-dream.

          There’s some history here, but only very lately of a racist nature. Calling a spade a spade comes from the Greek in early centuries, like the year 100. The term was calling a fig, a fig, or a trough a trough, and probably was a double entendre for something ribald. When translated in Latin, it became spade, for shovel or garden implement. It hit our shores in 1500’s in England through translation from the Latin. It was a hit!

          W.E.B. Du Bois, famed Black NAACP founder in his now famous 1919 editorial “Returning Soldiers” wrote about African-American men: “We stand again to look America squarely in the face and call a spade a spade. We sing: This country of ours, despite all its better souls have done and dreamed, is yet a shameful land.” It means shovel or garden implement, not a playing card and not a person. That comes later…..

          In the 20’s, blacks began using the phrase to describe blacks, first published use may have been a black author in 28. And you know where it goes from there, for some including “black as the ace of spade” finally turning to the playing card.

          Today, it is basically a term to be used with caution, especially in front of people that it may offend like Blacks, the woke, and Dan Tyree who pretends being a friend. I did use it with caution, but not for Dan.

          And that’s the rest of the story. It is retired, I stand corrected.

          • Dan tyree

            But I’m still a homophobe. Lol. I guess I’m not attracted to hairy butt men. Or smooth ones either. But don’t worry Mike f as in fag. I’m harmless And Frank I thought you and I were friends.

  1. There you go again raking up stories about obscure democrats who are of small consequence in the larger American political…