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Things to watch for at tonight’s GOP debate.

March 3, 2016

Can  Donald Trump avoid playing into the Democrat’s theme of misogyny with Megyn Kelly?

Ms. Kelly’s presence at the moderator’s table tonight will be the voter’s first chance to preview a Trump-Clinton race.

Ms. Kelly has spent a lot of time developing her professional persona into an  oft-times unpleasant and abrasive prosecutorial style. It’s hard for many of the guests on her show to avoid being baited into being portrayed at less than their best when interviewed. She is on the panel as bear bait.

So what?  Presidential debates should be about discovery, in the purist legal sense of that word.

It’s a given that half of the people any president deals with on a daily basis are going to oppose his viewpoint and they aren’t going to be gentle when doing so.

It’s also a given that Hillary Clinton and her team are not members of the Trump fan club,  aren’t afraid to call him out and will use typical dirty political tactics to do so.

If Trump is truly capable of dealing with that dynamic, rising above the pettiness and, as he says, “uniting America” this would be a great time to prove he is capable of doing it.

For Trump, it’s time to show that he has an adult side.

Also, just how aggressive will the Republican establishment get in their desire to dethrone the front runner?

If Mitt Romney’s speech today is any example, expect all the candidates to gang up on Trump on ideology, personality and competency.

In their zeal to show up Trump, the establishment runs the risk of making  him even more attractive to voters than he is already.

The silent majority already feels like the deck is stacked against them.

During the last election, the Obama campaign  was exposed several times for using government agencies to intimidate ordinary American citizens whose only sin was backing Mitt Romney.

In rolling out 2012’s losing candidate as the face of the establishment opposition, the GOP risks driving undecided voters straight into the Trump camp.

There is something transparently dishonest in Romney’s fawning praise of Trump in 2012 contrasted with his attitude today.

Given that the GOP establishment’s “rise above the fray” strategy couldn’t get Romney over the finish line even in a race that virtually every poll said he should win, that might not be the wisest move.

Marco Rubio has a last opportunity ahead of Florida’s primary to prove that he has the tools it takes to operate on the world stage.

He’s shown that he isn’t afraid to mix it up if he has to, and he’s tried the high-minded policy above personality tactic, but at this point it’s time to prove that he knows when to use a scalpel and when to pick up a club.

The venue for tonight’s debate is stunningly beautiful in the ornate style of the Roaring Twenties, and it’s a movie theater. Where better to go for a show?

Stick the popcorn in the microwave,  pop the top on your favorite beverage and enjoy the feature attraction.

 

From → op-ed

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