Televised by CNN from the addlebrained Adelson-owned Venetian in Las Vegas, the city of broken dreams.
This is the so-called "undercard":
This is the main event:
When you have a situation where a libertarian crank--Rand Paul--is the only person on stage who makes sense on foreign policy, you KNOW you have a political party on the wane despite still being strong at the state level and worthless as a majority party in Congress.
Trump only came alive when he sparred with the equally dull Jeb Bush. The audience seemed to be full of Bush plants--pun intended--for Trump was widely jeered during those spars.
Ted Cruz is one dangerous mofo. He is unelectable, but he is still dangerous.
Kasich may not survive at this rate although he is the best one the GOP has this time around.
Carson and Fiorina weren't much and probably will be out the door before too long.
Ditto for Christie.
Ditto for those on the "undercard"--Graham, Santorum, Pataki, and Huckabee--despite the fact they were the better debaters.
Rubio is still an empty suit. I doubt he actually knows what he is talking about. He is vulnerable to attacks from Ted Cruz.
Former senator and GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole is not particularly impressed with the current crop of GOP candidates. He endorsed Jeb last month, but he is still is unimpressed with the lot of them. He was particularly appalled at Ted Cruz, who he termed an extremist.
That was probably being kind.
Cruz comes across as a cross between Joseph McCarthy and a televangelist. His speech patterns do not reveal somebody who was Ivy League-educated (Princeton, Hahvahd Law) but sounds all the world like somebody who could have taken his place with the likes of Jimmy Swaggart. Supposedly Alan Dershowitz said that Cruz was one of the smartest students he ever had, which is probably more a reflection on the caliber of students who attend Harvard Law than it is about Cruz's intellect. He may have intended it as a compliment to Cruz, but I see it quite differently.