By Ray Cardello for August 21, 2023, Season 21 / Post 27
Living in New Hampshire gives me early exposure to the Presidential Campaign Season. We have seen most of the candidates in the Granite State as they share their time between New Hampshire and Iowa. Most candidates must now be sick of Pulled Pork and Funnel Cakes. The real season begins this week with Wednesday’s first GOP debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The moderators will be Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum of FOXNews. The number of candidates appearing onstage is still in doubt, as is whether front-runner Donald Trump will participate. It is a mistake and a disservice to the voters should he decide to stay away.
I understand the need for a diverse field of presidential candidates. Still, I do not see it making for a favorable, productive debate as it shortens the time for questions and rebuttals, which we want to hear in a debate. There is also much talk about each candidate’s strategy and whether the field will “gang up” on Ron DeSantis, who has a strong hold on second place behind Donald Trump. Getting ugly and personal in attacks does not serve the electorate well. I would like to see the bar set higher for a ticket to the debate stage. If you cannot muster more than one or two percent of the votes after weeks on the trail, you probably should consider dropping out rather than your opening line for debate night.
Nobody on the GOP candidate roster is saying anything new except Vivek Ramaswamy. He is not a politician, which should be a massive plus to voters disheartened by the Washington handling of Donald Trump and the negative impact on our country of lifelong politician Joe Biden. He is young and relates well with the critical millennial voters, but he is brilliant and focused enough for the more seasoned GOP voter. Vivek also appeals to the crucial independent block that will ultimately decide the winner in 2024. As of this weekend, some polls have him tied with DeSantis for second as he surges and the Florida Governor continues to slide. You may see fringe candidates shooting arrows at Ramaswamy, but he has shown himself to be confident and unflappable. Vivek does not shy away from any question and is prepared with a well-thought-out response to them all.
It will be interesting to see who moves the dial, and the real loser may be Trump if he does not show up. Baier and MacCallum are pros, and I am glad to see them with the first debate on the schedule. They will ask good questions and keep the large field focused. This is a big night for Republicans, but especially Conservatives. The 2024 election cannot be lost. A second term by Joe Biden, or even a first term by Gavin Newsom or Gretchen Whitmer, will be catastrophic for America we know, and another step towards the total transformational goal of Progressives. Our candidate cannot only be able to beat Republicans but attract Independents. Wednesday will give us a good idea of who that candidate will be.
Author: Ray Cardello