DEBATE REPORT CARD: Kasich Destroys! Cruz Annoys! Jeb Respects the Moderators!

DEBATE REPORT CARD: Kasich Destroys! Cruz Annoys! Jeb Respects the Moderators!

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What. A. Night. So many candidates, so little time!

I watched — and graded the GOP presidential candidates in the debate that was. Their grades are below.

Let’s start with the main stage:

John Kasich A-

I Swear I Was Invited To This

Check The List Again

My Friend’s Inside, I Just Wanna Talk To Him

His Name? Uh… Strom Thurmond

Don’t Touch Me This Is A Violation Of Admiralty Law

My Brother’s A Paralegal And You Just Earned A Lawsuit

FINAL GRADE

B+

C+

B+

A

B

A+

A-

This plucky drifter kept himself in contention with name-dropping and stats cribbed from a copy of the Wall Street Journal he found in a Starbucks bathroom (no security code). Tonight Kasich was on message and kept his DTs under control. Ultimately, the Ohio governor showed the resourcefulness and “boxcar wisdom” that might just win him a ticket out of New Hampshire.

Ted Cruz C-

Well, If It Isn’t Our Old Friend Reductio Absurdum

I See You And Mr. Ad Hominem Are Well Acquainted

Nice Ergo Propter Hoc. Seriously

Oh, My! No True Scotsman! How Mature.

Well, Well, Well, An Appeal To Authority

Godwin’s Law. I See You’ve Conceded Your Point

FINAL GRADE

B

A-

B-

C-

C

F

C-

The physically-deformed Texas Senator failed to connect on an emotional level tonight, even though he fought like a Harvard debater to prove that he’s a natural born citizen worthy of human dignity and the right to run for President. From the Dig’s perspective, the jury’s still out on whether this toilet clam is either.

Jeb Bush B+

I Think My Name Was Mentioned

Sir, If I Could Just–

Oh, All Right.

Well That’s Just Your Opinion

Everyone Can See Just How Silly You Look

[ smiling, shaking head ]

FINAL GRADE

A

B+

B-

B

A

A+

B+

Jeb respected the moderators, waited for his turn, and ultimately prospered. While the raucous South Carolina crowd may have cheered big for Trump and Cruz’s fireworks, the people at home were most impressed by Jeb’s composure, manners, and self-assuredness. A man who has the facts is his own best defendant, and Jeb’s confident lip-pursing and head-hanging posture displayed that. By Monday, expect Jeb’s poll numbers to reflect this.

Donald Trump B

9/11 Is Yuge!

Kidnapped Sailors Are Yuge!

The Wall Is Gonna Be Yuge!

Racial Hatred Is Yuge!

Pogroms Are Yuge!

Substance

FINAL GRADE

A+

C-

C

B

B

D

B

The Donald made us laugh, he made us cry, he made us understand why New York is the greatest place in the world. He failed to give specifics about who’s going to pay for his ethnic cleansing policies (failing to so much as mention a Grand Bargain), but this reporter thinks that the Donald managed to use his reality TV magic to make politics “great again!”

Marco Rubio B+

Dreaming

Looking Forward

Beyond The Politics Of The Past

Doctor Terrorists

Engineer Terrorists

Substance

FINAL GRADE

A+

A

A

B

B

B-

B+

Young Marco proved he could tangle with the big boys tonight. He brought to the attention of the nation the epidemic of doctors and engineers who study for 10 years at foreign universities then emigrate to the United States to commit economic crimes like charging $50 for depilatory procedures for folks who suffer from congenital nipple hair conditions. If Marco keeps it positive he’ll be a force to reckon with in Iowa.

Chris Christie B-

Big ‘Tude!

Hates Mondays

Loves Lasagna

Quick Putdowns

Madcap Scenarios

Syndication

FINAL GRADE

B-

A

A-

A

B-

C

B-

Chris from Bergen County was in full form tonight, slobbering and raving about B.S. taxes and certain quarterbacks who need to hit the books and get their head in the game.

Ben Carson B-

[breathing] Shhh As Ezekiel Says [gentle cough] [lowering eyes] [raising eyes] FINAL GRADE
C B+ A+ C C A+ B-

Is there a God? I don’t know, but I do know that if Ben Carson keeps this up he’ll be putting more voters to sleep than sending them to the polls.

Now the undercard:

Carly Fiorina C+

Rictus Grin

Piggy Obedience

Punishments

Whip Tension

Gurgle Production

Yes Ma’am Oh God Yes Please I’m Sorry

FINAL GRADE

B

B-

A

C+

C

B-

C+

I didn’t watch this part of the debate per se because Carly flat out terrifies me, but the resulting gifs, recaps, and soundbites affirmed what I suspected: Carly Fiorina is a gigantic, terrifying former CEO who wants nothing more than to strip our undershirts off, insult our congenital lack of body hair (medical issue), and hurl ice cubes at our nipples.

Mike Huckabee C

Y’all

Dang

Hyuck

Yee-Haw!

Trucks

Truck Magazines

FINAL GRADE

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

I’m sure the former Arkansas governor managed to connect with his core base of Deliverance extras and jawless dip addicts. The question is will their detox clinics let them out to vote?

Rick Santorum Shrug

Oh

Hello

Ah, I Think We Met Before?

Right.

Well, Nice To See Ya

Best Of Luck.

FINAL GRADE

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

\_()_/¯

Ok, thanks for coming.

Now the phony Twitter “debate” for basement-dwelling internet dorks:

rand paul F-

Hashtag #Fail

Hashtag #NoChance

Hashtag #Anti-NSATraitor

Hashtag #DropOut #Already

Hashtag #Virgin

Hashtag

FINAL GRADE

F

F

F

F

F

F

F-

Taking a cue from his miniscule support base of Mountain Dew-swilling chronic masturbaters, Rand chose to sit out the debate so he could engage in the favorite Libertarian past-time of going on Twitter and harassing innocent women, NSA employees, and journalists. He found support in a group of undesirables who shouted his name during the latter portions of the debate, which was welcome comic relief to the candidates. How I wish for the heyday of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where these scum would be dealt with “fairly,” LOL.

Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years, and is the author of “Think-ocracy: The Rise Of The Brainy Congressman”. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at carl@cafe.com or Tweet to @carl_diggler.