During the first 'off-card' debate, the so-called “Happy Hour” debate, it became apparent there was on candidate that stood head and shoulders above the rest – Carly Fiorina. While most of the candidates gave what I would consider the usual canned responses to the questions posed by the moderators, Fiorina had forceful, well thought out replies. She didn't just say there was a problem and that she would solve it. She also said exactly what she would do and how.
The 'main event' was more lively, with more than a few point/counterpoint exchanges between candidates. The Donald certainly livened things up, at one point claiming that an important issue like immigration, specifically illegal immigration, wouldn't even be mentioned if it wasn't for him. But the best part were the zingers thrown towards the self-presumed Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Scott Walker on her 'personal' e-mail server - “It’s sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton’s email server than do the members of the United States Congress”
Mike Huckabee, using a bit of misdirection aimed at Trump - “It seems like this election has been a whole lot on a person who has been very high in the polls, who doesn’t have a clue about how to govern, a person who has been filled with scandals and could not lead. And of course, I’m talking about Hillary Clinton.”
But the best line of the night had to be from Ben Carson during his closing comments, talking about his own accomplishments:
“Well, I haven’t said anything about me being the only one to do anything, so let me try that.”At that point the venue filled with the sound of thunderous laughter.
“I’m the only one to separate Siamese twins…”
“The — the only one to operate on babies while they were still in mother’s womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.” (Emphasis mine - ed)
All in all it was a decent event, though at times it seemed to be more of a media Q & A session rather than a debate. I suggest at the next debate the moderators let the candidates go more head-to-head on the issues.