It was supposed to be a knock down drag out debate where the other GOP contenders were going to take down Donald Trump. CNN's moderators did their best by posing questions designed to spark a reaction but overall I didn't get the impression that they succeeded.
Still, it was a good debate despite the fact that so many of the candidates got very little time to make their case. My overall favorites are:
1. Carly Fiorina. She gets criticized for appearing a bit stern but it was clear she wasn't going to take any guff from the guys, most of all Trump. As always her answers were clear, concise and knowledgeable. Carly really asserted herself and helped to drive up her visibility by interrupting.
2. Though he didn't interrupt much, Marco Rubio also made a very compelling presentation. I can't understand why he isn't doing better in the polls.
Ben Carson seemed a bit passive and didn't really tell me anything new about his ideas. Jeb Bush did better than in the first debate and took on Trump which makes him appear less of a wimp but the criticism from Cruz when he said that the former Bush presidents mostly picked Supreme Court nominees who would be easy to confirm, not necessarily conservative, struck a chord with me.
And of course Trump did his usual thing. Nothing new there.
Would it be possible to design a format where each candidate gets the same amount of time? So many of the hopefuls in the bottom half of the above chart are not getting a fair shot!
Next debate is at the University of Boulder presented by CNBC on October 28.
UPDATE: Scott Walker's rebuke to Trump
Scott Walker had a better night on Wednesday than he did in the previous debate. And he did join in the attacks on Trump. Here's a highlight:
For a version for you Facebook folks:
SCOTT WALKER: "This is what is wrong with this debate. We're not talking about real issues... And Mr. Trump. We don't need an apprentice in the white house, we have one right now. He told us everything we wanted to hear back in 2008. We don't know who you are or where you're going or if you can get the job done."
And one for Carly:
And the best idea Jeb Bush ever had. But then, HE WALKED IT BACK! Typical Bush!