Because I haven’t yet given my heart over to any single candidate, watching last night’s debate was an absolute pleasure. For just a moment, forget about the tit-for-tat of the bitter Republican infighting that will linger for the next few months. Take a moment instead to look at our overall field and feel good about things. What America saw last night is a very impressive roster of Republicans, and last night they shined, especially when compared to Hillary Clinton.
First off, let’s look at how far we’ve come from 2012. Thanks to Reince Priebus and the Republican Party grabbing hold of the debate process, whereas the GOP had already suffered through 7 or 8 debate train-wrecks by this time last cycle, last night was our first, our first impression to millions of potential voters, and as a Party we knocked it out of the park.
The Republican Party again looks like the grown-up Party, a competent Party run by adults and therefore ready to again lead the country. Moreover, on Thursday night the contrast between our line-up and Hillary Clinton was beyond startling.
I’m sorry but Hillary is old, not just biologically but in spirit. In every appearance, her jaw is set, her guarded and entitled voice is shrill, and with her gnarled Baby Jane finger extended, she’s always hectoring somebody about something. You don’t want to have a beer with her. You want to pour the beer over her head and say something that makes her sputter, “Well, I never!”
Meanwhile, over in the GOP, there is youth, humor, fight, vitality, ideas, eagerness, desire… While Hillary locks herself up in her Gilded Bubble to hide from all questions, our guys (and one very impressive woman) can’t wait to answer questions, to meet the public, to tell us about the future of America and how they are going to get us there.
Policy matters. Substance matters. So, however, does style, and Hillary is already not wearing well.
If you’ve already given your heart over to one of the Republican candidates and you’re looking at the debate through that prism, I get that. There’s nothing wrong with that. All I’m saying is that if for just a moment you drop the prism and take a 30,000 foot view, regardless of how well or poorly your pick did last night, there is a lot to feel good about.
The truest thing said last night came from Marco Rubio, “God has blessed us. He’s blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one.”
We got one helluva line-up, and the Democrats are stuck with Baby Jane.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC