A week in politics: Complaints. criticism, and, perhaps, a clearer picture

October 30, 2015

After the debate, the recriminations. The Republican candidates not only objected to the media and the debate moderators in Wednesday night’s event, but will continue to complain this weekend, with a Sunday meeting scheduled in Washington to discuss plans for wresting more control of the debates from the Republican National Committee.

‎”We need a change of format,” candidate Ben Carson told a press conference in Lakewood, Colorado. “Debates are supposed to be to get to know the candidates, what is behind them. What it has turned into is a gotcha.”

Candidates in Colorado: From left, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Candidates in Colorado: From left, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The usual question: who won and who lost? Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz fared well, according to national commentators. Still, just touching a chord with the public didn’t necessarily make the candidate right, noted Ezra Klein in a Vox essay criticizing the veracity of Ted Cruz’s attack on the media (“Ted Cruz’s best moment of the debate was also completely wrong”).

Other political reports that caught our eye:
• The Boston Globe examines whether celebrity endorsements still matter. Probably not so much, it concludes: “As the 2016 presidential campaigns roll out their VIP backers, with press releases suggesting that voters should be swayed by the endorsements of Anchorman, the Incredible Hulk, and a guy on a show called “Pawn Stars,” it’s growing clearer that the punch these announcements once packed is diminished.”
• For fans of the TV series “Scandal”, Politico magazine takes a detailed look at consultant John Weaver and the business of political seduction;
• For those taking a broader view of debate’s effect on the Republican Party, New York Times columnist David Brooks notes that the GOP could wind up with two new leaders going into this election: Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. “Ryan is the new House speaker and right now Rubio is the most likely presidential nominee,” writes Brooks. The shape of the presidential campaign is coming into focus. It’s still wise to expect (pray) that the celebrity candidates will fade as the shopping phase ends and the buying phase begins.”

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