Print

Debate sausage: 5 things to read about second GOP debate

Published by Mike Pound on .

Republican presidential candidate, businesswoman Carly Fiorina speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Republican presidential candidate, businesswoman Carly Fiorina speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

If you were expecting the Donald Trump Show to break out during last night's Republican presidential debate, you might have been disappointed when the mouth at the center of the stage fell silent when the talk turned to crazy things like, you know, policy and government. And could someone check and see if Ben Carson is awake yet?

1) Just one candidate was promoted from the junior varsity to the varsity prior to the second debate, and she made the most of her opportunity. In fact, Carly Fiorina was the clear winner of last night's debate. She was ready to address Mr. Trump when the inevitable question about his assessment of her appearance arose. She deftly corrected Chris Christie when the New Jersey governor criticized her for talking about her qualifications. And her forceful, emotional responses to questions about Planned Parenthood and marijuana legalization made her the standout.

2) Mr. Trump started strong, asking why Rand Paul was on the stage with the rest of the front-runners. But when the debate turned serious, Mr. Trump fell silent, so we still don't know much about what he would do as president once the Mexican wall is completed. The debate also could have been a big moment for Dr. Carson, who instead went too far to portray himself as above the fray; his sleepy performance could cost him his position, a solid second place to Mr. Trump, in the polls.

3) The JV team put on a nice debate as well, with Lindsay Graham beating Bobby Jindal by a nose. Mr. Graham's charm and humor earned him laughs and the most applause from the crowd at the Reagan Library. Following the course he set in the first debate, Mr. Jindal veered even further away from the GOP, sharply criticizing Congressional Republicans and – gasp! – actually giving credit to President Obama for fighting for his beliefs.

4) The debate was held in his presidential library, so it shouldn't be a surprise that Ronald Reagan's name was evoked over and over in the course of the evening. But just about all of the candidates forgot about the Gipper when it came time to talk about immigration. Thankfully, we had the ad above, from the National Immigration Forum Action Fund, to serve as a reminder.

5) CNN generally did a good job running its first debate of the campaign, with a couple of quibbles: Trump took up too much of the official time allotted, at least until he sat out the serious policy discussions. And even with 11 candidates on the stage, three hours is about an hour too long.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker poses with Delores Lein of Hayward, Wisc., following a town hall meeting at the Xtreme Manufacturing warehouse in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 14, 2015. Walker proposed restrictions on federal labor unions and the elimination of the National Labor Relations Board. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas SunRepublican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker poses with Delores Lein of Hayward, Wisc., following a town hall meeting at the Xtreme Manufacturing warehouse in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 14, 2015. Walker proposed restrictions on federal labor unions and the elimination of the National Labor Relations Board. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun)

1) It's likely that most of us not living in Wisconsin first heard of Scott Walker when he took on his state's public-sector labor unions, a controversial fight that nearly cost him his job. In an attempt to resurrect his wheezing presidential campaign, Mr. Walker announced on Monday he'd continue that fight as president, pushing through a national right-to-work law and disbanding the National Labor Relations Board. It's questionable whether either of those goals is workable, but the bigger question is this: Do enough Republican voters consider labor policy to be an important campaign issue for this to turn around Mr. Walker's decline?

2) One of the more interesting sideshows in Wednesday's Republican debate will be Donald Trump having to look Carly Fiorina in the eye after making comments about the electability of "that face." Ms. Fiorina has done an impressive job of countering the ridiculous attack from Mr. Trump, even making a campaign video that pokes back at the GOP frontrunner.

3) Could the Republican primary use another billionaire businessman? Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban says he's not interested in running, but if he did, he would beat Hillary Clinton and "crush" Mr. Trump.

4) The list of people who have been able to get under Mr. Trump's skin so far is pretty short: 1) Megyn Kelly and 2) Hugh Hewitt. Ms. Kelly irritated the Trumpernator so badly during the Fox News debate that the candidate insinuated that she was menstruating. And Mr. Trump gets another go-round with Mr. Hewitt in tomorrow night's CNN debate; when the two last spoke, Mr. Trump objected to the "unfair" questions from the "third-rate radio announcer."

5) One of Rick Perry's biggest benefactors wants his money back, now that the former Texas governor has dropped out of the Republican race. Maybe Mr. Perry could sell his now-vacant seat on stage at to Jim Gilmore to raise a little money.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

Surrounded by Rowan County Sheriff's deputies, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, center, with her son Nathan Davis standing by her side, makes a statement to the media at the front door of the Rowan County Judicial Center in Morehead, Ky., Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Davis announced that her office will issue marriage licenses under order of a federal judge, but will not have her name or office listed. (Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press)Surrounded by Rowan County Sheriff's deputies, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, center, with her son Nathan Davis standing by her side, makes a statement to the media at the front door of the Rowan County Judicial Center in Morehead, Ky., Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Davis announced that her office will issue marriage licenses under order of a federal judge, but will not have her name or office listed. (Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press)

1) Kim Davis, conservative America's favorite martyr, is back at work in as clerk of Rowan County, Ky., but it's not entirely clear whether the controversy that put her in jail for nearly a week is over. Mrs. Davis told reporters this morning that she wouldn't interfere with deputy clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but those licenses wouldn't bear her name or, in her opinion, be legally valid. No less than the governor, Kentucky's attorney general and the Rowan County solicitor disagree with that last point, so if she keeps her word, Mrs. Davis may avoid another stay in jail.

2) We're getting a better idea of what prompted Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski to suspend his campaign for U.S. Senate: he is the subject of an FBI investigation into a bribery scheme. The Morning Call details how Mr. Pawlowski's campaign manager and best friend Mike Fleck wore a wire to help with the FBI probe, eventually leading to an awkward pat-down of Mr. Fleck by Mr. Pawlowski – and to an abrupt departure from Allentown shortly after federal agents raided Mr. Pawlowski's office. The mayor isn't named in a report about the investigation, but the unnamed person identified at Public Official No. 3 announced a Senate campaign in April, making it clear that Mr. Pawlowski, who has not yet been charged with any crimes, is the subject of the probe.

3) It doesn't seem like anyone else involved in the race that Mr. Pawlowski left behind is going to miss him. Pat Toomey, the Republican incumbent, touted his ability to work with everyone as he officially kicked off his campaign over the weekend. And Democrat John Fetterman, Braddock's mayor, will join Katie McGinty and Joe Sestak in the race for that party's nomination later today.

4) Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both get a boost from voter dissatisfaction with the political establishment, but the similarities end there, says Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com.

5) Oops: Rick Perry is the first presidential candidate to leave the race, and NPR suggests that those who have paid attention to Mr. Perry's past would have seen the end coming.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read today

Published by Mike Pound on .

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks at the Sirius XM presidential candidate forum during the Republican National Committee (RNC) summer meeting in Cleveland, Ohio August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Brian SnyderRepublican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks at the Sirius XM presidential candidate forum during the Republican National Committee (RNC) summer meeting in Cleveland, Ohio August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

1) The second Republican presidential debate rolls around next week, and host network CNN told us on Thursday who will be on stage at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library. Joining the crew for the prime time debate is Carly Fiorina, whose smart responses made her the standout in the first debates, even though she was relegated to the earlier debate. Other than that, the lineup for the kids' table will remain basically the same: Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki. Oh, wait, there's one name missing, right? That would be Jim Gilmore, whose polling numbers are so low that he won't be included in either debate.

2) Hillary Clinton says she is sorry about the whole email thing. We suspect her regrets have something to do with focus groups and polling numbers.

3) Pennsylvania House Democrats have received an advance from the state treasury so they can continue to get paid during the budget standoff. House Republicans, who haven't yet run out of money, aren't happy.

4) Right-wing extremist group the Oath Keepers has offered to field a security detail for Kim Davis when she returns to work as Rowan County (Ky.) clerk, where, if she follows up on the path her lawyers outlined, she would continue to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But we should be clear about what the paramilitary group – whose leader thinks John McCain should be "hung by the neck until he's dead" – would be protecting Mrs. Davis from: any legitimate law enforcement officials who would try to jail her should she be found in contempt of court again.

5) For the second year in a row, Wawa beats Sheetz. We want a recount.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

This is going to be fun

Published by Mike Pound on .

9pa00knf

1) Braddock Mayor John Fetterman will announce on Monday that he's a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.

er taco trucj 9g400km7

2) There will be tacos.

3) We should just stop now, because we're not going to hear better news all day.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.