"The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”Huckabee, Christie and Kasich made good showings last night. Too bad. See above.
– H. L. Mencken
Bush comes to mind when reading "the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.”
Trump should be seen to have destroyed himself, but I’m doubting it will turn out that way.
Paul seemed pinched and sour, and it’s hard to imagine him as president.
Rubio and Cruz should pick up from their performances, but probably won’t gain enough.
Carson is such a very nice man.
Walker is unflappable. To the point of appearing passionless.
Some are complaining about the gotcha nature of the Fox questions, and that the moderators blathered for over 30% of the debate time. The latter I agree with, the former makes me ask the question, “If friendly questioning is necessary for a Republican to become president, what's the GOP nominee going to do in the actual election?”
Stop whining about Fox and check out how it's done: Carly Fiorina’s handling of Chris “tingly leg" Matthews (This is the full exchange, so even if you've seen an edited version of it already, you might find it worthwhile.)
And debate watchers are complaining that Megyn Kelly’s questioning was too aggressive?
As entertainment B-, as a debate D+.