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GOP Debate: The Duds
For at least two of the candidates on stage tonight, this will likely be their last shot at primetime.
This is my first in a series of Daily Saucer takes on the current crop of GOP candidates leading up to tonight’s presidential debate.
Depending on who you talk to, tonight’s GOP presidential debate is either an exercise in futility, an audition for vice president, or a glimpse at what a post-Trump GOP could look like. If we’re being perfectly honest, it’s all of the above and none of the above at the same time.
While Asa Hutchison has been left out of the big show this time around, there are still several candidates with virtually no path to the nomination among the seven who will be on the stage tonight. Specifically, it seems highly unlikely that either Governor Doug Burgum or Senator Tim Scott will be able to build the momentum necessary to be seen again after tonight’s debate.
Governor Burgum had several good comments last time around but seems to still be looking to explain why he’s running and has failed to gain any momentum at all among GOP voters. I was honestly surprised he was even able to squeak into this debate, and it’s probably a sure thing that this will be his last shot at primetime with the GOP raising the threshold for future debates.
Senator Tim Scott, as everybody likes to say, is the most likable candidate in the race. But no one quite knows what constituency he’s trying to build. His demeanor suggests that of a happy warrior, someone who wants to return the country to a calmer and more dignified form of leadership from the White House. But time after time, he chooses to offer soundbites calculated to appeal to the diehard MAGA crowd and continuously stops short of truly differentiating his brand and vision from that of Donald Trump.
Scott keeps getting just enough support to still be in the conversation and to get himself onto the debate stage. But, barring an absolute 180 tonight, it's hard to see what kind of momentum he can build with the strategy he’s chosen.
The Daily Saucer is our place for freelance contributors and editorial staff to offer short takes on the news cycle, quick observations on the issues, and brief thoughts on broader topics. The views offered in this space reflect only the personal views of the authors.