Overall this was the best debate of the four. Hands down.
1. Jeb Bush is, like, the love child of John McCain and Mitt Romney. He’s running on entitlement to the nomination, he a human gaffe machine, and has no idea how to articulate a conservative message because he’s not particularly conservative. If he were to lie his nose would Pinocchio into a rhino horn, if he were to tell the truth about what he believes…then his nose would Pinocchio into a rhino horn. Someone please find the DNR for this campaign and pull the plug already.
2. Remember the part of Braveheart where Mel Gibson in a big battle with the British forces kept telling the Scottish forces to “hooooooooold” their line until the most optimal time to charge? Either that is Ben Carson’s strategy or he has been a very quick study. His debate performances have always been quite good, especially when you considering two things, 1. Except for his most ardent supporters people tended to have a low bar of expectation for a brilliant but politically inexperienced man. Clearly that bar is MUCH higher now, and 2. His performance presents an amazing contrast to the vaunted experience of Jeb Bush, who has come to represent the nails for the coffin of the Bush dynasty. Dr. Carson’s performances have shown a lot of depth and growth over time, which is probably a result of going through the other debates, but also…
3. The Fox Business moderators KILLED it. They asked good questions, they had good follow ups where necessary, and we got SUBSTANCE instead of gotcha BS. They also let the candidates talk. Yeah the beeps at the end of their time were sort of annoying, but the candidates were allowed to finish their train of thought, even when it needed to take a few more lengths of track than it should have. They also got out of the way of candidates when they wanted to engage each other, that more than anything else not only made the event interesting, but it also made it an actual debate.
4. Say what you will about any of the candidates, this debate illustrated that the Republican Party is a gigantic tent party, not just a “big tent” party. Said “tent” should refer to the range of ideas a party has, not how many special interest minorities they’re willing to pander to with giveaways and platitudes. By the ideological metric the Democratic Party’s tent would only be big enough to hold the number of supporter (<-- not a typo) Lincoln Chafee had. There has been a saying "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line." This time the complete reverse is true. In a just world the Democrats would be doomed.