A Festive Look at the GOP’s Debate in Vegas

By Al Perrotta Published on December 17, 2015

‘Tis the season to be jolly even when talking about a presidential politics, a tall order given that in the current climate we have to wonder if singing “White Christmas” is a micro-aggression.

But like the brave postman (Sorry, letter carrier) trudging through the snow toward a fanged and barking chihuahua behind the door of the next house on the list, we must make the attempt.

On Tuesday night the Republican candidates traveled to the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, bearing not gold, frankincense and myrrh, but plans, policies and proposals. (Yes, Mr. Trump. We know you have “huge,” “tremendous,” “really, really spectacular” mounds of gold.) Some took to the stage in desperate hopes Santa would bring an early gift of a jump in the polls. Whether they receive that or a lump of coal is still to be seen. What we can open now are some of the treats they offered up on the debate stage. Here are a few:

Stocking StuffersTitleliner Stockings - 900


  • Carson said of his patients, “They love me.” He paused, and joked to Trump. “I sound like you.” That surgeon is a real cut-up.
  • Chris Christie called his former hug buddy Barack Obama a “feckless weakling.” Yup. Those beach romances never seem to work out.
  • Ted Cruz may have unwittingly shared classified information during his tussle with Marco Rubio over the NSA. Turns out the NSA is gathering nearly 100% of the data that helps Santa determine who’s naughty or nice.
  • Carly Fiorina evoked Thatcher and Cruz evoked Reagan. In the earlier debate, Lindsay Graham evoked Princess Buttercup. Yeah, it’s always good to stick with the greats.
  • It’s not the only time The Princess Bride has been a part of the campaign. Last month, Ted Cruz acted out a scene from the movie. Plus, every time the RNC looks at Trump’s standing in the polls they loudly lisp “Inconceivable!”

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“T’was the week before Christmas and all through the hall, not a speaker was stirring, not even Rand Paul.”

But overall, how did they do? The candidates in Tuesday night’s Republican debate were passionate, forceful, loud. But stirring? Eh.

“This spin-room was filled with staffers prepped with care, with hopes that the media soon would be there.”

Never is so much effort spent to convince people they didn’t see and hear what they just saw and heard.

“When out of Jeb Bush there arose such a clatter, trying to prove that his campaign still mattered.”

Bush told Trump “You can’t insult your way to the presidency.” Then insulted Trump. Again. And again. Apparently, failing to take your own advice doesn’t get you to the presidency either.

“Now Kasich! Now Carson! Now Carly! Now Christie! Now Marco! Now Hewitt! Now Donald! Now Blitzer!”  

Something’s off when after months of campaigning and debates there are still more candidates and moderators than there are dancers at Radio City Music Hall.

“To the top of New Hampshire, to the cold Iowa, now, dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

For all the jokes and criticisms of the candidates, it is proper to acknowledge the relentless, grueling effort they each are putting in just for the privilege of serving as your President … and once a year getting to light the National Christmas Tree.

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

In the meantime, if you’re looking for people who want to shame Santa by giving away free stuff not just on Christmas but 365 days a year, the Democratic debate is Saturday night.

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