Why Is This Debate So Bad?

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October 28, 2015 10:13 p.m.

As everyone is already discussing, CNBC probably shouldn’t be allowed to run a debate again. Aside from the expertly prepared John Harwood, the moderators were bad and poorly – almost embarrassingly – prepared. There’s also the CNBC bubble – which makes some of the questions seem odd even for a Republican debate. What about onerous personal helicopter regulation?

But why else? I think part of it is that Carson appears at least to be the nominal frontrunner at the moment. When Trump was the frontrunner, that gave a focus to the debate: attack Trump. Can Trump keep his momentum? Will others take him down? But Carson is such a vague and insubstantial figure, he doesn’t give focus to the debate. Like is he or his personality the dominant force in this debate? He seems like a vague and distant presence. And that makes the whole debate lack a certain focus.

10:20 PM: Huckabee: Let’s face it, everyone up on this stage sacrificing is awesome.

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