Those CNBC Moderators, Though!

Last night, the inimitable athletes of the Oklahoma City Thunder played — and won! — their season opener against the San Antonio Spurs. The Oilman and I naturally had a date to watch that game. So, we recorded the third GOP debate and, once again, watched a national presidential primary debate a day late. (That never would have happened in my days at Hot Air! A day late? Might as well be a decade late!) For the most part, I concur with this analysis I saw earlier today, but I’ll write my own just for the heck of it!

More so than any candidate, the painfully patronizing, irritatingly arrogant and maddeningly misinformed CNBC moderators lost the debate. Their pretense of profundity fooled no one. Instead, their blatant bias repeatedly drew “boos” from the crowd and cunning remarks from the candidates. (“This is not a cage match,” Ted Cruz said. “Even in New Jersey, what you’re doing is called rude, John,” Chris Christie quipped. The mainstream media is “Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC,” Marco Rubio asserted.)

Ultimately, though, the moderators elicited an impressive and refreshing esprit de corps from the candidates and, for that, we can be grateful.

Meanwhile, I thought Ted Cruz and Chris Christie did the most to advance their respective campaigns, while Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina held the ground they gained with me in the last debate. (Why has Fiorina slipped in the polls despite winning the first two debates?!)

Because the moderators were so obnoxious, Donald Trump seemed less so. Ben Carson, ever unflappable, continued to exude courtesy and intelligence, even as his apparently immense appeal also continued to escape me.

Much of John Kasich’s rhetoric surprised me; I found myself agreeing with him at times in spite of myself. (He’s the only fellow who specifically mentioned the breakdown of the family as a problem in our society today, for example, and made a surprising 11th-hour case for subsidiarity in his closing remarks!) Still, I’m ready to see him exit the race, along with Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee. Rand Paul can stay for another debate, as far as I’m concerned, because, again, he’s scrappy and I kind of like it. Eventually, he needs to exit, as well, though, so his followers can boost Cruz.

My top four, then: Cruz, Rubio, Fiorina and, to my ongoing surprise, Christie. The Oilman is an avowed Cruz supporter, in case you were wondering.

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