Who Won the Debate?

GOP Top 3

Did Carly castrate Donald in the last debate, as somebody at Fox News charged today, reigniting the Trump-Fox feud, a major issue of the 2016 campaign, judging by the media coverage?

What debate was that Fox News journalist who made the cutting remark watching?

Debate? What debate am I talking about?

You remember, the one on CNN last week, featuring 37 candidates for 11½ hours!

“I thought there were 56 candidates,” a debate fan in California corrected me. “I watched them for 33 hours. I think I am still watching them.”

Whatever the final count, the second episode of the Republican Debating Society had to be the longest and most chaotic, involving the greatest number of debaters, watched by the largest audience, in the annals of rhetoric and declamation. A free-form Q&A press conference, with some candidates getting face time, while others lay there like lox in Zabar’s appetizer case, it also set new records in obfuscation.

The digest version I may have seen in New Jersey raised a number of important issues, none of which was the castration question.

I am in awe of anyone, even a Foxonian journalist, who came to any conclusion in that bedlam of a so-called debate. Anyway, I was more focused on the other major issue of the night.

One of the first questions CNN moderator Jake Tapper asked of the multitude was what Carly Fiorina, the new darling of the Republican Party, thought of Donald Trump finding fault with her appearance? “Look at that face,” he opined in Rolling Stone magazine. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that is the face of our next President? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but, really, folks come on, are we serious?”

Tapper had put his pulse on the American people’s finger. The nation held its breath as Carly put on her most serious face. “I think women all over the country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” The audience in the Reagan Library erupted in cheers. Carly’s rebuttal will go down in the annals with Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or give me a good glass of Kentucky bourbon,” or whatever he actually said.

His soles held to the fire, Senor Trump did not flinch. A master of about face, who can turn on a dime on any important position, did not disappoint. Instead of the usual claims of being quoted out of context, misconstruing his meaning, it was just one of my raving monologues when I say the first thing comes into my pinhead, El Trump corrected the record: “I think she’s got a beautiful face, and she’s a beautiful woman.”

Trump’s nose seemed to be growing, but it must have been the camera angle.

Personally, I was more interested in the issue of who would pay for the wall El Presidente Trump is pledged to erect around Mexico, and would he allow advertising to defray the costs or did he have a defense d’ afficher policy?

Until this point of the campaign, Carly Fiorina to me was just another face in the crowd in the Republican race for the roses, a woman whose major qualification was her track record as CEO at Hewlett-Packard (HP). When she was fired by the corporation’s Board of Directors, her stay at HP ( 4+years) is taught in management schools as the worst CEO ever hired.

But the most memorable moment of the debate made me take a closer look at her face for the first time.

Well, maybe, it wasn’t the most beautiful face since Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand computers and printers at Iran, despite the fact that sanctions prevented such action. Marlowe, or Shakespeare, couldn’t have had Carly in mind when writing “Doctor Faustus.”

As a matter of fact, nobody really knew what Helen of Troy’s face that launched all those ships really looked like. They didn’t have Selfies in those days. It was hard to tell from ancient Greek vases that depicted her in c. 500-470. Her face was left as blank as a Miss America candidate. When Zeuxis, the innovative Greek painter (5th century BC), couldn’t find a woman with a face as beautiful as Helen’s for the first portrait, he selected the best features of five virgins.

Carly doesn’t even look like the Helen of Troy appearing in the 12th episode of Season One of “Xena: the Warrior Princess,” my favorite source of information about early Greek history.

On the other hand, there is no reason why Helen of Troy couldn’t have looked like Carly.

Ultimately, I decided Carly looks just like Carly

To be fair, Trump is not exactly an Adonis, either. He is not going to win any beauty prizes, whatever his mirror tells him when he does his hair for two hours prior to TV appearances such as a debate.

His mouth is too big. On the rare occasions when he listened to anybody else in the debate, the wrong side of his profile was on camera. His jutting jaw makes him look like the old comic page hero, Dick Tracy.

Then there is the important issue of the charismatic Carly of HP’s voice. It was said to give El Jefe Trump a headache. Every time I listen to Carly give her inspiring speech about how we need a businessperson like her in the White House, she gives me a migraine.

But this is more a case for Doc Carson, the shooting star who is the biggest debating sensation, next to Carly, according to the media. Mr. Magoo, as I’m starting to think of the Party’s Dr. Welby, the more I examine his qualifications beyond brain surgery, is the man who argues creationism is a better way to explain where we are today than the old theory of evolution. Uncle Ben is also the man who questions whether a Muslim should ever be elected president, regardless of Article VI, paragraph 3, of our political bible.

As edifying and entertaining as the so-called debates may be, I am beginning to agree with analyst Thel Kandel who argues we pundits have missed the real objective of the Republican primary circus. “The key is the immigration problem. The real answer is that it's a plan by the Republicans to make the U.S. look so bad that nobody will want to come here any more.”


Marvin Kitman
September 24, 2015

The writer ran for president in the Republican primaries of 1964. He lost.