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The GOP Debate Scorecard (Master Persuader Series) - Dilbert Blog

The GOP Debate Scorecard (Master Persuader Series)

If your firewall is being uncooperative, see the image on Twitter here.

If you have a life, and you missed the GOP debate on Saturday night, let me give you the highlights.

Trump: Trump acted controlled and more presidential to counter the idea that he’s a loose cannon. That strategy looked effective to me. And as Trump often does, he produced one irresistible piece of news candy by suggesting he was in favor of some sort of unspecified torture. It was classic Trump. He likes to focus attention on anchors that are easy to discuss, easy to understand, and have a visual component. Who is toughest on terrorism, you wonder? Probably the pro-torture candidate. That’s what your irrational mind tells you.

Trump slipped-in one good line about Cruz stealing Carson’s vote to win Iowa. Had Trump said more on that topic, it would have been whiney. But a jokey reminder was just right.

Cruz: Cruz did nothing to help or hurt himself. He seemed unimportant this debate.

Christie: Christie had his best debate night, especially his Linguistic Kill Shot about Rubio being a robot who can’t stop repeating canned modules of policy. Rubio responded by repeating canned modules of policy. People noticed. 

Christie’s kill shot was a fresh field and it fit what we have been thinking about Rubio but never put into words. It also throws Rubio off his game because it will force him to adjust. Now the press and the public are looking for his robotic repetition.

The funny part is that all candidates repeat their memorized modules all the time. But something about Rubio’s game makes the robot accusation fit him better than it would the rest of the field. I think people see Rubio as a manufactured candidate designed by the GOP establishment.

Chris Christie turned Rubio’s “electability” into “He’s a robot programmed by the elites.” That is some Master Persuader genius right there. And that means one of two things. Either…

1. Christie figured out Trump’s Linguistic Kill Shot designs and launched one of his own, perfectly engineered, as Trump would.

or

2. The Linguistic Kill Shot came from Trump. It has his fingerprints all over it.

There is a non-zero chance that the Christie kill shot was designed by the Trump campaign. Trump was on his best behavior at the debate, as a strategy, but Trump needed to put a cap in Rubio’s ass to slow his rise. Trump and Christie seemed a bit chummy last night. How hard would it be for the Trump campaign to pass along that kill shot?

In the 2D world, all of the candidates are flinging random insults and some of them stick. In the 3D world, you don’t see well-engineered Linguistic Kill Shots emerge from someone who doesn’t normally use them. 

I see Trump’s fingerprints.

This is a good time to remind you that the Master Persuader Series is for entertainment only. I don’t like any of the candidates’ stated positions. Luckily, they don’t mean most of what they say.

If you think Robots Read News is too wordy, you should see my book. That thing is full of words.