2016 Presidential ElectionAt VIFreepNational News

From One Vanity Candidate To Another: Donald Trump Will Ride Out Into The Sunset

carly fiorina




By JOHN McCARTHY/Virgin Islands Free Press

The word going into the debate was: How is Donald Trump going to do?

And nobody said it better than John Weaver: “Imagine a NASCAR driver preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk. That’s what prepping for this debate is like.”

Some newspapers in the Midwest had compared Trump’s Teflon factor to Keith Richards’ longevity – the campaign and the person, respectively, that no one could kill. Even Bret Baier of Fox News admitted what some music reporters acknowledged while waiting to talk to Richards – they got weak in the knees.

“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that I have woken up in cold sweats wondering how I’m going to deal with a Donald Trump who’s not listening,” Baier told TIME magazine prior to the debate.

All along the American fascination with Trump as he elegantly bumped and harrumphed along the campaign stumps was: How low will he go?

Now that the first debate is in the record books, the question is: How low will he fall in the polls? And fall he will, mark my words.

Clearly, by all accounts (meaning social media) Cara Carleton “Carly” Fiorina of Texas won the debate. Like most Americans, I had to Google her to make sure I got the spelling right on her first and last names.

Fiorina might have hit all of her home runs in the B League game; but, the fact that she has major league mettle was noticed by the “owners” of the league and we can count on the Austin native to be called up to the big leagues for the next debate once the new polling is announced.

You don’t think the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard isn’t tough to have risen as far as she did in the corporate world? I thought Chris Christie might be best to negotiate with Putin, but after last night’s showing, who can say Fiorina wouldn’t do it best?

In the main event, it would be difficult to say that Marco Rubio didn’t “win” the debate, because he did. By pointing out that most of the illegal immigrants now come from “Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras,” Rubio not only made Trump seem out of touch, but misinformed when he lambastes Mexican illegals.

“I also believe we need a fence,” Rubio said. “The problem is if El Chapo builds a tunnel under the fence, we have to be able to deal with that too. And that’s why you need an e-verify system and you need an entry-exit tracking system and all sorts of other things to prevent illegal immigration.”

A close second would be home town hero John Kasich; but, no matter how competent and caring Kasich appeared – it is hard to imagine how he could qualify to be anything more than vice president. The intellectual dishonesty in claiming the “economic growth” America had under President Clinton in the 1990s as his own doing in balancing the budget didn’t just take stones, it makes you wonder if he wasn’t stoned when he said it.

Third place is a tie between Chris Christie of New Jersey and Ted Cruz of Texas. Some of the female commentators in the national media felt that Christie was one of the losers in the debate because of the way he went after Rand Paul in the controversy over the U.S. government spying on its own citizens under the guise of rooting out terrorism. One went so far as to say that it made Christie look “small,” which is very hard to imagine indeed.

Cruz seemed very comfortable in the debate, and as I was unfamiliar with his voice, I was surprised at how commanding it sounded, but after a while it did strike me as sermonizing, which was confirmed when he mentioned that his Cuban father was a Christian minister. What I don’t understand is, how can Cruz, born in Canada, run for President of the United States? I guess the argument goes that his mother was an American citizen at his birth. Where is Donald Trump when we need him?

The best (and most surprising) canned line went like this when “Likeable” Mike Huckabee said:

“It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who’s very high in the polls, that doesn’t have a clue about how to govern. A person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead, and, of course, I’m talking about Hillary Clinton.”

Huckabee was measured and professional in his delivery of the two sentences, and Trump could be heard in the background saying “thank you” or some other such thing when it was over.

Scott Walker of Wisconsin mentioned coming into the debate that he is a normal person who likes to shop at Kohl’s – my prediction: this nomination period will not keep Walker from doing just that – without interruption – once he formally drops out of the competition.

Brain surgeon Ben Carson got a few chuckles at the end when he mentioned that he was the only one on the stage to have done certain things.

“I’m the only one to separate siamese twins, the only one to operate on babies while they were still in the mother’s womb, the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it,” Carson said.

Jeffrey Lord, the lone conservative on CNN’s elections panel, allowed that “Jeb (Bush) makes W. appear well-spoken.”

But in the end Carson’s candidacy is a vanity candidacy every bit as much as Trump’s is. On CNN after the debate, Carl Bernstein said that he has known The Donald a long time and felt that Trump had already achieved his goal in running for president – to become the most famous person in the world.

When another commentator said that Trump was “drunk with power,” CNN host Anderson Cooper felt the need to mention that the New York real estate magnate doesn’t actually drink.

So “DT” isn’t likely to get the DTs – but I might – because I need a drink to come down after last night’s debate.


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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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