“I’m huge!  Someone wake him up.”

When I was in fifth grade I lost a bet of fifty cents to Bryan Owens.  I bet him that the Dallas Cowboys would beat the San Francisco 49ers in the 1981 NFC championship game.  Of course, Joe Montana and Dwight Clark had different ideas.  I learned a valuable lesson, though.  Don’t bet on things, especially if you have absolutely no control over the outcome.  You can count on one hand and have fingers left over the number of times since then that I have gambled on events.

But if I were to gamble, I think it would be fun to wager on the over/under for certain aspects for Wednesday’s Republican Debate.  Usually over/under is about stats–will the Patriots score over or under 29 points, will Lebron James have over or under 12 assists.  Things like that.  With that in mind, what is the over/under for certain things being mentioned or happening during the debate?  Keep in mind I am only referencing the main debate, not the cocktail hour debate.  The bold O or U in parenthesis is my guess as to over or under the number.

  • Email Server  O/U 4 (O)
  • Benghazi O/U 2 (O)
  • Bernie Sanders O/U 1 (U)
  • Rick Perry O/U 2 (U)
  • Chris Christie/Rand Paul argument O/U 1 (O)
  • Megyn Kelly O/U 5  (U)
  • Donald Trump says something racist/offensive O/U 3 (O)
  • Ben Carson makes a joke about surgery O/U 2 (U)
  • John Kasich says “Mailman” O/U 4 (O)
  • Scripture is quoted O/U 5 (U)
  • Donald Trump quotes scripture O/U 1 (O)
  • Kim Davis O/U 2 (O)
  • Planned Parenthood is referenced O/U 8 (U)
  • Carly Fiorina takes on Trump on an issue O/U 3 (O)
  • The word Florida is said O/U 15 (O)
  • The Iran Nuclear “Deal” is talked about (7) (U)
  • Audience “Boos” O/U 7 (O)
  • Huge O/U 21 (O)

I don’t think any of them want to mention Bernie Sanders because they want him to be the Democratic nominee.  Trump will mention Rick Perry as a “sleeps with the fishes” kind of warning for people who attack him, and I expect one of the questions might be about Perry dropping out.  As to Christie/Paul, I think there is at least a thirty percent chance that those two will arm wrestle, or at the least have some kind of physical contact.  Watch for it.  Fiorina will be feisty, particularly against Trump.  The Rubio/Bush/Florida connection might get a little nauseating.  Trump will quote scripture, probably more than once, because he realizes he needs to continue his ruse on the Evangelical vote.  Watch the quotations though, I suspect they will be out of context or weirdly applied to justify his own wealth and arrogance or his absurd immigration stance.

In terms of other trends, I think CNN will come at this with a different bent than FOX did.  I expect questions about #Blacklivesmatter, particularly to Carson and Trump.  I suspect there will be questions about the Migrant-Refugee crisis in Europe as well as more foreign policy issues regarding ISIS and Russia.  I also think that at some point a CNN questioner will say something like “Now that unemployment has dropped down to 5.1%, do you still think that President Obama’s policies are not working.”  I also think we’ll get more broad reaching questions about immigration, and that might be when Christie and Paul arm wrestle, because of Christie’s desire to build a wall between the U.S. and Canada.

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Back in the days, the dark ages, when I was active on MySpace—that’s been a long time now, I commented on my MySpace blog frequently during the election cycle of 2008.  I had great fun analyzing the debates, the elections, and the media coverage.  I haven’t done that yet on this blog because the election cycle hasn’t really gotten under way much.  But tonight I tuned in for a few moments (not the whole thing, but a few moments) to the Republican Debate.  I thought I would offer some advice to the candidates.

(DISCLAIMER—PASTOR GREENBEAN IN NO WAYENDORSES ANY CANDIDATE OR POLITICAL PARTY.  HE IS FAR TOO CYNICAL ABOUT POLITICS.  FOR HIM WATCHING POLITICS IS LIKE WATCHING A SPORTING EVENT.  PASTOR GREENBEAN BELIEVES ONLY JESUS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.)  notice I talk about myself in the third person…that’s called escapism because I wish I was big-time enough to have an editor to write those disclaimers for me.

Now, before I get to the advice, a note on coverage.  CNN did not do a very good job with this one.  So, now for the advice.

  • 1.  Diversity would be a good thing in the candidates.  The field is dominated by graying white guys.  Herman Cain has an outside shot, Bachmann looked like a dear in headlights (not to mention she received very few questions . . . hum?) but we need some real diversity here.  How about someone speaking a little Spanish or maybe two or three other ladies?  It looked like a group of Baptist preachers.
  • 2.  The mainstream-type candidates had better watch out because Ron Paul is fired up.  He got huge applause.  Of the group he is probably the only one I would like to go have lunch with.  True, he is running, I think, for the election cycle of 1912, not 2012 but at least he is exciting.
  • 3.  The ones in the race ought to gang up on Newt Gingrich and get him out.  As long as he is around, he will suck up all the usable oxygen.  I don’t mean to sound divisive, but he really can’t win but he will deflect time away from someone who might be able to (like Pawlenty or a Romney, or maybe Cain).
  • 4.  The GOP needs to stop talking about “Obamacare” in completely reactionary tones.  It is okay not to like it, but it sounds denigrating to use that type of language.  By using the GOP candidates do not separate themselves at all from the talk-show talking head crowd.  Be elegant in your argument—hire some wordsmiths and speechwriters for crying-out-loud.
  • 5.  We voters like to vote for something, not against something.  The overall feeling that we saw tonight was negative and not positive.  It was the positive “change” motif that got President Obama elected and the GOP candidate that wins the nomination and perhaps have a shot at being president (a slim shot, I add) will have to find something positive too.
  • 6.  Someone (apologies to Bachmann) should grow a beard.  I guarantee the candidate that grows a full beard will have a gigantic bump in the polls.  Many of us bearded men would become single-issue voters in favor of the fellowship of the facial follicle.

Okay, that’s enough advice for now.  I wish there were also a Democrat race like last time.  Democrats are far more fun.  Watching Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama was always fun for me.  Tonight’s debate was so boring I turned it off to go get some work done.  Work!  I chose work instead of listening to them, and I like debates.


************Update************It appears I misjudged the performance of Bachmann.  The post-debate media critique seems to think she did very well.  I didn’t see that part of the debate; but maybe she’ll make it interesting.  I hope so.