Are y’all gonna watch the Repub debate tonight? I have a baseball conflict, but I am mighty tempted to tune in to the Gawky in Milwaukee because it’s sink or swim time for the waterlogged and pruney Florida governor. Just as I prefer to see walk-off grand slams against the New York Yankees live, I want to be watching if Christie or someone drops the anvil that sinks Rancid DeMeatball below the sauce line.
So, game-time call.
I’ve only seen DeSantis in debates a couple of times, but that’s enough to know he sucks at it. He blinks uncomprehendingly at barbs anyone could see coming a mile away. He gets peevish and defensive, and his head wobbles around like a bladder on a stick.
Knowing their candidate sucks ass at debating and that they have to reverse his polling slide pronto, Team DeSantis brought in GOP debate prep specialist Brett O’Donnell to make a silk purse out of a crabby sow’s ear. Politico predictably swooned at the news and lionized O’Donnell as “the GOP’s Debate Wizard — ‘He’s William Shakespeare and Vince Lombardi rolled into one.'”
Charles P. Pierce at Esquire responded with the masterclass mocking that load of hooey deserves:
And I can’t help but mention that O’Donnell’s CV includes a stint with The Girl With The Faraway Eyes.
When the next presidential cycle rolled around in 2012, O’Donnell signed on early to work for then-Rep. Michele Bachmann. His role gradually expanded from debate coach to being one of her most senior and trusted advisers. Shocking many pundits, her campaign saw an early meteoric rise fueled by strong debate performances over the summer of 2011, before a gradual collapse..”
And then the debate guru made the capital mistake of letting Bachmann out of the green room with the padded walls.
During a September 2011 GOP debate after Texas Gov. Rick Perry had surpassed her in the polls, Bachmann eviscerated Perry for issuing an executive order mandating HPV vaccines for schoolgirls to prevent cervical cancer, calling it a “government injection” that was a “violation of a liberty interest.” The well-scripted initial attack went as planned, as Perry said he’d made a mistake. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza declared Bachmann one of the “winners” after the debate.
I trust I don’t have to explain at this point in history what a wooden nickel that last distinction was. As TBOTP points out, Bachmann proceeded to triple down on her vaccine denialism and she is now in the phantom zone somewhere.
Yep. The problem with the Bachmann 2012 campaign was Bachmann. And as Pierce notes, “Ron DeSantis is a meathead running a world-historically bad campaign, and that will be the case even if he gets up on the stage and out-quips Vivek Ramaswamy.”
Still, if my team is miles ahead (and we’re in a series with the worst team in baseball at the moment, though you never know), I may have to watch the debate. The likelihood that it gets grisly for DeSantis is high, and though it doesn’t speak well of my character, I would enjoy that. A lot.