The Republican candidates earned themselves some good will after last week’s CNBC debate disaster. Even liberal media outlets were assailing the quality of the questions, the savviness of the moderators, and the production values of the debate. But put that many big egos together and it becomes an operation of herding cats.
That’s why Reince Priebus was right to take control of the debate process for the candidates. No, it is not perfect. There is never going to be a debate that is perfect. No, it did not avoid all the obvious pitfalls like having a known liberal like John Harwood deciding he was a debate sparring partner.
But as we are seeing from the responses of the candidates themselves, Reince Priebus made a good call to commandeer the process. The candidates each have a vested interest in making themselves look good. The RNC wants to actually host debates that help Republican voters make up their minds. There is a difference between the two.
The candidates had the perfect opportunity to work together, exercise control, and take back the process. They were incapable of doing it.
However flawed the present debate process is, we have it because in 2008 and 2012, Republican candidates could not say no to anyone and everyone jockeyed for position around everyone else. There were too many debates at too many outlets hosted by too many moderators who actively oppose the GOP.
We’ve had one crap debate this year and everyone is whining. But the candidates couldn’t even figure out how to move forward together as one.
Reince Priebus was right.