On Thursday all 17 major Republican candidates for the GOP nomination for president squared off in two separate venues. The bottom seven polling candidates spoke at 5 p.m. (ET) The top 10 polling candidates got the spotlight at 9 p.m. (ET).
In light of the performances of all 17, here is my list, at this moment, who I believe are the top five wannabes to get the nod at the Republican convention in June.
1. John Kasich – Kasich, current governor of Ohio, came into the race late and squeaked into the Top 10. His delivery, command of the subjects, his record, his more moderate positions and ability to work with Democrats, makes him a formidable candidate and one who will appeal to the Establishment, independents and disenchanted Democrats in a general election.
2. Marco Rubio – The junior senator from Florida displayed a command of the issues, responded to questions asked directly, showed he is politically savvy and his record, though a favorite of many on far right, displays he can work with Democrats in Congress to get things done or reach common ground.
3. Dr. Ben Carson – Though a non-politician, Carson has been doing his home work. He is affable and can crack a joke as without it coming across canned or prepared. He has a personality that says he is not an egotist like a certain other candidate.
4. Carly Fiorina – Though I see her more as a vice presidential nominee, Fiorina showed in the first forum that she is a force with which to be reckoned. She clearly mastered the men on the stage with her. She also had better jabs at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton than any of the Top 10. She was knowledgeable and concise in her responses.
5. Jeb Bush – While I am not a big fan, some of the anecdotal stories such as one by fellow CNN iReporter, unBroken1, depict my distant cousin as being a down-to-earth guy with whom it is easy to talk. His performance was lackluster, but he was on point during the debate. His record in Florida depicts him as someone who knows how government operates and how to work with others. He knows how to play with others and share his toys.
While I am not yet solid on any of the GOP group, this is how I see things at this juncture. My view on the Democratic slate will have to wait until October when the Dems have their first debate.
From the Desert with my feet firmly planted in the Cornfield, I am sharing my perspective on the candidates post-debate.
And who are your top five?