Taking a pass on the not-so-great debate

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Making Sense by Michael Reagan

Excuse me for skipping the great debate Thursday night between the governors of Florida and California.

I had better things to do than watch a meaningless political debate between Red State hero Ron DeSantis and Blue State hero Gavin Newsom.

Anyway, I’ve already suffered enough political pain in the last few months.

I’ve watched what seemed like a dozen presidential primary debates – Republican Party exhibition games, really – starring a bunch of second- and third-stringers who haven’t made a dent in the lead of its future 2024 candidate Donald Trump.

And now I was supposed to watch a made-up-for-TV studio wrestling match between two governors who will not be running for president in 2024? No thanks.

I didn’t really need to watch the debate.

Writing this on Thursday afternoon, I can easily predict Thursday night’s winners and losers: Red State people will say DeSantis won and Blue State people and the liberal media will say Newsom won.

But both governors have little to gain by engaging each other now.

Even if DeSantis humiliates Newsom tonight, it won’t help him vault past Trump and win the Republican Party nomination for 2024.

I don’t know what he would gain or why his campaign advisers think meeting face-to-face with Newsom was a good idea.

What are the pluses for DeSantis? To prove Red States do better than Blue States? It’s true, but only people in Red States will believe that.

In any case, DeSantis is already loved in the Red States and he’s proved he’s been a great Republican governor who’s turned a purple state deep red.

But as we’ve said here before, he’s also proved he’s a lousy debater. Why prove it again?

He knows how to defend himself well from attacks by the Florida media. But when he’s in a lineup of Republican candidates on a debate stage he’s been stiff, has had a hard time competing and at times has almost seemed to disappear.

Meanwhile, while DeSantis has been wasting time prepping for an unnecessary debate with Newsom, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been kicking his butt in the Iowa primary polls.

As for slick Gavin Newsom, he won’t get much benefit from winning tonight’s debate even if he leaves his fellow presidential wannabe in tears.

His twisting road to the White House bypasses DeSantis and goes right through the office door of VP Kamala Harris.

His easiest shot at moving into the Biden administration would be for the Democrat Party bosses to have him replace Harris as VP and have Harris hop over to the Attorney General’s desk after Merrick Garland retires.

I haven’t heard anyone put forth that clever scheme, but I’m not betting it won’t happen.

With Biden becoming more mentally incapacitated by the day in front of the whole world, putting Newsom in the VP spot would be an astute move by Democrats.

Newsom would allay the Democrats’ fear of the 25th Amendment being invoked to remove a re-elected President Biden because they would have someone with a brain who could step in for him instead of Harris, who has no brains.

So, it’s pretty clear that neither DeSantis nor Newsom will benefit much from their “Great Debate.”

The only sure winners will be Trump (again), moderator Sean Hannity, who put the contrived match together, and Fox News, which might score higher than usual ratings.

That’s why instead of enduring another forgettable political debate that ends in a 0-0 tie, I’ll be enjoying the Seahawks-Cowboys game on Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime.

At least I know there will be a clear winner.

Copyright 2023 Michael Reagan, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to [email protected] and follow @reaganworld on Twitter.