Tomorrow's long-awaited debate will irreparably change the field

On Wednesday, the nation will receive the gift that keeps on giving: another episode of the Republican Debate. "Round 2," as the news media has dubbed it. As we rev up for the second Republican debate, keep these vital changes in mind.

Hillary apologizes

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the press after attending the annual Women's Empowerment Principles event at UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (Niu Xiaolei/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)

This debate marks the first opportunity for the whole GOP field to simultaneously condemn former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after her official apology for the email fiasco. Her constantly evolving story has led many to distrust any narrative she provides. Thankfully, her campaign has hit the hard reset button, and is trying to move forward with "tabula rasa" in hand. But, make no mistake, times have not been direr for the Clinton campaign than they are now.

Bernie has lead in NH and now IA

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday, July 18, 2015, at the Phoenix Convention Center. (Ben Moffat/The State Press)

Vermont Senator (I) Bernie Sanders has set another milestone in his campaign; he now leads Hillary Clinton in both New Hampshire and Iowa. This should be a warning sign to the Republicans, Bernie is a real threat to be taken seriously. If this does not herald an ideological shift among the voting Democratic base, I don’t know what does. Will they take pot shots at the Socialist tomorrow night? Or will they keep assaulting Clinton head on?

While on the note of challengers, there are some new people who could be contenders, who could still be somebody, and one who definitely can’t.

Perry is out. Fiorina is in.

Carly Fiorina speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National at National Harbor on Feb. 26, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Zuma Press/TNS)

Perhaps it’s the mounting pressure from his felony charges, but some mysterious factor has forced former Texas Governor Rick Perry out of the Republican race — the first candidate to depart, narrowing the list of “Republican Hopefuls” down to a meager 16. Wow. What a shocker. In addition, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has ascended to a much-coveted spot at the big kids’ table on Wednesday.

Trump welcomes the challenge, like a belligerent Klingon warrior. Carly Fiorina, step into the ring... Two business people enter, one businessperson leaves.

Colbert is on

Stephen Colbert backstage the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 22, 2013, at Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live, in Los Angeles, California. (Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Colbert now has taken over "The Late Show." In beloved Jon Stewart’s absence, Colbert remains the only late night act to truthfully report politics to us.

His guest list has been fully loaded from day one, and his opportune premiere has given him the timing to analyze and smash the Republican side like he did in the good old days of the "Colbert Report." He is the same wit he always was, now free to speak his mind in a frankness not permitted through his long-standing persona. He will roast the GOP on Thursday, have no doubt about that.

Ben Carson's ascension; Donald Trump's possible plateau?

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to the audience during a campaign rally on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, at the Phoenix Convention Center. (Jacob Stanek/The State Press)

With Ben Carson coming within four percent of Donald Trump in this poll from CBS/New York Times, and beating him among more well-educated Republicans, the real debate will be between the two dark horse candidates. Can Carson’s calm demeanor withstand a prolonged, pointed bombardment from the S.S. Trump?

With regards to Trump, what is there to say? He is still a ratings maniac, whose stranglehold on the media has never been more omnipresent. He has continued pummeling Bush in the polls, and has maintained his acceleration to becoming the Republican Nominee. He ranks at 33 percent. Trump Fever is hitting the nation hard. When will these vivid hallucinations of a carrot running the GOP Clown Car off a cliff cease? He can’t rise much further…Can he?

That’s what we all can’t wait to find out after Wednesday’s Republican debate on CNN. Watch the weenie debate at 3 p.m. if you’re so inclined, but definitely be sure to tune in to a real deal at 5 o'clock! 


Reach the columnist at hfinzel@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @OnlyH_man

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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