- Van Jones: Like most, I thought Carly Fiorina was tonight's big winner
- Fiorina reminds me of a more human Romney, she is a polished and poised debater
The weak field helped. Trump kicked Jeb Bush around like a failed prospect on :The Apprentice." Bush's biggest applause line was defending his brother, which I'm sure the Hillary Clinton campaign loved. Nearly all rushed to promise magical toughness fixes to the Middle East and more deportations, while failing to mention the economy until it was an excuse not to act on climate change.
Fiorina reminds me of a more human Mitt Romney. She is a polished and poised debater. The question is whether her business track record of mass layoffs comes back to haunt her, as it did Romney.
But on Wednesday tonight, she combined personal stories with policy specifics better than anyone else on the stage. Asked about drug policy reform, she gave a heartbreaking account of the loss of a child that moved every watching parent of all parties -- and then transitioned seamlessly into a conservative case for reforming our criminal justice system.
That answer was all the more impressive because it came in the midst of a number of strong responses that showed the broad consensus on scaling back our system of mass incarceration. Kudos to CNN's Jake Tapper for posing a question that moved us past Trump's noisy racism, and provoked Bush's apology to his mom, Fiorina's tearjerker, and a healthy dose of substance.