It's time for The Bachelor to move over.
CNBC made its contribution to the hottest new reality series Wednesday night with The Candidate, better known as The National GOP Debate from Boulder, CO. Unlike the 1972 film, The Candidate, in which Robert Redford's character became more focused and relevant as the movie progressed, the individuality of the candidates quickly faded as it became a mutual love fest ("I agree with Sen. Cruz," "Thank you, Ben," "Jeb is correct," etc.) Taking a page from the Democratic debate, rather than taking out each other, they came together, determined and united against Hillary as the "deserving demon." By the closing statements, it was hard to tell one from the other.
Actually, the night's big standout was a very funny Lindsay Graham at the "kids table" pre-debate earlier in the evening. But, the real debate was not between the individual candidates, but between the candidates and the "moderators." There was much more contention about who said what "truth," and who took more time. Senator Chris Christie complained that one of the moderators was rude even by New Jersey standards and Senator Rubio branded the mainstream media as a Super PAC for the Democrats, with all of the candidates complaining that the questions they got were much tougher than the ones directed at the Democrats last week. And so it persists, the reality theme we've been hearing all along: the standoff between the perceived liberal elites vs populist conservatives is still going strong.
A moment of reality: when Trump won thunderous applause for reminding the audience that he and Dr. Carson had negotiated with the network to trim the debate from three to two hours so "we can all get the hell out of here."
A moment of unreality: would you feel more comfortable, like Mr. Trump, if all the people at your workplace carried guns?
The series continues as we will eventually see who becomes the Survivor.