By the time the major debate with Trump et al came on at 8:00pm, I had watched two hours of the B list debate (see next post) and my telepathic energy and curiosity had waned, though there were a few interesting aspects to report.
It seems now that any candidate who has spent time as a front-runner, e.g. Trump and before him Jeb Bush, must pay by becoming overly familiar and vulnerable to being toppled. Trump felt the difference and tried to counter it, though the network, hungering for Trump's past outrages, did not help him. CNN moderator Jake Tapper brought up Trump's attacks on Carly Fiorina's face, while the cameras broadcast that face to 25 million viewers so that we could all watch her struggle. But Trump, sensing the top-dog dilemma, was not in the mood to play that card, and backed out with, "Carly, I think you look beautiful," immediately after which he wondered if that sounded lame, if he would be left high-and-dry by attempts to be civil.
Fiorina is using Bush's setback and the possible weakening of Trump to shine a bit. During the "face" segment, she felt like a vice was squeezing her soul, but she showed some strength in getting through it, to her advantage. From her psyche all I could pick up was a blazing drive to win, but one of her handlers was present, and I read a concern that Fiorina should not use verbs like "crush" and "destroy" so much.
There were some interesting moments during the Iran deal debate when I gathered that all the candidates and media figures have received the word that no one, whether a supporter or detractor of the deal, is to depict it as an oil deal, though that is what it is; any peace involved will be the peace oil companies need for drilling. Because the climate change debate is coming to the fore, giant oil deals are not inspiring to the public. Better to argue about nuclear proliferation than oil drilling.
I honestly had trouble staying awake towards the end of the three somewhat pointless hours, though one bright spot got my attention: Ohio governor John Kasich delivered a lecture about the use of ad hominems by the candidates, urging a civil discourse. Almost in telepathic unison, every other candidate thought, "Shut up, you asshole!"