Well, this time, everybody knows. Donald Trump was a no-show at the GOP debate in Iowa, sponsored by Fox News and Google; He held his own event, a “Veterans Benefit”, on CNN , and got all the Nielsen ratings. Relatively few people watched the “real” debate between Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Kasich, and Rand Paul. The “also rans” (Huckabee, Florina, Santorum and Gilmore) seemed to be hanging around the Trump event, especially Santorum and Huckabee (appearing on Don Lemon’s 10 PM program).
Relatively little that is new was said last night by anyone. I watched them both simultaneously, while doing a blog post on my music, some of which was composed while I lived in New Jersey in 1974 – and I thought, Chris Christie would be pleased (when I said so in the post). Cruz is said to have had a rough night, without Trump right there to answer to (Washington Post account by Jonathan Hohmann). Rubio sounded a little more moderate, at least on immigration. I didn’t catch a remark on marriage equality denial. Apparently Cruz’s Canadian birth didn’t come up – except that Trump said he can run for Prime Minister of Canada. and even called Cruz an "anchor baby for Canada". “Risk is interesting.” And Cruz called his party fellows "stupid, fat, and ugly"? What? Rubio is actually cute! "
Rehka Basu, columnist, is reporting on CNN that those without press credentials (i.e. "amateur" bloggers) were not admitted to Trump's event. That's interesting.
Check Jonathan Chait's piece in New York Magazine, "The Trump Party v. The Republican Party".
And on Slate, Jordan Weissman writes "Cruz to the Sick: Drop Dead".
Wikipedia attribution link for FEMA picture of Des Moines during the 1993 floods (p.d.). I visited the area lot when I lived in Minneapolis 1997-2003.