I just watched the early debate among the seven who did not make the polling cut. In my view, the clear winner was Carly Fiorina. While the other six were defensive trying hard to justify why they were in the race in the first place, Mrs. Fiorina was calm, self-assured, and abundantly knowledgeable. She addressed her position in the polls as coolly as possible: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama were in the same position at this point in their election cycles, too. Next question? Without sounding like she had to overdo it, she simply reminded the moderators and audience that she ran a large, global company, was a world leader and singularly knows technology, made many (including unpopular) tough decisions, and can unlock American potential because she knows the sector that will grow it. Because she knows technology and businesses likes Google, she knows an aspect of national security that the others simply did not. No in your face bravado, she would simply ask Donald Trump why he has changed his mind on amnesty and other issues. There is real principle and resolve here and she is a credible speaker and debater.

Carly Fiorina deserves a seat at the adult table. I think that Rick Perry does, too. His appearance was a tad hyper and even stalling at points, but he was governor for 14 years of the second largest state and oversaw a booming economy. He said he know how to grow an economy, create jobs, and secure a border in a difficult situation. Who is to argue? And how can a few tenths of a percent in a polling average keep him out of the central discussions within his own party? He seems to be a whole lot more prepared and to have grown as a national leader in the past three years.

I don't think any of the others helped themselves at all. Senator Lindsey Graham is a unique and principled legislator. He is an independent voice and has a willingness to negotiate and compromise. A brilliant prosecutor, he is actually fun to watch. He is just not a Presidential candidate. Neither is former Senator Rick Santorum. He may have won the Iowa caucuses and 10 other states in 2012, but he also singularly hurt the GOP brand in 2012 by discussing contraception. If anything helped re-elect President Barack Obama it was the 71% support he received among women under 30 - and the President can thank Santorum for a lot of that. The former Pennsylvania Senator also said he will not attend a gay wedding. That is just so 2010!

Governor Bobby Jindal is very bright but I am not sure anyone sees it. I don't. His popularity in Louisiana is in the thirties, he has been involved in some semantical schemes to appear to be keeping taxes low but promote revenue enhancements. And former Governors George Pataki and Jim Gilmore have just passed their prime. These three governors just seemed to be shrill, defensive, trying to justify a run for the Presidency that just doesn't meet the test.