On Thursday, the GOP's presidential candidates will get together and debate.

Tonight, they merely "got together" with predictable results.     

There they were – You're looking at eleven of the seventeen announced Republican candidates appearing together on a stage in Manchester, New Hampshire.

They were joined by three sitting U.S. senators who are running — participating from Washington, D.C.

But they weren't all there to directly debate one another when they disagreed over important policy points. 

Instead, they responded individually and separately to questions from a moderator.

So, there was no contact between the candidates, no engagement and the event became a series of one-on-one interviews in which the candidates did their best to distinguish themselves in a format that made it almost impossible to stand out.

So, should any candidate at this event celebrate a victory, or lose sleep over a loss?

No! The way I saw it, there were no winners or losers, because there couldn't be.  

But I sincerely hope that viewers who watched the entire two hours learned something that made it worth their time.
Finally, if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned Donald Trump, it's not because I don't want to. It's because he wasn't at this event.

But he will be front and center in the debate Thursday night, which is why this week may be remembered for having an impact on the presidential race, even if tonight's forum has none.

(Copyright (c) 2015 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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