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Megyn Kelly, GOP

Megyn Kelly wins.

At least that was the consensus a bold swath of the internet came to while watching the Fox News host wrangle co-moderate the first of about 80 Republican primary debates, this one starring the top 10 polling candidates, including Donald Trump, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush.

Though it's her usual demeanor to sound as though she's about to smack the silly out of whoever's in the hot seat opposite her, that smarter-than-thou tone served her well tonight opposite a field of gentlemen who are smugger than smug and probably not that used to being given what for. (Though they really do need to get used to that...)

"One of the things people love about you," Kelly began, addressing Trump (her tone mild but her face barely containing her bemusement), "is you speak your mind and you don't use a politician's filter. However, that is not without its downsides—in particular, when it comes to women.

"You've called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals--"

"Only Rosie O'Donnell," Trump interjected.

Letting the excited crowd at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena have their applause, Kelly rolled her eyes and continued: "For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O'Donnell. Your Twitter has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge of Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?"

We remember that! It was Brande Roderick, Ivanka Trump was sitting right next to her dad when he said it and the revolting moment is seared into our memories.

Donald Trump, GOP Debate


Anyway, Trump answered, slamming political correctness, but it was one of many ruler-wielding moments for Kelly, who moderated alongside Chris Wallace and Bret Baier with utmost authority, all of them asking a combination of their own questions, audience questions and questions inspired by data compiled on social media to reflect issues that the public is interested in.

"I think all of @'s questions should come from Megyn Kelly," opined one Twitter user, who enjoyed the resting, er...badass face.

"Honestly, Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry. I've been very nice to you, although I could probably not be based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn't do that," Trump threatened-promised.

But it wasn't only her handling of Trump that garnered virtual applause from the Twitterverse.

"Good for you, Megyn Kelly, calling Ben Carson an idiot right off the bat. #," Bill Maher tweeted just a couple minutes in.

Grilling Scott Walker in his virulent anti-choice stance, Kelly noted that 83 percent of voters are for a "life exception" and asked him point-blank, "Would you really let a mother die rather than let her have an abortion?" His answer was pretty much yes, so...

Canidates, GOP Debate

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

On the flip side, Michael Moore drew attention to the hashtag #MegynKellyDebateQuestions, and that thread led to a much scarier version of what was going on.

Some of the sample questions offered up included, "How many bridges would you close to prevent democrats from getting to the polls on Election Day?" and "Im a woman and find choice to be scary. Beyond policing my uterus, what other decisions will you help me make?" Then there was, "Do you think that guns have been given enough rights? Is there a way to protect unborn guns?"

"They don't look relieved. They're like, 'get me out of here,'" Kelly quipped upon the close of the debate, after each candidate had concluded with a 30-second statement.

And overall, while we'll leave it to the policy wonks to parse the let's-blame-Obama-for-everything-and-then-undo-the-progress-he-made remarks, Megyn Kelly was the one with the most promising returns. She's easily the one most likely to make it to the next debate.