Over at Vox, Matthew Yglesias says Jeb Bush should just drop out of the race now and endorse Rubio. Here are the most salient points of his argument:
Bush is also literally the only person on the planet earth who will be utterly incapable of tapping into a sense that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is a bit of a tired retread.
Marco Rubio, by contrast, is a dynamic public speaker and gutsy political risk-taker (recall that he got to the Senate by beating a sitting governor in a primary) who impresses staffers on both sides of the aisle who’ve worked with him. Rubio performs better than Bush in head-to-head polling against Clinton.
Yglesias is dead-wrong about Rubio being gutsy — recall how Rubio caved to the Neanderthals in his own party on immigration, curling up into the fetal position, whimpering and cupping his privates before voting against his own bill. It wasn’t exactly a profile in courage.
And winning the Senate seat over Charlie Crist was more a matter of luck than skill: Rubio was smart enough to ride the tea party wave, but so were many drooling mouth-breathers nationwide in 2010. It’s not a testament to Rubio’s political savvy or intellectual rigor to have been lifted by the same tsunami that temporarily deposited a loudmouthed deadbeat like Joe Walsh on the shores of Congress.
However, I think Yglesias is correct when he notes that Bush is the only candidate who utterly neutralizes the “retread” argument against Clinton. That said, Yglesias fails to note that Rubio isn’t very smart, which is certainly a relevant factor, though obviously not disqualifying in US politics. Still, it’s journalistic malpractice to not to even mention it.
As Yglesias observes, Bush has plenty of money to stay in the race, even if he’s a lackluster candidate. I’m still hoping his fat stacks carry him to the nomination.
Trump? Schmump! To repeat what I said in Zandar’s thread below, Trump has already peaked. The moment he decided to “tone it down,” he threw away the one thing that made him interesting to the Trumpenproletariat: his willingness to say the outrageous things they think on national TV.
Trump is a successful “reality TV star,” but he can’t credibly pull off “aspiring statesman.” His fate was sealed when he moronically decided to switch roles, but it will be fun to watch the Trump bubble deflate.