A few thoughts on the emerging contours of the 2016 presidential race: Having observed Bush family black ops at the state and federal level for a combined 16-plus years, I thought Jeb would be able to pull this nomination thing off. I was wrong. He’s toast. So there goes my dream of watching another Bush lose to another Clinton. We’ll have to settle for the satisfaction of Jeb being kicked to the curb by a vacuous, ambitious former underling instead.
Carson and Trump are toast too. They just don’t know it yet. So is Fiorina. So is Kasich. So are Christie, Huckabee, Paul and any other nonentities I’ve left out. The GOP nomination comes down to Cruz and Rubio, and I think Rubio wins. He’s more palatable to the establishment; he is conventionally handsome, and he has a pleasing (if sing-songy) speaking voice. Cruz has pissed off too many important people, has an irritating adenoidal voice and is funny looking in a general kinda way — more than most people, even.
So, Hillary vs. Marco. Former US Secretary of State vs. occasional US Senator. Pantsuit vs. empty suit. Piece of cake, right? Not so fast. Jon Chait, who is often wrong, is dead right here:
Rubio now inherits from the vanquished Bush the role of champion of Bushonomics and the general Bush strategy of combining folksy personal appeals, tiny dollops of policy for the working class, liberal instincts on immigration, and a fanatical devotion to the policy agenda of the party’s donor class. Rubio is more like George W. Bush than Jeb Bush ever was. By the time the campaign is over, not only will all of Jeb’s donors have defected to Rubio, Poppy Bush may be signing over Jeb’s share of the family inheritance to Rubio.
If you lived through the 2000 election and watched any of the post-debate hot takes on TV last night, you might have experience déjà vu while observing the blooming of a massive media man-crush on Rubio. It echoes the late 20th century Beltway realization that they liked the cut of that folksy, plain-spoken cowpoke GWB’s jib. Is Rubio a callow fool and a liar? Of course he is, but that doesn’t matter a whit.
George W. Bush wasn’t a Texas cowpoke in real-life either but rather the no-account wastrel scion of Northeastern bluebloods. The Bushies may have aspired to create their own reality, but the Beltway does it for real. Think they can’t turn a brainless, mendacious haircut who mouths plutocrat-friendly platitudes for profit into a scrappy, dreamy underdog who is heroically building a bridge to the 21st & 1/16th century? It’s what they do.
I’m not saying 2016 will be a repeat of 2000. Bernie Sanders is no Naderesque spoiler. And while it’s true that Hillary isn’t as natural a politician as Obama or her husband, she’s better at it than Gore, I think. She’s not running away from a successful president’s accomplishments. And she knows what she’ll be up against with the media, whose kneecapping of Gore had such ghastly consequences for the entire planet.
I don’t think the Clinton brain trust will underestimate Rubio’s fresh-face appeal. I just hope they’re up to countering the media narrative. Because in 2000, that’s what mattered — that’s what made it close enough to steal.
What do you think?
Great blogpost and decision tree, Betty.
Maybe it will be Rubio. Callow is the word. I don’t see him pulling it off unless there’s a death on the Democratic side. A bit surprised Kasich hasn’t attained more traction; New Hampshire is months away still.
I think the Democrats will turn out to work and to vote. Citizens United has reminded them how crucial the Supreme Court is, and the next president’s picks are going to set the course for another generation.
Wish we could trust the media. The GOP whines, but it’s actually the Democrats that suffer the media’s blows. Big media is careerist and cowardly.
Rubio’s open borders will be his undoing.
Trump will have to take Kasich or Rubio as VP, depending on which state will be tougher in the general.
Rubio is balding, he is only handsome in comparison to the other GOP candidates. Trump is still leading in the polls. Why are you echoing MSM memes?
Who’s hot and who’s not with the the Serious Political Press becomes a blur after a while. The press slaps one poster on its wall, wanks to it for a few weeks, spies a hot new thing, tears down the poster, pulls off the blu-tac and uses it to stick up the new poster…
However, the press can do what it wants, the GOP lost the ability to elect a president who is not a 100% RealMurkin male before the first Bush left office.
Trump is not gonna go quietly into that good night, not afterr he stays racking up delegates in those winner take all primaries in Marvh.
I’m providing my opinion, thanks.
The big thing that Clinton has going for her is that she isn’t worried about her reputation with the press; she knows they already hate her and are perfectly willing to distort and lie about anything she says to make her look bad. Since she knows that actually being civil won’t protect her against accusations of incivility, that frees her up to be brutally honest about what a lying a sack of shit the Republican nominee is. (Obviously that attack will work no matter who the Republicans nominate, see diagram above.)
@Betty Cracker: Suddenly after yesterday’s debate Rubio is the media darling. I found it curious that your opinion coincides with that meme, that’s all.
Your decision tree is a work of genius, with which I agree 100%.
Rubio will turn out to be as lame as Walker, Jeb!, and everyone else. Still think Trump gets the nomination, but if Rubio does then Rubio can expect a merciless drubbing by Hillary. He has no chance.
Rubio has some troublesome real estate issues.
Strangely enough, Joe Scarborough, was not high on Rubio this morning and repeatedly accused him of lying. I wonder if that will have any effect on Republicans. Joe actually seems to prefer Trump over Carson and Rubio both. I haven’t heard him opine about Cruz.
You could be right. I think that’s been happening for the last several months and does happen every cycle. But at some point, the press pack seems to coalesce around someone for real, and I think I saw that happening last night with Rubio. I hope I’m wrong, actually. I’d rather see Hillary go up against one of the other GOP knobs.
Appearances do matter. It would probably be better for everyone if this were not true, but it is.
And speaking of appearance, Hillary and Bernie look good together. Lots of nice energy there.
@Josie: Carson belongs in a lunatic asylum not the Presidential debate stage.
A big difference for me between W and Rubio is W. had the entirety of the Republican establishment behind him; Rubio does not and can not in this atmosphere.
Plus, W. was a governor of a large state, which I think trumps part time Senator.
Right. What’s going on is like a sports commentator putting any significance on who is ahead and behind three miles into a marathon.
Rubio only if it goes to the convention. Cruz has his own dominionist billionaire backers. I think he will eventually the be one who wins Iowa and South Carolina. Reviewing last night, Rubio’s win is a media creation.
I’d actually like to see Bush eke back into the race, if only to prove that these stupid Debates and all the predictionating of the poohbahs dosn’t matter. Of course the media wants you to think that 12 televised debates are necessary and important and provide the defining moments of the primary campaign and that failures to do well in them is the most important thing. They sell advertising for them and the media likes the idea that it is the most savvy of all the savvy power brokers. If Jeb is done, I don’t want the media to be able to point to this moment as the point of undoing. I would like a dead cat bounce.
Rubio’s like a balloon made of cheesecloth. The more hot air pumped into him, the faster he will deflate.
Not to mention stupider than a box of rocks.
So he’s balding. So what? Really, the least of his hindrances.
It does look like Rubio will get the Establishment vote… but Cruz, Trump, and possibly Carson will not just sink quietly. I agree that Republicans will nominate someone, but Rubio has to rise in the polls first.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Dumbya was callow (to put it kindly) and I think Rubio, when he’s prepared by his team, can speak in complete sentences and even paragraphs. He stumbles off script, but not as badly as Bush II or even I. I suspect HRC would tie him knots in a debate, but we’ll see.
I don’t see Sanders as a spoiler either, but he does seem to have come to believe he can win, which is gonna make the primary nastier and could cause some hurt feelings. Somebody needs to remind Tad Devine, veteran of the Gore campaign, what can happen when you make your unicorn the enemy of a plodding workhorse. My longshot bet is that we’re gonna see a lot of write-in votes in 2016, for Sanders, Trump, Carson and maybe even Santorum (though I guess Li’l Marco passes “babies” test for my remaining aunts and those who vote like them).
Will Jeb! make it to the primaries? Will he stay through New Hampshire?
What are the chances Romney becomes a candidate? How late could we get an interloping candidate?
@Betty Cracker: Rubio’s past immigration heresy is going to be his undoing. I am not sure he can overcome that with the GOP base, good looks and charm not withstanding.
@schrodinger’s cat: Agreed.
Sure, it’ll work. But it always seems Dems are loathe to use it. Obama less so. And Gore was the worst! What stopped him from saying, “These guys are openly lying; here’s proof!”?
Fiorina Part II
Nope. Rubio committed the unpardonable sin of promoting immigration reform. Plus not conventionally white. Plus “former” Mormon (that WILL be plastered to windshields). With a sizable contingent of the party being riled up specifically on nativism, they won’t be able to navigate that turn.
@NotMax: That’s a strike against his so called boyish good looks. Not everyone is Captain Picard, who can pull off being bald and sexy at the same time.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Oh, they’ve been crushing on Marco since he was elected to the Senate, the smart young rising star reform icon! Tweety frequently refers to him as smart
ETA: and I agree with those who say immigration could be his undoing (one of the reasons I think Trump will get a lot of write in votes), but I am surprised it hasn’t been more of a drag. I guess Cruz could use it against him if he succumbs to the belief he can win. I don’t worry about Cruz. He scares the horses.
Might we see the League of Women Voters handle future year’s debates?
Or does having the for-profit media companies host — and turn them into shitshows/cattle calls — work to the Democrats’ advantage? Perhaps it does.
“The GOP nomination comes down to Cruz and Rubio, and I think Rubio wins.”
I think it comes down to how long it takes for all the other losers to get knocked out and possibly what order. If ¿Jeb? quit the race today and Rubio picked up all of his votes he’d still be in 3rd place with about 15%
I can easily see Cruz surging to more than 15% if/when Trump or Carson get knocked out of the race. If that happens in at the start of February and Cruz can stay ahead of Rubio until the middle of March, he might get too much of a lead to be countered, and Republican voters would naturally add support to the ‘winner’.
If the other candidates drop out before then, Rubio has a better chance of picking some votes from them. Or if Trump/Carson drop out a long time before the primaries, people will reach the limit of how much Cruz they can stand before the voting takes place.
Also, I wonder how many stories about Rubio the people in Florida who are still loyal to the Bushes will leak to the press before Jeb leaves the race….
All good points Betty, Rubio could very well be the nominee–either him or Trump (who isn’t going to shed the Rube love any time soon I fear. Apparently he said little last night but was chosen to be the winner by the viewers by a mile).
But here’s an oddly superficial sounding but relevant factor for Rubio: he is literally very short and very, very young looking not in a cool JFK way…more like a junior high debate team member frantically yammering rehearsed talking points. HRC’s oppo team will have an easy time picking apart his transgressions and she can destroy him on policy because his little of this little of that demonstrates that he is a total light weight.
The days leading up to the last debate, Carly Fiorina was trumpeted as the candidate about to shine. By extraordinary coincidence, the media judged her the winner. She had a brief flurry in the polls, then settled back down in nowhere-land.
The few days leading to THIS debate, people talked about Rubio as if he were already the front-runner. Lo and behold, the media has judged him to have triumphed! We haven’t even had polls yet to show a bump, let alone a sea-change. But we’re all being lectured (I don’t mean by you, Betty, but by others) along the lines of “only a child would deny Rubio is going to be the nominee”.
Do people even remember how wrong they were just a few weeks ago, when Bush was the guy everyone KNEW would be the nominee? Trump and Carson continue to register most strongly in the polls; Cruz holds his own and is in good position to inherit votes if the roughly 50% now going to Trump/Carson starts to dissolve. But none of those three are seen as even possibilities by the mainstream press. It’s got to be a guy “they” approve (“they” being both the press ad the GOP establishment — or do I repeat myself?).
I’m not saying it’s going to undeniably BE Trump, Carson or Cruz. But I have the humility to acknowledge that I have no clue what’s going on in the GOP this year. Those who are now touting Rubio as the CLEAR choice don’t seem to own up to the fact they said the same about Bush weeks or months ago; that maybe this is just the year that the conventional wisdom is turned on its head.
Agreed. I thought the Bush people were masters of opposition research and ratfucking.
This cycle every time something negative surfaced about one of the R candidates, I always assumed it was Bush people digging and leaking.
@schrodinger’s cat: she’s not jumping on a bandwagon. I disagree but she’s one of the people who have been saying this for weeks.
Rubio is a little feeble for the base, but we’ll see.
@Tom Q: Its a pretty safe bet to bet against whatever the media elites are pushing any given day. The courtier press is as out of touch as the French nobility before the revolution.
@DTTM: How short?
@Mandalay: if you aren’t at least in the lead pack at that time you’re going to lose.
pseudonymous in nc
If he wants to inherit the Bush policies and the Bush donors, then he’s Marco Bushio.
@Tom Q: Yep. Originally, I wanted Trump if only to make Right To Rise have a sad and the media to scramble around looking for erase the fact that they crowned Bush for a year. Now I’m hoping Bush makes a showing to fuck with the media minds. I want Dowd to have to write columns about how Bush has shown himself to be a manly man, a nice change from Obama’s orange juice ordering, mustard eating suspicious lack of masculinity.
@Tom Q: I don’t see why people are still discounting Trump or Carson’s chances. Carson looks like a standard grifter campaign, but Trump really appears to want to win and he’s been leading for months now.
With this surreal 2016 campaign, I dare not predict anything. I don’t trust the political pundits’ post-debate theatre reviews, since they are so at odds with the subsequent weekend polls. The pundits have taken a shine to Ted and Marco. But whether these two find their way out of the chasing pack and seriously challenge Dr Ben and Donald won’t really be determined in the debates. My only hunch is that the primaries will be more chaotic for the Republicans than expected.
Uhm, the latest Ipsos/Reuters poll has Trump at 29, Carson 27, with Rubio at 6 and Cruz at 5.
That’s some mighty tasty toast.
I’d wait calling Trump and Carson done until someone else actually breaks the 15% barrier, which according to Pollster hasn’t happened since the Fiorina first-debate bump 6 weeks ago, and before that it was Bush3 almost 3 months ago.
Let me repeat that: Trump has been polling between 24 and 40% in the vast majority of the polls since 8/5. Anybody else except Carson has polled above 15% exactly once in the same time period.
Won’t it be fun if we don’t have a nominee until the convention. MSM will love it. Think of the ratings boost.
@Bobby Thomson: Well in that case, MSM is jumping on the Cracker bandwagon.
I think that if you consider yourself an engaged citizen with enough functioning brain cells to get your thumb out of your ass, you should have already registered to vote and be planning to vote Democratic for the next 100 years.
You beat me to it. She still has the scars from when the wingnuts and the MSM ganged up on her and Bill in the 1990s, and has zero chance of forgetting. She isn’t bringing a Nerf bat to this gunfight.
I’m *still* mad about 2000. Fuck the motherfucking media fuckers.
As for Rubio, he hasn’t been the establishment front-runner yet and they’ve all wilted so far. He could go down like a thirsty man reaching for a glass of water. GLUG GLUG
As for Clinton, she’ll handle the media. Gore and Kerry were blindsided by how awful and slanted the coverage was. Obama was ready. She will be ready too.
@redshirt: no more than 5′ 7″ by my reckoning. Sounds superficial, I know, but such things matter in a general…you have to look the part to get the part.
@Josie: Morning Joe has just about been campaigning for Trump. He calls in frequently, is amusing and entertaining, and gets a gentle reception from the MoJoke crew. I don’t listen carefully, but it seems that Joke lets him talk (vs. talking over and disrupting others’ answers).
Plus, NBC is treating Trump well too. Hosting SNL later this year (Latinos are protesting, but don’t see NBC pulling back).
NBC and others want their plutocracy daddy. And ratings. They live and die by ratings. Not accuracy. Not a good product.
@Tom Q: Commenters here are caught up in the daily drama just like people are with the Kardashians. They think their reality is reality.
Every time some poll shows Trump down, they gleefully post it and get whatever validation there is over that, and a week later it’s back to nowhere land. Dunning–Kruger in action.
At least you accept you don’t understand reality and will be open minded enough when Trump wins. The rest will remain in denial.
And dead Jeb! is in third place!
If the blowback against the extremists in the Republican party grows Jeb! is handily positioned. It’s far too soon to claim he’s a goner.
@Benw: Yeah, and the other point is the media are so in the tank (toilet or fish, you decide) that younger voters don’t pay them much heed.
The news shows are dying.
It’s the comedians who will get more respect and can advocate (or warn audiences away) with more precision and gain more respect.
Because of course he is.
The only thing knocking Trump out of this race is primary losses (Iowa does not matter). Who is going to beat him in New Hampshire or more importantly, South Carolina?
There is no basis as of now to say he is toast. And I wonder how Rubio will weather the heat of increased attention. The structure of the primaries strongly favor Trump.
Not a blogger, are you? Seriously, though you’re right. I was originally sure Bush would somehow overcome his lack of personality and prevail, so what do I know? But man, I thought the gushing over Rubio was kind of unprecedented last night. It wasn’t just the media either; the partisan crowd seemed to love his glib lies (Cruz’s as well).
Regarding Trump and Carson, perhaps you’re right and conventional wisdom will be turned on its head. I don’t think so, though. Trump was slipping in the polls already, I just can’t believe Carson will stand up to long-term scrutiny.
What would this look like and who would be the extremists?
@Elizabelle: I was shocked at how much Moanin’ Joe was not feeling the Rub. Joe slammed Marco for his personal financial failures. Two weeks ago, Joe was whining about how out of touch the NYTimes was for criticizing Marco for having a 60 foot fishing boat while he’s leveraged up to his goozle.
@Karen: Last night Rubio said that all of that has been discredited.. It’s not a problem. See how that works!
I agree with Betty about Trump. IMO, if he loses the first three states, he’s out. He doesn’t like losing, so I’m not sure it will take three states.
Now back to reading the comments…
They’re worried that the media will call them uncivil meanies for doing that. As I said, Clinton’s big advantage is that she knows nothing she does will make the media like her, so she isn’t going to waste any time or effort courting their love.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I don’t know what Sanders believes, but I get a little worried that some of my more Sanders-enthusiast friends are convincing themselves that he will win, and might switch to smelling a sinister conspiracy if he doesn’t get the nomination.
This is important too. W could at least semi-plausibly claim to be a ‘reformer with results’ with an apparent record of accomplishment to run on. Rubio’s got nothing.
And the ‘winnowing’ that everyone expects will benefit the winner of the ‘Establishment Republican’ sub-primary – we may well be into March before that happens at a level that makes a real difference to the survivors. I don’t see where Rubio expects to break through to his first real victory, and if he doesn’t win at least one February primary, he’s screwed.
@srv: No. They will delighted since Trump is a weak general election candidate, and thank god his ardent GOP supporters think otherwise since they will likely propel him to the nomination.
Without Obamacare ‘I’d have lost the farm,’ says Alabama farmer
By Amy Yurkanin | [email protected]
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on October 29, 2015 at 6:56 AM, updated October 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Hank Adcock of Nectar lost half his right hand in a farming accident in June – but he’ll tell anybody who will listen that he would have lost a lot more if it weren’t for Obamacare.
“I’d a lost the farm, I guess,” said Adcock.
The farm has been in his family for three generations, and Adcock has been working it for most of his 62 years. In June, both hands got caught in a hay baler while Adcock worked alone on Straight Mountain.
But they aren’t particularly rich, which is why the Adcocks didn’t have health coverage since the late 1980s. The family couldn’t afford to pay nearly $1,200 a month for a policy.
The Obamacare policy they signed up for last year cost $102 a month, and it completely covered Hank’s $63,000 hospital bill. Without it, the family could have been financially ruined.
“I tell everyone I can about Obamacare, but some people don’t want nothing to do with it.” Adcock said.
“he is conventionally handsome”
And I’m a Beauty Pageant Queen. I’m being churlish because if he were a Democratic candidate, I could perhaps say he looks alright.
Will be interesting to see if Rubio will be able to convince Latinos to vote for him despite his abandonment of immigration reform. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/marco-rubios-immigration-problem
He may easily win the GOP nomination but will have a hard time defending his views on abortion, marriage equality and other social issues. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marco-rubio-abortion_55c79fb7e4b0f1cbf1e55609
mai naem mobile
Rubio comes across as a total lightweight. He looks like a Hertz agent at the Miami airport.
Frank Rich exasperatedly finishing off Jen¡ Bish
Phew! Cigarette anyone?
@DTTM: Rubio has been my senator (ugh) and a player in state politics down here for a long time, but last night was the first time I noticed just how short he is. It really was striking when the camera panned out; don’t known why it wasn’t more obvious during the first debate — maybe because he was standing next to shorter people? Anyway, that sort of thing shouldn’t matter, but it does, as you noted. If Rubio does win the nomination, maybe Hillary should wear Lady Gaga heels to their first debate and tower over him!
MSM keeps throwing a candidate, like spaghetti, against the wall to see if it is cooked. Last time it was Fiorina. This time it is Rubio. And this time, like last time, it isn’t. Rubio has no grassroots support, no GOP establishment support, no money, no organization, no charisma, and no route to get any of the previous.
The data we have, lousy tho’ it may be, is either Trump or Carson will get the nod, with the most likely of the two being Trump.
@Danack: Agreed. What’s annoying is that so much of that timing issue ties back to media presentation and narrative choice of the month. It’s all so inorganic and bullshitty.
Re: the issue of Rubio oppo research and whisper campaign, I don’t think it needs to be Team Jeb getting the ball rolling before Bush acknowledges reality and drops out. If Rubio’s media darling position lasts long enough to result in actual polling improvement, and he starts to get the mantle of establishment guy placed on him, everyone else in that pack of hyenas will start trying to tear him down soon enough. It’s one of the many benefits to the Democrats of having the R’s go through this type of long, drawn out, cast of thousands sort of nomination race. The D nom’s not going to have to personally get as muddy as they might facing an anointed GOP nominee who didn’t have multiple knives pointed at him for 6 months by increasingly desperate rivals.
I somewhat agree with Betty’s general take on this race from the primaries/nomination perspective, but as for the general there’s no way Rubio’s going to come out of this without being significantly more bloodied than W, for instance. And now that the crazies have been ruling the roost for 3+ months, I don’t think anyone’s going to come through as a unifying R nominee – there’s gonna be a whole lot of dispirited Trump and Carson supporters sitting out while tearing down Rubio as a RINO if he’s the guy.
@mai naem mobile: I’d say more like Enterprise. They’re the ones that always asks if you’ve been extremely satisfied with your rental experience as they walk you to your car, a slightly sweaty gleam on their forehead. The entry-level but in a tie outfit, the visible unctuousness screaming “get me promoted up out of this godforsakenly hot parking lot!”
@Elizabelle: comedians, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc are all eating away at traditional news. On one hand, it’s good to break the “supposedly objective but really in the tank for one side” coverage of politics (FU NYT), but on the other, it allows people to live in their own reality bubbles.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
All righty, then
@Betty Cracker: none of us may be doing a great job predicting the R field this crazy year (I was a Walker guy), but it’s worth noting the similarities between Rubio and W so that Democrats don’t get complacent and let this one slip away like in 2000.
@Betty Cracker: slipping to Carson, not to establishment candidates. He’s led for months and other than Carson, only Fiorina and Bush have come close.
I still say that people vastly misunderestimated W as a campaigner. He wasn’t Rove’s puppet — all of that nasty stuff came straight from the top. He was horrible at actually *governing* but he knew how to campaign.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: that is important. I guess. I wonder how he feels about amateur doctors?
I don’t see anything compelling about Rubio. St. McCain was a POW, next in line, tough, loved by the media, etc. Rmoney was rich, telegenic, intelligent, rich, had some accomplishments, was a governor, rich, etc. Rubio? He can rattle off talking points like he’s smart, but he’s got lots of skeletons and it’s hard for me to believe that he won’t be kneecapped by his fellow candidates.
I’d keep an eye on Cruz.
And as Elizabelle said in #1, it’s still very early.
(Who didn’t watch the “debate”.)
Anonymous At Work
Chait’s usually wrong about school reform and “political correctness” and/or defending his white Ivy League male privileges. Otherwise, he’s a good read of the vacuous and nasty internecine warfare of Republicans.
And Trump is only in this thing to kill Jeb! since Jeb!’s family looks down upon Trump as a “nueve riche” that doesn’t deserve his money or his social standing since it doesn’t go back to generations. After Jeb! is toast and maybe Iowa and/or New Hampshire pass by, if Trump isn’t winning, he’ll announce he’s satisfied with the field (not winners like me!) and go back to making money and being available for the GOP nominee to consult.
Paul in KY
@Marmot: The ‘proof’ is hard to produce in a debate. Now in a commercial, you can show someone who watches the proof.
Mea culpa, Me’ah twoah
Bush had everything set-up going into the election and whiffed it all away. By any historic and rational basis he should have been able to knock the other idiots off. What I didn’t know is he massive sucks at campaigning. You name it, he ain’t got it: charisma, charm, oratorical ability, ability to think on his feet, ideas …
I’m still so old-fashioned I can’t discount his chances but lord love me if I can see a state primary he can win.
Can’t agree. Rubio will be subjected to withering fire from Trump now that Jeb is sunk, and he won’t be able to stand up to the Donald. Either Trump wins or they go to a brokered convention with factions represented by Rubio, Cruz/Carson and Trump.
As I said last thread, I think she’s going to administer one of the all-time great electoral noogies to whomever the GOP puts up. There is a reason they’re scared of her – they have been after her non-stop since the 80s, and her response has always been to get both tougher and better.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: There were hurt feelings between Obama and Clinton supporters in 2008 as well. Yet in the end, Democratic voters and the Clintons rallied around Candidate Obama. I expect Democratic voters will put aside any hurt feelings from the primaries and support whoever is the candidate. I wonder if we can say the same about Trump supporters, for example?
Paul in KY
@schrodinger’s cat: That reminds me, haven’t seen a comment from VDE in awhile. Hope he’s OK.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Anonymous At Work: Chait is also pretty good on climate, and he seems to have a long term lease on space in Paul Ryan’s head, which could become very entertaining. But in a just universe every time he types the phrase “political correctness” he would suffer an attack of intense physical pain.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I imagine that it survived that iceberg also. Noah was a smart man.
I don’t think big media has the power to drive opinion the way it did 15 years ago.
Money money money money…..money (as the song goes)
The reason Obama was able to slap Romney around in the summer of 2012, is because Obama is the greatest fund raiser that has ever existed to date.
He had the cash on hand to start defining Romney in ads before the media could set their narrative about Romney.
Gore did not have a money advantage over Bush, Jr., who at the time looked like a fund raising juggernaut of unprecedented and probably never to be equaled proportions by raising $300 million to run for President versus the $180 million Gore raised (and a similar differential with Kerry, in 2004).
The establishment was also a lot more powerful in the 2000 election cycle than they are today. One of the most important trends in the years since has been the elimination of the establishment’s levers of power over the party. Citizens United is only the most obvious one; the elimination of earmarks as a way for legislative leadership to keep the back benchers under control is a key reason for the success of the Freedumb Caucus in wagging the Republican dog.
Paul in KY
@Benw: I don’t know why VP Gore was blindsided? They’d been hating on him for years. Think Kerry was blindsided by media taking the swift boat lies credulously.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Paul in KY: pretty sure I saw him comment yesterday. But Violet has left us good? I hope she just got bored with politics.
@Hoodie: i think if Trump goes down, he plans on taking all the rest of them with him.
@gene108: “He had the cash on hand to start defining Romney in ads before the media could set their narrative about Romney.”
Disagree. I think Rubio is just the guy – basically has to be the guy, at this point – to tell The Donald to his face, “Is that all you’ve got? More bluster, more nonsense, more ‘yuuuugge’ plans that you never seem to give us any details on?” It’ll be Trump’s “a noun, a verb, and 9/11” moment. Cruz can try and rush to Trump’s defense (and will, for multiple reasons) but the air’s going to come right on outta that Trump balloon.
@srv: Please, go blow yourself, no one else ever will. Trust me.
@Betty Cracker: Hi Betty…I am in upstate New York (great color in the leaves, by the way)…so I wouldn’t know about Rubio as you do. What do Floridians think of him?–just in case Florida decides this thing (gasp!)…can HRC take him out down your way?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Someone should ask Ben Carson, a moron, how many icebergs are floating around in the Mediterranean. Or point out that according to the myths that Ben Carson, a moron, takes literally, the ark also did hit a mountain, although one not made of ice.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: IMO, As a female, Cruz gives me the creeps. I wonder if that’s just me though.
@WaterGirl: I think the only person Trump was determined to get out of the race (Jeb?) is about to get out,
Once he starts leaking support, Trump won’t take it well and it sure will set off some GOP civil-war-isn fireworks, but he’ll claim victory just for getting Jeb? out and making the GOP adopt his stance on immigration (all without hardly spending a dime)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
@Roger Moore: I suspect we’re going to look back on the elimination of earmarks as a terrible unforced error. I thought it was dumb at the time (because who cares? it was never that much money), but I never realized how off-the-rails the House would go without them.
@Germy Shoemangler: no way…he really retweeted that??!?
@Paul in KY: I think VDE is mostly hanging out at Wonkette these days.
@Anonymous At Work: I thought the other issue was that Jeb killed Trump’s plan to have a Casino in Florida when he was governor. If Jeb can confince Governor Scott to allow Trump Plaza Miami and Taj Orlando, he’d drop out.
mai naem mobile
@RaflW: that is a perfect description of Rubio. The only missing piece is the half empty Aquafina water bottle he’s carrying with him.
@Anonymous At Work: I thought the other issue was that Jeb killed Trump’s plan to have a Cas1no in Florida when he was governor. If Jeb can confince Governor Scott to allow Trump Plaza Miami and Taj Orlando, he’d drop out.
@Jeffro: no, thats the good folks at LOL GOP having fun with his quote.
I still wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jeb! manages to get the nomination in the end.
I don’t think we can compare 2016 to 2000 for a few reasons, the main one being the speed of social networking. Would “W” been able to pull off his cowboy shtick now? I would doubt it. The meme-ification of politics (of everything really) has taken a lot away from the MSM’s ability to create narratives.
Honestly, if it comes down to Cruz, Rubio, and Trump the Republican party would be better off rolling the dice with the Donald. He could lose big for sure but he might have some crossover appeal that progressives aren’t appreciating. Rubio is a lightweight that needs a 10CC injection of gravitas, and if somebody forced me to answer the question, “Who is the one person on Earth that you think might turn out to be the anti-Christ if they got in a position of power?”, I would answer Ted Cruz.
We can all make the case that each individual candidate cannot win. None of them can, yet one will. I honestly have no idea who it will be at this point.
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: He has a big head, so he looks a little skinner & thus a little taller.
Paul in KY
@RaflW: I do like Enterprise as a car rental entity.
Paul in KY
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: He must get those from the glib preachers he hangs out with…or maybe Paul Harvey.
@JPL: It’s not just you.
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): He was like a bizzaro world version of the Delta House smoothie Eric Stratton (Tim Mathenson’s charcter).
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Put me down with those who say we can’t predict which nut will eventually shake out of the bag, but I think it will either be Jeb (still) or Rubio. Kasich or Christie would, I think, be acceptable to the establishment and the Kochs and Adelson and Langone, but Kasich seems to be spinning his wheels and I suspect everyone (including Mrs Christie and the younger Christies) but the man himself thinks there’s at least a 50% chance that the bridge thing or a related investigation will blow up on him again. I guess Trump could conceivably pull it out, in which case HRC can campaign from her front porch in Chappaqua with Charlotte bouncing on her knee. I guess it could even be Cruz, in which case she can leave a life size cut out photo of herself on the porch and go to Europe or the Caribbean for a few months to rest up for her first term.
If it is Rubio, I give Jeb* about a 75% chance of signing on as the VP candidate. It keeps the Bush Clan in charge of the party, sets up a Cheney-W dynamic & might even help in FLA.
*Made Man in the family
If it wasn’t for the dumb rules the NRC put in place I’d be projecting a brokered convention. Example, after Super Tuesday it’s Winner Take All, even if the “winner” only has 20% of the vote in the CDs and state as a whole.
@Jeffro: Leaking support to whom? I doubt Trump is too worried about leaking support to Carson, and none of the others seem to be able to pick up serious momentum. Of course that could change if Bush drops out, because he seems to be holding onto a baseline support of about 7% that could make a world of difference to Rubio or Kasich. But I doubt Bush will drop out before New Hampshire, and it will be pretty much over at that point.
Culture of Truth
The man-crush on Rubio will be worse than for Bush. After all, he’s more articulate, from the East coast, (sort of), he’s young, and Hispanic, and Republican! He’s a veritable dreamboat!
mai naem mobile
@JPL: I feel the same about Cruz. I just think stuff is going to come out about him years from now. Wife beating, in the closet gay, double rubber suit sacks fetish – there’s just something awful underneath all that.
Paul in KY
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Good! Don’t know about Violet. Not as memorable a character (to me) as VDE (we both served in military, etc. & wish for Old Testament solutions to our enemies).
@Jeffro: Maybe, but you assume there has to be such a guy, and that guy could just as easily be another sacrificial lamb. Remember, everyone thought Reagan was a joke. George HW Bush called his policies voodoo economics and ended being his lackey. Rubio has been spared because Jeb was the target. He may be able to make a dent, but I wouldn’t assume he will succeed. There are roughly three power centers in the GOP, with some overlap: (1) the fundies, (2) the rich guy establishment and (3) the assholes. Trump has the inside track on (3) and Cruz and Carson have the inside track on (1). (2) has the least electoral heft, and heavily relies on bamboozling (1) and (3). Because anger has the upper hand right now, that gives Trump an edge, and he’s trying to smooth things with the fundies now. Trump is emotionally invested now, it’s more than a just a joyride, and he seems to be serious and knows how to market himself. Rubio might be able to get past Trump if he had the fundies, but Cruz and Carson stand in the way of that, and I don’t see Cruz going anywhere, and Cruz has more of a claim to the asshole vote than Rubio does.
@Ted Mills: Maybe, but I’ve been hearing about how technology is going to slay the Beltway monsters for about 15 years now, and it hasn’t really happened. In some cases, it’s actually degraded the quality of information and accelerated the adoption of idiotic narratives.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@ed_sanders: they’re from the same state and I don’t think another paperwork fix would fly. Even more important, they seem to hate each other now. The Bushes see Rubio as an ungrateful protégé, and Rubio sees Jeb as a condescending old fart who should know his time has passed. Jeb would never take anyone’s second spot, least of all that bumptious upstart’s, and I suspect Rubio wouldn’t want to make it look like he needs the olds helping him.
(I never believed MoDo about the Bushes being the WASP Corleones who divide the wold into Family, Peers (James Bakker) and Below Stairs Help till I saw Dumbya in action.)
Paul in KY
@JPL: He gives me the creeps too. Think he could be a GOT character. Maybe the Red Priest’s overseer.
Paul in KY
@Calouste: Oh, cool. Thanks for info.
@Paul in KY: my short answer is that Gore was surprised by how hard the media went into the tank for Bush – I remember zero substantive coverage of him or his policies – not by the fact that they thought he was kind of a dork, and the pundits loathe a dork.
Best guess is the hate radio network has been pushing him. Hate radio loves iCarly. The guy with the office next to me listens to it on headphones and loves iCarly
mai naem mobile
@ed_sanders: Jeb and Rubio can’t be on the same ticket. They’re both from the same state. Count me as one who doesn’t count out Bush till he actually completely drops out.
Here’s HuffPo’s aggregate of Republican primary polls. Trump is doing pretty well, with Carson as his only serious contender at the moment:
But looky here–here’s another, regrettably still underpolled question:
Trump was actually in the ballpark of beating Hillary in the head-to-head during a couple of periods when he was getting heavily promoted as the coming thing. (Though even that may have been mostly driven by a couple of outrageous outliers coming from the same firm, Gravis Marketing.) Right now, Ben Carson still seems to be benefiting from that. I predict it’ll go the way of this chart pretty soon.
Others such as Graham and Bush have let Trump shit down their throats, and thanked him afterwards. Anyone who successfully kicks Trump in the nuts and shits down his throat will soar in the polls.
Trump’s unfavorables are almost as high as his favorables. There are plenty of Republican voters longing to see Trump get his ass kicked.
Best feature of Rubio: he’s too young to have a Vietnam deferral/national guard scandal hanging out there.
I still contend that Kasich is the only Republican that has a natural inclination to appeal to general election voters but I don’t see how he gets the nom. Clinton will eviscerate Rubio in debates. Still secretly hoping that Carson wins the nom. The public will have a collective ‘Dear God, what have we done?!’ somewhere around the end of September, far too late for the GOP to do anything – just as happened in 2008.
Still plenty of time for Jeb! to flop back into the running here. Seriously, the GOP race is basically the American version of Upperclass Twit of the Year. We’re just waiting to see which candidate shoots his dick off next. This isn’t so much a contest to see who wins, more who accidentally fails to walk into traffic.
Hillary murdered Vince Foster and had a cocaine smuggling operation, while First Lady of Arkansas.
I disagree about forced vs. unforced. There was a concerted, well-planned campaign to eliminate earmarks, and I think the people who planned it did so with the full expectation and desire of freeing extremist back benchers from leadership control. Leadership should have fought harder against it, but that was always going to be an uphill battle given the politics of the situation.
@Mandalay: Not among republicans. Just some c-suite guys, and they can’t fill a country club ballroom. The fundies don’t know what to make of him yet, but they’ll tolerate a lot if he massages their hate zones.
@mai naem mobile:
Rules for other people. They will be ignored and Congress/USSC rallied to overturn if needed.
Rafael still has the eligibility question hanging over him. No one has played that card yet because he’s not getting anywhere. If he starts making a case you bet the lawsuits are gonna start flying.
@Betty Cracker: The Internet is a series of tubes after all.
But seriously, mostly agree. Jeb! looks like toast and has looked like toast for awhile. People keep pointing to Romney in 2012 who was behind various wingnut-of-the-day candidates at this same time in the campaign, but he was never behind by as much as Jeb!. He wasn’t in the lead in various state polls, but he was near the top. And he never really looked lost, and he always managed to keep his head above water. Jeb! in contrast has a deer in the headlights look, he looks like a frumpy elementary school principal, and that choice of eyeglasses looks like something from the late 1990s. When Rick Perry sports fake eyeglasses that look cooler than you, its time to quit.
And agree about Trump. I’ve been saying it all along – Trump will eventually fade/implode/lose. He’s a joke of a candidate, and eventually those kind of candidates flame out. People complain about how long the U.S. Presidential election season is – but it does have the advantage of slowly but surely grinding out most of the complete nitwits running. Same with Carson.
So yes, I come to same conclusion. Once eliminating Jeb!, Trump and Carson, you look at what is left. I Heart Huckabees, iCarly and Tony Soprano are not getting nominated. Have Pataki or Graham or Jindal dropped out yet? I can’t even recall if any of them are still running.
So you got what left? Rubio, Cruz and Kasich. At Patton Owsalt’s brother Tweeted last night, Cruz looks like someone who sleeps with his mother. The guy has the face of a child molester and the demeanor to match. So not happening.
Leaves Rubio and Kasich. Rubio is an empty suit, so of course he will win. If Kasich had some charisma, he’d be dangerous. Policy wise, he’s as bad as any other Republican would be in the White House. A moderate he is not. But he’s probably smarter than any of the other ones up on stage, and manages to make union-busting, kicking the poors and eviscerating the middle class sound reasonable. Thank god he’s the personality of an angry potato.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
You may have seen that the NYT has called on the Outlaw Jersey Whale to drop out
For once I agree with Mrs Christie’s Bully Boy. He is not going anywhere.
You forgot to mention that Vince Foster was Hillary’s lesbian lover.
I’m not saying that you’re wrong, but I can’t see Jebbie stepping aside for the likes of Rubio. He didn’t raise $100 million for nothing. He honestly believes he’s ENTITLED to be President – he just doesn’t want to do the work for it. Until he has the Press Conference talking about how he’s leaving the race….I won’t believe it.
@? Martin: That might be correct, but I’m not sure Jeb will want to flop back in. He seems a pretty reluctant warrior. Cruz seems to be the most cockroach-surviving-nuclear-war type among that group, and he will suck in the general election.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Doesn’t matter if Governor Harkonnen drops out or not. He ain’t a contender, that’s all.
It’s basically a version of the lottery paradox: each individual combination of numbers is vanishingly unlikely to win, but one of them will anyway.
@JPL: No doubt Cruz is a creepy guy. He’s got that “Tailgunner Joe” vibe about him.
He must have some appeal among some women, though, as he won by a huge margin in his Senate election:
Cruz isn’t a brainiac, but he knows how to debate and argue. He could be formidable for the nomination, if he gets the right press.
Paul in KY
@Benw: Shows how out-of-the-loop his campaign was. I had heard that Bush’s team had done presentations for all of the elite media, showing them how much lower their taxes would be under a Bush presidency, vice a Gore one.
Paul in KY
@gene108: Tough and an entrepreneur!!!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Paul in KY: another rumor (That I find wholly credible) is that at one of their proms, Monsignor Russet had a Bush/Cheney button under his lapel, that he would flash at Republicans with a wink and a smug (I didn’t see it, at least not that night, but I think it’s a safe assumption) grin.
@Roger Moore: Pretty much. And the thing about earmarks was, it didn’t increase spending (something every politician in Congress knew, except maybe the Tea-tards). Earmarks just direct administrative agencies “where” to spend a particular piece of an appropriation. So, for example, if the DOT is appropriated $100B for highway construction funding, Congressman Goober Peas (GOP – Mississitucky) gets an earmark that directs $1B of that $100B to some highway project in his district.
I mean jeez, I’ve gotten earmarks in the Federal budget for projects I’ve worked on (back when there were earmarks). There were – quite literally – Federal FORMS that you filled out to request one. Yes there was politics involved, but a lot of times it also involved Congressional staff evaluating this things to push “good” projects through the morass of government in DC.
One of the worst possible procedural “reforms” the GOP pushed through was eliminating earmarks. It was a bugaboo of John McCain’s, which tells you all you need to know about whether it was a good idea.
Yes, among Republicans:
Views of the Republican Candidates (Among Republican Primary Voters) Favorable : Not Favorable : Undecided/haven’t heard
Donald Trump 53% 29 18
29% of Republican voters in that poll had an unfavorable view of Trump. That’s a crazy high number when you are leading in the polls.
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: As bad as our national press is, it won’t provide Cruz the kind of ball-washing that the Texas press does. I’d be more worried about Rubio than Cruz against Clinton.
Doesn’t matter though – Cruz ain’t winning the nom. He’s loathed by the GOP Establishment. For good reason – his Tea Party antics keep getting in their way of vampire squidding the middle class.
@goblue72: A Republican friend said the same thing. I think the Hastert rule is as harmful, though.
Paul in KY
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I was so glad when that jerk kicked the bucket.
I’m guessing that the GOP will be airbrushing the word “Hastert” out of the discussion in the coming months.
I confess to being a little worried about Rubio-Kasich. Kasich can play the VP attack dog well, and conventional wisdom is that he can deliver Ohio, moving both Ohio and Florida from purple to red and making the electoral math not nearly as hard for the Republicans.
I worry about Rubio. I don’t worry about Cruz. No one likes Cruz. Even his colleagues hate the mofo.
Rubio is slick and morons are fooled by slick.
As my mom reminds me: HALF OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU MEET ARE BELOW AVERAGE.
How about we consider a brokered convention?
The GOP has embraced rules that are weirdly conducive to that possibility if no one dominates by next Spring.
The last brokered convention was when avowed non-candidate Adlai Stevenson, as host governor at the Chicago Democratic convention in 1952, gave an electrifying speech that resonated with most of the party factions. (I was not quite two weeks old so remember only hazily.)
Next year, superdelegates may be split, caucus and early primary delegates may be split, and later winner-takes-alot states wil likely be split.
I expect the msm would dearly love that….
As a lot of other people have said, Clinton is unlikely to get blindsided by the media cuddling up to the Republican nominee, certainly won’t be shocked that they treat her badly, and could use it to her advantage because she doesn’t need to care if they like her.
I’d also say that one big difference between 2000 and now is the proliferation of fact-checking and more or less instant analysis of, particularly, tax proposals. I think it’s much harder to get away with glib lies than it used to be. There is, of course, a certain amount of “both sides do it” in the fact-checking, but really egregious lies get a lot of publicity. That’s a plus for the Dems.
@JPL: It sure doesn’t help, but its not like parties don’t maintain general discipline without it. Pelosi didn’t have the Hastert Rule for her caucus, but number of bills that came to the Floor that weren’t supported by the majority of her caucus were only a handful or so. And Boehner ignored it a few times.
Earmarks though? Jeez, that stuff was the bread and butter of back-scratching politics and key coin of the realm in getting anything done in DC. Some guy in a safe District form the opposite party whose votes you needed could be bought off with the right earmark. It was a grease that made stuff move. I pretty much only have worked (professionally) in the Blue parts of the country, so pretty much most of my interactions with DC critters have been Democrats. And more than one Dem House member has complained to me about how much harder it became to legislate once earmarks were eliminated. “The Tea Party nuts are a lost cause, but you can’t even buy the votes of the non-nuts now.”
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Russet Potato was vile. Is his progeny still on MSNBC?
Like the Clintons in 08, the Bushes have been caught flat footed in ’16. It’s been a decade since any of them have run for office. Sitting presidents live in a bubble, but they aren’t completely disconnected from the mood and nature of the electorate. Former presidents, however, are far-removed from the daily ebb and flow of ever-changing public opinion and perception. Thus in ’08 Hillary organized her campaign with her husband’s as a model. Jeb did the same thing. Ten years from now Barack Obama won’t have his finger on the pulse of America anymore either.
@Mandalay: Not really. I wouldn’t call 53% favorable + 18% undecided = 71% “OK with the Donald” wildly unpopular. Sounds basically like the establishment views him unfavorably, and probably a good number of those because they think he can’t win. Reagan was similarly polarizing in 1976-80. The GOP is trying to find a new Reagan. They thought they had him in W, but he screwed the pooch. They may be willing to take a gamble on Trump, because the rest of the pack is pretty uninspiring, which is why Trump keeps harping on “low energy.” He’ll use some variant on that with Rubio, but something more like he’s a punk who can’t pay his bills. Trump has a myth of being the aggressive, risk-taking businessman, kind of like Reagan’s conservative warrior horseshit and W’s cowboy act. Rubio doesn’t.
@schrodinger’s cat: Periodically yes. And on NBC News.
I’m personally more worried about Cruz than Rubio. Rubio will do whatever he feels he has to to get ahead. He’s a shit weasel boot licker, without a core ideology other than getting ahead.
Cruz is a true believer, and he can use enough big words that he’ll be, as someone described Newt Gingrich, what a stupid person thinks a smart person should sound like.
I didn’t watch much of the debate. I did catch Cruz’s rant about how the media was doing the Democrats work for them and not answering the question he was asked. He went to say the Democratic debate was a debate between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, and therefore two sides of the same communist coin.
May sound smart to the ignorant, but the Bolsheviks hated the Mensheviks and set about purging the crap out of Mensheviks, once they got any kind of power.
I doubt Hillary or Bernie will throw the loser into a Gulag for having a slightly different ideology on how to get things done.
Didn’t Rubio sign Grover Norquist’s pledge?
It’s not the Hastert rule; it’s the Boehner rule. The Hastert rule was that stuff couldn’t get to the floor without the backing of a majority of the Republican caucus, which was bad but at least superficially plausible. Boehner has extended that to demand things only go to the floor when they can pass without requiring Democratic votes. That’s insanity because it allows a small minority of the caucus to block anything.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@schrodinger’s cat: with all the news about the Speakership, he’s even seeped into the evening shows.
I have high hopes for Obama’s post-presidency, for engagement in the political process– preserving voting rights, working for economic justice, the environment. We’ll see.
MOM! gene108 is off his meds again!!!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I wonder if Michelle Obama has any interest in a political career.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Hoodie: Somebody said on twitter that Trump is actually a smart and successful businessman, his big mistake was falling for the mirage of Atlantic City.
@gene108: @gene108: Cruz ain’t getting the nom any more than Trump is. People need to untwist their knickers. Cruz is a dead fish dressed in a suit, and average votes smell it a mile awhile. He’s got a creepy insane father, he looks like a child molester, and his political views are straight out of the Tea Party’s little red book. And the Tea Party doesn’t do well nationally anymore – poll after poll shows that the American public has completely soured on the Tea Party. And he can’t walk away from his shit at this point.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I see what you did there.
Good comparison. I suppose John Bush’s run was as much aimed at redirecting the Republican Party as it was at gaining the presidency. (“Heck mom, if we do the first part the second will be easy!”) They clearly misunderestimated how very far into the weeds their party is, no small thanks to his asshole brother.
John’s eventual failure to launch is foretold by Walker’s unexpectedly early jettison. That the Koch bros so badly stumbled getting their Boy deep into the primaries should be a message to all party doctrinaire types. Pro tip: When the faithful are chanting “We accept you, we accept you, one of us, one of us” it’s not you they’re talking to..
I have less confidence because, during the debate last night, Trump flatly denied saying something that was even at that minute on his own campaign website and implied the moderator was just making shit up. The crowd cheered. Several of the candidates, when asked specifically about tax policies that even wingnut scoring organizations admit would widen income inequality, just disowned the facts in favor of their own fantasies.
It might be that the only opportunities to explode the myths will be when the candidates take each other on, and last night, no one but Kasich seemed in the mood for it, at least on policy issues. One bright spot is that HRC seems to have a command of the facts and to be capable of methodically taking that sort of crap apart, so that’s a plus for the Dems.
Agreed. Cruz is more repellent than DEET and his thumping ego means never altering his public demeanor.
You can try to spin it any way you want, but 29% per cent said that they viewed the person leading the polls unfavorably.
There are plenty of Republicans who can’t stand Trump, and anyone who actually has the balls to stand up to him will find Republican voters crawling out of the woodwork to give their support.
Thanks, BC. I’ve always wondered what the GOP derp loop looks like.
Hey check it out, conservative cable news outlet fires back at GOP presidential candidates, who’d have thunk it?
Darn right they should have expected tough questions. And as many others have already said, when your policies are crap, being called on it is going to look & feel like an attack, and rightly so.
” some of my more Sanders-enthusiast friends are convincing themselves that he will win, and might switch to smelling a sinister conspiracy if he doesn’t get the nomination. ”
Luckily, I think Sanders has a big incentive for big Democratic win in 2016 regardless of whether he gets the nomination or not. He has two more years in the Senate before his next Senate election, and even if he is not the nominee, if he is sane, he would prefer to be in the majority those two years.
And added incentive of having a ideologically aligned administration to pressure with his idea of millions of people demanding a political revolution. I have no idea whether his approach would work, but if he can create one, it would be more fun to try it out on an HRC administration than some GOP mess.
Michelle Obama has been asked about pursuing a political career for the last 7 years. She repeatedly says she would hate being an elected official. No interest whatsoever. Her husband agrees with her.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Listening to the John Fugelsang show, he has on a former Rand Paul aide (communications director or something like that, Paulite loyalist) who says he despises Marco Rubio as the young fresh face of all the same old Bush-Cheney-Neocon crap.
@dogwood: ok, I didn’t know that.
@Betty Cracker: These guys (and iCarly) are all playing for the home team though. The audience is composed of Republican types who have nothing better to do than trundle to a college auditorium in the middle of the work week during Halloween week to watch a GOP clown car circus. Not surprised the audience booed when facts got in the way. The amount of daylight between that audience and a Fox News focus group is thinner than my hairline. And the TV viewing audience is composed of (a) people who watch Fox News and (b) drunk liberals hate-watching and Tweeting bon mots. The rest of America was off getting last minute stuff for their kids Halloween costume or getting drunk as Slutty Notorious RBG at a party.
Big diff between that and what the Presidential mano-a-femo debates will be. Wherein Clinton will do her best Julia Child and demonstrate how to turn a bull into a steer before a live studio audience.
@jl: That and because “what some candidate’s more crazy supporters said on their Facebook page” has about as much affect on what the candidate will do as my random entering numbers into my telephone will get me Angelina Jolie’s home telephone number.
Sanders isn’t Nader, as much as centrists want to paint supporting him as equivalent to that. That bugaboo don’t hunt, to twist a phrase.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@goblue72: NPR had a segment on how tickets were given out, very much a carefully selected audience. I haven’t checked the local papers, but I was expecting some camera-grabbing protests in the People’s Republic. Maybe I just haven’t been looking at the right sites. Good thing I have a lot of procrastinating to do today.
@Betty Cracker: It’s not going to be that way during the general. Debate audiences in the primaries are intentionally partisan and allowed to react. Debate audiences in the general are told to be very, very quiet, and pretty much always do what they’re told. That helps a lot.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
There it is again, that slight whiff of fanning a media v. GOP fist-fight. Ties in with the general air of testosterone-fueled petulence (Trump-tested!) and appeal to populism that the circus is all trying to carve personal brands out of. The carryover from the traditional liberal-media banner doesn’t hurt either. Plus, they’ve gone one better than that loser S.Palin who claimed to read all the papers. Not reading papers is now a sign of purity and superiority.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Well, you can say he’s unsuccessful. Reagan created a political career shilling for GE, Trump spread his brand through splashy WWE stunts and The Apprentice. There are a lot of people who like that stuff and admire him. Sure, he could have made as much or more money taking the 100 mil from his dad and putting it in an index fund, but he wouldn’t have the fame, which is really what he wants. It’s not the conventional path to the presidency, but it’s not completely unprecedented. Americans, especially Republicans, love money. Heck, they worship it. They lose millions at casinos and online fantasy football in pursuit of it. they support three cable networks that do nothing but talk about stocks and have orgasms about CEOs. Anyone who thinks that Trump is too outlandish for the GOP is kidding themselves.
Interestingly, when Christie says “I am not going anywhere” he is exactly right.
I think that’s why Julian Castro is a potential VP running mate. It would be great for Hils, but honestly, I don’t know his politics except to know he’s a Dem from Texas, has a twin brother and is in charge of HUD (there was a reason for that I think). If I were a betting woman, still, I would take that bet to Vegas: Clinton/Castro sounds better than Rubio/UnknownSucker, don’t you think.
I want Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to keep working together at whatever charity foundation the Obamas end up setting up, because they seem to enjoy working together and they make a great team.
@dogwood: Not surprised. Folks forget that she had a quite successful career in the governmental and then nonprofit sectors when her husband ran for President. At the time, her job with the U of Chicago Hospitals paid almost double what he made as a U.S. Senator. And she was certainly pulling more coin than when her husband served in the Illinois legislature and taught part-time. Working class kid from Chicago who graduated Princeton and Harvard Law, with an immaculate control over her public image. The American public loves her as a First Lady because she charmed their pants off. I expect whatever she does next to be pretty cool.
@trollhattan: Well, that’s a given, but I’m assuming it was a truth spoken in error.
Bonus Halloween week points for the Tod Browning “Freaks” reference. Movie aired this morning on TCM. It’s a great one.
The clown car calvacade? Not so much.
@Aurona: I saw Secretary Castro at an event recently. Small crowd, maybe a 100 people or less. He was less awkward than I had feared. But came off a little bit “scripted”. But he’s also young, and went from being Mayor of San Antonio, a second-tier city, to Secretary of HUD. I didn’t walk away feeling like he’d flop in the spotlight. I don’t know how much he’d add to the ticket – but didn’t feel like he’d subtract from it at all. So, call it a push, with some upside.
I dunno… the Republicans all suk bad. I truly cannot imagine any of these people running a first class campaign, and horrors, ever be President.
Marco may be doing ok today relative to all the others but to me, he is just the latest flavor of the month. He is callow and sweats under pressure — (remember his response to the State of the Union?) and he has not even begun to feel the heat that he is going to if even he becomes front runner. Sure, in a situation where he is not the lead rabbit and there is relatively little at stake, he was reasonably articulate and confident. I don’t see that holding up. What has he ever run in his life? He doesn’t even show up at the Senate. He managed to get elected, but if he is the Republican nominee, he not only has to traverse the Trump minefield, but I am also not sure that the Bush Crime Family may not have a surprise or two held back. Finally, if he makes it to the bigs, he will have to deal with Hillary’s organization filled with battle savvy former Clinton and Obamites who are already getting ready. He may show something at some point, but he better have more than what was demonstrated last night — the ability to have a little poise and to get off a zinger or two…
Either he’s incompetent at using Private Browsing mode in a web browser, or his staff is, or he doesn’t have any friends/staff who can show it to him, or he’s too cheap to buy a subscription (or have his office by one), or he’s lying, or …
Or maybe all of the above.
Given his statements at his Bridgegate press conference, I don’t know why anyone would take anything he says at face value.
That is a great point, one that Hillary might eventually make to Bernie to help keep him in the tent, and one he really ought to make to his supporters as well so that they stay fired up even if he’s not the nominee. A Sanders-style “political revolution” is not going to happen with a Republican in the White House, and it won’t be helped much with GOP majorities in the House and/or Senate.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I never knew where that “one of us!” came from! Thanks!
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I was gonna say, Chris Christie doesn’t read the New York Times like Sarah Palin does read the Wall St Journal, like Tweety has never googled himself.
@randy khan: Correct. And Romney fell in that hole a few times, most notably the ‘Obama didn’t call Benghazi terrorism’ line. Nobody would have questioned that in the primaries and it would have gotten a strong applause line. When the audience is reinforcing lies, you believe the lies. And when he rolled it out in the general, he got his ass handed to him over it – and seemed shocked that it wasn’t an instant applause line. (Obama’s rather epic handling of it helped.)
Remember, 81% of polled caucusgoers in Iowa said that they were attracted to Carson for saying that the Affordable Care Act is the worst thing since slavery. I’d be shocked if that general electorate hit 27% on that particular question.
Epistemic closure is harmful to candidates as well. Now that the primary debates are fully ratings-driven, these guys aren’t going to have a clue how to talk in the general.
If you look at Carson’s rise, you’ll notice that his poll numbers aren’t coming at the expense of bible thumpers like Huckabee, Jindal, and Santorum (granted, they’re at about 5% between them) but rather from “mainstream” candidates like Rubio and Bush. This is in contrast to Fiorina’s brief bounce, which came at the (brief) expense of Trump.
This can be some consolation to those establishment republicans, as they can hope for Carson to eventually fade away and the “not Trump” vote to be in play again. That said, Trump still beats not-Trump.
@Aurona: Julian was promoted for that exact reason. He didn’t have much of a national profile but a young Hispanic voice from Texas has great potential for the Democratic party. And IIRC his twin brother is mayor of San Antonio and doing a competent job. I could see a scenario where one is VP and the other is in the Senate.
The NYTimes went over the tax plans and they are awful..
The plans deserve a post of their own ..
Cruz plan ten percent across the board except for family of four earning 32,000 or less. This is the kicker.. sixteen percent vat on everything. You know that family of four earning 32,000… lucky duckies only pay sixteen percent a year..
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: It’s pretty much an empty calories stattement as regards truth-value, but provides a cheap venom-rush, sort of a pringles-potato chip of political pique. Bet they can’t eat just one.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I thought it was from “Finding Nemo!”
@Yatsuno: Sec. Julian Castro was Mayor of San Antonio. His brother Joaquin serves in Congress in the House.
Julian is the one being groomed.
That’s a great point, and there’s no doubt in my mind that was a major cause of Romney’s downfall. But as much as I loathe Rubio, I have to admit he’s shown some deftness on that score.
Rubio played the teaturds like a violin in 2010 to get in the senate, and then turned around and slammed the door in their faces when they tried to claim him for their own after he won — all without causing too many hard feelings. He’s not a smart person, but he is fairly cunning about power plays and knows how to appeal to the rubes. Not unlike GWB.
I’ve seen interviews with Barack and Michelle when the question is asked about her political ambitions, and one of the first things that happens is Barack laughs.
One thing I know for sure is that we don’t really know public figures. I never get on board with the Barbara Bush bashing because a close friend of mine was a big wig in the Idaho Democratic Party. She was also a close friend of the late Bethine Church, wife of Frank. Bethine Church was a spectacular woman, but the inconvenient truth is Bethine Chuch was a close friend of Barbara Bush. Given the respect I had for Mrs. Church and her judgment, I’m uncomfortable with caricatures of Barbara that read like cheap imitations of a Maureen Dowd column. Also as a woman, I am uncomfortable with First Lady bashing in general.
@ed_sanders: If Jeb! is part of a ticket, he’ll sink the ticket no matter if he’s just the VP. I don’t think the media takes seriously how much the Bush name stinks in many people’s nostrils. That’s why since he left office, G.W. Bush hasn’t attended any Republican conventions. And I’d be surprised if he shows up at their next one.
@goblue72: Glad to hear you had first hand experience with him. I see Joaquin (the brother who is a US Rep) is helping out the Clinton camp re: Bernie and Latinos, so it looks like they have hitched the wagons to the Clintons this time around. If we finally have a Latino in a major office, I’d rather it be a Castro than a Rubio, that’s for sure!
I want Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to do whatever the hell THEY want to do.
@Hoodie: Trump is the last person to talk about not paying bills.
This is the Castro you seek, and his 18.5 minutes of fame.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
While there are more good reasons than not for “anybody but Bush”, the GOP has shown they are more than willing to ignore logic and rational thinking. A couple other things that run in Bush’s favor, the VP spot would make the donors feel like they got something for their money, and that’s probably worth a lot to the GOP establishment.
There’s also the streak to consider — The GOP hasn’t had a winning ticket without a Bush on it since 1972. Fun fact, without a Bush or Richard Nixon on the ticket, the last GOP victory was Hoover/Curtis in 1928.
@Yatsuno: I like the concept: senator would work along with the vp status. Its almost like they wanted a Rubio matchup (if its Clinton) if they couldn’t have Jeb, because then they could counter with a Castro. Who has Rubio got? Who is dumb enough to be number 2? They could always end up Speaker of the House I guess.
@mai naem mobile:
That’s actually not quite true, and it’s relatively easy to game (& there’s even precedent as Bush/Cheney did it):
@Paul in KY:
Villago Delenda Est posted this morning.
the difference between rubio and the bush-the-lessor is that bush had the bush crime family to carry and cover for the moronic child. I’m not aware that rubio has an equivalent organization to cover for his many blunders.
@ed_sanders: With a Rubio/Bush (or Bush/Rubio) ticket, the GOP loses Florida’s electoral votes. Or Jeb! would have to convince the powers that be that he’s really from Kennebunkport.
I think Bush is poison too, but that doesn’t mean the GOP won’t do it.
Now Cruz getting the nomination means there won’t be a Bush anywhere near the ticket, and based on where we are at right now, that has to be considered at least possible with a chance at probable.
I also agree with those who’ve said a Cruz nomination would lead to a Goldwater-like drubbing in 2016, and this time there isn’t a southern strategy to pull the Republicans back from the brink.
@ed_sanders: Most repubs in the south are ready to vote for who ever will rid us of the liberals on the court.
as previously mentioned —
All Cheney did was register to vote in a different state.
I don’t doubt that for a second, and the ugly prospect (no matter how small) that Cruz could actually win the office is more than enough to hope he implodes tomorrow, but the GOP needs to win outside the south to actually win the office.
Remember, even with the cheating in FLA in 2000, if NH went for Gore, it’s a moot point.
@ed_sanders: That makes me feel a tad better.
The media are obsessed with Ohio and Florida. Just as important if not more so is that dems keep the gains they’ve made out west in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. It’s also time to start laying the groundwork in Arizona.
It’s not believable to me that Chris Blowhard Christie does not have a subscription to the NY Times, or access to it through state government. Sheer negligence if he does not.
I would bet that many governors and state officials on the other side of the country, and in flyover land, read and subscribe to the NY Times.
There is zero chance Cruz wins the general. Just not gonna happen. He is sickening to most people and has all the charm of a snake-oil covered used car salesman.
@mai naem mobile: There isn’t a rule they can’t be from the same state, but the electoral practicality is that electors cannot vote for two from their own state, so one or the other gets shorted their own state’s electoral vote. Which would be a problem in a close election.
Of course the rules were written before people were as mobile as today. It’s a fairly easy circumstance to get around if you have resources. For years GWB Sr’s “residence” was an empty lot in Houston. My wife and I have two residences, although we spend most of our time in the one in San Diego. I guess that means we’re each only a house or three from qualifying to be a Republican Presidential candidate!
No, I think that’s wrong.
What made the 2000 election close enough to steal was the bonhomie that swept through America in the glow of the USSR’s collapse and the giddy fake-prosperity of the dot-com bubble, plus the endemic bimbo eruptions of the Bill Clinton years.
Remember: in 2000, the burning issue of the election involved how best to spend America’s enormous budget surplus.
In 2000, the middle class thought itself riding high, buoyed by a skyrocketing NASDAQ and a stratospheric dot-com bubble. In 2000, the hot book was the 1999 tome Dow 36,000 — and people believed that codswallop.
In 2000, the conservative challenger successfully positioned himself as a “compassionate conservative.”
Fast forward to 2015. Now, the middle class has collapsed, the world economy melted down in 2009 and still hasn’t recovered, “compassionate conservatism” has gotten revealed as a grotesque fraud and vicious smokescreen for obscene Wall Street cons and thievery.
Times are very different in 2015 than in 2000. There were no real issues at stake in the 2000 presidential election. Voters faced a choice between how to go on a spending spree with all the fabulous government surplus money washing around Washington. Meanwhile, America was at peace, at war with no one.
Today, in 2015, Special Ops U.S. death squads rampage through 135 of the 204 nations on earth. America finds itself mired in a quagmire of multiple unwinnable foreign wars, one of ’em now having dragged on for 14 endless years.
In 2015, the Republicans find themselves revealed as sadistic sociopaths in party of crazy people, a field of Republican candidates so demented and inept that even hard-core Republican recoil with disbelief and disgust.
No, I’d say 2015 is so different from 2000 that there’s little chance Rubio can run the same con Reagan and the Drunk-Driving C Student ran. Voters today watch their neighbors getting foreclosed and leaving their empty houses in cars full of personal belongings. Voters today see their friends getting fired and offshored and automated out of work and moving back into their parents’ basements. College grads today face life-destroying quarter-million-dollar college loan debts and the prospect of employment as part-time baristas.
The Democrats have the high ground on all the issues in 2015 — and in 2015, the voters know that the issues really matter. We’re not living in a la-la-land of Dow 36,000 and “America as the greatest military hegemon the world has ever seen” and The End of History and the Last Man anymore. Republicans have nothing to offer the electorate but the same old tired warmed-over Reaganoid supply-side bullshit that has trashed the U.S. economy for 35 years and crushed the middle class like a steamrollered cockroach.
No matter who the Repubs nominate, the 2016 election will be a blowout for the Democrats.
This is really ironic coming from an Obama follower.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Myiq2xu: it’s almost cute when you think you’re being clever
Exactly right. Marco Rubio will melt down under the pressure of facing Hillary in a debate like the wicked witch of the West after Dorothy threw a pail of water on her.
Hills withstood 11 hours of grilling by fanatical congresscritters and she didn’t even break a sweat. She’ll eat Rubio alive in a general election if he’s the Republican nominee.
Another fun fact: the Bush name is now as badly besmirched as Hoover’s was post-1932.
In the 2008 Republican fundraisers, prospective Republican voters were mailing back human feces in the envelopes.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: They are already calling Rubio the GOP Obama
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Myiq2xu: a highly successful two-term president? We’ll see
are you pretending to be a Clinton supporter today? Or have you dropped the mask to let your dumbass racist troll flag fly?
“Dondi” Rubio is like the Dan Quayle of the 21st Century.
@jl: This. Bernie Sanders could hand it over to Hillary, as ALWAYS INTENDED, and still have a whale of a good time in the Senate making stuff happen. He’s damn near an Elizabeth Warren that you wouldn’t WANT to leave the Senate because he’s in such useful positions.
Win/win for Bernie. He is most definitely not going home to twiddle his thumbs whatever happens. Remember that.
I think Rubio’s gonna get hit with his problem involving other people’s credit cards and he’s toast. We’re getting into the part of the primrary cycle where the knives come out and the desperation kicks in.
Jeb is still pushing the “Lazy Rubio” argument even after the debate, so sooner rather than later he or his family assassins will dig up the dirt that Romney’s vetters got on Rubio that kept Marco off the 2012 Veep ticket.
Don’t forget Rubio’s rumored mistress and kids born out of wedlock. Oh, and his flip-flopping on immigration which guarantees that either the Latino voters hate him, or his base does.
This Democrat isn’t worried about Rubio. Jeb is not the answer, but Jeb is right to criticize Rubio for campaigning on the taxpayer dime and collecting a paycheck for a job he won’t do. Rubio needs to show up for work and do his job representing the people of Florida in the Senate — or he should resign. If he can’t show up for Senate votes and campaign at the same time, he can’t handle the job of President. Is Rubio lazy or incompetent? Or is he not doing the work because he only cares about his own personal ambition to be President? Even Rubio’s hometown paper has demanded he do his job or resign.
Zero accomplishments/ lazy career politician Rubio is unelectable anyway. He’s unelectable to conservatives because he led the charge on amnesty for the undocumented. Even most pro-lifers are not against a rape exception, but Rubio said women should be forced to have their rapists’ babies. That makes him unelectable to liberals. And his awful, bizarre plan to tax the middle class will make him unelectable to moderates.
Jeb and Bush both would get shredded by the Clinton machine. But Jeb is right about Rubio.
Paul in KY
@Betty Cracker: That’s what a good campaign commercial is for.
Paul in KY
@jl: I wouldn’t mind Bernie as Veep. Would ensure Hillary wouldn’t face right-wing assassination attempts, as that would get the commie into oval office. he’d make a good attack dog on the Republican nominee. Surely we can get another Democrat in his Vermont seat.
Paul in KY
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I go with ‘lying’.
Paul in KY
Paul in KY
@mclaren: Hope you are right. Definitely, people should not be as blasé as they were in 1999.