Coming out of Iowa, it looked we had a firm consensus on the shape of the Republican race: Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio as the top three contenders going forward, with everyone else as also-rans.
And then a week later New Hampshire comes along to declare “Psych!”
Desperate to find a candidate to coalesce around in hopes of stopping the populist insurrection of Donald Trump and the conservative uprising championed by Ted Cruz, the establishment instead got the opposite: a three-way split decision between John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio that ensures an extended, nasty and expensive fight simply to emerge as the third guy in the top tier.
What New Hampshire did was ensure that the fight to be the establishment candidate wasn’t going to be a knockout but rather decided on a decision after 12 rounds of boxing. That’s a terrible thing for a party who faces not one but two existential threats in the form of Trump and Cruz.
If Ted Cruz is an actual “existential threat” to the Republican Party, for actually being for the things the Republican Establishment merely claimed they were for all these years, then the Republican Party deserves to die…
It’s going to take more than Miracle Max to revive his campaign… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
Indeed, “Bush plans scorched earth attack on Kasich, Rubio.” Because why go after the guy in first place when you can go after the guys who placed second and fifth? Also this from the Bush campaign: “Rubio has demonstrated no respect for the nomination process and expects this to be a coronation.” Which is pretty rich coming from Jeb…
Jeb “Low Energy” Bush spent $1,150 per vote in New Hampshire only to come in fourth place. At that rate, it will cost him $74,500,000,000.00 to get sixty five million votes in the general election. Jeb and his superpac have spent $70,400,000.00 this cycle and they’ve won 3 delegates. That’s $23,466,666.66 per delegate. At that rate, he would need to spend $26,845,866,666.66 to win the 1,144 delegates necessary for the nomination.
The tea leaves suggest Chris Christie will drop out. If Rick Perry hurt his chances by running poorly in 2012, Christie hurt his by not running in 2012, where he was riding high as a Republican hero. Now? I’m glad he won’t be the GOP nominee, but he probably is about the most conservative Republican who can get elected governor in New Jersey…
1. Hillary is in real trouble. Will she panic? The Clinton team, hunkered down in a grubby Manchester Radisson saturated in booze and overrun by ill-kempt Morning Joe groupies, knew it was going to be a terrible, not-good night by mid-afternoon: The exit polls showed big turnout among young voters and, ominously for her, liberals who think Barack Obama isn’t liberal enough. It was a complete and humbling defeat: Sanders beat Clinton among all demographic groups – including all women, a remarkable rebuke eight years after she “found her voice” by tearing up at New Hampshire diner.
Clinton prides herself on hanging tough through adversity, and she’s got her share now. How does she react? If history is any guide, she’ll freak out at first, then grudgingly make adjustments. But what adjustments can she make when many progressives think she’s so day-before-yesterday.
On Monday, my colleague Annie Karni and I reported that the Bill and Hillary Clinton were pressuring campaign manager Robby Mook to enact strategic, “messaging” and staffing shifts that would take place if Sanders trounced the former secretary. Duh, that’s done.
Forget staff. The problem is, as I’ve written over and over again, with the candidate herself: She’s a less limber, more tone-deaf politician than she was in 2008 (after years of being kept sharp by the New York tabloids) and she has blown past staff suggestions that she simplify her message to match Sanders’ pound-one-nail anti-Wall Street mantra.
Plus: “Marco Rubio isn’t the droid you’ve been looking for.”
Hillary goes all in on race-pandering to black voters. “Clinton is set to campaign with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner.” Because there’s no possible way that might alienate independent voters…
My own analysis? Every week Kasich and Bush stay in is a bad week for Marco Rubio. It’s looking more and more like a Trump vs. Cruz race, and if Rubio can’t win at least one primary between now and March 1 (when the “SEC Primary” of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia occurs), he’s toast for this cycle…
Is Rubio “The Establishment’s” first choice? No. Jeb is next in line. Are members of “The Establishment” comfortable with him as a second choice? I’d say it seems so. Is there any doubt that in a Rubio-Cruz showdown “The Establishment” would go with Rubio? So, yeah.
Yes, Rubio supporters can trot out his Heritage Action score but that only shows he goes along, not that he’s going to lead anywhere. They simply can’t show a single time he’s bucked the party, not just with a vote but by publicly putting his neck on the line. I simply don’t believe that when push comes to shove a President Rubio will be any more forceful in breaking up the consensus than Senator Rubio has been.
I would make somewhat different points, and the “Cruz is a bastard” point I disagree with (Cruz is quite a likable guy in person), but it’s true that one of his great strengths is his willingness to buck the leadership of his own party rather than compromise conservative principles. “If you want someone to change DC and the direction of the country, you have to elect someone who has shown they understand that there’s a problem, someone who has shown a willingness to point at people in his own ‘leadership’ and say, ‘they have no clothes’.”
Authorities in Florida have arrested a man accused of throwing a live alligator through a restaurant’s drive-through window.
Investigators identified Joshua James, of Jupiter, Fla., as the man who tossed the 3 1/2-foot reptile into a Wendy’s last fall, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission incident report.
He faces three charges related to the incident: Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; unlawful sale, possession or transporting of an alligator; and petty theft.
Pro tip: Try not to commit felonies for laughs. Though I’m sure the story will get a chuckle from his future cellmate.
According to entrance polling, among the roughly half of all Republican voters without a college degree, Cruz won 30 percent of the vote, eclipsing Trump’s 28 percent. Marco Rubio was a distant third, winning the support of just 17 percent of voters without college degrees. Cruz did 5 points better among voters without college degrees than among college grads (30 percent to 25 percent), while, among all candidates included in the entrance polling (Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders), Rubio was the candidate who had the lowest portion of his support come from those without college degrees—he did 10 points worse among voters without college degrees than among college grads (17 to 27 percent).
According to the entrance polling, Cruz also fared better than Trump or Rubio among younger voters. Among voters under the age of 30, Cruz won 26 percent of the vote to Rubio’s 23 percent and Trump’s 20 percent. Among voters in their 30s and early 40s, Cruz won 30 percent of the vote to Trump’s 23 percent and Rubio’s 21 percent. (Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton got clobbered among younger voters, winning less than 30 percent of the vote among those under the age of 45.)
“A couple of days ago on the ONT we were reminded that Ted Cruz is only five months older than Marco Rubio. That’s one month for every case he’s won before the Supreme Court. So don’t let anyone tell you Cruz has no accomplishments.”
Des Moines Register: “What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.”
Pat Condell speaks his mind on Cologne and other mass incidents of Muslim men committing sex crimes,
That “99% of women in Egypt have been physically molested” stat is shocking enough that I went looking for evidence of it, and this was evidently Condell’s source. It says that 99% have been sexual harassed, but a mere “96.5 percent of the women who’d been harassed said they’d been physically assaulted.” So Condell’s stat is slightly off, but the percentage is still staggering, assuming the UN report is accurate…
Presidential elections, Islamic terrorism, gun rights, crooked locksmiths: Something for (almost) everyone in your Friday LinkSwarm:
So why did Hillary Clinton take $675,000 for three speeches Goldman Sachs? “That’s what they offered.” I actually like the refreshing honesty about that answer, since we already know Granny Crooked McCankles is all about the benjamins. But Hillary saying she hadn’t decided to run for President yet when she took the money? That’s just pissing on our leg and calling it rain…
Why is the Republican establishment willing to consider one heresy to their worldview (subsidizing the working poor) but not another (actually enforcing immigration law and securing the borders)?
According to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz gave us ObamaCare. By voting to confirm John Roberts. Before Cruz was even in the senate. Hey, why should Ted Cruz even bother to run for President if he’s capable of time travel?
To recap: Gun-control activists declared Virginia their proving ground and poured unbelievable amounts of money into a state-senate election; then they lost that election; then they bet big on executive actions instituting new gun control; they watched as those actions were not only reversed but gun rights were expanded.
If we take Virginia as the bellwether that the gun-control activists envisioned, then gun control is dead as a 2016 issue.
And according to this legal paper by Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, lower courts are scrutinizing even modest post-Heller gun rights restrictions.
Ever see John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King, the film starring Sean Connery and Michael Cain based on the Rudyard Kipling story of the same name? It features Connery as a British soldier mistaken for a god by a remote tribe, a mistake Connery plays to his advantage, right up until his would-be queen bites him, the resulting blood proving that he’s a mere mortal.
His subsequent fall is swift.
I’m reminded of that fall by news that, according to a PPP poll, Donald Trump has dropped nine points following his second place finish in Iowa. Trump’s sense of popular inevitability was always one of his greatest assets, but after Ted Cruz successfully smote him, Trump too has been revealed as a mere mortal, and that sense of inevitability is bleeding away…