46 years ago today, America walked on the moon. Or perhaps I should say “Nixon walked on the moon” in the same sense that “Obama got Bin Laden.”
Last week, the New York Times seemed as determined to keep Ted Cruz’s new book A Time For Truth off their bestseller list as the BBC was to keep the Sex Pistol’s “God Save the Queen” out of the #1 spot on the singles chart during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
They claimed Cruz’s book was only eligible for the list due to “bulk sales.” There was just one tiny little problem with that theory: It wasn’t true.
“HarperCollins Publishers has investigated the sales pattern for Ted Cruz’s book A Time For Truth and has found no evidence of bulk orders or sales through any retailer or organization,” the publisher said in a statement [last] Friday.”
“The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Publisher’s Weekly, and Barnes & Noble all included A Time For Truth on their bestseller lists, with most placing it at #4 for nonfiction.”
Not only was Cruz in the right, he stood to benefit just by picking the fight. “For a conservative presidential candidate, the New York Times—an emblem of liberal elitism, right up there alongside arugula, the Toyota Prius and San Francisco—is a perfect foil.” (Also: “As it happens, A Time For Truth is a good read—especially by the dismal standards of the genre.”)
Yesterday, Ted Cruz was able to declare victory: “Five days after accusing The New York Times of bias, secrecy and foul play, Ted Cruz is finally getting what he wanted: a highly coveted spot on the paper’s bestseller list. Cruz’s memoir, A Time For Truth, will appear at No. 7 on the Times‘ list for hardcover nonfiction, reflecting its second-week sales, a Times spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.”
Two more nuggets:
Those who thought that Ted Cruz couldn’t raise enough money to be a viable presidential contender might want to reconsider.
Jeb Bush’s fundraising totals for the first half of 2015 were eye-popping: $114 million raised ($103 million of which came through his Right to Rise super PAC) with a stunning $98 million in the bank.
But, as amazing as Bush’s haul was, it’s Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s fundraising totals that stood out to me as the most important money number from the June reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Cruz raised $14 million through his campaign committee and another $37 million through a constellation of super PACs set up to aid his campaign. That total of $51 million raised put him second behind Bush in total fundraising over the first six months of the year — ahead of the likes of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Scott Walker.
Walker, of course, didn’t officially announce until this week. But having Cruz beat everyone in the field not named Bush is still impressive.
Chris Cillizza further notes that “Cruz has already raised more money than either Santorum or Huckabee did for their entire campaigns.”
Walker in, Cruz raising a ton of money…
Just in case you hadn’t heard, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker officially joined the 2016 Presidential race.
I would say that Walker is the real frontrunner, no matter what some polls might indicate. Facing down unions in the Wisconsin recall election made Walker a hero among conservatives. National Democrats and unions went after Walker with everything they had and Walker built a throne out of their skulls. And the Republican establishment is more likely to acquiesce to his candidacy than that of, say, Ted Cruz.
It’s a crowded field, but Walker will be a formidable candidate.
It’s now official: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is running for President.
He’s a solid conservative reformer, but I don’t see him getting a lot of traction is a field this crowded. I think he’s more realistically a Vice Presidential possibility this time around.
As longtime governor of the most economically successful state in the union, Perry should be a serious Presidential contender, especially since he has a more impressive (and recent) story to tell than Jeb Bush.
The problem, of course, is his poor showing in the 2012 Presidential race, which included a nationally televised “brain freeze” due to him being hopped up on goofballs following back surgery. I thought Perry was the most viable conservative candidate in the race in 2012, for all the good that did either of us. That does not appear to be the case this time around, and my choice for President right now would probably be Ted Cruz first and Scott Walker second.
Cruz, Walker and Marco Rubio all make the case for Perry more difficult. All outflank Perry on the right in ways that Huckabee and Santorum don’t, and Cruz in particular cuts into Perry’s fundraising base.
So while Perry should be a serious candidate, he has a much tougher row to hoe than he did in 2012…and he lost in 2012. Maybe he’s counting on the GOP’s well-known “next time around is the charm” bias (see Reagan, Bush41, Dole, McCain, and Romney), but I don’t think he did well enough in 2012 to have that sort of cachet.
Perry is a tough and tenacious campaigner (though probably not as indefatigable as Cruz), so it’s probably unwise to count him out entirely. Still, he looks to be an even longer shot in 2016 than he was in 2012.
Former New York Governor George Pataki has launched his Republican presidential bid, because why the hell not? The answer to a question no one asked, Pataki fills a much-needed void in the field. Evidently he didn’t want Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina hogging the Jon Huntsman Memorial Campaign Futility trophy without a fight.
Pataki was a moderately successful New York governor, especially when compared to governors whose names end in “-omo”. But the Republican Party base is suspicious of northern establishment moderates even in the best of times, and Pataki’s position on gun control alone is enough to disqualify him from winning the Presidential nomination.
In 2012 there were enough GOP candidates to field a baseball team. In 2016 it looks like there will be enough to fill both sides of a football team…
A new Quinnipiac poll of Iowa is out, and it shows Jeb Bush losing to, well, pretty much everyone:
Only 5% of likely Iowa GOP caucus-goers told Quinnipiac University pollsters that they planned to vote for Bush, placing him No. 7 in the field of declared or potential 2016 candidates.
Even worse for Bush: He may not have as much room to grow over the next year as other candidates do. One-quarter of Republicans said they definitely could not support Bush, the lowest ceiling of support of any candidate in the Hawkeye State, and 45% said Bush was “not conservative enough.”
The top Republican in Iowa is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who garnered support from 21% of those surveyed. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are tightly packed for second place, each earned between 13% and 11% support. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who unveiled his campaign on Monday, tallied 7% of the vote.
Jeb Bush losing to Scott Walker, Ran Paul, and Ted Cruz isn’t a surprise; Bush losing to Ben Carson, a political neophyte who has no chance to win the nomination, is.
When you dig further, Bush’s basic unpopularity rating comes to the fore: “Negative 39 – 45 percent favorability rating for Bush, and 36 percent saying he’s about right on issues, while 45 percent say he’s not conservative enough.”
Polls this early are essentially meaningless (remember when Howard Dean was going to win Iowa?), but the fact Bush is polling so poorly this early suggests both that he’s deeply unpopular with the base, and that he has yet to build an effective political operation in Iowa. Remember, George W. Bush won the Iowa caucuses handily over Steve Forbes in 2000 (McCain didn’t even pull 5%).
So far, Jeb Bush is running considerably behind expectations.