Despite a well orchestrated campaign this week to throw Ted Cruz off his game, he remains in the best position to win the nomination in 2016.
Despite a well orchestrated campaign this week to throw Ted Cruz off his game, he remains in the best position to win the nomination in 2016.
When Marco Rubio ran for the Senate, I backed him in 2009. He was around three percent in the polls. I declared his candidacy a hill to die on. I’d do it all over again. I adore the guy.
Jim DeMint and the Senate Conservatives Fund followed. Soon other conservatives came on board. Republican leaders in Washington sent staff to prop up Charlie Crist. I encouraged a donor boycott of the NRSC. Crist became an independent. Marco Rubio won.
Along the way, Rubio committed very directly to me and to others that he was opposed to amnesty and would not get on board a comprehensive immigration plan like that which conservatives had rallied to defeat in the Bush Administration.
But then Marco Rubio went to Washington. As he staffed up he surrounded himself with people who had a vested interest in immigration reform. Pretty soon Marco Rubio was crossing the aisle to work with Chuck Schumer to do that which he had told so many of us he would not do. To his credit, he worked hard to bring along conservatives. But I bet now he regrets ever crossing the aisle.
On Tuesday night, both Rand Paul and Ted Cruz tied the immigration plan around Rubio’s neck like a millstone. It left a mark.
While Rubio was working with the Democrats to orchestrate an immigration plan, Ted Cruz was working to scuttle it. But contrary to what Cruz said Tuesday night, he too did favor a pathway for legalization of some illegal immigrants, though not necessarily citizenship. Cruz is arguing now about poison pills and procedural tricks, but it was not so back then.
Rubio says he tried to cut a deal and walked away when it went south and he learned his lesson. Cruz says he never did what he actually did and if he did do it, it was a legislative maneuver decided to do something not expressed at the time.
Both Rubio and Cruz have a fundamental flaw at the hearts of their campaigns. They are ambitious, young politicians. They have maneuvered and jockeyed for positions in ways to build coalitions and occasionally those maneuvers come back to haunt them by those who do not like them.
The pounding on Cruz from the Establishment is something they have waited to do with gusto. The pounding on Rubio from the conservative base is something they have waited to do with gusto. Both sides have wanted a pound of flesh from the other and now is their chance. It is politics.
The deeper reality is this.
Marco Rubio’s political flaw is that he has sometimes surrounded himself with people who had agendas greater than Rubio’s own. In office, that manifested itself with advisors who saw Rubio, the tea party candidate, as the guy who could advance their immigration agenda. Rubio was badly served.
It is coming back to bite him in the ass again with advisors who are unwilling to relinquish the war plans of 2003-era George Bush. They feel they lost their power because of a poor communicator in Bush and Rubio can vindicate them. So Libya and Syria were just causes as will every other play in the Middle East until they are proven right.
Their attacks on Cruz as an isolationist are hyperbolic and silly and none of them see that the Republican base, like with immigration, is not ready to go back in guns blazing to every Middle Eastern territory in the name of democracy for all. ISIS is one thing. Libyan and Syrian intervention are something else entirely. I am intentionally not using the word “neocon” here because it is too often used as a pejorative, but Rubio is certainly surrounded by the most aggressive interventionists on the right not named Lindsey Graham and is now advocating their policies in the same way he advocated immigration.
I think it is to his detriment.
With Cruz, I think it is the exact opposite. Rubio listens to too many people and Cruz listens to too few. He comes across as too clever by half, less likable and relatable than Rubio, and often times so polished as to seem slick. His constant need to talk over the moderators on Tuesday night rubbed even a lot of his supporters the wrong way. His sleight of hand on his own immigration position mentioned above seemed a career politician worthy deception. It caught up to him the very next day in a very awkward interview with Brett Baier on Fox News that Rubio supporters blasted out everywhere.
Cruz is surrounded by loyal foot soldiers out to stick it to the man, where the man is the Republican Establishment. Just as the Rubio team can get caught in an echo chamber, so too can the Cruz campaign. If the Cruz campaign did not see that unforced error coming Tuesday night — particularly when the vast majority of the right-of-center and centrist GOP opinion leaders and television personalities are out to get him — they need some new voices or reconsiderations.
But ultimately, Cruz’s stunt on Tuesday night came across as the guy who knows he is the smartest guy on stage and that often leaves a bad impression at a time Cruz needs to make every good impression possible.
In neither case is it fatal. As Chris Christie rises, Cruz stands a better and better chance of besting Rubio. But there are plenty of people like me who backed Rubio in 2010 who would do it all over again, even knowing what we know now. Cruz as a 100% Heritage Action rating and Rubio has a 93% Heritage Action rating. Arguing about how pure a conservative either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio is, is like arguing over FL and IF diamond clarity.
Next week is Christmas. No one is going to remember this by next Saturday. The heart of the problem for both men is that they are young, ambitious politicians saying and doing the things they need to do to get elected. What Rubio’s supporters see as opportunistic of Cruz, they see as noble coalition building for Rubio and vice versa. What Cruz supporters see as pandering by Rubio, they see as truth telling by Cruz.
It’s politics. It is the quest for the Presidency. I don’t expect either man to be a saint. They are trying to win by looking as little like politicians as possibly while being politicians. Neither side will show the other grace for the same tactics used because there is an election coming up.
We’ll all get through this together. It’s just Sturm und Drang at least till March.
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are friends of mine. I have no interest in supporting one over the other. I’d be thrilled with either one as President. I intend to do two posts. One on the merits of Cruz. One on the merits of Rubio.
I see friends tearing each other up over both men. Let me give you my assessments of the positives of both while ignoring the negatives of both.
I think you should vote for Ted Cruz because at a time when Americans have grown deeply cynical of both parties and positively loath the Republicans, Ted Cruz has been willing to hold his own side accountable. Cruz is willing to take on the GOP and, in fact, polling shows Republicans hate the GOP as much as Democrats. In a panel of 35 undecided Republican voters last week, the panel agreed unanimously on few things, but they completely agreed that the GOP leadership in Washington had gone astray.
Cruz redeems the GOP to that degree. He actually has principles. Instead of trying to run as a lite version of the Democrats, he wants to chart a clear course forward as a conservative. He believes we should trust the people, not Washington. He believes individuals should take responsibility for themselves. And he is willing to call out his own side when his side betrays their values.
What’s more, it is unquestionable that Cruz has the intelligence and debating prowess to take on Hillary Clinton. He has an audiographic memory and can recall small details to paint a larger picture. Cruz has repeatedly on the debate stage deployed sharp reasoning as a trained lawyer to shine even when his time has been far less than others on the stage.
Currently, and perhaps most importantly, Cruz is the only Republican who has a shot at stopping Donald Trump. He is the second choice of both Carson and Trump supporters. He may not be everyone’s favorite pick, but uniting behind Cruz helps solidify the party.
Conservatives are going to have to rally in November of 2016. The party forced the base to settle with Romney and McCain in 2012 and 2008. Both men failed. They failed to paint clear alternatives. They failed to aggressively campaign. They failed to show how they were different from the Republicans in Washington that the nation hates. Cruz can do those things.
Cruz has a reasonable, Jeanne Kirkpatrick-esque approach to foreign policy that is neither too internationalist nor too isolationist. Given his background and pedigree, he’d have a good grasp on vetting federal judges to avoid future terrible appointments. Cruz would be an ideal package for 21st century Republicans and conservatives to unite behind.
In an age of ever growing leviathan, the question Republicans should avoid asking is what these candidates can do and rather they should ask what these candidates can stop Washington doing. Cruz is committed to rolling back leviathan. Critics may say Cruz has gotten nothing done in Washington. I would say Cruz has gotten a lot stopped in Washington. The House Republican shift to the right in 2014 would not have happened with men like Cruz inspiring the base by exposing so much wrong.
Ted Cruz has the brilliance, political skills, and principles to be an unshakable warrior for freedom and provides a contrast against Hillary Clinton’s approach of government doing more and more at a time when more and more Americans trust government less and less.
That’s why you should vote for Ted Cruz.
I talked to several NBC employees who work for news at the Boulder Debate. All of them, to a person, were outraged by CNBC’s moderators. To a person, they were apologetic that the GOP had to suffer through that.
None of them, for obvious reasons, wanted to talk on the record, but all of them were truly just embarrassed and outraged. One of the employees told me she thought open liberals on MSNBC would have done a better job because, going into a debate like that, they had a known partisan bias. She really expected CNBC’s moderators to focus on, well, “your money like every f**king banner in the building said,” she said exasperatedly.
When even colleagues of the CNBC moderators are throwing them under the bus, well, there you have it.
I am by no means an expert on conservative talk radio, but do actually have a highly rated talk radio program. I have filled in for several of the biggest hosts in syndicated talk radio. My radio show is on the most listened to news/talk station in the country or, on its worse day, no less than the number three most listened to talk station in the entire country. WSB, my station, just won the Marconi Award as the best news/talk station in the nation. I have a larger radio audience for my Atlanta-only radio show than many syndicated talk radio hosts have for theirs. Put a bit more plainly, if you are listening to talk radio in Atlanta from 5pm to 7pm on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday you are listening to me. Believe it or not, my ratings went up after uninviting Trump from the RedState Gathering.
This is all to say that I know my market and my audience. I know some things about talk radio.
Right now, I see people I respect, friends and acquaintances and others, openly saying conservative talk radio is in Donald Trump’s pocket or Trump is a creature of talk radio or somehow Donald Trump would not be where he is today but for Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, etc.
The people making these accusations are just dripping with contempt for conservative talk radio show hosts. They are also wrong.
It is true that Glenn Beck and I are decidedly not on Team Trump. But it is also true that a number of these radio show hosts now under constant attack from people who dislike Trump, some of the most prominent radio hosts in America, are not on Team Trump. In truth, a lot of the people attacking the conservatives on talk radio do not like these hosts anyway. This is just the latest excuse to attack them. But in attacking the talk show hosts, these folks are peddling a lie they have become extremely comfortable with.
It is like the Republicans on Capitol Hill who accuse conservatives of fundraising off division as an effort to get rich and get on television. That is sheer projection by a group of people who have been fundraising off lobbyists for years and now hate the competition. They cannot fathom, because of their own lack of principles, that some people dare to have principles and get pissed off when regularly lied to.
With talk radio, there is a lot of projection by its critics and also a profound misunderstanding of the medium that is talk radio. In short, radio is relational in a way twitter, Facebook, television, and other means of communication are not. Talk radio is even more relational than radio in general. I do not want to be presumed to be speaking for any host on radio other than myself, but I can tell you from experience that radio hosts reflect their listeners and give voice to their listeners and are in a friendship with their listeners. 1
Yes, we do sometimes help lead, educate, and motivate listeners. But more often than not, we are in conversation with our listeners, saying out loud what they are thinking, and making sure they know they are not alone while stuck in their car, in their office, or on a lake sitting in their bass boat. When you hear a major syndicated radio show host trumpeting Trump, in many cases the critics of talk radio are mishearing a reflection of the audience as an endorsement to the audience.2
Look, I know what my listeners like. I know what the listeners of the hosts I fill in for like. I know because I am one of those listeners. I hang out with the listeners. You would be surprised how often I invite listeners out for a beer or invite them into the studio or engage in emails with them. I had a listener I do not even know randomly email the other day that is father is dying and just wanted some prayers. I was on the phone with him and his dad that afternoon. Last year during Atlanta’s snow storm, I stayed on the radio for twelve straight hours just so people stuck in their cars could call in and talk to a friend, get some help, and calm down. I spent another hour off air calling back some of those I was on the phone with just to make sure they were safe.
I read the emails I get, though I cannot always respond. I know other hosts do too. We know exactly what our listeners are interested in, thinking, worrying about, and we make sure they know they are not alone. We keep them company. There are times we may disagree. But often we are in agreement and I am their voice to larger world.
Here’s the big take away — when you hear someone say talk radio is in Donald Trump’s pocket, what they want to do is blame the host for the audience. We see this playing out in Washington, D.C. with Republicans dripping with condescension over conservative activists no longer willing to settle for empty promises. Conservatives get blamed for John Boehner, they get blamed for not being happy with Paul Ryan, etc. etc. etc.
Essentially, the blame is that the conservative grassroots are stupid, but instead of saying it that directly, the D.C. crowd says the grassroots are being led, being conned, or being lied to. Well hell, they would know. They’ve been doing it for years. But they do not have the relationship with the grassroots that talk radio hosts do. These hosts cannot lie to their listeners like politicians lie to their voters and still have ratings.3
There is a great divide within the GOP on how to fight, whether to fight, on what values we should compromise, etc. Talk radio is reflecting that divide and coming down firmly on the side of those fed up with the system. You may think a lot of hosts are wrong, but you’d be wrong to think they are being paid off or pushing Donald Trump. They are giving voice to their listeners who are otherwise being ignored. They are talking about the issues their listeners care about.
It is precisely the same reason Donald Trump is doing so well in the polls. He has tapped into a frustration much of talk radio already understands because so many of us understand our listeners a lot better than the Republicans in Washington and their “bitch and moan caucus” on Twitter understand the grassroots of the party.
Feel free to disagree with them, but don’t think Trump’s polling is a product of their cheerleading. Talk radio voices were not in the McCain and Romney camps and those were the nominees in 2008 and 2012. For you to really believe talk radio has lead 30% of the GOP to Trump is to believe that in an age where radio listenership has declined, talk radio shows have even more power with those who do not even listen to them.
In short, if you’re blaming talk radio for Donald Trump, you’re just avoiding reality.
And there is another reality to consider as well. Should Trump fade or even run as a third party candidate, the very same people complaining about talk radio will be thanking the hosts for being a place they can point to as evidence Donald Trump did get a fair hearing and lost fair and square. Talk radio is playing a vital role in giving the conservative grassroots a cathartic clearing of the air so, should the dynamics of the race change, the listeners won’t be taking their football and going home.
I know my audience. I know talk radio. The people bitching about it don’t really know, don’t really care, and/or don’t really appreciate it.
1. This is one reason I rarely ever do an interview on radio, choosing instead to talke callers. The relationship is between my listeners and me and the relationship changes when my listeners are put in the position of having to be the passive listener to me engaged in conversation with a non-audience member.↩
2. If you listen regularly to talk radio and follow various hosts on twitter, you’ll see easily who has gone off the deep end and who knows what they’re doing. You won’t find, for example, the really good hosts beating up Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America, etc. when they voice skepticism of Trump. They may disagree, but are not suddenly going to declare these groups voices of the Establishment.↩
3. Just look at talk radio ratings. The radio show hosts most aligned with the DC-GOP are also much more terrible shows in terms of audience retention, ratings, size of the station on which they are broadcast, etc. Being shills for the Republican Establishment may get you invited to the cocktail parties and get you access to politicians but it is death to your relationship with listeners. My listeners are not going to keep me in their car every day if I’m beating up their friends and shilling for those politicians who have failed them. And they sure as hell can detect when a host is just telling them what they want to hear. The voice, without body, is a powerful connection and listeners are far more easily able to detect bull than you would think.↩
I continue to think Ted Cruz is on trajectory to be the next President of the United States in a nomination fight against Marco Rubio and George W. Bush may have just handed the whole race to Cruz.
Multiple people have told the Politico that at a fundraiser in Colorado for Jeb Bush, President George W. Bush lit into Ted Cruz. Cruz could not have paid for such a sterling moment for his campaign.
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that more Republicans, upwards of 40%, say they would never, ever vote for Jeb Bush for President, which is more than those who say that about Donald Trump. Along comes the former President in a season of “we’ve already had two Bushes” to promote his brother by bashing Ted Cruz as “opportunistic” and self-interested.
The GOP is still wrestling with immigration reforms started by the Bush administration, TARP, the GM bailout, John Roberts, and more. Conservatives have grown more and more hostile toward Jeb Bush and his brother’s legacy. So it does not help George W. Bush to give a back-handed endorsement to Ted Cruz as the antithesis of Bush Republicanism.
What’s more, in the continuing scenario where I see Cruz vs. Rubio as the logical outcome of this, Bush also dinged Rubio, but not nearly has hard as he slammed Cruz.
More troubling, I am not aware of George W. Bush criticizing Barack Obama as intensely as he has criticized his Republican Senator in Texas.
What President Bush is doing is signaling that he thinks Ted Cruz is the major threat to the Republican Establishment and the candidate the Establishment fears the most. In a election year where the outsiders are beating the insiders, this will only help Cruz. In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll — the same one showing strong anti-Jeb sentiment — Cruz had made no gains over last month. I expect this news will help him tremendously.
I also think this is another data point in why Jeb Bush walking away from the race would profoundly shake up the race in ways no other candidate leaving would.
Ted Cruz could not pay money for this kind of publicity in this kind of election year.
As an aside, it is a really damning indictment on the maturity of those in the room who showed up to help Jeb Bush that they’d run off to the press and mouth off about what a former President said behind closed doors while being completely oblivious to the fact that it would actually help Ted Cruz.
The Republican Party simply does not understand its voters any more.
The Republican Establishment has begun its collective freakout that Donald Trump may win. I have long maintained I’d support Trump over Kasich and would gladly vote for Trump if he is the nominee.
But part of me wonders what would happen if Jeb Bush walked away.
It may be too late, but early on a lot of Trump’s core support was from people who saw the Republican Establishment doing for Jeb Bush what they had done for both John McCain and even more so for Mitt Romney. The same people were lined up in the same way to try to do some sort of coronation.
Now, a lot of Trump’s support is for Trump, not against Bush. It has morphed over time. But there is still a strong contingent who believe in the binary — if you are not for Trump, you are for Jeb Bush. I’m sure if Bush walked away, it would become against Rubio. The Trump folks seem to recognize this and have spent a lot of time bashing Rubio lately.
Still, I wonder what would happen if Bush walked away. The odds are he does not, but the odds are also that as long as Jeb Bush hangs on, he prevents a necessary shake up in the race for those who are anti-establishment to look again at the field. There is a psychological hold on a lot of the anti-establishment forces convinced that Bush, by virtue of his last name and perceived second coming of Romney, will walk away with the nomination if left unchecked.
If Jeb Bush goes away, so too do many of those psychological holds, barring a Bush endorsement for someone else.
While Bush is not my choice, I do like the guy. He is a very decent, good guy. But at this point, I do wonder about his campaign. I also think there is a lot more value in Bush walking away and helping remove some of the fever gripping those opposed to another coronation by those who lined up behind McCain and Romney.
What is most striking about 2016 is the inability of the Establishment to concede its need to compromise after years of telling conservatives that they need to compromise. The Establishment would rather see the whole ship sink than see an outsider win. And in doing so, an outsider is winning and probably will win.
Bush is, to be sure, more a victim of anti-establishment angst than a cause of it. But his continued presence in the race adds fuel to fires he did not light, but that will consume him and possibly the Republican Party. It is not fair. But it is true.
What is the most endearing moment of Rand Paul’s Presidential campaign is also the most embarrassing. The senator live streamed his entire day yesterday and took questions from people online. At one point, he referred to it as a “dumb ass live stream.”
It was, as the press called it, “a stunt” — a desperate cry for attention. What is worse is that Rand Paul did not even like it. “I’ve been saying, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this. And now we’re doing this,” Paul told a reporter.
Then he read mean tweets about himself. This was preceded by an August attempt to take on Donald Trump that made such little buzz that I actually did not even realize it. About the only thing that happened was Rand became a punching bag for Donald Trump in the debates.
The reality TV star, no doubt, will next bring up Rand Paul’s stint as an second rate internet star.
The whole thing is embarrassing.
One of Rand Paul’s Super PAC’s has already closed up shop. Paul himself raised $2.5 million, outraised by Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and others. In fact, Paul had raised only $6.9 million in the prior quarter and “the Paul campaign insist[ed] its financials [were] healthy and on an upward trajectory and that the Kentucky senator is ‘in it for the long haul.'”
Paul’s “upward trajectory” is only upward in an upside down world. For two consecutive quarters, Ben Carson has individually beaten Rand Paul and his Super PACs combined.
Paul has taken to bashing Ted Cruz for daring to challenge Washington and has otherwise stood shoulder to shoulder with the Washington insiders the rest of the party is fighting. He has been hampered by a group of Republicans who think he is the second coming of his father and hampered by a separate group of Republicans who realize he is not the second coming of his father.
Paul’s strategic choices have been muddled and have all the hallmarks of a candidate micromanaging a campaign staff that will neither stand up to him, nor guide him, but can apparently bully him into a “dumb ass live stream.” When other candidates went to Iowa, Rand went to Alaska and Wyoming. He has marched to the beat of not just his own drummer, but a drummer no one else can hear.
It is rumored in D.C. that his campaign has serious turmoil between staffers who do not get along and it appears Paul either has too much conflicting advice or is ignoring competent advice all while paying out big bucks to consultants who, at this point, appear to be profiting from a reality TV star making a fool of himself. His campaign has all the hallmarks of a profit motivated staff or a micro-managerial candidate unwilling to take advice.
Rand Paul should be a candidate reflecting on serious issues within the Republican Party. Though I do not necessarily agree with him on all of his core issues, Paul has been a critical voice on the scope of national security surveillance of Americans, the role of government in civil rights, and federalism. But he has failed to get traction on any of those issues, has failed to stand out on any debate stage except to look stoned or serve as plaything for Donald Trump, and has failed to raise a competitive amount of money.
The Paul campaign has about $2 million cash on hand, according to [Paul’s spokesman]. Given that the campaign finished the previous quarter with $4.1 million cash on hand, that suggests the campaign spent more than it took in these past three months. Having spent $4.6 million and taken in $2.5 million, the Paul campaign spent at almost double the rate it earned these past three months.
Rand Paul, on God only knows whose advice, made an early disastrous error by fighting against the Washington GOP in his 2010 election only to go to DC and try not just to work with them, but to do so at the expense of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. Paul became the Republican “outsider” who his Kentucky colleague Mitch McConnell relied on to throw Cruz and Mike Lee under the bus. That alienated Paul with tea party voters. His failure to aggressively pick up his father’s platform alienated Paul to more hardcore libertarian Ron Paul voters. And Paul has never been able to find a new base of support, having burned bridges will his past coalition.
At this point, if Paul stays in, he is staying in as a candidate to subsidize political consultants, which is something Paul ran against in 2010. He is, in short, becoming the very sort of candidate he fought against in 2010. It is still not clear if he will get on stage in Boulder, CO, at the end of this month given his anemic polling.
About the only thing Rand Paul is now doing in the race is serving as a future George Washington University campaign management class hypothetical in how not to run a Presidential campaign. A man who should be setting the agenda of a new GOP reform path is now, at best, an asterisk, headed toward being a polling asterisk.
And in other news, the head of the Rand Paul Super PAC that has not thrown in the towel already is under indictment.
Rand Paul, this was an interesting run and I am a fan of yours. But your campaign is a bloody embarrassment that needs to be taken out back and put out of its misery. Go home to Kentucky, Senator, and save your Senate seat before Kentucky’s voters take the incompetence of your Presidential campaign as a reflection on you and your Senate campaign.
There are lots and lots of analyses about Scott Walker dropping out. Yes, he put the people closest to him in a Super PAC that could not talk to him, then surrounded himself with people who do not know him.
Yes, there were gaffes and flip-flops galore.
There were lots of fundamental problems with Scott Walker. He was the guy who had lots of rich donors and Washington Republicans whispering in his ear telling him that the crown was his for the taking. He never saw Trump coming and did not know how to respond.
While his wife and kids were rushing to assure everyone that they were cool with gay marriage and Scott Walker had been to one, Walker was throwing red meat to the crowd. He flipped on birthright citizenship. His campaign had internal dysfunction. He could not stand up to anyone and then stood up to his donors to prove he was his own man.
But there’s something more to it too.
Walker brought in a lot of outside consultants who are DC oriented and they, and Walker, profoundly misread the mood of the Republican electorate. I actually don’t think that they misread it so much as they rejected it. Both in Walker’s Super PAC and campaign were people who looked on the base of the party with contempt. They wanted to rebuke the anger. They wanted to run a traditional race. And the result is that it dragged Walker down.
Walker had no strategy to combat the anger and, when he played to it, it came across as flip-flopping and slippery. It planted seeds of distrust.
Early on there were warning signs when Walker got bullied by Iowa GOP voices to drop Liz Mair because of past writings about both ethanol and the Iowa primary. Walker could be played by people.
He may have stood up to unions in Wisconsin, but he wasn’t standing up to anyone else. In fact, all he seemed to have was a story of fighting unions that, long term, made people wonder why he was not willing to stand up to anyone else.
Last week, lots of people started circulating rumors about Walker’s team and his donors were demanding a shake up. When he announced a press conference yesterday evening, a lot of people thought he was going to take responsibility for his campaign, lead a shakeup, and reboot. Instead, he dropped out in a short and relatively unmemorable campaign statement that seemed to blame Donald Trump.
In fact, Donald Trump was not to blame for Scott Walker dropping out. Walker had fundamental problems. His strategy was more a set of tactics instead of a comprehensive vision. His campaign team did not seem to care for the base. And he did not have a command of the issues.
It turns out a midwestern governor who beats unions and survives three elections is not necessarily the shoo-in that so many people thought. And that, ultimately, was Walker’s problem. Too many people thought he was a shoo-in and it seems the Walker campaign thought it too. If you aren’t willing to fight for the Presidency, you can be sure you will not win it. There’s no such thing as a shoo-in, as Hillary Clinton is about to find out.
It is at minimum 25 million to ZERO and it could be as high as 45 million to ZERO.
That is the number of people who have watched a Republican Presidential debate to the number of people who have watched a Democrat Presidential debate. It’s not like the Democrats are without a primary process. There’s Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, and some old lady who suffered a brain injury. Perhaps the DNC is just trying to let the elderly heal before subjecting her to a debate.
The Democrats can mock and ridicule the process of the Republican debate all they want. The can run op-eds and editorials about how the candidates are terrible. But ultimately the GOP is getting out there and not protecting one old lady from all the other candidates in the field.
What exactly is Hillary Clinton scared of? What is Debbie Wasserman Schultz scared of? They must be scared of something. Perhaps it is showing America that the Democrat candidates are crazier and more shrill than the GOP. Perhaps they don’t want just a race of old white people forcing them to compete with the MSNBC slate of anchors for who’s whiter.
Either way, at minimum 25 million Americans have seen Republicans debate issues, disagree, and have a Presidential primary process. The Democrats are still in hiding. The sad thing is, it has more to do with protecting one old lady too scared to answer tough questions than actually having a primary debate process.