Not so fast: Trump may still need Rubio to win.

March 14, 2016

3-14-2016

Anything may happen but as of this moment Donald Trump is headed to victory in Florida tomorrow night and that will go a long way in clinching his position as the Republican nominee for president. It will crush Senator Marco Rubio who will have been beaten in his own home state.

But not so fast. In a curious way it might make both men more dependent on each other than ever before.

There is a general assumption that what Trump has done to win the nomination has diminished his chances of winning the general election. Obviously, Mr. Trump will have to revisit Women, Hispanics, Blacks and any other alienated constituencies. The general consensus is that Trump will need a woman on the ticket, as his vice presidential nominee, or else a whole lot of potential Trump voters will sit at home. And his choice would most likely be South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley. But there are some compelling reasons behind a Trump-Rubio ticket as well.

Rubio? Who can’t even carry his home state? The reasons are complicated.

In 1960 the Democratic Party found itself in a similar dilemma. They had started the political season with an army of potential nominees.  One by one they were eliminated. The first to drop out was  Illinois Senator Adlai Stevenson, the party elder statesman. He had already run twice and lost. The early front runner, Senator Estes Kefauver, of Tennessee was next to go. And then the so called “Happy Warrior” Minnesota Senator, Hubert Humphrey, who lost the West Virginia Primary to young Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Toward the end of the nominating season the numbers had been reduced to three serious contenders. Senator Kennedy, Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri and Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas. Johnson was considered by many as the most experienced and the most likely to win against a Republican in the general election.

Kennedy won the nomination but the party was deeply fractured.

The Johnson campaign workers were especially bitter toward Kennedy, an upstart, son of a millionaire, who was a Catholic. No Catholic had ever been elected president.

Kennedy wisely divined that he needed Lyndon Johnson as his vice presidential running mate. His own supporters were furious. And Johnson’s supporters were apoplectic. In the end it took the strength of will of both men, individually, to pull it off.

Johnson knew that Kennedy  would not win without him. But Johnson humbled himself and accepted the second spot on the ticket and eventually both Kennedy and Johnson became U.S. presidents. Even politics can be a game of inches.

Notwithstanding Marco Rubio’s failure to win his own state of Florida, it is still very possible that Donald Trump will not win a general election without his support. It is less an issue of region and home state as it is demographics.

Trump has offended Hispanics and Rubio is Hispanic.

Trump is a Presbyterian who needs a Catholic on the ticket. Rubio is Catholic.

Trump has been publicly opposed by Mitt Romney, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They are key to carrying the Mountain States, including swing states such as New Mexico and Colorado. Rubio grew up as LDS and is a favorite of Romney.

Trump needs Florida to win. Although Trump is likely to beat Rubio in the Florida GOP primary tomorrow night, Rubio is a native of Florida and might make the difference if it comes down to Florida as it did in 2000.

And Trump needs to unite the Republican Party. No one has taken more abuse from Donald Trump than Marco Rubio. If Rubio can forgive Trump, then Cruz, Romney, Ryan and everybody else will have to fall into line.

Finally, if Senator Marco Rubio losses Florida Tuesday, he will need Donald Trump too. His future political career will depend on helping to heal the Republican Party. A successful nationwide campaign as the GOP vice presidential nominee will restore his relevancy.

In 1964 establishment Republicans badmouthed their own nominee, Barry Goldwater and he went down to defeat. But one GOP public figure stayed true and faithfully supported the nominee of his party. That man, Richard Nixon, won the nomination himself four years later and was elected president that same year.

Will Donald Trump make the offer? And would Senator Marco Rubio accept it if he did? That discussion is still months away. And at this moment it is as unlikely as it was for John F. Kennedy to take on Lyndon B. Johnson as his running mate.

(See this dated assessment from one year ago. Who knew that Trump would trump both Bush and Rubio?)

 

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Where will the Libertarians go? Trump? Cruz? Rubio? Kasich?

March 8, 2016

My inbox is full of Libertarians who like Donald Trump? Worse. Some like Bernie Sanders. What gives?

First Donald Trump.

Yes, I know, he is a billionaire who has worked the system for years. He openly admits to giving money to politicians to grease the skids. He says he approves of torture because it works. He would “knock the hell out of Isis.” He appears openly flexible about the U.S. Constitution. He sees no urgent need for criminal justice reform. So why do many Libertarians like him anyway?

Because he is an irritation to the ruling class of the American elite who are seen to be gaming the system. The word is that many of these insiders don’t trust Trump. They are afraid he will mess things up. Even the neocons don’t like him. They aren’t getting private assurances that he will keep funding their companies with taxpayer money.

It is a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Okay, understood. But why are so many young people who support the Libertarian Movement now crossing over to Bernie Sanders?

Because socialism is the poor man’s way to game the system.

They know they can’t work the Export Import Bank. The won’t get a $100 million, zero percent interest loan from the Federal Reserve. They can’t get regs exempted for their lemonade stand.

For them the American Dream is dead. And they have lost all hope of reform or an end to the corruption.

Consider, Barack Obama, a liberal African American president. First he appointed Timothy Geithner as Secretary of Treasury.  He had been President of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City. To add insult to injury, he hadn’t paid his Social Security and Medicare taxes for three years.  As Leona Helmsley once reminded us, “Only little people pay taxes.”

Then Obama loaded the FED with the very same folks that Bush, McCain or Romney might have picked.  Why have elections?

Under Obama the rich got richer and the poor got poorer at a record rate.

Hillary Clinton? You may remember that she invested $1,000 in the commodities market and less than one year later took out $100,000. She refuses to release transcripts of her private speeches to Wall Street banks. Her daughter married a Goldman Sachs banker. Her Clinton Foundation has amassed $1.4 billion in a “pay to play” political access gambit.

Meanwhile, the national media giants cover for it all. They are funded by advertising dollars from the insider corporations who are in turn funded by the taxpayers and poor people whose wealth is quietly diminished by “quantitative easing.”

So  for some, socialism is the last resort. As I said, the poor man’s way to game the system. They will get YOU to pay for their rent, their food, their healthcare, their education.

Don’t hold your breath though. Most young people are too informed to buck the trend of history by dabbling in socialism. Bernie is not going to win.

Why not Ted Cruz?

He is seen by many as the Manchurian Candidate of the established elite. He launched his Senate bid with a $750,000 loan from Goldman Sachs and thought nobody would notice. His wife worked for Goldman Sachs.  Libertarians are quite certain that this man will not end “crony capitalism”. He must be their fallback guy, their, “Let me run as a conservative” guy. “Nobody will notice your loan and I can win the Evangelicals.”

And hopefully none of those Evangelicals will remember that verse in the Bible that says “the borrower is servant to the lender.”

Why not Marco Rubio?

He is seen as the establishment’s choice. The  media is too eager for him which makes him suspect to some Libertarians. Much of the Bush money has been moving to him. But how can you trust a broke Senator whose house went through foreclosure? How is he going to stand up to the oligarchs who run the country? He doesn’t even pretend to be bothered by crony capitalism. He embraces it.

So according to my inbox, many of my Libertarian friends are ready to vote for Donald Trump. But not their wives. Just the men. They are hoping that he will be so brash, so bold, that he will actually try to improve employment and trade and if some of the establishment have to wait for their new hotel to go up in the Bahamas, well, that’s the price they pay for getting overconfident and letting the Donald slip by them. But how can he win?

(Coming soon. The impossible task. How Donald Trump can actually win the general election.)

 

 


How the establishment will now try to steal the nomination from Donald Trump

March 7, 2016

Warning to the Trumpets. It ain’t over. It is just beginning.

Below are a list of tactics that Establishment Republicans may use to block the nomination of Donald Trump.  Yes, I know. If they succeed they will not win the White House but many in the establishment will make just as much money under a Democrat insider as they will with a Republican insider. So they may not care.

All they may want to do is send the message to any future “outsider” candidate, “This is our party and you need our approval to participate. If you try to do this without us we will destroy you.”

These tactics were used in 2012 to keep Libertarian insurgents from winning delegates to the Republican National Convention. The fear was that Ron Paul would be able to place his name in nomination and give a speech about capital cronyism and how big corporations use the system to corrupt free enterprise. Donald Trump can learn from our experience.

What was at stake in 2012? Money. What’s at stake now? Money.

But why will low level party stalwarts who don’t get that money play along and do the bidding of the big party leaders?

To keep their positions as State, County or Precinct Chairmen. Power. Ego. Prestige. They want that all expenses paid trip to the Republican National Convention. Booze. Free corporate gifts. A box of Godiva chocolates left on their pillow in their room each night. They know that candidates like Trump come and go but the party infrastructure, financed by companies and their lobbyists, remain forever.

Here’s what the new Trump supporters can expect. (Carefully follow the links to stories below to see the actual videos and read the details of how these things happened in 2012.)

#1) Cruz, Rubio, Kasich and Romney will cooperate with each other to help block Trump outsiders at key County and State conventions. There is nothing wrong with this. Just don’t be taken by surprise. You may have most of the delegates at the local event and still lose to this combination. Make your own deals with Chairmen and other party officials before its too late.

#2) The RNC Rules Committee will likely change the rules back to a five state requirement needed to put a name in nomination at the Convention. This will make it easier to nominate Rubio, Cruz, Kasich and even Romney. Trump operatives should block this change and keep it at eight, which was originally designed to protect Romney, the expected incumbent.

#3) Make sure that you have your own people chosen as delegates to the convention. The insiders will fight you to the death over this, saying that it doesn’t matter, that you won the primary or the caucus and so the actual delegates are bound by law to vote for you anyway. (Not true.)

They will say that the governor and the senator and the old former chairman, who has been to every RNC since Eisenhower, should be able to represent their state. Be courteous  and reasonable but you also need large numbers of your own reliable Trump supporters chosen as delegates.

Keep in mind, the only rules that bind the delegates are the rules of the party and those very delegates can change those rules.

What if there is a media hyped Trump scandal and the party votes to “unbind” the delegates on the first ballot?  Then they can vote for whomever they wish.

What if Trump does not win on the first ballot and there is a second ballot? They will then vote their real choice and you will have lost all of those states you thought you had won in primaries.

#4) The place of the caucus that selects the actual delegates who go to the district or state convention may suddenly change without your knowledge. Linked by a telephone chain the insiders will meet without you. Your folks will show up at one hotel and the meeting will take place at another.

#5) The time of the meeting may suddenly change. Your people can show up and find that the building is locked and authorities will say you are too late to be allowed in to participate. This happened many times in 2012, with hundreds of screaming voters left outside.

#6) The chairman may say “Ayes have it,” even if they don’t. This happens at the precinct, county, district, state and even national level. What are you going to do about it? Sue? Meanwhile, their winning precinct delegation will go onto the State Convention as delegates representing your opponent.

You may appeal to the RNC for justice and they may support the cheaters because you don’t have enough of your own people as delegates serving on the Rules Committee.

#7) Off duty police may arrest and detain your newly elected Donald Trump GOP officers. Yep, that happened to us. Your people may be kept for hours in jail cells and those who protest may be arrested as well.

#8) Precinct, County, State leaders may charge a last minute tax. This happened in 2012 in Alaska. Voters who had not been tipped off could not vote without paying $10. Credit cards not accepted. This worked so well at excluding voters in Alaska that Romney operatives used it in King County, Washington. They also turned away young people who did not appear on their outdated voter registration lists.

#9) If the Caucus Chairman is replaced or does not like the outcome of the vote they may suddenly declare the process invalid. For example, they may say that the new chairman is a Trump partisan and thus it is now a Trump event and the GOP insurance for the event is invalid and thus the meeting is ended. See the video above.

#10) State Conventions will prepare ballots misspelling Trump and then later discount them in the voting for those pledged delegates.

#11) Fake ballots will be distributed listing establishment names as the official Trump delegates, confusing the voters. They may also try to split the Trump slate by nominating competing Trump delegates with real names of public figures.

#12) Counting the ballots at the various conventions will be an exhausting business with delays, postponements until the next day, seals broken on the voting boxes, and all kinds of chicanery.

#13) They may cancel the voting due to weather in a key precinct that is heavily Trump, throwing the State. Even though the weather turns out to be fine in the given precinct.

#14) At convention you may find hotel rooms cancelled. And other rooms may be bugged. They may arrange for the bus bringing your delegates to the Rules Committee to get lost and changes to convention rules may happen in your absence.

#15) When you leave the RNC don’t think it’s over. A Ron Paul delegate was detained by TSA at the airport leaving Tampa when bullets were found in their packed luggage.

The idea is to make you so sick, so weary, so beaten down that you will never, ever, even dare challenge the establishment that runs the Republican Party again. Ever.

Here is the message. It doesn’t belong to you. As in the case of the Democratic Party, it belongs to the insiders, the rich and powerful who make money from a rigged economy that favors a few at the expense of the many. Donald Trump is too independent and too unpredictable for them.

You have been warned. Good luck.

(Tomorrow? Why some Libertarians now like Donald Trump. Why some like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio? Why some have moved all the way over to the left.)

 


Rubio’s blunder is Trump’s gain in Iowa

January 31, 2016

 

Doug Wead
In the closing hours before the Iowa Caucus Senator Marco Rubio has made a significant blunder. It may be crippling his last minute Iowa surge just as it is getting off the ground.  So far, Donald Trump is the big beneficiary.
Here’s the story. On January 10, 2016 Senator Rubio brashly announced in an email that he now represented the Billy Graham wing of the Evangelical Movement, Ted Cruz represented the Jerry Falwell wing and Donald Trump represented the Jimmy Swaggart wing. In that one email he managed to offend some of the most important leaders of influence in the Christian world as well as damage himself with some of the most important blocks of Evangelicals in Iowa. It was a clumsy move that is still causing his campaign to lose air right when it needs all the help it can get.
First, this writer was told that he did not have Billy Graham’s permission to use his name. No, the beloved evangelist had not endorsed him. Months earlier, when cocky Rubio officials tried to set up a meeting with the evangelist they were turned down. Later, when Rubio used his name anyway it created a backlash that it is still unfolding. Evangelical leaders, who have a lot of influence over the rank and file, deeply resent the apparent manipulation. They see Rubio as taking advantage of the aging Christian leader.
Second, by announcing that Ted Cruz had won the Jerry Falwell wing of the party Marco Rubio rankled many Southern Baptists.
The late Jerry Falwell was a controversial figure in American culture. The national media had demonized him. His negatives were high. His own followers were well aware of the challenges and loved him anyway. His inner circle was working to help. Toward the end of his life Falwell had moved from his Fundamentalist beginnings at the Baptist Bible Fellowship to become a major figure in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Meanwhile, his son, Jerry Falwell, Jr., was building the largest University in America.
Rubio’s veiled put down of Falwell and Cruz backfired not only on Rubio but on Cruz as well.  On January 26, 2016, Jerry Falwell, Jr., clearly his own man, promptly endorsed Donald Trump.
Finally, Rubio’s caustic remark about Swaggart and Trump may turn out to be his biggest blunder of all. Donald Trump, Rubio claimed, was the leader of the Jimmy Swaggart wing of the Evangelical Movement.  Swaggart, a Pentecostal, was at the center of the televangelist scandal of the 1980’s which involved prostitutes and other misconduct.  And after all, Donald Trump was getting some help from Paula White a prominent Pentecostal figure. White had arranged a meeting between Trump and national Christian leaders.
Rubio, allegedly getting counsel from Southern Baptist insider, Russell Moore,  must have thought he would be pretty safe dissing the Pentecostals.
One big problem. According to Gallup 41% of the American people claim to be Born Again. A disproportionate number of them live in Iowa.  And according to Barna 51% of those born again Christians believe in the charismata or gifts of the Holy Spirit. “For the Barna survey, this included people who said they were a charismatic or Pentecostal Christian, that they had been ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ and who said they believe that ‘the charismatic gifts, such as tongues and healing, are still valid and active today.'”
It gets worse. 82% of the members of the Southern Baptist Convention live in thirteen southern states. They will be the single most important voting block in Southern States on March 1st.  But most of the born again Christians in Iowa are neither Billy Graham Baptists nor Jerry Falwell Baptists. They are Pentecostals who Rubio just painted with the same Jimmy Swaggart brush.
If Rubio doesn’t want their votes, Donald Trump will take them.
It gets worse.  If Rubio’s false flag Billy Graham endorsement were not enough, it turns out that the Charismatic Catholics are at the heart of his own Catholic Church.  They number into the millions worldwide.  As word of Rubio’s insults spread his Evangelical supporters are troubled and now his own fellow Catholic Charismatics, major players in Iowa, are beginning to get the news.
Ben Carson had his own meltdown with Evangelicals last December. He was briefly leading in national polls when he gave an interview to Sally Quinn. She asked the candidate if he believed in a literal hell.  He did not.  It turns out that an astonishing 61% of Americans believe in hell and more importantly for Carson, 87% of Evangelical Christians do.  As word of Carson’s interview spread his support collapsed in Iowa and Ted Cruz was the chief beneficiary.
Ghandi once said, “He who says that religion and politics don’t mix, understands neither one.”

 


Exclusive: Inside the Trump campaign panic!

December 16, 2015

“Now the trouble with trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.”  – C.S. Lewis

The national media prides itself in its ignorance of religion but that can sometimes lead to unintentional blackouts, where the news makes no sense to them or anybody else. This past month we experienced such a blackout in American politics and so I am tasked with offering an explanation.

As you know, presidential candidate, Donald Trump announced we should temporarily ban all Muslim immigration into the U.S.  The media is still puzzled about what he is up to.  Most just chalk it down to his erratic behavior, a random act of trying to stay in the headlines.

Then there is the Ted Cruz lift off and the Ben Carson collapse.  With no explanation for either one.  It is just something that happened.  Evolution.

Now, here is the skinny, I summarize for those of you locked into the Boston-New York-Washington corridor who have just a tad bit of intellectual curiosity.  Those of us dirty, ignorant, religious rabble living on the outside knew this all along and have been watching with fascination as you have tried to put together this political rubrics cube.

On December 1, 2015, Sally Quinn wrote a piece for the Washington Post on “Why Ben Carson doesn’t believe in hell.”  Now, I should point out that Sally Quinn is not your typical, left wing, ultra liberal bigot.  She is an informed person who knows the width and breadth of American culture, including its Evangelical Christian plains and Southern cities.  She has bumped into the 51% of Americans who claim to be “born again.”  She and her late husband, Ben Bradlee, must have had a cousin or sibling or servant who was “born again” because they had a knowledge of how it works that not many in their circle can boast.  So when Sally cornered Ben Carson, she knew what she was doing.

Unfortunately for him, Ben Carson, did not.

Sally asked Carson if he believed in a literal hell.  Carson said he did not.  He should have said, “None of your damn business.” Or, “The U.S. Constitution says there is no religious test for office.  Now, if you want to give this list of questions to Hillary Clinton go right ahead but my faith is a very private and personal thing.”

But in that moment,  Carson, who was leading in some national polls, was agonizing over how he was going to win the general election and, perhaps, how he was going to win the “Sally Quinn Caucus.”  And so he gave his answer and those of us who understand religion know what followed.

61% of all Americans believe in hell.  87% of Evangelicals do.  And who knows how high that number gets when you narrow it down to Republican activists most likely to vote in Iowa?

Soon after the Sally Quinn piece appeared, the Ted Cruz folks started passing it around the internet and the Carson bubble burst.  Even Evangelicals who didn’t believe in hell started to slip away. Did it mean that Carson did not believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God?

The move to Ted Cruz became so pronounced that Bob Vander Platts, the Family Life-Tony Perkins- incarnation in Iowa, who prides himself with picking the winner, rushed to get in on the act. Wait for me, I am your leader.  I am the guy who names the winner.  People pay me money to endorse them. Vander Platts endorsed Ted Cruz on December 14.

Meanwhile, right after the Carson-Quinn interview from hell,  insiders with Donald Trump saw a disaster in the making.  The original thinking was that the Evangelical vote in Iowa would be divided between Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum.  The Catholic vote would be divided between Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and, again, Santorum, who is a switch hitter.  But now the Carson collapse was feeding into a Ted Cruz ascent.

The Trump camp was confronted with this reality. Cruz would win Iowa, cause an explosion of excitement, maybe lose New Hampshire to Trump the next week but come back to win South Carolina and lock in his place as the Trump alternative and win the nomination.  Trump had to do something.  And it had to be newsworthy.  It had to be bigger than anything before it, which was a bit of a challenge.  And yet it had to be something he could walk back later in the general election. Hey, forget the general election.  If Trump didn’t win the nomination who cared?

And so, one week after Carson told Sally Quinn that there is no hell, Trump announced we should stop all Muslim immigration.

Two days later he also made a clumsy attempt to hurt Cruz by saying, “Not many Evangelicals come out of Cuba.”  This was Trump trying to sew doubt about the purity of Cruz born again bona fides. Like other Trump statements there was a seam of something dark here. Was Trump trying to appeal to an imagined Evangelical anti-Catholic bias?

And that, my poor, dear, ignorant, religious free, members of the mainstream media,  is how and why it all happened.  I thought you should know.  The rest of us do.

Here is the story in Newsmax

http://www.newsmax.com/DougWead/carson-cruz-trump-2016/2015/12/16/id/705984/


Donald Trump? Sorry history says, “Not gonna happen.”

August 24, 2015

At the moment he is soaring in the stratosphere and I hate to be a kill-joy but if history is any barometer, Donald Trump will soon be falling back down to earth.

First, no businessman has ever been elected president.  And there is a very good reason. People in power have always made the laws that govern business purposely gray, not black or white.  From the emergence of the guilds in the Middle Ages, to modern day regulators on Wall Street, rulers have expected their merchants to break the law so that they will have power over them and keep them at their mercy.

Ask the IRS to fill out your tax return for you and they will laugh.  They aren’t paid to help you get it right, they are paid to catch you when you get it wrong.

The odds that the Donald has made legal mistakes in his many deals and bankruptcies is almost certain.  The odds that he has run into the Mafia, while operating in New York and Atlantic City, is also quite likely.  And before he becomes president, we are going to meet those people.  We will know their names.  And the people who trusted him and invested in his projects and lost money? We will get to meet them as well.

Second, all presidents held prior elective office or were prominent generals who served for years in government.

Why?  Because this is how candidates are vetted, they run for Congress or the Statehouse.  They serve under the watchful eye of a superior in government.   Remember businessman Herman Cain?  The year before the last presidential election he captured the headlines much like Trump.  According to Pew Research  Cain earned more press coverage than any other GOP contender.  His rally in South Carolina was the largest political event of the GOP primary season.  But before he could move into the White House we began to hear allegations of sexual harassment from women who had worked with him and his numbers fell.

The unproven allegations against Herman Cain were not nearly as bad as the stories we could confirm about other prominent political figures but those stories had been out on the table for a long time.  We don’t like surprises.  We like time to think things over.  The examination of Donald Trump has not even begun.  The American people can be forgiving.  They once elected a man who openly admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock. But before any of us get to vote we will want to know every wife, every girlfriend and we will want to hear their stories in detail.

Third.  Finally, there are those pesky polls.

Oh, you thought the polls were good?  Yes, he is leading among Republican voters.  But those same polls show a very disturbing problem.  He loses to Hillary Clinton in Ohio and Pennsylvania and only beats her in Florida.  And he loses to vice president Joe Biden in all three states.

Now here is the kicker.  Donald Trump ridiculed Rand Paul’s poll numbers among the GOP but Rand Paul consistently, for months now, has been beating Hillary Clinton in those same battleground states including Pennsylvania.  And now, other GOP candidates have joined Rand Paul in beating Hillary in Ohio as well.  Trump calls Jeb Bush boring but “boring Bush” is beating Hillary Clinton in all three swing states and Trump is not.

What does it mean?  It means that the Democrats know their real challenger and it is not Donald Trump.  They have taken out national ads against Rand Paul.  They have made no secret that they would love for Trump to win the GOP nomination and if he can offend a few more general election constituencies on his way to the GOP coronation, well, all the better.

There is one thing still in the Donald’s favor.  He claims that his most qualifying trait for chief executive is his ability to negotiate with an opponent, in this case the Chinese or the Mexicans or Iran.  His bestselling book is entitled “The Art of the Deal.”

In fact, this is the one common denominator of all American presidents.  They honed their skills in adversarial positions against a live opponent.  We have never had an artist president, a Vaclav Havel.  Our presidents have all been tested in combat.  25 presidents were lawyers, including Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama.  12 presidents were war time generals.  They have argued in court or run for office or fought on the battlefield against an opponent.

Could it happen?  Could businessman Donald Trump actually win?  Well, yes, that’s what makes history so compelling.  But the odds are long.  And remember, this time he is negotiating for your vote.  Be careful and remember, he calls it the art of the deal.

 


Marco Rubio: A Demographic on Steroids

May 14, 2015

Senator Marco Rubio spoke for the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday, staking out his position as the GOP super hawk, announcing that he would not be afraid to go to war.  Presumably, he will have to compete with Senator Lindsey Graham for that role.  And they both will have to find a suitable target.

Recent polls show him climbing.  A Quinnipiac Poll has him tied with Rand Paul for second place in Iowa, behind Scott Walker.  And a recent Bloomberg poll has him second only to Rand Paul in New Hampshire.

He is a fascinating candidate popular with the media.  I call him a “demographic on steroids.”

First, he is Hispanic and that is the wave of the future for this country.

Second, he is from Florida, a key battleground, must win, state for any Republican.

Third, he is a Roman Catholic, with an LDS heritage, who regularly attends a Baptist church.  Believe me, that is a highly evolved creature perfectly fitted for a modern, GOP primary process in an age of the Fox News Channel.

And finally, although he is young, he is the insider, big business, Wall Street, money alternative to Jeb Bush.  In fact, Rubio’s people are right now telling donors that a dollar given to Jeb Bush is a dollar given to Hillary Clinton since Bush will never win a head to head contest with her.  The national media and major corporations will never allow three of the last five presidents to come from the same immediate family.  Bush, we are told, is only insurance in case Hillary slips.

These above are the four major positives of a Marco Rubio candidacy.  But he has one major negative.

Marco Rubio, like most of the other candidates in this race, has no raison d’etre.  There is no purpose in his candidacy other than naked ambition.  For too many candidates in this race it is all about them and not the voter.  Hillary Clinton says, “Vote for me I am a woman.”  Marco Rubio says, “Vote for me I am Hispanic.”  Even Scott Walker’s argument says nothing about what he would do.  Walker says, “Vote for me I am a governor.  I know how to be an administrator.”  It is meant to contrast the ineptitude of the current president.

But being a governor is a pretty empty argument.  Jimmy Carter was a governor.  If you know how to run things well and you take the country in the wrong direction you will only get us there quicker.  The missing piece is the direction.  Where are you taking us?  Why should we vote for you?

This may be why Senator Rand Paul is now leading these early swing state and battleground state polls.  He is a fount of ideas.  Young people have a reason to vote for him.  African Americans have a reason to vote for him.  Born again Christians have a reason to vote for him.  Waitresses have a reason to vote for him.  He doesn’t just raise the defense budget, he shows how he will do it while balancing the budget.

Marco Rubio needs a popular purpose to his campaign, something more than protecting insiders who are gaming the system, something with appeal to the masses.  Their are signs that he is trying to develop that.  He is using the word “conservative” a lot these days but an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations  is not the best place to make that argument.  As a candidate, he will have to come up with at least one cut in spending to justify the label.  Something he hasn’t yet been able to do.  Watch for him to distinguish himself in the debates.  Not with flash but by avoiding  self mutilation.  And see how his money helps him survive the early crush of negative ads.

Finally Marco Rubio must convince Jeb Bush to drop out of the race and quickly.  Otherwise he is locked into a huge battle in Florida.  The GOP is not likely to nominate a candidate to contest Hillary Clinton if he can’t carry his own home state in a GOP primary.   The same goes for Jeb Bush.  The two will be locked into a death struggle in Florida, like the Russo-German front in World War Two.   This drains money away from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.  They could conceivably win some of those contests and still lose Florida and get knocked out.

But then, last month Jeb Bush was beating Marco Rubio.

Most bets are that Marco Rubio will not go away early.  If he doesn’t win himself he will likely be asked onto the ticket by the winner.  Either way, Marco Rubio will be around for a long time.