BREAKING: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorses Donald Trump for president.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 26, 2016
You may have thought Wesley Donehue had already had his one and only brush with fame when he had yours truly on his show, Pub Politics, nine times.
You could be forgiven for thinking so.
But these days, he’s going great guns acting as Marco Rubio’s digital maestro, as CNN puts it. This is evidently a wild ride, and Wesley seems to be thoroughly enjoying it — as would I, in his place.
Watch the video above…
Bush quitting is THE story tonight. The SC GOP’s loyal relationship with the Bushes started in 1988. This is the end.
This is from her Facebook feed, not a column:
I wish I could tell you all everything I know about the Republican candidates. I can’t in a public forum, but you’d do well to focus on governors.
Governance isn’t easy and it’s crucial to have experience. Be wary of those who run for the Senate only to immediately start running for president and who will do anything to get there, even shut down the government, which ultimately hurts the party. Watch out for anyone waving a Bible. Some live as Christians; others proclaim their Christianity. Re-read “Elmer Gantry.” En fin, experience really does matter, folks. Most important, ask yourself, whom would our military troops most admire and respect because that person may well ask them to march into horror and possible death. Also, think hard about the Supreme Court and what the candidates say about what they’d seek. Speaking for myself, I prefer non-ideological justices who honor the text and original intent but ALSO context, which means attentive to the present as well. Wisdom, restraint, intelligence, courage, strength, a disciplined mind, a light heart – and humiliity. These are the qualities we seek even in our friends, isn’t it?
Amen to all that.
When I saw the above headline this morning, I thought, “Really?”
Because the way I (and from what I can tell, millions of others) feel about this election so far, it’s difficult to imagine mustering any enthusiasm for engaging in the process.
Yeah, I think I’ve found someone I can vote for without holding my nose, and that’s good, but all the other stuff going on out there has really cast a pall. Add that to the fact that all the polls assure me that my guy will come in behind the very worst of the lot, and it gets to be a major drag.
Of course, this is when the tough get going, and I will vote, and emphatically encourage every reasonable person I know to do likewise.
But I know that lots of people get easily discouraged from voting by the slightest things — rain, for instance. And this election has been so awful so far — easily the most appalling I’ve ever seen — that you would think only the most dedicated voters would be able to uncurl from a fetal position and drag themselves to the polling place.
Otherwise, you know who WILL show up to vote, and they must not be unopposed.
So, unless you’re planning to vote in the Democratic primary the following week, drop your c___s and grab your socks; off your dead a__es and on yer dyin’ feet. Go do your duty tomorrow…
I did a double-take driving into town this morning — I could have sworn I saw something odd about some Jeb Bush signs along the side of the road.
Sure enough, I was right — no exclamation mark!
Apparently, for Jeb, the excitement is over. (Perhaps punctuation has been gone for some time and I’ve just noticed, but they’re still pushing it at his website.)
Come to think of it — was there ever a greater mismatch between a brand and the product? Even if things had gone as expected, and Jeb had cruised to an easy coronation, there was never going to be any excitement attaching to his candidacy.
It didn’t fit him personally, or the role he expected to play. Exclamation points are for insurgents. Trump! works, either because you’re excited about him or because you’re alarmed by him, as most normal folks are. A case could be made for Cruz!, along the same lines.
But Jeb!? No way, at any time.
So they’ve come down to Earth and gotten more realistic with the message: “JEB: Tough. Tested. Ready.”
Will there be a third stage before he drops out (or is he out of time)?
Will we see signs that say, “Jeb: It’s time to settle.”?
Nikki Haley got off the fence today and backed Marco Rubio (and not poor ol’ Jeb!) in Saturday’s primary, which goes to show how weird and volatile the Republican Party is in South Carolina these days.
Let’s step back a bit…
In 2010, Henry McMaster was the perfect Establishment candidate for governor: A Reagan man through-and-through, former party chairman, loyal backer of John McCain in 2008. But he was running in the year of the Tea Party, and he got swept aside by an inconsequential junior House member who suddenly (I had not seen these tendencies in her before) seemed to speak Tea Party as her native language.
Now, we have Henry standing beside Donald Trump and praising him in Orwellian Ministry of Truth terms (up is down; black is white; Trump is not a “bomb-thrower” or “impulsive;” and we have always been at war with Eastasia).
And Nikki Haley, who rode anti-Establishment sentiment to power, is swooping in to help the Great Establishment Hope, Marco Rubio. Yeah, back in the day Rubio was nearly as Tea Party as she was, but that is not who he is this year.
And, of course, that’s the key to why Nikki is backing him. She’s not that wide-eyed insurgent, either — to her everlasting credit. She has grown in office, and governs more and more like someone who knows what she is about. Which is why you’ll see me saying more and more good things about her, and especially about her leadership last summer.
In an earlier time, an increasingly Establishment Republican governor in South Carolina would have been backing the guy whose last name is Bush.
Carroll Campbell jumped in early for George H.W. Bush in 1988, and played a huge role in Bush winning the S.C. primary, the nomination, and the White House. I called his former chief of staff, Bob McAlister, to check my memory on that. Bob noted that the Campbell-Bush connection continues to be strong: “Iris and the boys endorsed Jeb” just the other day.
But that was then and this is now, and Rubio seems a more attractive brand for a governor asserting her Establishment bona fides.
So given who Nikki Haley is now, the direction in which she has grown, this endorsement makes perfect sense.
But don’t ask me about the McMaster/Trump thing. That doesn’t begin to make any sense…
Basically, Trump repeated the left’s “Bush lied” lie:
“You call it whatever you want. I wanna tell you. They lied…They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”
It’s fascinating how starkly that belief continues to divide us, in terms of our perceptions of reality. The Post‘s Richard Cohen wrote:
Of all the surprises, of all the unexpected ironies, of all the unanticipated turns in the Republican presidential race, it’s possible that Donald Trump has been hurt by telling the truth. Trump himself must be reeling from such a development and has probably by now vowed to return to lying and bluster seasoned with personal insult — “You’re a loser” — but the fact remains that when he called the war in Iraq “a big, fat mistake,” he was exactly right. Jeb Bush, the very good brother of a very bad president, has now turned legitimate criticism of George W. Bush into an attack on his family. His family survived the war. Countless others did not.
Hey, at least he called Jeb a “very good brother,” right?
But it fell to The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board to state what really happened, and what did not. As to Trump’s “They lied” assertion:
Despite years of investigation and countless memoirs, there is no evidence for this claim. None. The CIA director at the time, George Tenet, famously called evidence of WMD in Iraq a “slam dunk.” Other intelligence services, including the British, also believed Saddam Hussein had such programs. After the first Gulf War in 1991 the CIA had been surprised to learn that Saddam had far more WMD capability than it had thought. So it wasn’t crazy to suspect that Saddam would attempt to rebuild it after he had expelled United Nations arms inspectors in the late 1990s.
President Bush empowered a commission, led by former Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb and federal Judge Laurence Silberman, to dig into the WMD question with access to intelligence and officials across the government. The panel included Patricia Wald, a former chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals appointed by Jimmy Carter, and Richard Levin, president of Yale University at the time.
Their report of more than 600 pages concludes that it was the CIA’s “own independent judgments—flawed though they were—that led them to conclude Iraq had active WMD programs.” The report adds that “the Commission found no evidence of political pressure” to alter intelligence findings: “Analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter their analytical judgments.”…
The Journal‘s headline for that editorial was “Donald Trump’s MoveOn.org Moment.” Indeed. Once again, the extremes meet.
The big question this week is, as W. comes to South Carolina — which has been solid Bush country since 1988 (although not so much in 1980) — to help his brother out, how is Trump’s rant going to play here on Saturday?
In a rational world, it would sink Trump’s chances completely. But when in the past year have you seen the phenomenon of Trump fandom respond to anything resembling reason? Actual Republicans would likely react to this latest by saying Trump’s gone too far. But do you think “Trump supporters” and “Republicans” are the same set of people?
Add to that the fact that the GOP electorate in South Carolina hasn’t entirely been itself since it caught the Tea Party fever in 2010, and the effect of this particular rant may turn out to be a wash. Things are so messed up this year, I’m not going to try to make a prediction…
Paul Krugman has it half right here:
Once upon a time, the death of a Supreme Court justice wouldn’t have brought America to the edge of constitutional crisis. But that was a different country, with a very different Republican Party. In today’s America, with today’s G.O.P., the passing of Antonin Scalia has opened the doors to chaos.
In principle, losing a justice should cause at most a mild disturbance in the national scene. After all, the court is supposed to be above politics. So when a vacancy appears, the president should simply nominate, and the Senate approve, someone highly qualified and respected by all.
In principle, losing a justice should cause at most a mild disturbance in the national scene. After all, the court is supposed to be above politics. So when a vacancy appears, the president should simply nominate, and the Senate approve, someone highly qualified and respected by all.
He’s absolutely right that there’s something seriously wrong when the whole political system goes ape over a vacancy on the Supreme Court. He is absurdly wrong in suggesting that this is somehow completely the fault of the Republicans. See “Bork as a verb” and “Clarence Thomas Supreme Court Nomination.” While the Republicans are definitely outrageously dysfunctional, and their assertion that the president shouldn’t nominate in this situation is sheer lunacy, they did not invent making a circus of the nomination process. At least, they didn’t do it alone; they had very enthusiastic help from the Democrats.
Krugman, like Bud, utterly rejects this truth: “Second, it’s really important not to engage in false symmetry: only one of our two major political parties has gone off the deep end.”
But let’s talk about the half of what Krugman said that is right.
Ever since Saturday, I’ve been seeing and hearing something… eccentric… in coverage of the death of Scalia and its aftermath.
There is this suggestion out there that now that there’s a Supreme Court vacancy, suddenly this election is serious. Now we’re going to see more money given, more heightened rhetoric, a sense on both sides that the stakes have gone up…
Say what? Um… the election of the president of the United States, in whose hands all executive authority is concentrated, is and always was a bigger deal than filling a vacancy of one-ninth of the Supreme Court.
In fact, if both parties respected the rule of law (as Mr. Krugman seems to think Democrats do), the selection of justices should not be an electoral issue at all. If presidents and senators simply looked at qualifications (as some, such as our own Lindsey Graham, still do), it would be insane to talk about the kinds of nominees a presidential candidate would put forward in partisan terms. Actually, it is insane to frame something so secularly sacrosanct in such terms. But that’s what we do now, every time…
Yes, that sounds a tad hyperbolic. Maybe it’s so awesome to me because I’m an abnormally huge fan of “Office Space.”
But… it’s just so spot on! It works so well! And it’s such frame-by-frame match with the original! The rapper is so authentic-sounding! Very nicely done.
I’ll admit that I was a bit slow on the uptake. For about two second, I wondered, Why are they smashing a CPU? (You’ll recall that, in the movie, it was a printer.)
And then I’m like, Oh! The email server!
Which made me appreciate it all the more…
Below is the original. Excuse the language. Yeah, the milder (but still N-word-laced) “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangster” was memorably used in a different scene. But it’s so closely associated with the movie that it works, beautifully, in the ad.
Remember, real gangsta-ass Clintons don’t flex nuts, ’cause real gangsta-ass Clintons know they got ’em…
I was having a conversation with Burl via text today, and he told me about viewing the above interview with South Carolinians, two of whom who have good things to say about Trump.
One of the guys indicated he’ll likely vote for Trump, Mr. Outsider, in the primary, but then vote for Hillary in the general because she’s so experienced and qualified. So… go figure.
Anyway, it got me to thinking…
I still can’t say I know any Trump supporters. No, let me correct that — I know two people who support him rather prominently: Nancy Mace, who’s working for his campaign here in SC, and Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, who so improbably endorsed Trump recently.
But I haven’t talked with Nancy in a couple of years — since before her quixotic attempt to run against LIndsey Graham from the right (with a crowd of others). And I haven’t spoken to Henry in a month or so, since well before his endorsement.
So I haven’t been in a position to ask, “Why?” I mean, I read Henry’s public statement of why, but it was definitely in the “Black is white, and up is down” category.
But what about just regular folks: Who, among your neighbors, family members, co-workers or others in your day-to-day life are Trumpites? And how do they explain it to you? Does it make any more sense than the explanation of the guy who’s voting for him in the primary, but Hillary in the general?
Because I remain curious. As you know, I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea that any adult who has ever tried to teach a child how to act around other people could possibly support such a person — and yet, obviously, many who fit that description do. And I’d like to understand that better, because, improbably, this is having an actual effect on the country in which I live, the country I love…
For months, we’ve been hearing, “Yeah, people tell pollsters they’re going to vote for Trump, but there haven’t been any actual votes yet, and there’s no way that actual, normal people are going to go to the polls and vote for a guy like that.”
Well, yes, they are. Or somebody is.
The “don’t worry” crowd pointed to Iowa and said, “See? He didn’t win.” But you see, if you’re talking actual votes, Iowa shouldn’t count. A caucus is… weird. The only way to find out whether people were lying to pollsters is to have a real vote; it’s the only true test. People have to go into that booth alone, and with no one but God to witness what they really do, pick one candidate and no others.
And actual people who have enough on the ball to register to vote and find their way to a polling place on the right day showed up and really, truly voted for Trump. They weren’t lying to pollsters just to see if they were gullible enough to believe it! You might not find this amazing because you’ve been paying attention to the day-to-day, but I take the long view. Imagine someone telling you this would happen a year ago, or 10 years ago — after all, we’ve known Trump and what he was like for a long time.
Imagine, if you can, the Founding Fathers beholding this spectacle. Can you see it in your mind’s eye? Can you? See how they’re shuddering?
This is not just the guy who has been leading in the polls all along, which makes this result seem pretty anticlimactic. If you’re thinking of it that way, you’re not thinking hard enough. Think of it this way: This is the guy who parents don’t want their kids to see on television because they don’t want their kids to know that adults can act that way, and get away with it. At least, that’s the way I thought grownups were. I was pretty embarrassed over the weekend when one of my 8-year-old twin granddaughters, on her way to bed, stopped in front of the TV while the GOP debate was on and asked what those men were doing. There was an exchange going on that involved Trump.
“They’re um… they, uh… they want to be… well, president. Ummm… Have you brushed your teeth? Better get to it!” See, that’s the kind of thing that grownups say. Not stuff like this.
This isn’t about issues. It’s about basic social behavior. It’s about the foundation of civil society. We grownups tell kids not to boast, not to bully, not to tear other people down, not to lie, not to cuss, not to talk about themselves so much. Don’t we?
Anyway, that’s one result of today’s voting. Some others:
- John Kasich is running second, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice. Maybe he’ll get some respect now, and I think he deserves some.
- Ted Cruz (who won Iowa), Marco Rubio (who won the “normal candidate” contest in Iowa) and Jeb Bush are all clumped up together — with Bush slightly in the lede as I type this! That’s with only about a quarter of the vote counted, so who knows who will really come in third? But that sets up a real contest for the non-Trump, non-Cruz field coming in to South Carolina, which is exciting. Not terribly good for Rubio, but at least Bush can feel like he managed to achieve something with all that money.
- Oh, yeah: Bernie Sanders won on the Democratic side, soundly beating Hillary Clinton, who managed to beat Barack Obama there in 2008. So, he’s for real, too. But we kinda knew that already. Hillary still has South Carolina, and if she loses here, well, she really, truly is jinxed. (Either that, or we men, determined to deny her and all those women who see themselves in her, really plotted and schemed well to keep them down. I just mention this to keep it in the mix, since some will believe it.)
And… well, that’s about it for now. In fact, I’ve probably said things there is not yet enough data to support, and I’ll look like an idiot in the morning. But this is the way it’s looking now.
You’ve heard by know about Donald Trump’s nodding, winking, mock-shocked repetition of a vulgarity aimed at Ted Cruz. And if you haven’t, well, excuse this violation of my civility policy:
“She just said a terrible thing,” Trump said with a smile. “You know what she said? Shout it out.”
The woman shouted louder, but still couldn’t be heard throughout the cavernous arena.
“Okay, you’re not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that from you again,” Trump said with mock seriousness, like a father reprimanding a child. “She said — I never expect to hear that from you again! — she said: ‘He’s a pussy.’ That’s terrible.”…
There’s been a goodly amount of appropriate harrumphing over this, but I haven’t seen any address the “substance,” such as it was.
And the thing is, Cruz would be a more appealing, or at least less appalling, if he were just a wee bit more of a, well, you know.
There’s a long tradition of tough-talking in our politics, but Sen. Ted Cruz takes ersatz machismo to a level that is frankly embarrassing, such as in the video above, in which he promises that “if you wage jihad against us, you’re signing your death warrant,” and that he will never “apologize for America.”
You know what? As uncharacteristic as it would be for me, if Ted Cruz gets elected, I will apologize for America.
Here’s the problem for people like Cruz and Trump both: As much as they’d like to portray the president as a “rhymes with wussy,” Obama’s been actually killing terrorists right and left, including the grand kahuna of the jihad crowd himself. We all know that, if you get mixed up in terrorism, you make Obama’s list.
But he does it like a man of respect, like Vito and Michael, never uttering a threat, but quietly whacking guys left and right as needed. The heads of the other four families thought Michael was a, you know, but they found out different.
Cruz is a wannabe Sonny, only without the rep to back it up. Really, when did Cruz make his bones? Never, to my knowledge.
Cruz needs to get in touch a bit more with his, um, gynecological side, just enough to dial back the empty strutting about. It would make him less contemptible. Maybe then we could take him seriously as a man…
Meant to post this the other day…
I kind of went “Huh?” when I saw that Marco Rubio had been critical of President Obama’s visit to a mosque, saying POTUS is “always pitting Americans against each other.”
From Trump and Cruz I expect such non sequitur grumbling. Not from Rubio.
The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board agreed with me the next day:
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio gave PresidentObama a hard time for his speech Wednesday at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, and we wonder if the Florida Senator read it. The speech was one of Mr. Obama’s best attempts to fulfill the promise he made in 2008 to promote racial and political comity.
We’ll admit to expecting worse, since Mr. Obama has typically addressed the issue of Islam by apologizing for Western behavior (2009 in Cairo) or analogizing Islamic State to the Christian Crusades (2015 National Prayer Breakfast). But in Baltimore he sought to reassure Muslims about their place in this country by invoking the best traditions of American religious freedom and tolerance….
Yeah. That’s pretty much what I heard.
Some of you may think the best thing on TV was a football game, but I beg to differ.
The above and the below beat that by a mile.
As wonderful as good satire (below) can be, in this year it’s hard for deliberate comedy to match real life (above) on the campaign trail…
The Rubio camp released the above video today.
It’s kind of minimalist — doesn’t say a lot. But then, TV ads tend to be that way; this one just seems more that way than most.
But it brings up the subject of… Things are building a bit for Marco Rubio in South Carolina, a state that he had always planned to do well in.
He won the Mainstream Republican race in Iowa… Tim Scott endorsed him… now Rick Santorum has done the same…
… which national observers think won’t mean much in New Hampshire, but could mean a good bit here in the Bible Belt — specifically, in South Carolina.
Are they right? I don’t know. But I’m sensing some Mo for Marco.
No, I take that back. I’m not actually feeling the Mo yet. It’s like surfing — when you feel your board rising, it’s a bit late to start paddling to catch it. This is more like when you’re looking over your shoulder and seeing what could turn into a righteous wave by the time it gets to you…
First, Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley quit during the Iowa caucuses, so that their passing was hardly noted.
Now, Rand Paul has joined them, in true Paulista style: “Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I.” (See, this is one of the things about ideologues that kind of gives me the fantods. All that talk about setting fires and extremism being no vice, etc.)
So now that they’ve joined Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb and others I’m probably forgetting, this is starting to look a presidential election rather than a revival of “A Chorus Line.”
Of course, on the GOP side, we need someone other than the undercard candidates to quit in order to help us focus. Several someones, in fact. Y’all know that I think political parties are pretty meaningless constructs, but if the mainstream Republicans still running (but not in the running) want to show that they do believe in their party (I’m picturing the Cowardly Lion: “I DO believe in parties! I DO believe in parties! I do I do I do I do…“), now would be a good time to quit and throw their support to a single rational candidate. Increasingly, as weird as that would have seemed when he first came on the scene, it looks as though that candidate would be Marco Rubio.
Or at least get it down to two, so that the Establishment has something of a chance against the two Unthinkables.
As to Rand Paul… Bob Amundson asked this morning:
Doug, who will libertarian voters support now that Rand Paul is dropping out?
Well, we sort of already have an answer from Doug (although I urge him to answer the question himself). Yesterday, he said:
Do you REALLY think your vote in the Republican primary could ever impact the results? If you’re voting for the most liberal Republican, it won’t make a difference.
I suppose I could skip the Republican primary and vote for Sanders because I’d prefer him over Hillary every day of the week and twice on Sunday… but what’s the point? I’m not voting in either because the only candidate I would ever support hasn’t got a chance – Paul.
I hope all of y’all will join me in urging Doug to pick a candidate he considers least bad (a Republican, or Sanders, or whomever), rather than surrender his franchise. Note that I’m arguing against my own inclinations here, since whoever is next on Doug’s list is likely to be last on mine, but I believe that strongly in his right and duty as a citizen.
This is the moment in the film when the crusty sergeant slaps the private back and forth across the face several times telling him, “You’re a MARINE, dammit! Snap out of it!” And the private says, “Thanks, I needed that,” and gets up and does his duty… OK, OK, so it doesn’t work with me as the crusty sergeant, or Doug as the private. I’m more the officer who taught school in peacetime and is working on his novel between battles, and is given to spontaneous lectures about Why We Fight. Doug is more the recalcitrant misfit who instead punches the sergeant for touching him and ends up in the stockade, again. (There’s a WWII B movie stereotype for everybody!)
But my point is, Doug should vote…
Consider this to be a sort of open thread, since I don’t have a lot to say about last night’s debate in Des Moines. I only put up 19 Tweets (not counting a couple on other topics) during the whole thing, which for me is like being unconscious or something.
But to get us started…
- Trump’s absence did not elevate the discussion. So, you know, he’s not the whole problem.
- Cruz started out acting like this was his personal stage and he was welcoming people to it, but then got all whiny when that turned out not to be the case.
- I’ve decided that I know who Ben Carson is. He’s the kid who almost never gets into the game, and when he does they put him in right field, where he spends the game dreading the possibility that the ball might come to him. When a late swing by a right-hander produces a high pop fly in his direction, he’s like “Oh, no! A foreign policy question! Everybody’s looking at me, and they know and I know I’m going to flub it!”
- Did you hear Carson say, “saber-rabbling?” Others on Twitter told me they did. Did Cruz really say “vigorousness?” That one surprised me because he likes to do impressions of JFK, whose favorite word was “vigah.” (His impressions are OK, but he confuses Jack with Bobby.)
- I still think that Jeb Bush may be the safest bet if one of these guy has to occupy the White House, but he just cannot connect. It’s not just that the GOP electorate has gone nuts this year and is looking for crazy. Even without that, he’d be struggling. He doesn’t seem to be able to say anything in an engaging manner. He is just not good at this. As I Tweeted at one point, “As a speaker, Marco Rubio is everything Jeb Bush is not.”
- I didn’t know who the blonde woman was until about halfway through. I thought she kinda looked like the one Trump hates, but the hair really threw me. Then I felt dumb, even though I never pretend to keep up with TV news personalities. (Also, in my defense — I don’t look at the screen much during these things. I’m busy Tweeting or reading other people’s Tweets.)
- A writer at Salon was very impressed with Ms. Kelly’s montages of past statements by Cruz and Rubio about immigration. I zoned out of it because 1) I know Rubio has changed his tune on the subject, and 2) I don’t care whether Cruz has or not, because he’s disqualified himself from my consideration in so many other ways. After all that, I wrote, “Did anyone else start thinking about just going ahead and going to bed during that duel between Rubio and Bush over immigration?.”
- I keep wondering when they’re going to bring out the real candidates. As Lindsey Graham Tweeted earlier this week, “The
@WWE is more believable and serious than the GOP primary for president right now.”
- I covered the GOP debate in Des Moines (sponsored by the Register) in 1980. Ronald Reagan skipped that one, just as Trump did this one. It was a better debate. The conventional wisdom on it was that Reagan lost by not being there. (And indeed, Bush won the caucuses.) Nobody was saying that last night.
- On alternate days I like to like Chris Christie. Last night wasn’t one of those times. He says too many stupid things in stooping to conquer, such as when he said he preferred officeholder who are “from outside Washington.” I mean, hey — everybody serving in Washington is from outside Washington. I did praise him, though, when he declined the opportunity to pander about that court clerk from Kentucky. So I stretched to give him a compliment:
I like that Christie’s for upholding the rule of law. I also like that he said he’s Catholic. So, you know, a little chauvinism there…
— Brad Warthen (@BradWarthen) January 29, 2016
That’s enough from me. What did y’all think?
OK, this is a stunner.
Henry McMaster — former state Republican Party chairman, moderate and modest soul, the guy who stuck by John McCain in 2007 when everybody said he had no chance at the nomination, and who is therefore not a guy to jump onto any bandwagon that comes along — has just endorsed Donald Trump.
And not in an “I surrender; we might as well cooperate with the inevitable” way, either. He used language he might well have used to describe McCain, or George H.W. Bush, or Mitt Romney:
He’s not a bomb thrower, not an impulsive man. He thinks things through. He’s very careful. He takes advice. He listens. He seeks advice. He’s very gentle, fine manners, very courteous.
Um, Henry… Could you step over here a second? I want you to meet somebody…. Henry, meet Donald Trump… Because I don’t know who it was you were talking to and thinking it was Donald Trump.
Wow. Just wow…
I mean, Bob Dole trying to talk himself into settling for Trump was bad enough, but this…
I’ve been struggling to figure out which candidate I’ll vote for next month, and Marco Rubio has been in the mix for consideration (since he meets the critical “not Trump or Cruz” criterion).
But he just lost a lot of ground with me.
Watch the above ad. It’s only 30 seconds.
Did you hear it? Did it grate on you as much as it did on me?
Yes, he really did say, “It’s time for a president…” (note that — A president, as in just one) “… who will put THEIR left hand on the Bible and THEIR right hand in the air, and keep THEIR promise to uphold the Constitution…”
I really don’t think I’ve ever heard it done so egregiously by any candidate for any office — three times in one sentence!
Yes, we’re a republic, but that’s no excuse for abusing the Queen’s English so…