March 10, 2016

"Inside Rubio’s collapse: A fateful decision that helped unravel his campaign."

That's the headline at WaPo for an article by Philip Rucker, Ed O'Keefe and Matea Gold. What's the "fateful decision"? It's something you know very well: the decision to suddenly take on the persona of a bad standup comic and to talk about sweat, pee, and penises in a desperate attempt to cut down Donald Trump.
A strategy designed to get under Trump’s skin and force him on the defensive instead backfired on Rubio, diminishing the 44-year-old senator who had spent years trying to demonstrate presidential gravitas. At rally after rally, Rubio was unintentionally personifying the caricature that Trump was perpetually drawing of him: “Little Marco.”...

“In terms of things that have to do with personal stuff, yeah, at the end of the day it’s not something I’m entirely proud of,” Rubio said [at an MSNBC town hall on Wednesday]. “My kids were embarrassed by it, and if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t.”...
Sure, after you've seen the results, you regret the decision. A President is supposed to need good judgment looking forward.
Rubio’s pivot to Trump was by all accounts deliberate and carefully planned. With the exception of his debate meltdown in New Hampshire — when he was mocked for robotically repeating talking points — Rubio had a strong early February, slowly gaining momentum, money and high-wattage endorsements. Once Trump beat him and Cruz in South Carolina and Nevada, however, Rubio’s supporters agitated for him to take a more aggressive stance or risk letting Trump run away with the nomination.

Randy Kendrick, an influential conservative donor, said she and her husband, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, encouraged Rubio to go on the offensive, “defining Trump.” “Stand up for what we believe in,” she said. “If we lose, okay. But he will be able to say, ‘We did the right thing.’ ”
A President is responsible for choosing his advisers and deciding what to do with their advice.
As the Houston debate approached, the senior leadership of Rubio’s campaign decided to go after Trump. They fed the candidate a mountain of opposition research about Trump’s business dealings and past liberal positions. Senior adviser Todd Harris, who runs Rubio’s debate preparation sessions, helped him develop specific lines of attack that would serve Trump some of his own medicine.

“Rubio felt he needed to point out some of Trump’s massive inconsistencies — and to try to do it with a little bit of humor,” said one Republican with knowledge of the preparations, who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “It was a conscious decision.”

In the post-debate spin room, Rubio’s team boasted that their candidate had finally found Trump’s Kryptonite. “Donald Trump has always been effective at picking up someone’s perceived weakness, and really exploiting it,” campaign manager Terry Sullivan told reporters. “Well, guess what? Marco has Donald’s number. And it’s that this is a joke.”
Rubio thought he could play Trump's game, but he had way too little respect for that game and thought he could jump right in and do it well, while provoking the man who'd developed it, practiced it in public for many years, and who came to that style as a natural expression of his thoughts and feelings. Rubio's decision was either foolish or utterly desperate. If it was foolish, we don't need a fool for President. If it was desperate, that means Rubio had already lost and he knew it.

And by the way, as I said yesterday, Rubio has all the information he needs to know that if his goal is to stop Trump, he should get out now, endorse Ted Cruz, and give Cruz a chance to win Florida. If he doesn't, he should be held responsible for the failure to stop Trump. And I'd assume it means that Rubio prefers Trump to Cruz, but that's an assumption based on a weak foundation — that Rubio is good at making decisions.

78 comments:

tim in vermont said...

"Say hello to his little friend!" - Marco "The Other Cuban" Rubio.

Phil 3:14 said...

It's a year of unexpected results and unintended consequences. We're getting a lot of "I told you so's" as instant revisionists history.

It's a once in a lifetime experience:

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?...Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself yourself
My God!...What have I done?!

rhhardin said...

Evern Rush said yesterday that Trump was doing humor.

Rubio wasn't.

Trump's is self-deprecation, which plays well.

damikesc said...

My beef with Christie's lame taunts were that Rubio's "Talking points" were 100% correct. They kept claiming Obama was an incompetent who just stumbled into abysmal policies.

That isn't the case. These policies were his plan. He's not incompetent. He's quite competent at generating horrible policies.

tim maguire said...

Rubio seemed to be getting stronger for a while, but after South Carolina his fade has been precipitous. Partly this is the fault of Jeb!, who has been as useless in dropping out as he was in staying in. I want to include Kasich in my criticism of Bush, but right now, Kasich is moving into third and, in at least some primaries, will be threatening Cruz. His campaign is threatening to become real.

If Rubio can't win Florida, then he'd be a fool to wait until Florida to drop out. He's young, he has many more election cycles to build a better campaign. But if he sticks around and Trump eventually wins, then he may as well get into another line of work.

Wilbur said...

You could smell the desperation and flop sweat with Rubio. Yes, Wilbur's TV has smell-o-vision.

Senator, to your own self be true. And be true to your school.

rehajm said...

Going negative is not exclusively 'Trump's game'. It's a standard campaign gambit for candidates who find themselves with diminishing options. Everyone knows it's risky but sometimes it works, so you try. Rubio's was a desperate campaign, and it din't work.

He could have used the Romney gambit and stayed positive, but't that's a risky strategy too.

AReasonableMan said...

Why doesn't Rubio endorse Trump? Why must everyone band together to stop Trump? It is interesting to compare the Ds and the Rs on this. The Ds have a very diverse coalition but they are behaving like grownups and giving everyone a shot at the brass ring, white men, blacks and now women. In contrast, when the Rs single biggest faction, white working people, want their own shot at the brass ring the whole fucking party has a meltdown. The Rs response to Trump has been remarkably classless in a classically classist way.

Michael K said...

"He's young, he has many more election cycles to build a better campaign."

I think he has a serious problem stemming from the amnesty deal. He was elected as a Tea Party Republican and as soon as he was in DC, he went to Schumer and joined the Gang of 8. That repudiated his entire Senate campaign. I think he is toast now. I think he has two yeas to go in the present term. Maybe he should try to make up for his mistakes and keep his head down.

PB said...

To single-out Rubio and not explain how such a perfect candidate as Obama could have such a failure of an administration where every policy and program has failed demonstrates their journalistic malpractice.

Birkel said...

Rubio sealed his fate with the Gang of Eight amnesty plan. He threw his lot with the received wisdom of D.C. that was and is rejected by a majority of voters. The GOP did not learn its lesson under President Bush when so many people de-registered from the Party and called in record numbers to their representatives. The GOP thought they could ignore the 2006 midterms in which those same people failed to show up to vote and they lost the Congress.

They are not the stupid party for no reason.

AprilApple said...

Rubio climbed into bed with the gang of eight back-stabbers. Pols who prefer illegal immigration to legal immigration.

It spelled death from the git-go.

Michael K said...

"The Rs response to Trump has been remarkably classless in a classically classist way."

It's interesting to see how the insiders keep the outsiders in line. Luttwak, a serious guy, has an interesting column today in the WSJ.

So many eminent people, including W. Averell Harriman, adviser to five U.S. presidents and chief negotiator of the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty, asserted that Reagan wanted to start a nuclear war that the KGB went on maximum alert from inauguration day for more than two years, forcing its officers around the world to take shifts on 24-hour watches of all U.S. strategic air bases to detect the telltale simultaneous launchings of a nuclear first strike.

People have forgotten how hostile the Establishment was to Reagan.

I wonder if the WSJ is doing its sums and starting to get closer to Trump?

rehajm said...

The Ds have a very diverse coalition but they are behaving like grownups and giving everyone a shot at the brass ring

The Ds promote and perpetuate policies that harm the very groups they claim to help. That's not how adults should behave.

David Begley said...

Marco gets out after FL and gives a full and vigorous endorsement of Ted.

Marco and Carly will be very effective surrogates for Ted.

People will see Carly as VP and Marco as SecDef. Ted will hint at it.

Tank said...

AReasonableMan said...

Why doesn't Rubio endorse Trump? Why must everyone band together to stop Trump? It is interesting to compare the Ds and the Rs on this. The Ds have a very diverse coalition but they are behaving like grownups and giving everyone a shot at the brass ring, white men, blacks and now women. In contrast, when the Rs single biggest faction, white working people, want their own shot at the brass ring the whole fucking party has a meltdown. The Rs response to Trump has been remarkably classless in a classically classist way.


The answer is right in there somewhere.

And Democrats are not giving white men anything, are they?

AprilApple said...

It's too bad. I think Rubio is terrific in many ways, but he screwed the pooch. If Rubio were authentically anti-illegal immigration, the story would be different. I wanted to see a young GOP cream an old corrupt democrat.

Now, the general will more than likely be a former Hillary supporter v Hillary.

tim in vermont said...

If Rubio were to run for governor of Florida, I would vote for him. Not voting for him on Tuesday unless a lot of shit changes fast.

David Begley said...

Right after NH, Rubio should have gone to the border and given a major immigration speech. Confess his Gang of 8 sin and ask voters for foregiveness. I told an Iowa state senator who backed him to do it.

Henry said...

Why must everyone band together to stop Trump?

Because 35% of white working people won't win anyone a brass ring.

Saint Croix said...

No, this is a mistake. Rubio cannot unite with Cruz when Cruz has tried, and is trying, to force him to do so. I feel like this is a real battle of good vs. evil. And you are not going to defeat evil with evil. You are not going to defeat terrorism by adopting terror tactics (like Trump wants to do). If Rubio, in good faith, thinks he should continue to run, then he should continue to run. Follow your heart, do what is right. Do not give in to threats, coercion, or fear.

This is Marco Rubio's decision, his choice, Ann Althouse. Why are you pressuring him?

traditionalguy said...

Wait a minute. As I recall, after Jeb was sent to the showers, the Donors-in-Charge tapped Rubio for a one way Kamikaze mission, wired him into a junk oppo research airplain, and sent him out to blow himself up to sink the USS Trump and save the Emperor's ass.

Rubio accepted that mission. And Trump's AA shot him down in a fireball of Vulgarity and the USS Trump sailed on.

Why cry for Marco.

AReasonableMan said...

rehajm said...
The Ds promote and perpetuate policies that harm the very groups they claim to help.


I agree. But, in diverse coalitions it is impossible to always act in everyone's best interests, which is why there has to be some civility in taking turns to allow each faction to win one thing or another. The Rs have a less diverse, but still quite economically diverse coalition, but one faction of the party seems unwilling to ever share, to not get their own way. You cannot run a coalition on those terms.

Ann Althouse said...

"My beef with Christie's lame taunts were that Rubio's "Talking points" were 100% correct. They kept claiming Obama was an incompetent who just stumbled into abysmal policies."

The problem was that Rubio seemed as though he couldn't do more than repeat a simple talking point. Doesn't matter that the talking point was true. We were being asked to vote for someone who might not have a mind adequate to the job. That's what Christie exposed. What Christie exposed was, as far as I can tell, 100% correct.

Skeptical Voter said...

Rubio should go back to high school and run for junior class president and prom king. Gravitas is not his style. With his foam party background, he could be our first gay President. Oh wait! Obama has that base covered already. So Hillary loses out on that "first" ground as well if she was elected.

Marco's style involves back stabbing and the Gang of 8. Why should I believe even one of his campaign promises after that? He didn't even claim he had "evolved". So adios Marco, you are dead to me insofar as ever getting my vote. Although Mrs. Skeptical Voter thinks he's a good candidate--so there's that.

AReasonableMan said...

Tank said...
And Democrats are not giving white men anything, are they?


They support and in turn receive the support of many unions that are predominantly composed of white working men. I do not think they have done anywhere near enough to support this group, but it is not true that they have done nothing.

tim in vermont said...

You cannot run a coalition on those terms.

Right, the correct way is to have a coterie of donors from the "top out of sight" class select the candidate and foist it on the party so the rank and file don't make any mistakes.

Ann Althouse said...

"Marco gets out after FL and gives a full and vigorous endorsement of Ted."

Too late.

His judgment is always off.

Terrible candidate. Not up for it at all.

It took a long time to notice because Jeb's not-up-for-itedness was huge and overshadowing.

The Stupid Party.

AReasonableMan said...

Henry said...
Because 35% of white working people won't win anyone a brass ring.


Not if the rest of the party throws a hissy fit.

Henry said...

Back to the article. It's a lovely story. A good story needs a fatal mistake.

But what killed Rubio's campaign was the lack of a ground game.

Nate Silver:

I want to back up and consider why Rubio is in this predicament. I won’t focus on recent strategic decisions made by his campaign, such as his potty humor directed at Trump, insofar as these decisions are more the effect of his problems (when you’re losing, it’s rational to employ high-risk strategies) than the cause of them. (props to rehajm, above, who already pointed this out).

Rubio didn’t replicate Obama’s success in one important way. Whereas Obama built a gigantic ground operation from the earliest stages of his campaign, Rubio failed to develop much of one. That contributes toward a low floor. If you’re not contacting voters personally, they aren’t all that invested in you, and although they may come your way from time to time, they also may abandon you at the first sign of trouble.

So instead of the fatal mistake, the ball through his legs, we have a less dramatic but more fundamental failure in architecture, the astro turf that takes out a man's knees.

Henry said...

ARM, it is Trump that has energetically engaged in alienating every voting group but his own 35%. That is what the rest of the part sees. Trump is being served the dead fish he dishes out.

Saint Croix said...

And while we're attacking campaign strategy, Cruz's plan to force Dr. Carson from the race, and force his own voters to get out and vote for him (or you get a bad report card!), and his whisper campaign that Rubio is quitting, hurting him in Hawaii (when he was leading) and hurting him in Florida (when he could win), was a spectacularly stupid strategy. Cruz will fail in blue and purple states. Many of those voters will go to Kasich. And we'll be having this same ugly and ridiculous conversation about him in a few weeks. Oh, it's your fault, John Kasich! Why wouldn't you get out, John Kasich! And then we will have our vote, Trump vs. Trump Lite.

I don't like Cruz's dirty campaign. It wasn't necessary. Marco Rubio is still the high-minded guy in the race. The debate tonight is big. It's important. It is not too late.

Come on, Marco Rubio. Win this thing.

rehajm said...

Too late.

His judgment is always off.

Terrible candidate. Not up for it at all.


...add another tombstone to the prediction graveyard...

Henry said...

@traditionalguy -- I want to see that bumper sticker:

Vote for the Fireball of Vulgarity

Trump 2016!

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan"

The unions are now almost exclusively a government employee phenomenon.
So, wrong again!
Give it another crack.

Birkel said...

"Saint Croix" is delusional.

AReasonableMan said...

Henry said...
ARM, it is Trump that has energetically engaged in alienating every voting group but his own 35%.


Even if this were true, "they started it" is not the way to handle conflicts within a mature coalition. There was a lot of tension within the the blue team when it was perceived that Obama was cutting Hillary (and all D women) off at the knees in getting the nomination 'out of turn'. Yet, white women turned out to vote for Obama with enthusiasm.

traditionalguy said...

The key here is not how the attractive and talented young Marco slipped and made one mistake. The story is how easily a donor owned puppet gets his strings pulled for his owner's goals. And the owner takes zero risk, while the puppet's career is over.

Which brings to mind that the wealthiest man on the planet owns a government, and figures he must have any competing mega wealthy donor class men arrested and/or killed. But Trump only out performs their attractive puppets on Political TV.

Putin does understand what Trump is accomplishing, and he has to admire him for it.

BDNYC said...

Complete rubbish. If Rubio were to drop out now, Trump would easily win Florida. Don't forget all the early voting that has already happened and which apparently favors Rubio. Althouse, you don't really think these things through sometimes. You just spout off. No offense.

Saint Croix said...

Marco Rubio, you need a campaign slogan. How about this one?

I will not quit.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams said...

My opinion of some of the conservative bloggers has been diminished too given their lack of judgement and I've never had much respect for the political pundits. Also, it kind of pissed me off to hear some of those young pretty female TV anchors telling me that Rubio was finally winning because he had started attacking.

tim in vermont said...

Democrats are such strong supporters of unions that they killed Keystone and oil development in the Arctic and greatly restricted it in the Gulf of Mexico.

Never mind fracking:

PITTSBURGH (AP) — After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.

That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.

"The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families," said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, which represents workers in numerous construction trades.


Democrats love unions! Just ask the coal miners!

traditionalguy said...

The Key to a good Fireball of Vulgarity is massed rapid fire words using proximity fuses that trigger images already in the hearer's minds when Trump just gets close.

The best trick the Nets are using now is inserting loud bleeps into Trump's passionate speeches where there are no Bad Word at all. But the hearers minds insert one for him...really dirty ones too.

Henry said...

Even if this were true, "they started it" is not the way to handle conflicts within a mature coalition. There was a lot of tension within the the blue team when it was perceived that Obama was cutting Hillary (and all D women) off at the knees in getting the nomination 'out of turn'. Yet, white women turned out to vote for Obama with enthusiasm.

The issue isn't "they started it." Who is "they" in this case? The issue is one of reality. Trump has unilaterally created a situation where great swaths of voters find him reprehensible.

I don't remember Obama making menstruation jokes in 2008 or mocking his opponent's looks. Maybe that had something to do with this coalition building.

Birkel said...

Henry:

To be fair, Obama did give "nice enough" Hillary Clinton the finger.

Kinda like how Obama gave the state of West Virginia the finger.

Or, well all of us, really.

BDNYC said...

Rubio has won two contests, placed and shown in most others and has a respectable delegate haul. What about Kasich? Why is there so much pressure on Rubio to drop out now, BEFORE the winner-take-all Florida primary, when John Kasich is still in the race with few delegates but siphoning mainstream conservative and moderate votes from Rubio? If Kasich had dropped out weeks ago, Rubio would have definitely passed the delegate thresholds in states where he barely missed it.

Tell me why Kasich gets to stay in and Rubio has to bow out.

JHapp said...

Trumps game is not a game for Trump. It is Trump. He is playing the cards God gave him, that is who he is. Republicans/conservatives expect more from candidates, like real policy suggestions, without the trash talk.

Saint Croix said...

“Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Cruz is the smart, calculating, conniving one. Rubio is the stupid football player. You calculate, Cruz, you supposed lover of the Constitution. You supposed lover of the republic. You calculate, Ted Cruz! You think hard, boy. Mr. Dirty Tricks. Mr. Machiavelli. You are a smart man but not a high-minded man. Mr. Shut Down the Government. How did that master plan work?

Why don't you make a sacrifice, Ted? Do the Christian thing, throw your support to Marco Rubio. Why the hell, of the four people in the race, is everybody attacking Marco Rubio and saying he is the one who needs to quit?

It doesn't actually matter. If Marco Rubio quits under this pressure and recriminations, then he is weak, and his support is worthless. He won't be able to help you, Cruz, you dummy. You wounded him, how can he help you now? But you're not wounded. You're strong. You can be magnanimous. Think hard, Ted Cruz. This is your opportunity to shine. Or keep going down the low road. Your choice, brother.

AReasonableMan said...

Henry said...
Trump has unilaterally created a situation where great swaths of voters find him reprehensible.


Because he has successfully shown how the interests of the largest faction in the party have been stomped on by the rest of the party. The response of a mature coalition would have been to acknowledge this and let his faction get a win, for once.

Henry said...

To be fair, Obama did give "nice enough" Hillary Clinton the finger.

Oh yeah, the surreptitious deniable dog whistle finger and the commonplace put down. Give me a break.

I will admit that Obama had no trouble trashing his ideological opponents as opposed to broad-based voting blocks. Clever, that.

Henry said...

ARM, you seem to think the election ends in July in Cleveland.

M Jordan said...

Rubio seems to me like a regular guy. Those four kids and beautiful wife make him seem like a great family guy. His comedic timing, which everyone now derides, is excellent. His youth is a plus and a minus (but mostly a plus).

Rubio's downfall was built on the foundation of the Gang of Eight. He went to Washington and got snookered by that oily Charles Schumer. That was the unforgivable sin ... not in my eyes, but in the electorate's.

Birkel said...

Henry:
Not everybody is arguing with you.

AReasonableMan said...

Henry said...
ARM, you seem to think the election ends in July in Cleveland.


The Blue team took a big risk on Obama, it was far from clear at the time that a black man could win a national election. They took one for the team, to maintain their coalition. As it turned out it was a good decision because of Obama's unique qualities. Who's to say that the same will not be true of Trump? The point is turn taking and coalition building. If the Red team's coalition blows up this election because of their refusal to acknowledge Trump they will have no one to blame but themselves.

EMD said...

but they are behaving like grownups and giving everyone a shot at the brass ring, white men, blacks and now women.

Like a quota system, then?

Henry said...

@Birkel - Got it. And I usually don't argue. I wonder where Chuck is this morning.

Rick said...

The Rubio campaign wasn't going anywhere. Blaming his failure on juvenile insults is his and others way of avoiding admitting the real issue. If Rubio had been credibly against amnesty / open borders he would be the nominee.

AReasonableMan said...

EMD said...
Like a quota system, then?


No, like a mature coalition that recognizes that there are diverse interests that have to accommodated in order to maintain the coalition.

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan"

If one assumes government should have its tentacles in every pot, sure. But imagine a federal government drawn back to the few things it does well so that the interests of all those people were not so tied up with the election of a President.

That would be a mature system.

Unknown said...

For Rubio to be tagged with doing something to save the party from the front runner instead of working in his self interest is pretty disgusting, but that is what the Republican Party has come down to. They do not even pretend that the gentry are not trying to take way the voters choice anymore. It is disgusting and I am getting pretty disgusted with this party.

I am very close to becoming #nevergop. That is pretty tough to think about a party I have supported for 50 years.

Gusty Winds said...

You have to actually build something in order for it to collapse. Rubio was never in this thing other than being the anti-Trump focus of Fox News and Frank Lutz's rigged focus groups.

Rubio must have believed what they were saying about him, and it was never true.

Gusty Winds said...

When Rubio went negative on Trump it came off like the school yard taunt "I know you are, but what am I". Trump nailed it when he basically said hostility only works for some people.

It is clear they are polar opposite candidates. Nobody can handle or reign in Trump, and Rubio is over-handled by incompetent advisors that may have wrecked his political future in the last six weeks.

Saint Croix said...

Donald Trump has had amazing success in the Republican primaries by going down the low road.

Ted Cruz is high road in public, but low road in secret.

If Cruz acknowledges that he sabotaged Rubio in Hawaii, and Florida, and he apologizes, and he endorses Rubio for President...

I believe this would strengthen both Rubio and Cruz. It would be powerful. Christianity is powerful. Confess your sins, Ted Cruz, and watch your popularity soar.

Paul said...

Rubio is a gamma and as gammas are prone to do he tried to ape an alpha's behavior and it fell flat. Hard.

Obama is another gamma and the ultimate tell was that picture of him in the situation room when they were going after Osama Bin Laden.

The worst type to hold a position of authority is the gamma. Once that is understood everything becomes clear.

Apparently nobody here is much aware of the primacy of male socio-sexual hierarchy and are consequently hamstrung in their analysis, but everybody reacts to it it on a subliminal level.

Trump is a true natural alpha and at this juncture people are craving a strong alpha leader. That is why his support has endured, and will continue to endure, what would have been fatal gaffes for any other candidate.

It's also why gammas like Chuck are driven to pathological levels of demonic hatred as the gamma imagines he should be the alpha but is too feckless and cowardly to earn alpha status.

damikesc said...

The problem was that Rubio seemed as though he couldn't do more than repeat a simple talking point. Doesn't matter that the talking point was true. We were being asked to vote for someone who might not have a mind adequate to the job. That's what Christie exposed. What Christie exposed was, as far as I can tell, 100% correct.

And I get that. But there is only so many ways to word "He isn't inept. He is doing this intentionally. It is absurd to believe this is an accident"

fivewheels said...

Very weak and obviously incorrect analysis. Rubio hadn't won jack before the Trump attacks, so that didn't cost him anything. The turning point was immigration, and voter distrust of his position from the outset. He never overcame that and barely addressed it. But reporters biased in favor of his immigration position can't admit that.

ScottD said...

Rubio endorsing Cruz would be the kiss of death for Cruz.

A lot of Cruz supporters, like me, would easily move to Trump as second choice. When 60+ % of the vote is anti-establishment, endorsements from establishment candidates like Rubio don't help. I'm already getting leary of Bush people joining the Cruz effort. Fiorina's endorsement was essentially irrelevant, because although she is an "outsider," support for her was paper thin.

Chuck said...

Marco Rubio beat Charlie Crist and put Crist out of public life. For that, I will be eternally indebted to Marco Rubio.

Crist had announced on Twitter that he would not seek public office again.

But now he is running for Congress, in the FL-13 district. It is a Republican district, north of St. Petersburg. If you know anyone in that area, they need to know what a truly evil weasel that Charlie Crist is.

boycat said...

Rubio's downfall was built on the foundation of the Gang of Eight. He went to Washington and got snookered by that oily Charles Schumer.

We ought not let little Marco skate out of taking personal responsibility for his own choices. At this point the only thing he's got going for him is his youth. Maybe by 2036, when Marco will be 65, he'll have evolved enough to be seen as a seasoned statesman, and enough of us who today see him for who he is will be gone from the scene, and he'll have a chance. He should get out of the Senate and spend a couple of terms as Florida governor, if he hasn't ruined his electability for that too.

EMD said...

No, like a mature coalition that recognizes that there are diverse interests that have to accommodated in order to maintain the coalition.

Remind me who voted in droves for Prop 8 in California? It's a fragile coalition. The Republicans, for all of their faults, are finally in the throes of defining what kind of party they have to be moving forward. The elite has truly betrayed the base many times over, and the chickens are coming home to roost. You send Paul Ryan and company to Washington to stop the bleeding and show fiscal restraint and those assholes vote for an omnibus bill that increases yet against the size and scope of government.

What the hell is the difference between the crony capitalist Democrats and the crony capitalist Republicans?

How do you explain Bernie Sanders, then? He's the result of the same level of dissatisfaction with the status quo party. He's not even a Democrat, really. If Democrats really believed in Hillary, she'd have run away with the nom, superdelegates or not.

David said...

To me the big takeaway from this is that Rubio has surrounded himself with crappy advisors. Probably the most dangerous trait of a president is inability to distinguish between good advice and bad.

damikesc said...

A lot of Cruz supporters, like me, would easily move to Trump as second choice. When 60+ % of the vote is anti-establishment, endorsements from establishment candidates like Rubio don't help.

How does having an Establishment guy endorsing a guy who is as anti-establishment as you can get make the anti-establishment guy seem less palatable? You don't get less establishment than Cruz.

Cruz has been attacked by Republicans, for years. He's had more attacks than Obama has had. If anybody confuses him for "establishment", they might not be mentally competent enough to vote.

Jim A said...

Actually those who want Rubio to "give Cruz a chance in Florida" show a remarkable lack of judgment. A number of votes in Florida are already in -- some polling shows Rubio with the lead in the early voting and Cruz not a factor. Exiting now would not release those votes. Even without those early votes, Rubio is the only person with a realistic chance to beat Trump in Florida according to the polling.

The problem is not Rubio's competing in Florida, but Cruz's decision to focus his attention there to tip the state to Trump and cause Rubio's exit. That is very short-term thinking -- giving Trump 99 delegates is too high a price.

Saint Croix said...

Rubio is a gamma

No, he's a beta, a follower of Christ.

All Christians recognize that we are in middle management.

AReasonableMan said...

EMD said...
It's a fragile coalition.


It is, but the Red team coalition is also increasingly fragile. The Red team elites have not adjusted well to this new reality. For a start, they could have thrown the neocons overboard, as penance for the Iraq war (although many now seem to be self-deporting). But this would not have been enough. They also needed to chop deeply into elite economic orthodoxy in order to maintain the current coalition and it is not clear that they are capable of doing this. Trump saw their deer in headlights demeanor and quickly capitalized. He deserves to win, based solely on his better political instincts.

The Red team elites have completely ignored their best prospects for the growth of their coalition, by stealing more working people from the Blue team, because this would require change and conflict with their donor base. The Hispanic growth strategy was always delusional, since it was inevitably going to rupture the party. Difficult position, but even worse responses.

Paul said...

"No, he's a beta, a follower of Christ."

You simply don't understand the terms.

darrenoia said...

We were being asked to vote for someone who might not have a mind adequate to the job. That's what Christie exposed. What Christie exposed was, as far as I can tell, 100% correct.

Wow. Just wow. With the exception of Cruz, Rubio is the only candidate to show that he does have a mind adequate to the job. Trump is a posturing, preening peacock without a brain in his head. Kasich is the aw shucks gosh darn I've been around a long time I must be serious no charisma candidate. Christie the Obama Hugging Bridge Closer had no chance at winning anything.

Rubio doesn't have the mind for the job? You can watch Trump infomercial his way through the entire primary and Kasich sit twiddling his thumbs on the sidelines as a beta and Rubio isn't up for the job?

Of course, you voted for Obama, so your judgment of presidential adequacy is obviously flawed. But this is too much.

It's easy to beat up Rubio for sinking to Trump's level. But somebody had to go after him. And I really doubt Cruz would be in as good a position as he is if Rubio — a patriot trying to do what's right for party and country — hadn't done what was needed and gone after Trump.

Cruz may be a smart guy, but his campaign is dirty and dumb, dumb, dumb. You don't throw 99 delegates and, more importantly, the illusion of inevitability, to Trump. Does Cruz really think he has a chance if Trump wins FL and OH? News for you bub. If that happens, it's game over. And you will have done it to yourself by not doing everything you could to get Florida for Rubio. You could have had a great shot at allying with him as your VP to take the nomination, but you blew it.