Friday, October 30, 2015

Will Rubio And Jeb Destroy Each Other? Or Is This Just A One-Way Street To End The Bush Political Dynasty?


Thursday night the Senate stayed up uncharacteristicly late-- no French working week this time-- to debate and vote on the budget. Although, with Senate GOP leadership and 18 Republicans committed to passage, it was a forgone conclusion that there would not be another GOP government shutdown, most of the southern extremists followed presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio-- yes, he showed up, not to work but for an opportunity to grandstand-- and Rand Paul in a pitiful narcissistic charade to elevate nihilism and wreck the economic in pursuit of their own narrow career dreams. The legislation passed 64-35 at 2:43 AM this morning.

And, yes, Marco Rubio had shown up at the Senate-- although it can be effectively argued that he wasn't off the campaign trail but that he, Cruz and Paul had dragged the campaign trail with them back to Washington. The 4th senator running-- kiddie table closet case Lindsay Graham-- voted as well, but unlike the other candidates, he thought his path to the White House was through reasonable compromise; he was one of the 64, as were most senators in contested reelection bids: Ayotte (R-NH), Bennet (D-CO), Kirk (R-IL), McCain (R-AZ), and Murkowski (R-AK). Surprisingly, the exception was Rob Portman (R-OH), who is struggling in the polls but who decided to vote with the extremists. Right after the vote the Democrat with the best chance to beat him, P.G. Sittenfeld told us "This is typical of Rob Portman, who cultivates a moderate image while voting like Ted Cruz and all the other GOP extremists. By opposing this bi-partisan compromise to fulfill Congress' most basic function-- passing a budget-- Portman has shown that he's willing to risk the chaos of fiscal default and government shutdown. If we're serious about fixing Washington, we need to elect a new generation of leaders who won't put politics above principle or self-interest ahead of the national interest."

Forget Rubio's Commerce Committee work (as he has), where he chairs the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard-- that has had exactly 2 meetings since he was appointed chairman in January, the last being in May. The subcommittee, through which all Climate Change legislation passes, has been a dead zone since Rubio decided to abandon his Senate work for a presidential run. You probably watched-- or read about-- the inept attempt Jeb Bush made to call Rubio out on it at the debate Wednesday. As a reminder, take a good look at Rubio's big moment... and Jeb's pathetic downfall:

That worked out badly-- for Jeb-- and very well for a better prepared Rubio, or as Marty Kaplan put it, "After Jeb criticized Rubio's attendance record, and Rubio broke his legs, you could just see it in his eyes," said the billionaire super PAC contributor, who did not want to be named because he never is named. "Poor Jeb's like a thoroughbred begging to be put out of his misery." Immediately afterwards Jeb's campaign "leaked" a 112 page campaign book he shared with the big donors in Houston this week who have kept him afloat while Republican primary voters have overwhelmingly rejected him. You can read all 112 mostly delusional pages at this link but I just wanted to point out some the pages that are so obsessed with Rubio as the relatively Establishment candidate-- compared to Trump, Carson and Cruz-- the Team Jeb feels is blocking their path to victory.

The "Marco Is A Risky Bet" slide, above, is instructive. This isn't the one about how everyone loves Jeb or about how inexperienced and untested Rubio is. This is the oppo-research hit that Jeb is letting his backers know that Hillary will be pounding Rubio with if he gets the nomination.
[I]t bullet-points Rubio's "misuse of state party credit cards, taxpayer funds and ties to scandal-tarred former Congressman David Rivera."

When Rubio was a state lawmaker, he used the state party credit card for personal expenses, a decision he later called a mistake. In 2005, he and Rivera jointly purchased a home that later faced foreclosure.

Another bullet point says Rubio's "closeness with Norman Braman, who doubles as personal benefactor[,] raises major ethical questions."

Braman, a billionaire auto dealer, is expected to pour $10 million into Rubio's White House endeavor, the New York Times reports. He's also paid Rubio's wife to oversee his charitable work.

The Bush team also mocks Rubio's "tomorrow versus yesterday" argument as one that would be "widely ridiculed by media" should he run against the first potential female president.

The most cryptic slight is left for last: "Those who have looked into Marco's background in the past have been concerned with what they have found."

A Bush aide says that line refers to concerns Mitt Romney's team unearthed when they vetted Rubio for vice president in 2012.
This morning Politico casually mentioned that "Democratic opposition researchers are increasing the hours that are being spent on Rubio, going into broader lines of inquiry about who he is and what skeletons they can find in his closet. Using FOIAs and document searches, they’re closely examining his time in Miami government as city commissioner, the Florida state house and his time in the Senate to look for instances where he did things for donors that he shouldn’t have like in his requests to federal agencies. It’s a massive project: Info is scattered across his time in various governments, and researchers are cross-referencing the data." That "cryptic" last line in the Jeb briefing slide (above), the substance of which we touched on briefly last night, refers to Marco's wild days in Tallahassee where the cocaine, lobbyist cash and loose women were features in the Rubio-Rivera party house that has never been adequately reported on by the media... one of those things that "everyone" knows about but never gets into print-- like all those decades Denny Hastert was raping underage boys. Sssshhhhhhhhh...

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