Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rubio's "Campaign" Is Just About Him Sucking Up To Rich Donors


Earlier today, we ended a post with a quote from Republican publicist David Frum, who, like Ted Cruz, is Canadian and involved with U.S. politics: "Something has changed in American politics since the Great Recession. The old slogans ring hollow. The insurgent candidates are less absurd, the orthodox candidates more vulnerable. The GOP donor elite planned a dynastic restoration in 2016. Instead, it triggered an internal class war." It's from an interesting essay he wrote from The Atlantic and it got me thinking about the desperation of the Republican establishment-- their elites-- and their quest for a candidate to save their party from Herr Trumpf or, more likely, Cruz.

Trumpf's ability as a marketing man has destroyed the pathetic, defenseless Jeb, so chalk that one up to lesson learned. That leaves a choice between the hideously grotesque slob who closed down the world's most heavily trafficked bridge-- and then, unsuccessfully, to cover it up-- and third-rate, sweaty little Marco, a young fogey neocon with a shady past, a string of lobbyist/mistresses and, reportedly, dos familias nucleares. Frum sees Rubio as a viable candidate for the GOP establishment. "Maybe Jeb Bush has just been a bad candidate with a radioactive last name. Maybe the same message and platform would have worked fine if espoused by a fresher and livelier candidate. Such is the theory of Marco Rubio’s campaign. Or-- even if the donor message and platform have troubles-- maybe $100 million in negative ads can scorch any potential alternative, enabling the donor-backed candidate to win by default." Could also work for Christie, the Jackie Gleason of the 2016 Deep Bench.

Problem with Rubio is that GOP primary voters don't seem to cotton to him. Maybe they see right through him, but his RealClearPolitics national polling average, 12.3%, is nice when you compare him to Jeb, Christie, Paul and Fiorina but not when you compare him to the prohibitive fascist-oriented bad-boy frontrunners, Herr Trumpf (33.6%) and Cruz (18.0%). Today's CNN poll of likely national GOP primary voters shows Rubio slipping instead of gaining (down 2 points in the last 2 weeks, while he bickered with Cruz over national security and immigration; Cruz was up 2 points in the same time period). And Rubio isn't in position to beat the two-headed monster in any states. Cruz and Trumpf each had more than double his support in Iowa (where Rubio's ground game isn't even competitive0; Trump has more than double his support in New Hampshire, where the latest poll shows Cruz with ahead and with way more momentum (and where Rubio is also not competitive in terms of a ground game); both are way ahead of him in South Carolina (again, Herr by more than double and Cruz with the giant momentum) and they each lead him even in his own state of Florida.

All he does is suck up to wealthy donors. That's his campaign. He pretty much ignores everything else. He is totally the "for sale" candidate of the 2016 cycle. That's pretty much what Rubio seems to think "politics" is all about and it reflects on his time as a local pol in Florida as well. McKay Coppins points out in his new book The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House, that "the suddenness of Rubio’s ascent-- combined with his piles of law school debt and continually tight personal finances-- let him to indulge joyously in the perks available to a person in his position. He watched his beloved Miami Dolphins from box seats belonging to professional influence peddlers. He made liberal use of the Florida Republican Party’s credit card. And as a new Speaker, he was astonished by how easily someone in his role could cash in. "It’s amazing," Rubio marveled to a friend at the time. "I can call up a lobbyist at four in the morning, and he’ll meet me anywhere with a bag of forty thousand dollars in cash." Women lobbyists met him with something else in the middle of the night-- in Tallahassee and, more recently, in Washington.

Yesterday I noticed even Florida Republican Joe Scarborough take a few minutes out from his Hillary Clinton-bashing MSNBC show to attack Rubio for pandering and for ugly nativism and... well, because it's pretty much impossible to watch Rubio's phony, rehearsed demeanor without your skin just crawling.

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