When Will George Bush (and Karl Rove) Apologize to McCain?

I hate to find myself defending Donald Trump, but what George W. Bush did to John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary was far, far worse than anything Trump has said.

Devastated by his loss in the New Hampshire primary, Bush had to win SC.  So he did “push polls” leading voters to believe that McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child, when he and Cindy had of course adopted their daughter Bridget.  Bush also implied that McCain’s time as a POW had left him too mentally ill to serve as president.  Bush won SC, but he sure as hell didn’t win fair.

John Kasich Won’t Be the Nominee

Those of you who’ve been looking forward to Ohio Gov. John Kasich becoming a GOP 2016 candidate need to put your hopes elsewhere. This is a guy with a serious political death wish. Or as Mitt might say, a “severe” political death wish.

Kasich has hired Fred Davis. Yes, the same Fred Davis who worked for Jon Huntsman in 2012. The same Fred Davis who produced the “Demon Sheep” ad for Carly Fiorina and the “I Am Not a Witch” ad for Christine O’Donnell.  We’re talking the two worst ads in the history of politics, which I guess is an achievement of some sort.

Kasich has hired John Weaver, who also worked for Huntsman, and who was unceremoniously fired by John McCain back in July 2007, when McCain’s campaign was looking very, very dead.  Weaver let Huntsman prattle on in Chinese during a primary debate, because, you know, there’s nothing the GOP base loves more than a guy who’s fluent in Chinese.

As a late entrant, Kasich needs to make a splash, which I expect he will.  That splash you hear before a heavy object sinks straight to the bottom.

Hillary Wouldn’t Have Needed Two Phones

Arguing that she used private email for all of her State Department correspondence out of a desire for “convenience,” Hillary Clinton said that she would have needed two phones if she’d used a State Department account.

But that isn’t true.  When I worked on the 2008 presidential campaign, I had one BlackBerry.  It had the official campaign email on it, as well as a couple of email accounts I used for personal correspondence with family and friends.

Her claim that she didn’t want to carry two “devices” is BS.

About That Deep Field…

I’m no fan of Mitt Romney, but Mittens was right when he looked at the GOP field  and was not impressed.  The field is certainly wide.  But deep?  Not so much.

First of all, aside from entertainment value, you can safely ignore Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson.  None of these guys is going to be the 2016 Republican nominee.  Okay, maybe if Hillary finds a magic lamp in some Upper East Side antique store…  But let’s assume Alladin isn’t Ready for Hillary.

Ted Cruz probably falls in that group too.  Just because you breathe fire, doesn’t mean you’re going to catch fire.  “Clueless” and “obnoxious” aren’t high on the list of what voters look for in a candidate.

As for his fellow Texan, Rick Perry, he’ll do better than 2012, being off the pain meds and all.  So he’ll be able to remember a list of three.  Hell, maybe he’ll do four or five.  But he still comes across as dumber and goofier than George W. Bush.  He’ll have a less bizarre and humiliating, but still unsuccessful, go this time around.

As for Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, the eyes have it.  Watch a clip of Scott Walker with the sound off and just look into his eyes.  Not a helluva lot going on there, he’s the poster boy for “dumb look.”  Rubio?  Watch the water grab in the SOTU response and look at the absolute terror in his eyes.  If he panics over a sip of water, how is he going to fare in a room with Putin?  Vlad, by the way, wouldn’t give a damn if he needed a sip of water — or vodka — during a speech.  Anyone going to snicker at Mr. KGB?  I think not.  I don’t entirely write either off the way I do the others — Walker could unite the Establishment and the Tea Party and Rubio has some foreign/defense policy chops (especially compared to Walker) in an election where the Mideast Morass will feature prominently.  But really, neither one has what it takes.

Chris Christie?  Mittens knows more about him than we do from his Veep vet in 2012, and Mittens didn’t like what he learned.  Skeletons aside, Christie won’t wear well, we’ll be sick to death of him long before the NH primary.  Mitt has been gone just a few days, and Christie is already spouting nonsense about vaccines.  When his mouth isn’t full of food, it’s full of bluster and BS.

We come to Jebbie.  Mitt looked at him and saw a much less successful version of himself as a businessman.  But as a politician, Jeb is far less awkward and off-putting than Mitt.  He doesn’t make you cringe.  He’ll be the grown-up on the debate stage.  He’ll have all the money he needs.

So there you have it, America.  A “wide and deep” field — of one.

What Mitt Really Thinks About Jebbie and Christie

“But those familiar with Romney’s thinking as he’s been contemplating a run and over the years say that he has held a jaundiced view of the former Florida governor dating all the way back to his handling of the Terri Schiavo case, and has come to see Bush as a non-entity in the 2016 nomination contest. Romney is said to see Bush as a small-time businessman whose financial transactions would nonetheless be fodder for the Democrats and as terminally weighed down with voters across the board based on his family name. Romney also doesn’t think much of Bush’s political skills (a view mocked by Bush’s camp, who say Romney is nowhere near Bush’s league as a campaigner).  Romney also considers Bush the national Republican figure who was the least helpful to him during his last run for the White House, a position that has darkened Ann Romney’s view of Bush as well.

“Romney and Christie became friends in the last cycle, but Romney nevertheless has dismissed his pal as a non-factor. Thanks to the 2012 veep vetting process, Romney became intimately familiar with some of the less publicized controversies from the New Jersey governor’s past, and believes that several of those flaps would mushroom so broadly that Christie soon would be eliminated from consideration by voters and donors.”

From “How Mitt Romney Made His Decision Not To Run,” Mark Halperin, Bloomberg Politics