Nate on 2016 GOP

Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight.com gives Jeb Bush and Scott Walker each a 25% chance of getting the nomination.  He gives Marco Rubio 12%, Rand Paul 9%, and Chris Christie 5%.

I give Paul and Christie 0%.

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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.

If Not Christie, Who?

From “How Bad Does the GOP Need Chris Christie?  Really Bad,” Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast

“[The GOP has] reached the point where they almost have to have a Northeasterner like Christie to run for president, just as they had to settle for Romney last time. They’ve let their party go so far off the deep end that practically no Republican officeholder from any other region of the country could appeal to enough moderates in enough purple and blue states to win back the territory the party ceded to the Democrats in the last two elections.

“Remember: the Republicans come into the next presidential election with 206 reliable electoral votes from states their nominees have won at least four of the last six elections. The Democrats’ corresponding number is 257 (just 13 shy of the victory threshold). These tallies leave five states on the table: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada. …

“So the establishment isn’t going to give up on Christie easily. And of course he can enjoy the benefit in these next weeks and months of becoming a more sympathetic figure to the hard right than he’s ever been, because all he has to do to please that crowd is carry on about how the East Coast liberal media are trying to do him in. And it may just work.

“But ultimately, facts are facts. And if the facts finish him [Christie] off, and the GOP is stuck with Cruz-Rubio-Paul, or even a right-wing governor like Scott Walker, the establishment will be reaping what it’s spent the Obama years sowing: a party that cares more about feeding its base’s fever-dreams than being nationally electable. And that’s where things stand, as Christie begins a term that there’s a sporting chance he may not even be able to finish.”

I’d say much more than a sporting chance.  I think it’s a question of when, not if, Christie will resign.

Sen. Mike Lee Will Do the Honors

It used to be that after the President’s State of the Union address, the opposing party would offer a response.

But since 2011, the GOP has offered two responses to President Obama, the official Republican response and a Tea Party response.  Because, you know, when you’ve got a Kenyan Muslim Socialist in the WH, one rebuttal can’t possibly be enough to deal with the horror.

This year, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah will do the Tea Party honors on January 28, following in the hallowed footsteps of Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Rand Paul.

The GOP hasn’t yet announced who gets their official gig.  But whoever it is will not eat anything salty or spicy for 24 hours beforehand, having learned the lesson of Marco Rubio’s “Big Gulp” from last year.

So look forward to Crazy and Crazier, Dumb and Dumber.

Ron Paul Gets the Last Laugh

If you remember the GOP presidential debates of 2008 and 2012 (I know, who the hell wants to do that?), whenever there was a foreign policy or defense question, there was pretty much crazy Ron Paul off by his isolationist self and all the other candidates basically laughing at him and openly embarrassed by him.

But isn’t he getting the last laugh?  Just as the Tea Party pushed the GOP far, far, far to the right on domestic issues, the libertarian isolationists, led in the Senate by Ron’s son Rand, are pushing the GOP far, far, far to the right on national security issues.

When I read that 2016 prez hopeful Marco (“Big Gulp”) Rubio is voting against the Syria resolution, thus ensuring there’s no daylight between him and Rand, I immediately flashed back to those debates where Ron was odd man out in every sense of the word.  And now Rand is seen as reasonable and legit.

We live in scary times.

Tea Party Plans to Dump Rubio Overboard

“[Marco] Rubio lost his own people and he doesn’t even realize it.  He’s not going to make it past his primary as senator, let alone president. He’s in for a big surprise. … He might as well switch parties right now.  He’s done.”

Juan Fiol, a Miami Republican who volunteered for Rubio in 2010, and now feels like a betrayed, silly “fiol.”

I think comprehensive immigration reform is dead, and Rubio’s 2016 chances might be as well.  Of course, the man is a shameless, unprincipled flip-flopper, so we probably shouldn’t count him out.  Who are we going to believe a couple of years from now, the Rubio who will deny he ever sponsored the Senate bill or our lying eyes watching video of his doing just that?

For more Tea Party grousing against Rubio, see “Marco Rubio Spurned by Original Tea Party Supporters Over Immigration,” Patricia Murphy, The Daily Beast.