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 Can Brown Do for You?

There’s life in the Empty Barn Jacket, aka Scott Brown, GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire.  The Cook Report has moved his race against incumbent Jeanne Shaheen from Leans Dem to Toss-up.

Really, New Hampshire?  You’re going to vote for a bulb so dim he reminds me of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, who is truly a moron.  You want to cringe through six years of fatuousness from this pathetic pretty boy?

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.

Mitt Did Us a Favor

From “Paul Ryan’s disappearing act,” Jonathan Martin, Politico:

“Last year’s It Boy of the graying Republican Party has been bigfooted by the GOP’s new twin heartthrobs, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

“Ryan is actually hurt by having been on the ticket last year.  Many Republican activists had heard of the smart young Wisconsin conservative but not actually seen him up close.  And when they did, well, it didn’t send their pulses racing.

“‘He fell flat out here,” said Sam Clovis, a conservative talk radio show host in northwest Iowa.  ‘He just didn’t measure up to the hype.'”

Just as McCain showed us that Sarah Palin is empty-headed, Mitt showed us that Paul Ryan is empty-hearted.  Ryan had his moment, and he won’t be president.

As for Rubio, he’s very slick, but not very bright.  All he really has going for him is that he is Cuban-American, but the GOP will figure out that Cuba-Americans don’t identify with other Hispanics and, more importantly, vice versa.

Rand Paul may be less weird than his father, but he’s still way too weird to be president.

Jeb Bush has that fatal last name, Scott Walker is arrogant and dumb, John Kasich is arrogant and obnoxious, Bobby Jindal is simply goofy…  I’d go with Christie.  Sure he’s over-the-top Jersey to GOP Southerners, but what are they going to do, vote for Hillary?   Hed keep red states, swing purple states, and put blue states in play.

And The Feeling Is Mutual

“In private, Romney has told friends he has little interest in helping the Republican Party rebuild and re-brand itself.”

Philip Rucker, “A detached Romney tends wounds in seclusion after failed White House bid,” WaPo

Look, I can’t stand the guy, but if the GOP thinks it was just him and his 47% percent — hideous as that was — they’re even crazier than I thought. 

The seeds of Mitt’s defeat were sown in the earlier victories of extremist governors like Scott Walker, Rick Scott, John Kasich, and Bob McDonnell.  They were sown in the spectacle of the GOP debates when Mitt had to share the stage with nutjobs like Cain, Santorum, Bachmann, Perry, and Newt.  They were sown in the Senate races of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, dragging Mitt down with them as they drowned. 

Welcome Wisconsin!

I posted last week that only eight states were having a presidential election — New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, and Nevada.

Well, Wisconsin, come on down!

If Mitt’s now buying ads there, I’ll add all you Badgers to the party.

That said, I’m personally not sure how competitive Wisconsin is.

It hasn’t gone GOP in a presidential election since 1984, when everybody but Minnesota (Mondale’s home state) voted for Reagan.

As for Scott Walker’s surviving the recall, exit polls showed that many voters weren’t voting for Walker as much as they were voting against the recall itself, not thinking it fair to Walker, however they felt about him and his performance.  They felt he’d been elected to a term, and short of committing a felony or some major scandal, he was entitled to complete that term.  I don’t think you can draw a straight line between Walker’s victory and Romney/Ryan carrying the state.

As for Paul Ryan’s pushing his home state into the Mitt column, I’m not buying that either.  Much is made of the fact that Ryan’s congressional district isn’t all that conservative, yet it’s voted for him.  But it’s one thing for locals who know him and his family (he’s fifth generation in the community) and like them to make him one of 435 representatives and a Congress of 535.  They may believe that even if he’s to their right on some issues, he won’t have that much power.  And he was very effective at bringing stimulus money home to his district, even though he opposed the stimulus!  It’s another thing for the whole state to put him and Romney in the White House.  Then you vote overall policy direction more than whether you think Ryan’s a nice guy.