The State of the Race

 

Debate2This won’t be another debate recap post. An army of pundits (Please note: Worst. Army. Ever.) has already dissected last night’s proceedings and the emerging consensus seems about right to me: Carly Fiorina dominated, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie both had some pretty good moments, and Donald Trump’s pilot light kept shutting off. Everyone else was basically treading water. In the undercard debate, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham both looked serviceable, but c’mon — it’s not that big of a deal to win the NIT.

So let’s play the story forward: after last night, what dynamics play out over the six weeks until the next GOP debate takes place in Boulder, Colorado? (Seriously, RNC? Boulder? Was George Soros’ penthouse booked that night?) Here are some of the trends I’ll be watching for:

Carly in the Crosshairs

Last night, the country learned what those of us who’ve been watching this race closely discovered months ago: Carly Fiorina can stick a knife between your ribs and get you to thank her for it. Her exchange with Donald Trump over the infamous “Look at that face” comment marked the first instance in this cycle of someone coming out of a scrum with The Donald an unambiguous winner. Not only did she manage the magnificent trick of appearing simultaneously dignified and condescending, she actually made Trump look like a beta as he uncomfortably walked back his criticisms. I’m not going to lie: I enjoyed seeing the inspiration for the “cuckservative” epithet get horsewhipped by a girl.

All things considered, last night was a huge triumph for Carly (some especially insightful wags may have seen this coming), but it’s going to bring her a host of new challenges (this is what political philosophers refer to as the “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” Principle).

Now that she’s a serious contender in this race, the scrutiny of her tenure at Hewlett-Packard and the concerns over her lack of electoral experience are going to become much more pronounced. Carly’s succeeded thus far by taking a very clear, poised message to progressively bigger stages. Now we get to see what happens when the process becomes interactive and she has to thrust and parry with the other campaigns. Based on last night, she’ll probably be up to that challenge, but having your breakout moment four-and-a-half months prior to voters going to the polls gives your opponents plenty of time to probe you for weaknesses.

Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

I think a lot of people would have lost money (I know I would have) on the proposition that Rick Perry would be out of this race before the second debate. I expect we’ll see more before the third, especially with the talk that we may have already had our last undercard forum.

Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit. Jim Gilmore didn’t even cross the polling threshold for the kids’ table last night. There’s a non-negligible chance that more people are backing me for president than him (Senik 2016: “Padlocking Buildings Throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area”). Save yourself some dignity, Jim, and take up gardening.

The same likely goes for last night’s entire undercard cast. If you didn’t have a breakout moment early, as Carly did, it’s probably over. Bobby Jindal needs to start working on his vision for the Department of Health and Human Services. Lindsey Graham has a kid in Dallas to drone. Rick Santorum isn’t a viable presidential candidate in any field that doesn’t include Mitt Romney and at least one pizza salesman. And George Pataki likely doesn’t have the support of a majority of voters in his own home.

Look, you’ve had your fun. You got a trip to Southern California to offset having to shoot your way out of Cleveland last month. But it’s time to go home.

The Lifeboat Caucus

Among the top-tier here’s who should be nervous right now: Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and, believe it or not, Scott Walker.

Paul needed this election to be held in 2014, before we all remembered that national security is a thing that presidents actually do. In the ISIS-Ayatollah-Putin era, a guy whose foreign policy arguments tend to be prefaced with “Look, I’m not an actual isolationist” isn’t going to be many peoples’ first pick.

Huckabee doesn’t have much of a lane. The success he had in 2008 was largely fueled by social conservatives but, like Santorum, he’s boxed out with that demographic this time around by the likes of Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. Mike is a very genial guy who’s spent the last few years being extremely well-paid to be a very genial guy. Don’t upset that apple cart. Stick with the job that bankrolls your ability to build monstrosities like this on the Florida coast.

Because he’s been so marginalized over the last few years, a lot of people have forgotten just how good Chris Christie is in front of a camera. (Our own Rob Long recently referred to the YouTube videos of Christie’s New Jersey smackdowns as “Chris Christie porn,” which has to be the most disgusting combination of three words imaginable in the English language). Last night provided a few reminders of those talents. But the cash value of that skill set? Probably nil. Christie, charming as he can be, just represents too much of a compromise for too many voters. And when there are 16 candidates to choose from, you can afford to be picky. Add him to the long list of Republicans who missed their one serious shot at the presidency in 2012.

As for Walker, his decline has to rank right up there with the Trump boomlet as one of the biggest surprises of this cycle. Yes, he’s been getting back to basics lately with some serious policy ideas, but the damage may have already been done. The core problem is that Walker has spent the past few months chasing the news cycle and trying to be wherever he thought the conservative base wanted him, which has undercut his core value proposition: that he’s a guy who fights on principle and focuses on the big issues. And it doesn’t help matters any that his modus operandi at the debates seems to be to give as brief an answer as possible and hope that the moderators will move on. Mr. “Unintimidated” seems to be playing scared. I don’t expect his campaign to pick up any steam until they can get over that contradiction.

The Contenders

A quick rundown of the guys who are still in this:

—   I’ll be honest: Ted Cruz’s appeal is lost on me. And that’s saying something, because I don’t have much in the way of policy differences with him. I’m just inherently nervous about any candidate whose cadence makes me think I’m about to get ripped off on a trim package. Cruz seems to have settled on a strategy of drafting off of Trump right now. Maybe that works, maybe it doesn’t. But I’m always skeptical of campaigns where the strategy largely centers around a series of contingencies breaking in just the right way.

—   We can agree on this much: Ben Carson wins Mr. Congeniality. And my guess is that’s what his supporters are rewarding him for night now. Carson has all the hallmarks of an October front-runner: someone everyone likes when nothing’s on the line. I don’t want Ben Carson to be president. I want Ben Carson to sit down with the country every night over a cup of tea and tell us how his day went. We’ll see how many people come to the same conclusion as this campaign rolls on.

—   Every debate brings with it a stream of press accolades for John Kasich. I don’t get it. Kasich strikes me as a less self-important Jon Huntsman: a guy whose primary constituency is the media because his primary sensibility is a slight sense of guilt at being a Republican. This feels like it blows up on the runway.

—   I continue to believe that we’re underestimating how big of a sinkhole the Jeb Bush campaign is. Jeb has been running this campaign, officially or otherwise, for the better part of a year now. Last night is the first time I can remember him getting a genuine applause line — and it was for his brother. The Bush campaign looks increasingly like the Clinton effort: one that’s stumbling because it assumed that supply creates its own demand.

—  To hear Team Jeb! tell it, they’re taking the slow and steady approach. Well … one out of two ain’t bad. Marco Rubio, however, may actually be executing that strategy to perfection. Rubio is well-liked, always impressive at these debates, scratches a key demographic itch for the party, and has a wide range of Republicans who are willing to give him a look. That’s a pretty good hand to play. And while he hasn’t had any huge moments yet, he’s consistently good, the cumulative value of which shouldn’t be underestimated. Based on the number of erstwhile Rubio-Fiorina supporters who I’m now hearing say that they may have gotten the ticket upside down, however, he’s going to have to step it up a notch or risk taking the lead in the vice presidential sweepstakes.

— As we watched the first debate here at Ricochet last month, a lot of people thought that the hostile questioning of Donald Trump would be his undoing. I never bought that. Did they make him look like a buffoon? Yes. But, people … buffoon is the brand.

Last night, however, may have actually changed something, because Trump committed the cardinal sin of an entertainer: he was boring. The bull got into the china shop … and proceeded to take a nap. Trump seems to have begun thinking that to be president he may actually have to act like a presidential candidate — which undercuts everything that makes him compelling/repellent.

I said a few months ago that I thought the eventual undoing of the Trump campaign would be when the novelty started to wear off. We’re not there yet. We may not even be close. But last night was the first time it felt like we could at least be seeing the beginning of the end.

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  1. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    And of course, Kasich’s response on the Iran Deal is still clueless. That alone is enough to disqualify him for the nomination.

    • #61
  2. George Savage Contributor
    George Savage
    @GeorgeSavage

    BrentB67:

    George Savage:I agree with Troy’s analysis, but I also found myself nodding along with Mark Levin tonight. Levin’s point: Christie, Fiorina and others correctly joined in criticizing Boehner and McConnell for failing to do much of anything in Congress to oppose President Obama’s agenda, but where were they in 2013 when Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were trying to stop Obamacare?

    Fiorina gave an impressive performance last night as an articulate, full-spectrum conservative, but she last ran for office as a quintessential moderate California Republican. There is also her tumultuous tenure at HP to consider.

    Rubio has impressive gifts and tea party bona fides, but jumped aboard the amnesty-first-security-never Gang of Eight bill, providing conservative cover for Chuck Schumer. Not exactly reassuring.

    Christie sounded great–a full-throated conservative. Too bad about the contrary record in New Jersey.

    In short, I’m going to take my time and watch events unfold.

    Where did this myth that Rubio has some kind of tacit Tea Party support originate? Maybe in Florida, but elsewhere I am not sure he would be allowed in the library conference room to address the crowd.

    His tax plan, recent budget proposal, and heaven knows the gang of 8 debacle were all contrary to any Tea Party principles I’ve read or supported.

    Rubio is a very bright articulate guy, but he is the reformicon (2016 compassionate conservative, how’d that work) poster man.

    Brent, Rubio ran an insurgent primary campaign for Senate against establishment favorite and then-Republican, Governor Charlie Crist. Back then, Rubio was a conservative Tea Party favorite.

    I agree that times have changed, and this is why Rubio’s rhetorical excellence has not moved the needle with me over, say, Ted Cruz

    • #62
  3. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Brian Watt:

    This:

    Gov. Kasich said he recently told a state legislator, “I respect the fact that you believe in small government. I do too. I also happen to know that you’re a person of faith.”

    “Now, when you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor,” Kasich said. “Better have a good answer.”

    Is coerced support via taxation for the federal government programs meant to be the conduit for entry into heaven? If this is the logic to be applied then what other programs can be justified using this Christian fear tactic? Continued punitive regulatory expansion of the EPA for presumed better stewardship of the planet because anthropogenic global warming is somehow real? Continued expansion of the Department of Education? Continued expansion of Obamacare? Sorry, but I find this sort of thinking disturbing in that it opens the door for any number of programs that could prey on Christians’ fear or guilt. I don’t need the next president to continue to attempt to guilt me into support for expanded government programs. This is a bleeding heart Leftist tactic. No thanks.

    What Brian said.

    • #63
  4. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Brian Watt:

    This:

    Gov. Kasich said he recently told a state legislator,

    “Now, when you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor,” Kasich said. “Better have a good answer.”

    Is coerced support via taxation for the federal government programs meant to be the conduit for entry into heaven? If this is the logic to be applied then what other programs can be justified using this Christian fear tactic? Continued punitive regulatory expansion of the EPA for presumed better stewardship of the planet because anthropogenic global warming is somehow real? Continued expansion of the Department of Education? Continued expansion of Obamacare? Sorry, but I find this sort of thinking disturbing in that it opens the door for any number of programs that could prey on Christians’ fear or guilt. I don’t need the next president to continue to attempt to guilt me into support for expanded government programs. This is a bleeding heart Leftist tactic. No thanks.

    Agree that this was not a good comment by Kasich but we have to weigh this one comment against a long history of budget discipline and pro-market philosophy. We have to stop putting so much emphasis on what a person says or does on one occasion and pay more attention to their entire history.

    • #64
  5. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    George Savage:

    BrentB67:

    George Savage:

    Where did this myth that Rubio has some kind of tacit Tea Party support originate? Maybe in Florida, but elsewhere I am not sure he would be allowed in the library conference room to address the crowd.

    His tax plan, recent budget proposal, and heaven knows the gang of 8 debacle were all contrary to any Tea Party principles I’ve read or supported.

    Rubio is a very bright articulate guy, but he is the reformicon (2016 compassionate conservative, how’d that work) poster man.

    Brent, Rubio ran an insurgent primary campaign for Senate against establishment favorite and then-Republican, Governor Charlie Crist. Back then, Rubio was a conservative Tea Party favorite.

    I agree that times have changed, and this is why Rubio’s rhetorical excellence has not moved the needle with me over, say, Ted Cruz

    Thanks George. I didn’t follow his Senate election campaign closely. His Senatorial conduct isn’t what I associate with the Tea Party

    He is rhetorically and politically gifted and I want him on the stage and in the discussion, just in an intellectually honest manner. I think he is much closer to G.W. Bush than Ted Cruz.

    • #65
  6. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Kasich accepted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, and that was the context of his comment about helping the poor. It wasn’t merely a bad comment, it was an underlying bad philosophy. Now you could argue that he was forced to accept that expansion as a matter of purple-state politics and doesn’t really believe that rationale… except he wasn’t forced to. He bucked the Republican consensus in his own state: he vetoed the legislature’s attempt to stop him accepting the expansion. Not to mention that Walker managed to turn it down, and lived to fight another day.

    Kasich also is as pro-Common Core as Bush. And while my understanding is that he is pro-life, his rhetoric in a Republican primary has made it pretty clear it’s a low priority for him.

    • #66
  7. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    I agree Kasich is killing himself in the primaries with this rhetoric, but look at the big picture – he is still the most likely to rack up a resounding win against Leona Helmsley or Joltin’ Joe.  If you want to lose Colorado, Florida and the six other states that matter put in a purist that says he won’t make an exception for the life or health of the mother on the abortion issue. I agree it’s the right thing to feel and believe, but we can’t change the world overnight. If Kasich had turned down Medicaid money on the table for his state that would have been political malpractice, no matter how noble he would have appeared to the Ricochetti. Do you want to have the votes to purge the Augean stables of the judiciary? We need someone like Kasich as President and Cruz as Attorney General, not another coulda-shoulda-woulda.

    • #67
  8. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Petty Boozswha:I agree Kasich is killing himself in the primaries with this rhetoric, but look at the big picture – he is still the most likely to rack up a resounding win against Leona Helmsley or Joltin’ Joe. If you want to lose Colorado, Florida and the six other states that matter put in a purist that says he won’t make an exception for the life or health of the mother on the abortion issue. I agree it’s the right thing to feel and believe, but we can’t change the world overnight. If Kasich had turned down Medicaid money on the table for his state that would have been political malpractice, no matter how noble he would have appeared to the Ricochetti. Do you want to have the votes to purge the Augean stables of the judiciary? We need someone like Kasich as President and Cruz as Attorney General, not another coulda-shoulda-woulda.

    To suggest that we lose Florida or Colorado unless Kasich is the nominee is a false choice…but nice try.

    • #68
  9. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    To suggest that we lose Florida or Colorado unless Kasich is the nominee is a false choice…but nice try.

    Rubio is a good man and I hope he can pull it off, I don’t see anyone else on the stage the other night that can win to LIV/swing state voters we need. I have a very bad feeling that we are going to be like Charley Brown with the MSM playing Lucy holding the football once again.

    • #69
  10. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Petty Boozswha: If you want to lose Colorado, Florida and the six other states that matter put in a purist that says he won’t make an exception for the life or health of the mother on the abortion issue… If Kasich had turned down Medicaid money on the table for his state that would have been political malpractice, no matter how noble he would have appeared to the Ricochetti.

    Except, again, in a still-bluer state Walker managed to do that and win re-election comfortably nonetheless, even against an opponent holding a current drivers’ license. He’s no radical purist; he simply calculated he could justify protecting Wisconsin’s finances to Wisconsin voters. And while the Democrats spend most of the budget debate talking about all the money they could’ve spent on education if he hadn’t turned it down, the state re-elected the Republicans anyway, with an increased majority.

    Again, Ohio’s state legislative leaders tried to stop the expansion. I’m no expert on Ohio politics, so maybe the state somehow managed to elect a bunch of impractical purists. Or maybe it wouldn’t have been political malpractice after all.

    On abortion, the facts simply prove the position isn’t fatal. Walker’s managed it quite smoothly in Wisconsin. Didn’t deny his theoretical position, but talked about the bills he actually signed, when he talked about it at all — enough to make some pro-lifers (unnecessarily) question his credentials.

    • #70
  11. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Petty Boozswha:To suggest that we lose Florida or Colorado unless Kasich is the nominee is a false choice…but nice try.

    Rubio is a good man and I hope he can pull it off, I don’t see anyone else on the stage the other night that can win to LIV/swing state voters we need. I have a very bad feeling that we are going to be like Charley Brown with the MSM playing Lucy holding the football once again.

    Rubio is a good man. Christie is a good who can also win Florida. Carly is a good woman who can also win Florida. Ted Cruz is also a good man who can also win Florida. Jindal is a good man who can also win Florida. The issue is that whoever (whomever?) ends up the nominee, that they don’t shrink from the battle, that they appear forceful and presidential and they can keep the Democrat nominee back on his or her heels, fuming, or clearly foolish, flustered or flummoxed – and given who the Democrat prospects are, that shouldn’t be an impossible task. Any of the candidates I just mentioned have the potential and the personality to do that. I do think Rubio is probably the best choice for a number of reasons but the others would do fine as well.

    • #71
  12. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Leigh: Again, Ohio’s state legislative leaders tried to stop the expansion. I’m no expert on Ohio politics, so maybe the state somehow managed to elect a bunch of impractical purists. Or maybe it wouldn’t have been political malpractice after all.

    Oh, and I remembered correctly — Florida turned it down and stuck with their Republican governor, too. Virginia Republicans are still holding the line against Terry McAuliffe on this one.

    Sure, it would have been a political risk, and it looks like Wisconsin is the only state bluer than Ohio to reject it (though that’s because most bluer states have Democratic governors). But it’s one Kasich could have taken and won, and his party was ready to go with him on it. If the president isn’t willing to take that level of political risk, we’re not repealing Obamacare.

    • #72
  13. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Nice analysis, Troy.  I pretty much agree with your whole the whole thing.

    We know you spend about 40 hours per week recording podcasts (I wouldn’t be surprised to download the “Yoga and Organic Gardening Podcast” and hear your voice as moderator).

    With that kind of commitment to the spoken word, it’s hard to find the time to write scintillating analysis pieces.  Nevertheless, we need more of this from you.

    • #73
  14. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Petty Boozswha:I agree Kasich is killing himself in the primaries with this rhetoric, but look at the big picture – he is still the most likely to rack up a resounding win against Leona Helmsley or Joltin’ Joe.

    Thanks, I knew Hillary reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Problem solved:  it’s Leona Helmsley.

    • #74
  15. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    Brian and Leigh,

    My heart wants to agree with you but my head says no.

    On the Medicaid issue, every state is different, Wisconsin doesn’t have the pockets of poverty [Appalachia, Cleveland, etc.] Ohio has, other states are unique in their own ways too. I still give Kasich a pass on reading the terrain and choosing to accept the money. I  guess I am a little bit of a RINO on this issue, stopping poor people from getting medical care is not the hill I want to die on when there are literally trillions of dollars to be cut elsewhere first.

    I stand by my analysis of the LIV we are going to need. I agree Rubio, maybe Fiorina if nothing falls out of her closet, could carry enough of the vote to win. I honestly don’t think anyone else on that stage could do it. Even if we go with Rubio or someone else that wins they are not going to gain us Senators in Nevada and Colorado, they will lose us seats in Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Kasich is not my ideal, the way Mitch Daniels was last time, for example, but I think he would be the best guy we can put on the field right now.

    • #75
  16. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Petty Boozswha:Brian and Leigh,

    My heart wants to agree with you but my head says no.

    On the Medicaid issue, every state is different, Wisconsin doesn’t have the pockets of poverty [Appalachia, Cleveland, etc.] Ohio has, other states are unique in their own ways too. I still give Kasich a pass on reading the terrain and choosing to accept the money. I guess I am a little bit of a RINO on this issue, stopping poor people from getting medical care is not the hill I want to die on when there are literally trillions of dollars to be cut elsewhere first.

    I stand by my analysis of the LIV we are going to need. I agree Rubio, maybe Fiorina if nothing falls out of her closet, could carry enough of the vote to win. I honestly don’t think anyone else on that stage could do it. Even if we go with Rubio or someone else that wins they are not going to gain us Senators in Nevada and Colorado, they will lose us seats in Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Kasich is not my ideal, the way Mitch Daniels was last time, for example, but I think he would be the best guy we can put on the field right now.

    My issue is not so much (and I choose those words carefully) the Medicaid expansion in Ohio but what seems to be his Christian guilt complex/tactic driving any potential taxpayer funding/expansion of the federal government…but perhaps more importantly his woeful and willful ignorance on the Iran Deal when virtually every notable conservative in Congress and throughout the commentariat has shown what a blatant fraud the deal is (even some Democrats!!) especially when it comes to the sham inspections agreements – that alone is a deal killer (pun halfway intended) for a Kasich nomination. I mean, where the heck has he been while all this has been going on??!! It’s not as though it hasn’t been covered in minute detail throughout the press. His position is embarrassingly naive on the matter.

    • #76
  17. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Petty Boozswha: On the Medicaid issue, every state is different, Wisconsin doesn’t have the pockets of poverty [Appalachia, Cleveland, etc.] Ohio has, other states are unique in their own ways too.

    Wisconsin emphatically does have pockets of poverty. Parts of Madison, Racine, Kenosha, and above all Milwaukee. Milwaukee is a tragic disaster on so many levels. The state Republicans keep trying to come up with ways to save the city from itself…

    Just looked up the numbers: Cleveland is slightly still poorer (based on per capita income and % below the poverty line). Ohio is overall slightly poorer. But the two states are both roughly in the middle and not that far apart. And Wisconsin is more liberal than Ohio, if national election results indicate anything.

    Fully grant that states are unique. But considering that a majority of the state legislature wanted to turn it down, and that Kasich obviously had some significant margin to lose some supporters and keep his office, I’m not going to be easily convinced that Ohio politics made that bad policy inevitable.

    If you are with him on the substance of it, that’s a different argument I don’t have time for… but it does come down to a pretty basic issue of conservative philosophy, especially combined with the reality that temporary money is often a trap.

    More broadly, I agree with Brian Watt.

    • #77
  18. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Kasich came out here in 1999 to test the waters for a possible 2000 run. By ‘test the waters” I mean speak in front of Hollywood conservatives and see if he could get a fundraising team going. David Horowitz set up some donor parties for him, but in the end he didn’t make the run. Here’s what I observed then: Kasich is a solid conservative, but not necessarily the kind that sets hearts a-flutter in Texas or Dixie generally. He was impressively brave at times, telling off powerful questioners who wanted subsidies for their own industry.

    I liked him. Although he was no pacifist, he was firmly against the war against Serbia that Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright launched earlier that year. He felt the complexity of Orthodox Christian Serbs resisting Kosovo Muslims wasn’t widely understood here, and he was right about that. Regardless of whether or not you agree with him on that specific case, it’s sometimes tough to be against a fairly popular war. Another point for Kasich.

    But I also saw another side: he can be off-the-wall funny in private, and is genuinely not in need of a teleprompter. But Kasich can also be peevish and for lack of a better term, peppery. He has odd quirks at times. Between that and his generally moderate image, I fear he’d come across as the GOP thinking man’s younger, smarter Joe Biden, authentically working class, but authentically a bit of a screw loose.

    • #78
  19. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Gary McVey: I fear he’d come across as the GOP thinking man’s younger, smarter Joe Biden, authentically working class, but authentically a bit of a screw loose.

    But, did he ever visit a long-closed Home Depot?

    • #79
  20. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Leigh:

    Except, again, in a still-bluer state Walker managed to do that and win re-election comfortably nonetheless, even against an opponent holding a current drivers’ license. He’s no radical purist; he simply calculated he could justify protecting Wisconsin’s finances to Wisconsin voters. And while the Democrats spend most of the budget debate talking about all the money they could’ve spent on education if he hadn’t turned it down, the state re-elected the Republicans anyway, with an increased majority.

    Again, Ohio’s state legislative leaders tried to stop the expansion. I’m no expert on Ohio politics, so maybe the state somehow managed to elect a bunch of impractical purists. Or maybe it wouldn’t have been political malpractice after all.

    On abortion, the facts simply prove the position isn’t fatal. Walker’s managed it quite smoothly in Wisconsin. Didn’t deny his theoretical position, but talked about the bills he actually signed, when he talked about it at all — enough to make some pro-lifers (unnecessarily) question his credentials.

    Well then go for Walker and end up with Hillary or Biden for the next four years. When you look at the whole package of experience, there is no comparison imo. Walker is a novice at foreign policy and that’s not a good thing nowadays, if ever.

    • #80
  21. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Marion Evans, go for John Kasich and get Hillary regardless. Kasich vs. Hillary, either way you get Hillary.

    • #81
  22. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Marion Evans: Well then go for Walker and end up with Hillary or Biden for the next four years. When you look at the whole package of experience, there is no comparison imo. Walker is a novice at foreign policy and that’s not a good thing nowadays, if ever.

    We weren’t discussing experience, we were discussing whether a couple specific positions were politically inevitable. You don’t have to support Walker for the presidency to recognize he demonstrates that’s not true. If you’re unimpressed with his political abilities, that just makes the point stronger.

    • #82
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