Why Have the Governors Stopped Campaigning?

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 10.12.48 AMWalker has now joined Perry in dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination. And yet, not a single vote has been cast. Not even a notoriously bad-at-predicting-the-final-outcome early primary vote, nor a single caucus. We’ve had a couple of debates that everyone agrees are meaningless to any final result, and there has been a constant drum beat of polls that could mean anything, and about which no one has any tested theory to predict the nomination in many months’ time. But nothing has actually been decided, or is decidable at this point.

Can someone please explain the mechanism by which these serious and intelligent men — surrounded by the best political consultants money can buy and, more importantly, by other sober and intelligent people — have, in the absence of any plausible evidence as to the likely outcome, decided to stand down?

Image Credits: “Gov. Perry CPAC February 2015” by Gage Skidmore . Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons and “Scott Walker AZ Chamber of Commerce 2015” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.

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  1. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    Ontheleftcoast: Trump at least says some of the right things and is not nearly as dependent on the SuperPACs.

    Today he is saying the right things. Three years ago he was arguing for amnesty, but who needs intellectual consistency.

    Agree, makes one wonder why the love for Marco Rubio.

    Rubio is great on every issue but immigration, and even there, his intent was always border security first. That he failed to get triggers into the gang of 8 bill which did not allow legal status until there were clear metrics that the border was secured, and e-verify and the visa checkout system were all in place and working, is an indictment of how badly he was played by Schumer.

    We can’t have this both ways. If Rubio is a naïve lamb that was sheared by Schumer he has no business running for President. If he was instrumental in writing and promoting the legislation he has plenty of business running for president, just not from any more consistent basis than Trump.

    It’s not an attempt at having it both ways.  None of these candidates are perfect, and Rubio’s flaws pale in comparison to that of the remaining candidates.

    • #61
  2. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Amy Schley:

    BrentB67: I am not for means testing Social Security or Medicare, but this is a great comment.

    And honestly, this is why immigration is *not* my issue. Entitlement reform is. There’s no way to get retirees and near-retirees to accept cuts to their welfare programs. Therefore, our options are jack up my taxes, inflate my savings away*, or bring in more taxpayers (preferably with reductions in regulation like Obamacare to jump start the economy. You think we’ll lose the country with more immigrants? I’m more worried about when we lose our country when our economy goes Greek

    *The only good side is that massive inflation will also inflate my debt to something manageable.

    Very good points. I agree it is near impossible to cut existing recipients benefits.

    Where I differ from most is the near beneficiaries. There can be no sacred cows.

    • #62
  3. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    Ontheleftcoast: Trump at least says some of the right things and is not nearly as dependent on the SuperPACs.

    Today he is saying the right things. Three years ago he was arguing for amnesty, but who needs intellectual consistency.

    Agree, makes one wonder why the love for Marco Rubio.

    Rubio is great on every issue but immigration, and even there, his intent was always border security first. That he failed to get triggers into the gang of 8 bill which did not allow legal status until there were clear metrics that the border was secured, and e-verify and the visa checkout system were all in place and working, is an indictment of how badly he was played by Schumer.

    We can’t have this both ways. If Rubio is a naïve lamb that was sheared by Schumer he has no business running for President. If he was instrumental in writing and promoting the legislation he has plenty of business running for president, just not from any more consistent basis than Trump.

    It’s not an attempt at having it both ways. None of these candidates are perfect, and Rubio’s flaws pale in comparison to that of the remaining candidates.

    I respect your opinion. I overweight immigration so Rubio is a non-starter.

    If you really believe Rubio got rolled by Chuck Schumer then I contend he does not have the chops to lead. There are bigger wolves than Schumer.

    • #63
  4. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    BrentB67: Very good points. I agree it is near impossible to cut existing recipients benefits. Where I differ from most is the near beneficiaries. There can be no sacred cows.

    Judging from the wailing and gnashing of teeth that goes up when cutting SS and Medicare welfare from folks like Tommy de Seno and EThompson, cuts for near beneficiaries are about as likely to happen as Trump getting a new hairdo.  And if we can’t even get Ricochetti to accept that they’re not getting “their” money “back,” we won’t get the rest of the country to go along.

    • #64
  5. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    BrentB67:

    I respect your opinion. I overweight immigration so Rubio is a non-starter.

    If you really believe Rubio got rolled by Chuck Schumer then I contend he does not have the chops to lead. There are bigger wolves than Schumer.

    Cruz: Consistently attempts to employ losing strategies to fight the democrats.

    Trump: Is literally an ape in a suit

    Carson: Has no in depth knowledge of policy.  He speaks only in the vaguest terms when asked about specifics on numerous issues.

    Fiorina: Is likely to be crushed as every horror story of her treatment of people as a CEO comes forward and buries her like Romney.

    Pick your poison on candidate flaws.  They all have them.  If the perfect candidate existed, you could argue Rubio doesn’t have the chops to be president.  As it stands, he’s the best of the options.

    • #65
  6. Roadrunner Inactive
    Roadrunner
    @Roadrunner

    Jager:In what way is immigration not an issue?

    I was trying to be sarcastic and failed miserably.  I was responding to the idea that debate performances could account for anything in the current polls.  Walker and Perry damaged themselves on the immigration issue.  One with inconsistent statements that showed insincerity and the other with the “there is nothing we can do” remarks.  That is the corner I believe the Republican Party has painted itself into.  I am highly suspicious of Trump and would have preferred a successful governor that wasn’t trying to turn our country into California.  Politics is full of disappointments.

    • #66
  7. Sabrdance Member
    Sabrdance
    @Sabrdance

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67:

    We can’t have this both ways. If Rubio is a naïve lamb that was sheared by Schumer he has no business running for President. If he was instrumental in writing and promoting the legislation he has plenty of business running for president, just not from any more consistent basis than Trump.

    It’s not an attempt at having it both ways. None of these candidates are perfect, and Rubio’s flaws pale in comparison to that of the remaining candidates.

    I respect your opinion. I overweight immigration so Rubio is a non-starter.

    If you really believe Rubio got rolled by Chuck Schumer then I contend he does not have the chops to lead. There are bigger wolves than Schumer.

    Rubio recognized he was being played, and pulled out.  I’m willing to credit him with learning from the experience -and better the learning experience was with Schumer Than Putin.

    It’s like the story of the US Steel exec who, first day on the job, blew a hundred thousand dollar job.  Called into Carnegie’s office, he asked if he was going to be fired.  “Nonsense,” Carnegie said.  “We just spend a hundred thousand dollars training you.”

    • #67
  8. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Why?  Well, Walker actually told you. While of course there are all sorts of practical reasons unstated, ultimately I take him at his word (emphasis mine):

    Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field…

    I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and – ultimately – to the future of our country.

    So he takes Trump seriously as a threat to conservatism and the country. He simply didn’t share your view of the race — he felt the crowded field made a serious debate more difficult. He believes the country needs a “positive conservative alternative” now, not in January, and he no longer believed he was the most viable candidate to provide the alternative. So he did what Labour’s candidates wouldn’t do to stop Corbyn: he stepped out himself.

    This is what he did in 2006. Walker is a team player.

    He had one big responsibility Perry didn’t. Dragging this out hurts his standing in-state. If he wasn’t going to win, Wisconsin needs a governor.

    If his analysis is correct — which I don’t know — he was right to withdraw. No matter how much I wanted to vote for him.

    • #68
  9. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Frank Soto:

    BrentB67:

    I respect your opinion. I overweight immigration so Rubio is a non-starter.

    If you really believe Rubio got rolled by Chuck Schumer then I contend he does not have the chops to lead. There are bigger wolves than Schumer.

    Cruz: Consistently attempts to employ losing strategies to fight the democrats.

    Subjective opinion. When employing a strategy alone it will most likely lose, but doesn’t seem to be huring his POTUS campaign.

    Trump: Is literally an ape in a suit

    He is short on facts, but leads the polls. Christie could fit this description also.

    Carson: Has no in depth knowledge of policy. He speaks only in the vaguest terms when asked about specifics on numerous issues.

    Concur. The nice guy cult of personality vs. Trump bombastic cult of personality.

    Fiorina: Is likely to be crushed as every horror story of her treatment of people as a CEO comes forward and buries her like Romney.

    What will crush her, if that happens, is her privacy positions and previous proclamations on H1B visas, and the DREAM Act. She won’t get the Romney treatment because she didn’t have his success.

    Pick your poison on candidate flaws. They all have them. If the perfect candidate existed, you could argue Rubio doesn’t have the chops to be president. As it stands, he’s the best of the options.

    I am not supporting a least worst option.

    • #69
  10. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Frank Soto:

    Ontheleftcoast: Trump at least says some of the right things and is not nearly as dependent on the SuperPACs.

    Today he is saying the right things. Three years ago he was arguing for amnesty, but who needs intellectual consistency?

    Better than the candidates that have already announced they’ll roll over, or that they agree with the Dems. That promise they’ll be sure to keep. At least with Trump there’s a chance.

    • #70
  11. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Frank Soto: Pick your poison on candidate flaws.  They all have them.  If the perfect candidate existed, you could argue Rubio doesn’t have the chops to be president.  As it stands, he’s the best of the options.

    As Sal seems AWOL…

    What about Jim Gilmore!?

    • #71
  12. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Frank Soto:

    Ontheleftcoast: Trump at least says some of the right things and is not nearly as dependent on the SuperPACs.

    Today he is saying the right things. Three years ago he was arguing for amnesty, but who needs intellectual consistency?

    Effete university prigs, and their students.  The rest of us will happily pass the football to a brawler running the right way.  And we’ll take his knees out if he comes back.

    Trump may be full of snow, but he’s never pulled a Rubio.

    • #72
  13. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Frank Soto:

    Ontheleftcoast: Trump at least says some of the right things and is not nearly as dependent on the SuperPACs.

    Today he is saying the right things. Three years ago he was arguing for amnesty, but who needs intellectual consistency?

    Effete university prigs, and their students. The rest of us will happily pass the football to a brawler running the right way. And we’ll take his knees out if he comes back.

    Trump may be full of snow, but he’s never pulled a Rubio.

    You love the way Trump lies to you.  I get it.

    • #73
  14. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Frank Soto:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Frank Soto:

    Ontheleftcoast: Trump at least says some of the right things and is not nearly as dependent on the SuperPACs.

    Today he is saying the right things. Three years ago he was arguing for amnesty, but who needs intellectual consistency?

    Effete university prigs, and their students. The rest of us will happily pass the football to a brawler running the right way. And we’ll take his knees out if he comes back.

    Trump may be full of snow, but he’s never pulled a Rubio.

    You love the way Trump lies to you. I get it.

    Well argued.

    • #74
  15. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Frank Soto:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Frank Soto:

    Ontheleftcoast: Trump at least says some of the right things and is not nearly as dependent on the SuperPACs.

    Today he is saying the right things. Three years ago he was arguing for amnesty, but who needs intellectual consistency?

    Effete university prigs, and their students. The rest of us will happily pass the football to a brawler running the right way. And we’ll take his knees out if he comes back.

    Trump may be full of snow, but he’s never pulled a Rubio.

    You love the way Trump lies to you. I get it.

    Well argued.

    There are no arguments left for Trump supporters.  None.  If you haven’t already figured it out, you simply won’t.

    • #75
  16. John Hendrix Thatcher
    John Hendrix
    @JohnHendrix

    Sabrdance:  Me? I say bring back conventions and let the democrats have this stupid primary system.

    The advantage of the convention system is that it was the political machine system. The political machines’ decision-makers were generally experienced, shrewd and could distinguish fecal-matter from Shinola.   I cannot conceive of such men, say in the Democratic party, selecting an empty suit like Obama to be a presidential candidate.   (Paraphrasing Orwell, Obama is actually less than an empty suit–he is a walking hole in air.)

    The disadvantage of the primary system is that instead potential candidates being tested by savvy players as they were under the old system  political candidates  now perform before amateur audiences: the primary voters.

    Trump is revealing the primary system’s failure mode: its vulnerability to credulous or Low Informational primary voters being bamboozled by a compelling flimflam man’s empty campaign promises.

    To be clear: I do not think Trump has any expectation of winning the Presidency, which means he is liberated from the necessity to having the first serious thought as to how he might deliver on any of his promises since his “campaign” isn’t about getting elected anyway.

    As I have said elsewhere on Ricochet, as a general principle I favor presidential candidates who were a successful two term governor of a large state. This is because I am biased toward exhibitions of executive competence and—among other things—presidents need to be effective executives.

    And now we have two accomplished governors, Perry and Walker, driven from the field by the likes of Trump. The pernicious perversity of this boggles my mind.

    • #76
  17. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    John Hendrix: And now we have two accomplished governors, Perry and Walker, driven from the field by the likes of Trump. The pernicious perversity of this boggles my mind.

    But Walker made mistakes! You can’t blame it on Trump! At least that’s what I hear.

    He did make mistakes, and I’ve pointed them out freely myself. Maybe even a little pandering (shock — politics!). Strategic mistakes and verbal mistakes. Like praising socialized medicine on a Republican debate stage… wait, no, wrong candidate.

    There are serious people in it, but as a whole this so-called “conservative movement” is neither conservative nor serious. And by that I do not mean “the establishment,” though that’s part of it. I mean everything from Lisa Murkowski to Ann Coulter.

    • #77
  18. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Frank Soto:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Frank Soto:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Frank Soto:

    Ontheleftcoast: Trump at least says some of the right things and is not nearly as dependent on the SuperPACs.

    Today he is saying the right things. Three years ago he was arguing for amnesty, but who needs intellectual consistency?

    Effete university prigs, and their students. The rest of us will happily pass the football to a brawler running the right way. And we’ll take his knees out if he comes back.

    Trump may be full of snow, but he’s never pulled a Rubio.

    You love the way Trump lies to you. I get it.

    Well argued.

    There are no arguments left for Trump supporters. None. If you haven’t already figured it out, you simply won’t.

    I don’t think this is contributing to the tone we like to maintain around here.

    • #78
  19. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Leigh: Why? Well, Walker actually told you. … :

    … so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner.

    Thank you. I am quite prepared to take him at his word.

    But I wonder (1) whether “the voters” have been concentrating on anything at all; and (2) in a media landscape where The Donald commands 95% of all (old media) attention, any reduction in the number of his challengers is going to make any difference.

    • #79
  20. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    BrentB67:

    Frank Soto: … two very effective men couldn’t get enough support from Republican primary voters to keep them in the race.

    Primary voters weren’t the issue, there hasn’t been a caucus or vote yet.

    Precisely.

    The issue appears to be donors …

    So the question becomes – why are the donors making the decisions they are making?

    In the standard model of donor behavior, individual donors are purchasing a consumption good – they feel good for having backed a candidate that shares their ideology or views – and institutional donors (the classic PACs) are investing in access – for the purpose of influencing agenda formation etc. (The new, ideological PACs, are a bit like both.)

    I don’t know how this applies to the so-called mega-donors in presidential elections, though.

    • #80
  21. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    genferei: But I wonder (1) whether “the voters” have been concentrating on anything at all; and (2) in a media landscape where The Donald commands 95% of all (old media) attention, any reduction in the number of his challengers is going to make any difference.

    As I said, I don’t know. But I’ll also recognize that he knows more about this business than I do (you think?), or than most of the commentators, that he knows himself better…

    Walker had lost the conservative media. And he simply does not have the charisma or style to break through without it. The strategy he used in Wisconsin was not going to work for him. At that point, he can’t expect much different when more voters do turn in. Because it affects the job he’s actually been elected to do, a long-shot campaign is harder to justify.

    Maybe, just maybe, this makes some of those media Trump boosters realize this is serious and no game, even in September. Probably not. But maybe.

    There’s a subtext, too. Going by some pretty obvious past hints and very little reading between the lines of that speech, Walker likes Rubio. And so do of his donors and volunteers. At that point you’re splitting the movement, whatever the polling. If Rubio is a more viable candidate, redirect all that support and effort to him. It won’t show up in the polls immediately, but it matters in the long term.

    • #81
  22. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    BrentB67

    Roadrunner:Immigration is not an issue. Immigration is not an issue. Immigration is not an issue. It is not much of an issue at Ricochet anyway. The Republican Party has painted itself into a corner and there is little possibility of escape.

    Agree. Immigration is not an issue. Immigration is the issue.

    This is the disconnect between the base and the establishment.  The establishment only sees this as a minor issue.  I agree with the establishment.  While I agree illegal immigration is unjust, I don’t see how it has significantly harmed the country.  That border has been fluid since colonial times.  There are positives to illegal immigration (cheap labor which keeps our prices down) as well as negatives, and while the negatives outweigh the positives, it’s not a huge discrepency.  It’s a minor negative that we should address but it’s not destroying the nation or harming our economy.

    • #82
  23. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Leigh: Walker had lost the conservative media. And he simply does not have the charisma or style to break through without it.

    Interesting.

    The conservative media really has shown itself to be media first, and conservative second. (And we shouldn’t be surprised, or disappointed, that this is so.) Perhaps it is because of the media I consume, but I haven’t seen much pro-Trumpery. But I have seen lots of anti-Trumpery, I-can’t-believe-the-media-is-only-covering-Trumpery, when-will-those-Trump-rubes-wake-upery, and you’re-all-bad-people-for-talking-only-about-Trump-like-my-last-ten-articles-have-ery.

    I haven’t seen much about Perry’s, Walker’s, Rubio’s or anyone-else’s policy positions, or even likely performance as President. Just endless, meaningless, lazy “state of the race” pseudo-commentary. And Trump. A whole lotta Trump.

    • #83
  24. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    genferei:

    The conservative media really has shown itself to be media first, and conservative second. (And we shouldn’t be surprised, or disappointed, that this is so.) …

    I haven’t seen much about Perry’s, Walker’s, Rubio’s or anyone-else’s policy positions, or even likely performance as President. Just endless, meaningless, lazy “state of the race” pseudo-commentary. And Trump. A whole lotta Trump.

    In Wisconsin, Walker used talk radio very, very effectively. (Last I checked, the Wisconsin conservative media had managed to not go Trump. But Wisconsin conservative leadership is actually serious.) He’d sought to do the same nationally, and it seemed to work. And then talk radio — Rush Limbaugh for one — went Trump. Now maybe some errors by Walker contributed to that, but most of those errors were actually reactions to Trump.

    If they were covering Cruz and Rubio instead that would be one thing. If they were reporting Trump honestly (did you hear this guy praised socialized medicine on the debate stage?) that would be one thing.

    So yes, I knew it was ratings first, but I admit I am at least a little surprised at the extent conservatism has gone out the window. And frankly I’m beyond disappointment and into outrage.

    • #84
  25. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Leigh:
    ” And frankly I’m beyond disappointment and into outrage.”

    Welcome to outrage. When you’ve been here a while, you will see that doing your best is simply not good enough. You must do your worst.

    • #85
  26. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Ball Diamond Ball:Leigh: ” And frankly I’m beyond disappointment and into outrage.” — Welcome to outrage.When you’ve been here a while, you will see that doing your best is simply not good enough.You must do your worst.

    I am not new to outrage or cynicism, even if I express it more calmly. I’m only a little more so than I used to be about certain influential segments of the conservative media… the ones promoting your candidate, incidentally.

    No. I’ll not throw character and honor out the window. Those are more important than winning.

    But then I believe in eternity, and in a God who still sits above.

    • #86
  27. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Leigh: No. I’ll not throw character and honor out the window. Those are more important than winning.

    Careful.  Some will accuse you of ideological purity.  Or maybe that shoe only comes in a right.

    • #87
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