Tag: Ted Cruz

Cruz Gives In

I’ve been in proposal land all week, but I thought I’d put up a quick thought. Ted Cruz just endorsed Donald Trump. So … what was that convention imbroglio in aide of? What exactly did he accomplish with his “vote your conscience” speech?

Kasich at least didn’t go to the convention. Neither did the Bushes. While they oppose Trump, they at least realized that you don’t go to the convention to make it about you. If Cruz has stuck with his conscience and voted for Johnson or McMullin or something, I might see that. But by endorsing Trump at this stage he’s revealed his convention stunt as just that: a stunt, designed to make him look good at the expense of his party. And that was not the first time or the second or the tenth time he has tried to make himself look good at the expense of the party.

It make you realize why many in the GOP who didn’t want Trump as the nominee didn’t want Cruz either.

Cruz-Fiorina 2020

This smacks of desperation:

Ted Cruz formally named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate Wednesday — a last-ditch move to regain momentum after being mathematically eliminated from winning the GOP presidential nomination outright.

“After a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina,” Cruz said during a rally in Indianapolis.

Fiorina joined the Texas senator on stage, and Cruz’s staff changed the podium in between Cruz and Fiorina’s remarks to display a new logo featuring both their names.

Indiana and California are the last chance for Cruz to derail Trump. I’m guessing he thinks Fiorina will boost him in California. I’m also guessing he’s wrong. No one ever voted for a President based on his Vice President. In fact, given some of the hamsters we’ve had as Vice Presidential nominees — Palin, Gore, Quayle, Mondale, Agnew — I’d say the running mate is almost irrelevant to a candidate’s prospects.

Stupor Tuesday

So more primaries yesterday. Clinton won at least four. As of this morning, she’s also leading in Missouri but it’s too close to call for sure. Kasich won Ohio, but Trump won three states, including Florida and is currently 0.2% ahead in Missouri. Depending on how the delegates shake out, Trump could be on the path to a clear majority in the delegates, which would give him the nomination outright. Projections now have him at 691, just a shade below the 700 he needs to be on track for majority.

After losing Florida, Rubio dropped out and gave a speech that was a reminder of why he was the candidate the Democrats feared most. With Rubio out, Cruz is now the clear NotTrump. But it may be too little, too late. Rubio and Kasich split off enough of the vote for Trump to win several states. Unless Cruz really starts surging, it won’t make a difference.

It’s not over yet. Arizona and Utah are next. Arizona is a closed primary and Trump had not done as well in closed primaries. Utah is a caucus and Trump’s support among Mormons is very low. You then have a bunch of contests stretching into May, including New York (where Trump should clean up) and Pennsylvania (a closed winner-take all primary). But, if Cruz starts winning some states, I suspect this will go down to California with its closed winner-take all 172 delegates on June 7. That will be the final battleground to stop Trump.

So yeah, we may have another three months of this. And then, maybe, another two months while we slug out the convention. Of course, even then, Trump will probably still have a plurality of delegates. And if he’s denied the nomination, it could get ugly.

Hold on to your britches, folks. It’s not over yet.


One of the many reasons Trump is winning? This one.

Expect the media to turn on Trump once he’s the nominee. It’s all about electing Clinton. Always has been.

Catching Up

So, let’s go through what went on while I was on vacation.

No, there is too much. Let me summarize:

  • The Republican frontrunner assured America that there is nothing wrong with the size of his genitals. Despite this, he continued to win primaries. He capped off the week with a campaign event where he hocked a bunch of his branded merchandise, some of which turned out not to be his merchandise and attacked those suing him over his bogus university.
  • Surprisingly, this was only the second most-nauseating piece of world-leader-genitalia-related news in the last year.
  • Despite endorsements, a positive outlook and policy smarts, Marco Rubio sank like a stone. He now appears likely to lose the Florida primary, which would basically finish him as a candidate.
  • Ted Cruz surged forward as the only viable rival to Trump at this point. I have my issues with Cruz. But at least he’s better than Trump. As I noted before, I’m not sure if I’d vote for him, but I’d feel a lot less doomed if he were the Republican candidate.
  • A socialist won a stunning victory in the Michigan primary, upending a 20-point deficit in the polls.
  • Clinton tried to call him out on how he’s going to pay for all his crap. Of course, this elided the problem that we don’t have enough money to pay for our existing load of crap, let alone any of the stuff that Clinton has proposed.
  • Telemundo had the temerity to ask Clinton about her scandals and was flayed for it by the pro-Hillary press. She smugly assured us that she will not be indicted. She’s probably right. The elites never are. That’s precisely why millions of Americans are turning desperately to a crackpot commie-sympathizer and crackpot pseudo-billionaire.

In short, the country continued to go to hell in a handbasket whether I was documenting it or not.

I’ll have more to say on several issues. But there’s some comfort in knowing that it’s not just me: our politics is getting stranger by the hour.

Rubio and Cruz Go After Trump

So last night’s debate was … something else. Rubio and Cruz both came out swinging, hitting Donald Trump at every turn on his support for Democrats, his lack of policy detail, his shady business dealings and his refusal to release his tax returns. Trump got the most flustered I’ve ever seen him and hit back, but futilely. His attempt to hit Rubio on the latter’s meltdown at a previous debate backfired when Rubio pointed out that Trump repeats himself all the time. It was like watching a WWE match with Trump playing the heel and Cruz and Rubio taking turns whacking him with folding chairs. For someone who despises Trump, it was beautiful.

(Although the line of the night went to Ben Carson. Carson, even more than Kasich, was sidelined by the Rubio-Cruz-Trump show, going something like half an hour between speaking. Blitzer lost control of the debate, letting the three front-runners constantly demand a chance to respond to attacks. This promoted Carson to quip, “Can someone please attack me?”)

This is what the candidates should have been doing for months. It’s what the Democrats will do should Trump be the nominee. It may be too little, too late. It probably won’t peel voters off of Trump, who seem immune to any failing on his part. But at least if Rubio and Cruz go out, they went out on their shields.

More Election Results

So, we had some more voting last night.

In Nevada, Clinton barely edged Bernie Sanders in a state she once led by forty points. Naturally, this was spun by the pro-Hillary media as a huge victory for her. And naturally, they mindlessly repeated baseless claims that Sanders supporters were chanting, “English only!” at Spanish speakers.

The latter is good illustration of why the likelihood of another Clinton presidency makes me ill. When Bill was President, this stuff went on all the time. They were constantly sliming their opponents: making hay out of Alma Powell’s depression, spreading false rumors about Newt Gingrich divorcing his wife while she was in a hospital bed, leaking info from Linda Tripp’s confidential FBI file. Just this month we’ve seen baseless accusations of racism and sexism, wild inaccurate claims about “Bernie Bros”, their allies claiming Sanders wasn’t involved in the Civil Rights movement and now this. And all eagerly lapped up by the media.

This is what the Clintons do. This is who they are. And with Hillary in charge, it will be worse than it was under Bill. Is this what you really want, Democrats? Apparently it is.

On the Republican side, Trump won South Carolina with about a third of the vote, with Rubio and Cruz finishing in a virtual tie for second. Afterward, Jeb dropped out, giving a classy speech that was a reminder that the Bush Family, whatever their political failings, are basically decent people. Carson and Kasich seem ready to stay in, but neither really has a chance. It’s not even clear that Kasich can take his home state, let alone anywhere else.

Last night was a big problem for Ted Cruz, who had hope of winning South Carolina as the evangelical vote coalesced behind him. It didn’t and it isn’t. A lot of evangelicals voted for the twice-divorced social liberal. And Trump maintains leads in the southern states that Cruz is hoping to win, with the exception of Texas.

Rubio has a path to the nomination. He’s done well in urban areas, is getting endorsements and is trying to broaden his appeal. But Cruz is a problem. Without the evangelicals solidly behind him, he doesn’t really have a path to the nomination but he’s not going to drop out either. So unless they both start polling better than Trump, this means Trump could keep winning primary after primary with a third of the vote and eventually take the nomination with about two-thirds of the party uncertain whether they’ll vote for him.

(It’s clear that Trump now sees Rubio as the bigger threat. This morning, he was questioning Rubio’s citizenship based on … his being Latino, I guess.)

In short, while the field is narrowing, we’ve taken another step toward a calamitous Trump-Clinton showdown.

Yeah, the worst of all possible worlds. It’s February 21 and I already hate this year.

Where I Am Right Now, February Version

So we had two more debates over the weekend. I won’t go blow-by-blow through them. Trump continued to be obnoxious. Bush punched back. Rubio and Cruz sparred, occasionally in Spanish. Kasich tried to set himself up as the adult in the room (not always successfully). Instead of going through that, I thought I’d lay out what my current impression is of the candidates and the order in which I would vote for them. I’ve put all the candidates in the list except for Ben Carson. The reason I’ve left Carson out is because I’m not sure what I make of him and I don’t think he’ll be in this much longer. The others should last at least through Super Tuesday.

So here’s my current preference for presidential candidates. Keep in mind that these rankings are fluid and could change significantly as the race progresses.


Bernie and Cruz Take Iowa

Well, take is perhaps a generous word. Bernie Sanders finished the night neck-and-neck with Clinton. Clinton will win slightly more delegates (based partly on winning six straight coin flips). But this is a big blow. A large part of Clinton’s campaign has been, essentially, “This is happening. Stop squirming.” Sanders’ tie disrupts that narrative. He’s likely to win New Hampshire going away. But I think he will have a problem winning Super Tuesday. In the end, this is still Clinton’s nomination to lose.

So why did Bernie win? Two reasons, I think. One, Clinton is a lousy candidate, as I’ve noted many times. This is the third time she’s been handed an election on a silver platter and blown it. But second, Bernie is … and I hate to say this … running a very enjoyable campaign. He’s positive, he’s refusing to mudsling and he’s running impressive patriotic ads. I still disagree with every iota of his economic policy. But I can see why a lot of Democrats are supporting him.

On the Republican side, Cruz won by several percentage points, with Rubio placing a surprisingly strong third. Trump’s numbers plunged in the last week. That might be because he skipped the debate. But it also might be because people are getting serious about voting. And I’ve said many times, the Republican Party may flirt with crazy. They may get in the backseat of a car with it and unhook its bra. But in the end, they will go with a nice sensible candidate they can take home to meet their mother.

Trump’s campaign has also been built a lot on his inevitability. And he still hold big leads nationally and in the upcoming primary states. Iowa is, at best, a shaky predictor of Presidential elections. But this is a sign that Trump is not inevitable.

PS – Oh, Huckabee and O’Malley dropped out. I note that just in case you forgot they were running.

Update: Lee loved this Downfall parody when Clinton’s 2008 nomination went up in flames. I still find it hilarious. I think Clinton is still going to win. But I imagine something like this played out in Clinton HQ last night.

Iowa Votes

Well, after a runup that seems to start shortly after I was born, we will finally get the first votes cast today in Iowa. It will be a while before we know what happens. I will post updates as events warrant.

This election cycle defies prediction, but I’ll make one anyway. Clinton narrowly edges Sanders, something like 49-45. Trump wins Iowa but with a smaller margin than expected. Something like Trump 25, Cruz 22, Rubio 17. He will then say something outrageous so that the media will give him free campaign ads talk about it until New Hampshire.

We might see one or two candidates drop out after Iowa, but I suspect most of them will hang on until New Hampshire and possibly South Carolina.

A Clown Car Without The Clown

Just a quick note on last night’s debate.

It was easily the best and most substantive debate we’ve had so far. The absence of Trump and presence of Megyn Kelly meant pointed tough questions for the candidates. Several of them did massively better. Rand Paul showed why I always liked him, giving an excellent answer on criminal justice reform and landing a few solid blows on Cruz. Bush looked better than he had in months, although it’s probably too little too late.

The big loser, in my mind, was Ted Cruz. Trump’s bloviating narcissism had the effect, in early debates, of making Cruz look good. Without that distraction, Cruz’s big flaws as a candidate were on display. He did a poor job explaining his flip-flop on immigration. The other candidates attacked him on various issues and were effective in doing so. This was his chance to make some headway on Donald Trump and he didn’t.

Really, this was the campaign we should have been having for the last four months, with Paul, Christie, Cruz, Rubio and Bush fighting it out for the heart of the party. It really highlighted just how badly the Trump Show has damaged the GOP’s chances.

The consensus this morning is that Trump was a big winner because he wasn’t there to get pinned on the issues while his rivals attacked each other. I’m not so sure, mainly because these are the same people who’ve been pronouncing Trump dead for the last year. If they think he did well, he must have done poorly. The caucuses are next week, so we’ll soon find out. But my suggestion for the future, if the GOP wants to recover, is to let the Donald sit out every future debate. They are way better off without him.