Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Debate: On Marco Rubio from West Dade ... by gimleteye

Jeb Bush failed to register in last night's debate. He needed to make a mark, any mark, and he didn't. Marco Rubio brushed by him like lint on his jacket lapel.

It is curious to watch what is happening to Jeb in the cauldron of primary presidential politics. Something is just not connecting. My "Roller Derby" analogy -- in which Rubio blocks for Jeb! to swing to the front of the pack? I was wrong. First and foremost, I never anticipated the Donald Trump effect. Donald isn't looking presidential. He's just a billionaire who used bankruptcy as a successful wealth generating tactic four times, a fact that might resonate with some business people but certainly not with American voters hard-bitten by the economy. "Vote for me and I'll show you how to be a millionaire using bankruptcy!"

Good for Jeb, however, announcing that he would "phase out" the sugar subsidy. He didn't say it to be popular with environmentalists. He said it to court every single conservative economic think tank and their billionaire funders plus the Wall Street Journal; all have had the sugar subsidy in their cross-hairs for decades. Too bad it was delivered with the punch of desperation. Too bad Jeb! never came out against Big Sugar when he was governor of Florida.

The CNBC moderator didn't ask him about that and get Rubio's response. That was also too bad. Marco Rubio owes his political career to Big Sugar. Now he says -- he actually said this a few weeks ago -- the sugar subsidy is necessary for our national security. Check our archive.

In the meantime, Jeb Bush's campaign funders will lick their wounds and move on. Will it be to Rubio?

Rubio, as NBC analyst Chuck Todd tweeted last night, is connecting because he found the way to frame every point with the personal experience of a boy raised by immigrant parents in blue collar surroundings of West Dade.

Based on our observation of Rubio over the years, he excels at the thirty and second sound bite. Rubio can't side-step the disadvantage of so little experience in the real world -- and a record of mismanaging his own family finances. More likely than not, Rubio will follow right wing Republican Eric Cantor into the luxe world of lobbying and harvest millions. His payday is around the corner, and he knows it.

Rubio did have the best sound bite with last night's red state audience. Responding to the point implicit in super PAC's primarily benefiting Republicans, Rubio unrolled his prepared response: “Some of the Democrats ... have the ultimate super PAC", then pulling the trigger on his rhetorical grenade and throwing it into the crowd, "... they're called the mainstream media." The crowd roared. The half-baked baker's dozen nodded, who could disagree?

"Last week, Hillary Clinton went before a committee she admitted she sent e-mails to her family saying hey, this attack in Benghazi was caused by Al Qaeda-like elements. She spent over a week telling the families of those victims and the American people that it was because of a video. The mainstream media is saying it was the greatest week in Hillary Clinton's campaign. It was the week she got exposed as a liar. On Benghazi. But she has her super PAC helping her out - the American mainstream media."

It didn't matter that what Rubio said about Clinton made no sense at all. It didn't matter that everyone on the stage knows --- and I mean, everyone --- that Fox News, the GOP message machine, dwarfs by influence CNBC, NBC, CNN, and the rest combined. It didn't matter, for the record, that even Fox was so appalled by the Benghazi hearing in Congress it stopped its live coverage early.

Attacking the mainstream media gave Marco Rubio the chance to hit the ball with the fat of the GOP bat. One wonders what Roger Ailes, in the control room of Fox, thought about that.

Speaking of half-baked, ten percent of what Rand Paul says makes sense. Last night, Paul stood up on his prepared punch line; he wants to shrink government to the size he can't see it and in the process making himself so small that no one could see him. Expect Rand Paul to drop out very soon. Jeb should, too, because there are much cooler things he could be doing. And for the record, Marco Rubio should resign from the US Senate as the Sun Sentinel editorial board asked him to do.

At the very least, Rubio should come to Florida and check out the king tide and talk to climate change scientists who have clamored to meet with him for years. Rubio has a simple answer for that: he has cooler things to do, too, like run for president.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rubio is medicated

Anonymous said...

With what? Capatron?

Anonymous said...

I'd rather be part of the mainstream than part of the lunatic fringe!