Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Want to know what the GOP...
Take yesterday's piece, for example. In "Who’s Winning The GOP’s Invisible Primaries? Republican presidential hopefuls are competing to refine messages, raise money and build staffs," Rove tells his readers exactly which candidates would be acceptable to the establishment wing of the party -- and which ones would not.
Now I know what you're thinking: Yeah, yeah, yeah; we already know the big boys like Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and Chris Christie. This ain't rocket science.
But it's worth it (to me at least) to see just what Rove is signaling as the mouthpiece of the establishment. (After all, they'll end up choosing the nominee.) And here's what he's saying, with my translations in italics (all emphasis mine).
"In a Nov. 23 CNN survey, Mitt Romney led 16 potential GOP presidential candidates with 20% ... That the front-runner is not even running shows polls now reflect little more than name recognition.
"The first of these contests was about making the election of GOP candidates in 2014 a priority—and not about their own personal ambition. Four presidential prospects did well. Gov. Christie ... Mr. Bush ... Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) ... and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.)."
Jeb Bush is certainly my first choice (I've been on retainer to the Bush family for decades, for crying out loud), followed by Chris Christie or Marco Rubio (if Jeb doesn't run). I'm afraid of Rand Paul's followers so I have to give him a shout-out even though I can't stand the idea of him as the party's standard-bearer. It would be a disaster for the GOP on the order of Barry Goldwater, but we have to treat this guy with kid gloves lest his supporters bolt the convention. Oh, and forget about Mitt Romney; he's yesterday's news.
Now if Jeb doesn't run and Christie stumbles, Rubio would definitely be my third choice. And here's my plug:
"Mr. Rubio delivered seven substantive speeches about strengthening the American dream, quietly collecting experts and influential big thinkers to help prepare the speeches and turn the ideas into legislation. This is smart: Too many candidates spend too little time on issues and end up lacking substance."
Get it? The guy's qualified to be president. So no more talk about Rubio's lack of gravitas.
And now for some of the candidates I DON'T endorse:
"For other presidential hopefuls, the more time they spent in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the more self-centered they appeared to be. Gov. Rick Perry (Texas) ... Sen. Paul ... Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) ... and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.). Their efforts may not be too useful."
Let's not give too much oxygen to these four. Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum are all toxic to the establishment. And, in case I confused you with my earlier praise of Rand Paul, he's just as unacceptable. To underscore the point:
"Mr. Paul’s message is sometimes incoherent..."
"A second invisible primary centers on developing a message. Two Wisconsinites did particularly well in 2014: Gov. Scott Walker ... and Rep. Paul Ryan."
These two would be my second-tier choices, after Bush, Christie and Rubio.
As for money,
"Messrs. Christie and Bush are best positioned to have big bundler networks raising money...
But governors, such as Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder ... cannot accept donations from Wall Street Republicans who do business with their state pension and other funds."
So don't get too excited by these guys. And, not to belabor the point, but:
"Mr. Paul [is] simultaneously running for re-election in 2016 and not likely to transfer his cash."
Save your dough.
After giving a brief mention to Dr. Ben Carson -- a darling of the Fox News crowd -- Rove cautions:
"The next contest is for staff. Each GOP hopeful has a team that won their last race, but all of them need to broaden their squads for the gigantic task of contesting the nomination. This is an early leadership test. Can a candidate recruit, train and lead a team of many strangers that can organize critical states and weather the tough patches that lie ahead?"
Don't waste your time or cash on vanity candidates; they don't have a chance.
So to recap,
Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio: Good.
Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum: Bad.
Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, John Kasich and Rick Snyder: Will do in a pinch.
Ben Carson: No.
Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee: Not even worth mentioning.
Mitt Romney: He's "not even running." So let him go. Please.