October, 2015

Every Bush Path to Nomination Appears Blocked

Rick Klein: “Jeb Bush’s problem is not a flat attack on Marco Rubio, or even a news cycle or three obsessed with the question of whether his campaign can continue. It’s not about his record, or even about stray quotes regarding ‘life support.’ Jeb Bush’s problem from here is finding a plausible path to the nomination, out of the chaos of this field in this anti-establishment environment.”

“Like everyone else, he was surprised by the surge of Donald Trump and Ben Carson. He was never going to play in the Ted Cruz/Mike Huckabee/Rick Santorum evangelical space, and Bushes are no tea party or libertarian darlings. But he’s now finding his own wheelhouse crowded – with John Kasich and Chris Christie plausible establishment alternatives. That’s aside, of course, from Rubio – symbolically and substantively the single biggest threat to the idea of a Bush nomination in 2016.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Look, there are two types of politicians. There the talkers and there the doers. I wish I could talk as well as some of the people on the stage, the big personalities on the stage, but I’m a doer.”

– Jeb Bush, quoted by the Washington Post, insisting that he has the skills and the staying power to prevail in the GOP presidential race.

Trump Refines Tone on the Stump

In a sign he wants to win, Donald Trump “seemed to be moderating and refining his message” as he campaigned in Nevada, the Washington Post reports.

“Where he previously has devoted his rallies to slinging insults at his opponents and boasting about his poll numbers, Trump focused instead on describing the professional and life experience he would bring to the White House. He also cited issues where he claimed to have led before it was a popular thing to do — including opposing the Iraq war and aggressively combating illegal immigration.”

Democrats Step Up Research into Marco Rubio’s Past

“Democratic opposition researchers are increasing the hours that are being spent on Rubio, going into broader lines of inquiry about who he is and what skeletons they can find in his closet,” Politico reports.

“Using FOIAs and document searches, they’re closely examining his time in Miami government as city commissioner, the Florida state house and his time in the Senate to look for instances where he did things for donors that he shouldn’t have like in his requests to federal agencies. It’s a massive project: Info is scattered across his time in various governments, and researchers are cross-referencing the data.”

Ryan Lizza: “Rubio is about to go through a period of much more intensive media scrutiny. Complaining about media bias won’t be enough to get him through it.”

Jeb Bush Is Not a National Candidate

Peggy Noonan: “He’s not good at the merry aggression of national politics. He never had an obvious broad base within the party. He seemed to understand the challenge of his name in the abstract but not have a plan to deal with it. It was said of Scott Walker that the great question was whether he had the heft and ability to go national. The same should have been asked of Jeb. He had never been a national candidate, only a governor. Reporters thought he was national because he was part of a national family.”

“I speak of his candidacy in the past tense, which is rude though I don’t mean it rudely. It’s just hard to see how this can work. By hard I mean, for me, impossible.”

Senate Approves Budget Deal in 3 a.m. Vote

The Hill: “The deal was approved in a 64-35 vote after 3 a.m. after a late speech by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who criticized the legislation as a blank check for President Obama to add to the nation’s debt.”

“Few other senators seemed interested in Paul’s speech, as the presiding officer repeatedly had to ask senators to keep their conversations down so that Paul could speak.”

ABC News notes Paul’s threatened filibuster of the deal lasted on 20 minutes.

Can Jeb Bush Come Back?

“Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign was at an inflection point Thursday as the candidate faced a choice of sticking with his long-term strategy or yielding to criticism from supporters and senior Republicans who are demanding fundamental changes to his sputtering candidacy,” the Washington Post reports.

“Significant concerns about Bush’s performance were magnified on the debate stage here Wednesday night, and the former Florida governor awoke to his harshest criticism yet… His debilitating performance was for many allies a cause for alarm. He sowed serious doubts about his ability to effectively prosecute the case against not only his Republican rivals but also the potential Democratic nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in what is expected to be a brutal general-election campaign.”

GOP Campaigns Plan Revolt Against RNC

“Republican presidential campaigns are planning to gather in Washington, D.C., on Sunday evening to plot how to alter their party’s messy debate process — and how to remove power from the hands of the Republican National Committee,” Politico reports.

“The gathering is being organized by advisers to the campaigns of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham, according to multiple sources involved in the planning. Others who are expected to attend, organizers say, are representatives for Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum. The planners are also reaching out to other Republican candidates.”