Third Party & Independents Archives

Ted and Marco Fight-Fight Win-Win

The only people who really laid into Trump in Vegas were Fiorina and Rand Paul. Fiorina tried to stoke the fire in her engine room by trying to interrupt her way into the debate but Wolf wasn’t buying it. And her attempt to be softer and a touch pleasant - when she’s really made of steel and is a laser-focused flamethrower - was even more of a failure last night. Is she tired of not getting the results she feels her previous debate performances should have merited?

Rand Paul was fine. Does it matter? Perhaps on some constitutional questions as they relate to Americans' freedoms and what should be sacrificed from those freedoms to provide better security. But that's not on many voters minds in the wake of Paris and San Bernardino.

Oh yes. Jeb really, really laid into Trump, who repaid the favor, mostly by pointing at the polls. The two sparred like a grumpy, separated couple, pointing out each other flaws, and hoping others take their side.

"I'm talking" was Jeb's impersonation of Robert De Niro in Taxi driver. I think. What has Jeb got to lose?

But what did not happen was Cruz going after Trump, aside from a fawning little joke about getting Trump to pay for the wall.

No, the real fur-tearing, teeth-baring, alpha-wolves growling and thrashing-around-the-carcass battle for dominance was between the two kinda-tall-dark-and-handsome guys with fathers from Cuba and identical ties.

And this one mattered. Exactly how much we will see in the polls, but the choice was laid bare. That's because they both managed to get a lot of substance in. A little too much substance from Cruz on the USA Freedom Act perhaps. Yes, there may have been plently of viewer eye-glazing as Christie pointed out. But in the weeks ahead as voters narrow their choices down, how voters feel on immigration, and how voters feel on national secuity and Syria - to take two flashpoints - should lead them to a clear choice.

Did Rubio defend himself enough on immigration? He did not shift his policy stance in the face of Ted's attacks and that's a win in some ways.

Did Cruz defend himself enough on Rubio's attacks on his obstructionism in the Senate over intelligence gathering and other bills? While accusing Rubio of lying, Cruz seemed to point some of his heavy guns more at Obama's administration as summed up in his "political correctness is killing us" quote.

And that's because there is little chance Cruz can or even wants to convince the GOP establishment that he can be president. Unlike Rubio, he doesn't have that benefit. Cruz is looking anywhere but the GOP hierarchy to get the support he needs for the nomination.

Of course Trump may continue to surge in the polls. And Iowa may throw up yet another nominee who ends up going nowhere.

Posted by AllardK at December 16, 2015 9:20 PM
Comment #401597

Jeb just looks like he can’t believe he’s losing to a room full of right-wing hacks and talking heads. Doesn’t he? Poor Jeb. Can’t slip in a catch phrase or soundbite that sticks. This is turning into a popularity contest with Trump at the top.

Lucky Hillary huh?

Posted by: George at December 27, 2015 2:22 PM
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