Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Krugman Does a Mean Marco Rubio

See, this is why I love Paul Krugman. The guy doesn't disappoint:

"I’m not a political scientist, man. But I am someone who follows politics, and likes to keep track of conventional wisdom. So I paid a lot of attention when Marco Rubio was elevated to perceived front-runner status for the GOP nomination, basically because on paper he seemed like the natural replacement for the fatally charisma-lacking Jeb!"

"And maybe it will still happen. But Rubio hasn’t gotten a flood of high-level endorsements, and hasn’t shown any signs of a breakthrough in the polls. I’m not a huge believer in prediction markets, which seem more to reflect conventional wisdom than to offer profound insights, but it’s noteworthy that they are less and less convinced that Rubio is really a front-runner, and now take both Trump and Cruz seriously."

"So what’s going on? Insiders may dislike Rubio because he has a habit of abandoning his allies when the going gets at all tough; or maybe there are personal-life things we don’t hear about. Meanwhile, voters don’t see anything much about Rubio that gives them a positive reason to support him."

"The thing is, if Rubiomentum doesn’t surface soon, it’s hard to see why it ever will. And I must say, it will be fun watching supposedly moderate Republicans explain why Trump or Cruz are, in the end, better than Hillary."

Well, we already have a preview on what the Establishment support for Trump might sound like with Jeb whose been droning on about Trump's lack of seriousness and how he's' just a big jerk is now defending him against totally accurate criticism from Hillary Clinton.

My favorite part is where Krugman paraphrased Rubio who likes to say 'I'm not a scientist, man.' Yes, or a Senator.  Man. You go Rand Paul:

Rand Paul keeps hitting Marco Rubio over his failure to show up for Senate votes, three days after calling on the Florida senator to quit Congress.

On Monday, the Kentucky senator released an ad playing off the theme song of computer villain Carmen Sandiego titled “Where in the World is Marco Rubio?”

"The ad features information about last week's Senate vote on a $1.8 trillion spending and tax package. Rubio was one of just two senators who were absent — and the only one running for president.

"People in both parties — including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid — slammed Rubio for missing the vote, which he had suggested just the day before he would try to slow down."

Read more:

Or a Presidential candidate, man. Take it Chris Christie:

"Chris Christie slammed Marco Rubio on Tuesday for missing last week's vote on the omnibus spending bill, arguing that it highlights a distinct difference between the two candidates vying for the Republican nomination."

"Christie, who is betting big on New Hampshire, has been sharpening his attacks on Rubio — a ripe target for Christie considering that the Florida senator holds only a slight edge over Christie in the state."

"Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" from Portsmouth, Christie said he's got much stronger leadership skills being a governor in Newark as opposed to a senator in Washington."

“When you’re governor of New Jersey, you don’t like spending, you use the line-item veto and you line-item it out and you make the argument to people. You show up and get the job done," he said. 

“This is an important position. You say you oppose spending but you do nothing about it. That should tell people something about what kind of effective leader someone might be. You have to figure out ways to do it. He should have shown up on the floor and made his case to his colleagues against that bill if he was so opposed to it. He didn’t, and that is a huge substantive difference between us."

"In explaining his absence from the Capitol last week, Rubio told CBS News that "in essence, not voting for it is a vote against it."

Read more:

Right, a not voting for it and voting against it are the same thing. Talk about fuzzy math. And actually that's not the case. In any bill there are votes for and votes against. Those who don't vote at all are not tabulated. In theory not showing up and voting could enable something to pass that you oppose. I'm not a Senator, man.

This returns us to Rand Paul's question-which has been asked many times-where's Marco Rubio? Not in NH that's for sure:

"Earlier in the interview, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Christie, who was sitting in his campaign bus, if there had been "any sightings" of Rubio in New Hampshire, giving Christie the opportunity to tout his campaign's presence in the state ahead of the Feb. 9 primary."

“No, no. We’ve been looking for Marco, but we can’t find him. We’ve had the bus all over New Hampshire. We haven’t been able to find him. We understand he did a very quick town hall here and then left to go back to Madison Avenue in New York," Christie said.

Read more:

Rubio has this theory of the race where you don't need to meet people in NH or Iowa or other states, simply doing well in nationally televised debates, showing up on Fox News and putting out ads and online stuff is enough.

Time will tell, but at this point it sounds like Rudy Giuliani Circa 2008 who led in the polls for a long time but never led in any particular state. This by the way, is why Trump is not Giuliani, despite Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight bringing him up regarding Trump. They also bring up Herman Cain which is even more absurd. Maybe they're right about Trump but the Cain comparison is just specious and hurts their case.

In any case, at present Rubio seems to have peaked-he is still just at 12 percent in RCP average compared to Cruz's 18 percent nationally, In the state polls it's the same story.

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