Thursday, December 24, 2015

What Makes Marco Rubio More Qualified to be President Than Donald Trump?

I'd love to get some Establishment GOPer to answer that one. This question came to me after reading David Frum here:

"Trump presents himself as a big winner: rich, powerful, self-confident, his name on buildings and golf courses around the world. He makes great deals! (As perhaps you’ve heard him say a time or two.) Remember the question Bill O’Reilly used to ask when his show was gaining traction back in the 1990s? “Who’s looking out for you?” Trump offers himself as the answer to that question."

"Now you, as a sophisticated reader of political websites, appreciate that these boasts are mostly malarkey. Trump’s deals have often failed, he’s the least bankable name in real estate, and at this point he probably owes more of his wealth to his TV stardom than to his business acumen. Trump’s done well for himself—but not nearly so well for investors, lenders, or anybody else who ever trusted him."

"But the question, as always in politics, is, “Compared to what?” It’s really striking how many of the elite-preferred rivals to Trump have records either zero executive accomplishments at all (Rubio, Cruz, Carson, Paul) or else of actual outright failure (Fiorina)."

"The case of Rubio is especially striking. What has Rubio ever done? His one project as senator, the Gang of Eight deal in 2013, fizzled out in the House without ever coming to a vote. That deal is now repudiated not only by Rubio’s own party, but by Rubio himself. Rubio is campaigning heavily on his foreign-policy vision, without ever having held a major executive role or held rank in the military."

What makes Rubio qualified? He was elected a US Senator-a job he now is bored by-he has a lot of GOP backing as they think his biography can sell. Full stop.

DailyNewsBin's description of Rubio here has a lot of resonance:

"Rubio tends to come off well only when giving prepared statements, but comes off as clueless when he’s challenged by almost any his republican competitors during the debates. His best bet of winning the nomination might be to lay low and hope the primary race is decided by the party delegates themselves at the convention, where he could simply give a speech and hope to win them over. But the more he takes on his opponents in the debates, the smaller they make him look – and the worse his poll numbers get. For all the talk of how shockingly poorly Jeb Bush is doing in the race, it’s worth noting that Marco Rubio is only six points ahead of him."

DNB is, to be sure,  a major Clinton blog so some might dismiss it. But this has been noted by many, not just Clintonites. Morning Joe has had the same critique. And then there is an interview Rubio conducted with a NH reporter that didn't go well, to say the least.

"Marco Rubio's relative lack of campaigning in early states like New Hampshire has been getting increasing attention in the national press — a Washington Post article this week asked whether he'd "work hard enough to become president."

"Yet when he did try to win over one local New Hampshire newspaper's endorsement in a short meeting this week, he didn't have much success. Here's Conway Daily Sun reporter Erik Eisele's pretty brutal description of how a meeting with Rubio went:

"We had roughly 20 minutes with him [Rubio] on Monday, and in that time, he talked about ISIS, the economy, his political record and his background. But it was like watching a computer algorithm designed to cover talking points. He said a lot but at the same time said nothing. It was like someone wound him up, pointed him toward the doors and pushed "play." If there was a human side to the senator, a soul, it didn't come across."

"This is something national political reporters who've followed Rubio have long observed. When you see him deliver a speech, he's great — charismatic, fluid, winning. But he's much better at hitting a previously prepared set of points than he is at striking a more conversational, informal tone. The town hall setting isn't the greatest for him."

"Other candidates, like Chris Christie, are better at working over small groups and sounding more unscripted. Perhaps that's part of why Christie — who's on the rise in recent New Hampshire polls — won the New Hampshire Union Leader's endorsement earlier this month."

Speaking of someone who's not great at the unscripted moment, Kevin McCarthy is reportedly about to endorse Rubio.

Oh, goody. Let's help he campaigns for him as well. I'm sure he'll do as good a job as he did in his interview about the Benghazi Committee.  

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