Either Jeb Bush or Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination for president. There is no other. As we’ve explained, the GOP primary season process was fixed for Jeb Bush to win (via the low number of debates, the high number of candidates, the financial and institutional collaborators), but Trump came along and now the advantages built in for Jeb Bush assist Donald Trump. What we witness now is pieces of the broken Jeb Bush machine re-purposed, in an Apollo 13 catastrophe style attempt, to fulfill the original aim of getting Jeb Bush the nomination.
The problem in all this is that Jeb Bush is dog food the dogs won’t eat. Jeb Bush policies are opposed by the majority of GOP voters (especially on illegal immigration and Common Core). The Jeb Bush name does not help him, so he erases “Bush” from his campaign.
The Jeb Bush strategy now is to put new shiny labels on his dog food can to distract the voter/consumer. But that won’t work either unless the best selling dog food sold by Donald Trump, the food wanted by millions, is kept off the supermarket shelves. So how to keep Donald Trump brand food off the shelves? Flood the market with new shiny product that will force the Donald Trump brand lower down the shelves and eventually off the shelves entirely.
The shiny new product will constantly be replaced with shiny new product as soon as the glitter comes off. As we wrote well before the second GOP debate:
The latest pawn in the attack Trump ploy is none other than Dr. Ben Carson. Like Perry, Jindal, Graham, and the rest, Carson is but a pawn used by the GOP establishment to attack Trump in order to benefit JeBush. [snip]
The next pawn called to duty will be Fiorina at the debate or maybe even John Kasich. Fiorina will get her face time at the CNN debate but not much else. Fake outrage by her fans and Big Media Trump haters can only get you so far. [snip]
Soon the pawns will all lay dead on the chess table and only the despised and deposed JeBush will remain to Stop Trump.
The Republican nomination will go either to JeBush or Donald Trump. There is no other.
That’s what we saw at the second GOP debate. Jeb Bush remains as unsavory as ever. The last pawn that was sold as the guy to take down Trump proved himself to be an OK doc and not much more. And the latest pawn, Carly Fiorina, is now the next to lay dead on the chess table.
No doubt with all the pimping by Big Media and the Jeb Bush machine Carly Fiorina’s poll numbers will rise and rise and rise from the low single digits to the high single digits or more. Then poof. She’ll be with Ben Carson in the used underwear box.
Jeb Bush needed a KO or at least a TKO against Donald Trump last night. Anything less, and the Trump train is on a trajectory to triumph. Far from achievement of that strategic goal, Jeb Bush ended the debate on his toes in a pretense that fools no one, and in absolute P.R. failure.
Oddly, part of Donald Trump’s victory last night is due to the failure of CNN to hit Donald Trump very hard. That’s not to say that CNN did not try to take Trump down. They did. CNN and the RNC stacked the audience with GOP establishment drones. Further, CNN wasted the first hour with “Donald said this and we want you to respond by trashing him” type questions. All that did was make Donald Trump the undisputed center of attention and leader of the conversation on everything and everyone. CNN went so far as to end the first section of the debate, before a commercial break, with Donald Trump’s comments about Carly Fiorina’s face left to linger in the viewers mind. Like a prosecutor with a weak case, CNN used every trick to rig the jury.
But the substantive questions that could really hurt Donald Trump, the questions we thought for sure would be asked, the questions about eminent domain, those substantive questions never appeared. That’s a shame. We would have liked to see Donald Trump grilled on eminent domain. But that would have been a substantive question about policy and so it never appeared.
What did appear was a Donald Trump quote about Carly Fiorina’s face, said to Rolling Stone magazine, which Trump unconvincingly states was really about Fiorina’s “persona.” Trump essentially waved that off by saying Fiorina is beautiful with a beautiful face. It was a statement that convinced no one. Fiorina cleverly played a “war on women” type card against Trump; a card which Fiorina usually decries when Hillary Clinton pulls it out of her deck. But what made us swallow hard came at the very end. When asked to give herself a Secret Service code name Fiorina responded by saying she would like her Secret Service code name to be “Secretariat”. Yeah, the horse. For a woman whose attractiveness is made mock of, it is odd that she would venture into John Kerry horse-face territory. So much for being quick on your hooves, er, feet.
“Secretariat” Fiorina, like Donald Trump, did not get the questions which we thought were obvious ones to be hit with. Nothing from the CNN moderators or the candidates about Hewlett Packard sales to Iran while Fiorina was CEO of the company. Left unasked were questions about Carly Fiorina‘s support for a low wage society and possible illegal immigration amnesty.
As to the other pawns not much changed. Marco Rubio persisted with his “A” student in third grade antics – full of wide smiles and well written essay question responses to impress teacher – but not much else. Chris Christie tried to fit a 9/11 life saver around his waist to stop from sinking – but he needs a much bigger hole to squeeze into. Scott Walker sweated. John Kasich said something or other few remember. Ted Cruz stared into the camera and gave lectures. Huckabee buzzed every now and then. Rand Paul was a fur toy for big dog Donald Trump who slapped Rand Paul around – which led to our favorite funny Trump moment of the night: “I never attacked him or his looks, and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there.” Ouch!
That was about it for an all out Trump attack. Mostly The Donald sees he’s close to winning and how the strategic landscape now benefits him. Having previously neutered hater Hugh Hewitt, Trump succeeded in his aim to make the CNN debate a bit fairer to himself, although he could do nothing about the stacked audience in the hall. Trump mostly complimented people on the stage even if the compliments benefited Trump more than the complimented. All in all Trump was generous and tried to smile and be bland. Except….
Except when it came to Jeb Bush. Repeatedly Donald Trump beat up on Jeb Bush. Ever so briefly Trump mentioned Bush’s support of Common Core. Bush speaking Spanish on the campaign trail was challenged by Trump. Trump smartly declared that English is the common tongue of the land and that there is a need for assimilation by immigrants. Then he beat up and humiliated weak Jeb Bush some more.
How tone deaf was Jeb Bush? Consider the horsey nature of Carly Fiorina’s “Secretariat” response. That wasn’t bright but it only hurts Fiorina on a comic level. But Jeb Bush, in response to a silly question about what woman’s picture should be on American currency, responded with “Margaret Thatcher.” Jeb Bush could not think of an American woman who should be on American currency. See the problem?
It’s not about Spanish or the ability to speak foreign languages. We applaud anyone who is able and willing to speak foreign languages whether they be of the spoken, digital, musical, or sign language type. The problem here is that Jeb Bush does not see the problem of running for president while communicating in Spanish to the electorate.
It’s not Margaret Thatcher that is the problem. It’s not Spanish that is the problem. The problem is that Jeb Bush is for illegal immigration amnesty, is making a rank appeal to activists that disrespect borders, and to Chamber of Commerce types that want a low wage society. Jeb Bush like Barack Obama also cannot discern that the job of American president is in some very real way to be a cheerleader of and for the American nation. Jeb Bush is repulsed by that part of the job which Donald Trump embraces with vigor and happiness.
Jeb Bush somehow does not grasp that he is walking for president of the United States not social justice warrior of the world. That’s a job already taken by Barack Obama. Jeb Bush does not grasp that he is not on the debate stage to be community organizer of the United States. The job is President of the United States and Donald Trump beat up on Jeb Bush on the very issue and that is how Donald Trump won the debate. It’s either Jeb Bush or Donald Trump. There is no other.