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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Establishment ties itself to the Marco Rubio train tracks

We begin today with a little wisdom from none other than “Bush’s brain,” Karl Rove.

Nick Gass of Politico reports, “For the first time in 68 years, the Republican Party will need more than one ballot to pick its nominee this summer in Cleveland, Karl Rove predicted in his annual list of prognostications.

Marco train tracks“’Delegates will be fractured—with many legally bound, for at least one ballot, to support the winner of their state or district—and at least two ballots will be required,’ he wrote Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal. ‘But the candidate with the most delegates going in will win.’”

Of course Rove followed up that very reasonable forecast with a doomsday prediction for the Republican Party should Donald Trump end up the party nominee. Karl thinks the bottom will fall out on the GOP if that’s the case, losing both the White House and the Senate (and shrinking the House majority considerably).

Rove did add any of the other Republicans would beat Hillary. So he’s not completely off the deep end.

Nobody listens to Rove anymore and he hasn’t gotten much right since 2004. We can pin his predictions up on the wall and throw darts at them whenever he gets one wrong – at least then they’ll serve a useful purpose.

Cruz defies the birther and ethanol crowds on the same day

With Ted Cruz having had several good months in a row, it’s not surprising the media is working overtime to try and dig up something to stall his momentum.

That’s why Donald Trump’s “birther” allegations are getting so much play lately. Trump clearly sees his precious poll numbers slipping, so he’s trying to create an element of doubt in conservatives’ minds about his friend Ted in order to suppress the bleeding.

The media loves every minute of it, mostly because any hint of scandal gives them something to talk about other than the failing state of the economy (see stock market jitters) and Obama’s latest dictatorial act, his gun-grab.

And now to make things even rosier for the chattering class, Trump’s got a familiar ally joining in the birther controversy.

Erick Erickson of The Resurgent reports, “[A]s Ted Cruz rises to the top of the field, John McCain has decided to ally with Donald Trump and openly speculate that Ted Cruz might not be eligible to be President of the United States. Never mind there really is very little legal argument there.

“Yes, it is ironic that McCain would think about stepping back lest he disrupt history for Obama, but is happy to scuttle the chances of a Hispanic candidate after endorsing the very white Lindsey Graham.”

‘Tis true. In an interview with a Phoenix radio station, McCain said it was “worth looking into” Trump’s complaints that Cruz could be in violation of the Constitution’s natural born citizen requirement. Never mind that several legal scholars have already cleared Cruz under the law that was in effect when he was born in 1970.

In addition to the questionable legal foundation for the Panama-born McCain’s opinion, it’s funny he would be in such a hurry to side with Trump considering the billionaire businessman stirred up a hornet’s nest last July by insinuating that McCain’s military career wasn’t quite as heroic as everyone makes it out to be.

McCain must really hate Cruz to enlist in Trump’s brigade. But we kind of already knew that, since the Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee loser has always gone out of his way to stick it to conservatives.

Erickson offers his own view of McCain’s motivations: “This is just an angry old jackass upset that his team lost. It’s the John McCain we know and ‘love.’ It’s the man who always treats his own side worse than he treats the other side. If he did anything otherwise, it would not be John McCain. Heck, if he did otherwise, he might have actually had a shot at being President, just like Ted Cruz.”

Can you imagine a Democrat ever questioning the eligibility of one of their candidates?

Oddly enough, citizenship isn’t the only avenue where Ted’s taking flak. There’s his recent dust-up with the ethanol industry in Iowa, too.

To make a long story short, Cruz has been campaigning in The Hawkeye State and other places against the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which is fancy double-speak for ethanol subsidies. As a result, the state’s Big Corn lobby has been on Ted for months to change his position, clearly because they fear for their taxpayer-subsidized paychecks.

Cruz clarified his position on the matter the other night, indicating he was for allowing the program to be phased out over five years and then fail to renew it when it comes up again in 2022.

The media was ablaze with cries of “flip-flop” and “pander.”

Streiff at RedState sets the record straight. Ted didn’t change his position at all. “And a phase out makes much more sense than an outright repeal if we actually want to see if the industry is economically viable and preserve the jobs associated with it rather than simply shut it down. Not to say shutting it down is bad, but phasing it out seems a better solution.”

In his analysis, streiff cites the very reliable Timothy P. Carney of the Washington Examiner, who also had to correct his reporting on the Cruz ethanol position.

This isn’t the first time journalists have tried to trap Cruz and it won’t be the last. But there isn’t a candidate in the field who’s as well versed in the issues as the Texas senator. Trying to catch him in a lie or a flip-flop is probably the most fruitless of all endeavors.

If they want to do that, try shadowing Hillary Clinton.

Brace yourself for the newer, meaner Ben Carson

Donald Trump and John McCain aren’t the only adversaries targeting Cruz. Fresh off of last week’s staff shake-up, the “new and improved” Dr. Ben Carson is about to emerge – and he’s got Ted in his sights.

Errol Louis of CNN writes, “By ditching his campaign manager and communications director, Carson is preparing for an all-out battle to snag third place or better in Iowa, where he was leading all candidates, including Donald Trump, as recently as November 4. To get there, Carson is expected to offer pointed criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz, who has enjoyed rising numbers in preference polls and appears to be cutting into Carson's support among evangelical Christian leaders and voters...

“So look for the new Ben Carson at the next two Republican presidential debates, scheduled for January 14 in South Carolina and January 28 in Iowa. We'll see if the quiet doctor has completed the metamorphosis from quiet outsider to forceful contender.”

It’s understandable how Ben feels he needs to alter his public persona at this stage of the race, but the real question is, will he be able to do it?

Carson originally built a following based on the fact he wasn’t a typically over-zealous politician, putting forth his quiet and reasonable “physician’s bedside manner” as his strongest suit. He was refreshing and different, a contrast to just about every conventional pol in either party. It worked for a long time because people saw him as similar to Trump – in that he would challenge political correctness – but not as “mean.”

I’m not saying Carson is about to mutate into a “mean” guy, but will Americans buy a “new” Ben Carson who isn’t really that “nice?”

Or will they see a more aggressive Ben as phony?

Carson has grown considerably as a candidate since his official announcement he was running for president. Prior to that, he was just known as the man who stood up to President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.

But I can’t help but think three or four weeks of the “new” Ben Carson won’t be enough to get back what he’s already lost. Let’s hope his reputation and dignity doesn’t go the way of his poll numbers, too.

Ahead of Iowa, Establishment ties itself to the Marco Rubio train tracks

Finally this week, Marco Rubio picked up another House establishment endorsement this week, leading campaign members and various other elites to declare he’s starting to consolidate the establishment vote.

Ben Kamisar of The Hill reports, “Weeks before the first round of primary voting, the Florida senator’s campaign has rolled out a series of high-profile congressional endorsements, including from House­Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Wednesday.

“Rubio is now just a handful of congressional endorsements behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the onetime GOP front-runner and establishment pick.”

Kamisar also highlights a poll released this week showing Rubio’s crawled up to second place in New Hampshire, four points ahead of Chris Christie (but fifteen behind Trump).

And because so many congressmen are seeing Rubio as the antidote to the two-headed Trump and Cruz monster, the donor class apparently is ready to jump on board as well.

As I’ve said in the past, most endorsements don’t carry much weight. And has anyone forgotten that trotting out a bunch of congressmen to stump on your behalf may not be such a great idea considering the overall approval ratings of the institution?

Rep. Steve King’s endorsement will probably boost Ted Cruz in his home state of Iowa, but will Jason Chaffetz’s nod help Rubio anywhere other than maybe in Utah? Who knows (or cares) about Jason Chaffetz?

While it could be true Rubio is starting to gather the elites under one tent, I’m not convinced it will do him much good with the people who cast votes, most of whom can’t stand Congress and want a change no matter what.

Marco Rubio is a fresh face in American politics but his views on foreign policy and immigration are very stale, indeed. Voters aren’t stupid – they see the difference no matter how many establishment politicians strap themselves to the Marco train tracks.

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Ben Carson is Toast.

I called it on Nov 23rd, after observing the disastrous press conference at his NH ballot paper filing on Nov 21st. When Vermin Supreme puts on a better show, and two Democrats so far left that they'd make Bernie jealous are more convincing (if wrong) on their policies, the Doctor has a problem.
Add in the fact that he can't remember from one event to the next what Armstrong Williams has told him to say, or from one month to the next who his top supporters and event organizers are, and you've got a guy who has past the sell-by date on his 15 minutes of fame.
http://granitegrok.com/blog/2015/11/carson-toast-called-saturday

Ditching all his top advisers is not going to help.

I prescribe golfing, writing, and speaking as the best cure for his campaign blues.

marco rubio

I find it difficult to understand how any patriotic American citizen could vote for marco rubio.

In one of his latest political adds he points out that the American citizens do not feel comfortable in their own country or something to that effect.

As an American citizen I can categorically acknowledge that I do not feel comfortable in my own country because of the actions or inactions taken by our elected representatives on the issue of immigration.

I hear the political class say on the one hand we need to bring American jobs back home and then on the other hand say that we need to bring the illegal alien invaders out from the shadows by legalizing them. Rubio (WAS), IS the biggest proponent of legalization. If anyone believes that if elected he would not once again take up the fight for legalization you are a fool, after all marco rubio is an ANCHOR BABY to begin with.

Back to the American jobs being brought back to America, just who are the politicians trying to employ, NO they want to legalize 11+ million illegal aliens so they can legally work in America and to make matters worse they want to increase legal immigration under the H1B and the H2B visa program to put foreign workers to work ahead of American workers.

We hear all the time from the conservatives about ending welfare so just how do you accomplish this by bringing in more immigrants under the H1B and H2 visa program to compete with American citizens.

We see the troubles Europe is having with their immigration issues we do not need to follow then down that path.

I have lost any respect for both Chaffetz and Gowdy for their support of rubio.