Dueling observations from opposing news outlets this Sunday, but both focused on what is going in the GOP race for the White House.
On Fox News, conservative icon George Will observed that Donald Trump seems to have locked up the nomination; however, he did leave room for the possibility that the Republican Party could still rally to nominate someone else. The problem, Will opined, was that time was running short for the GOP to coalesce behind another candidate and stop Trump from being the nominee.
George Will: It’s too soon to say, and it’s too soon whether to say whether Trump has done this. Remember, this is the week that Governor Branstad, six-term governor of Iowa and longest serving governor in American history, came out against [score]Ted Cruz[/score], broke the tradition of governors remaining neutral in Iowa, on the issue of ethanol, of all things, which is an important boondoggle to the economy of Iowa…
General Douglas McArthur said that in war, every disaster can be explained by two words: too late.
And the question is whether the conservative wing of the Republican Party, aka, the Republican wing of the Republican Party, is beginning too late to rally against Mr. Trump. It’s also unclear yet whether the fire between Trump and Cruz is going to have the effect that the war between Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean had in 2004. They trained their fire on each other, and John Kerry snuck through, won Iowa and won the nomination.
It’s also — the polls show that Donald Trump’s supporters are disproportionately first time caucus-goers.
Then, over on NBC’s Meet the Press we were given a contrasting view from a “right-leaning” journalist who likes to pretend he’s a conservative. David Brooks is usually the token Republican on PBS and in the New York Times, but he’s often heard siding with Democrats and liberals against conservative politicians and philosophies. (For example, Brooks recently called the Cruz family “Satanic”.) But I digress; my point is that it is interesting to see the dichotomy between a true conservative (like Will), who is serious and honest about what is taking place in the campaign, and an establishment mouthpiece like Brooks. Watch as Brooks wildly argues that, contrary to all appearances, [score]Marco Rubio[/score] has the campaign right where he wants it.
This is going to go on for a long time, and this is like the Iran-Iraq war, I want them both to lose. And I think that’s good. I still think –I’m the last person in America who thinks this isn’t Trump-Cruz.
This is going to go on for months, if you get A attacking B, and B attacking A, you’re going to get a C.
It’s going to be Rubio!
I’m telling you, it’s going to be Rubio.
Right now, you have the conflict between the conservative, the philosophical conservative wing, which is the National Review crowd, and the rogue wing, which is talk radio and Trump. And so it’s interesting to see how that breaks down.
Right now, Trump has the advantage in that, because the conservative movement is less conservative than it was ten years ago. The financial crisis has hit people hard, and they want a government that’s on the side of the little guys, as long as it’s not filled with liberal values. So Trump, in the short term, but we’re prepping the establishment. Do not panic. There are going to be months of this. Wait for Rubio.
I don’t think Brooks realizes that primary voting begins in Iowa in one week and that Trump currently holds a HUGE advantage over the rest of the field in most of the states. He also doesn’t seem to get that as candidates win in the early states, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the other candidates to catch the early state winners. Add to this that the only candidate within sniffing distance is Ted Cruz (who actually leads in several states), and Brooks’ fairytale that Rubio is simply biding his time becomes even more fantastic.
I do agree that Rubio has a chance to win the nomination, but I believe that to do so he must win or take 2nd in at least a couple of the early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada). If he doesn’t do surprisingly well in the 2 or 3 of these early states – he’s likely as finished as the other also-rans. So, contrary to Brooks’ assertions, Rubio can’t just lie back in wait — if he wants to win he’ll have to pounce early, and I’m just not sure he’s up for the challenge.
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