The Land of the Twee and the Home of the Cray

It’s early in the as-yet-unofficial Jeb Bush 2016 campaign, but it’s not going well. And that concerns me.

Jeb Bush has no business running for president. His wretched family has done such damage to this country — nay, the world! — that in a just society, he and anyone who shares his DNA would be laughed off the political stage for the next ten thousand generations.

But given his plutocratic connections, the ginormous war chest he’s amassed before officially announcing his candidacy (oops!) and the fact that the money people always decide the GOP nominee despite what the hairspray-huffing, snake-handling, sister-humping loons who vote in the primaries want, Jeb should be the prohibitive favorite. But he’s blowing it.

Why should we give a shit? Because it looks like the Democrats are going to nominate Hillary Clinton, and Jeb is the ideal candidate to oppose her — from the perspective of anyone who wants the Democrat to kick the Republican’s ass.

Not even the most genius marketing team on the planet can credibly pass Jeb Fucking Bush off as a “fresh face.” His candidacy neutralizes the “dynasty” objection. And if anything can make a “Clinton restoration” sound attractive (and HRC’s candidacy will be pitched that way by the corporate media 24/7/365 — take that to the goddamned bank), it’s the prospect of a Bush restoration.

You’re not worried about Bush’s flailing because you don’t think one of the second-tier Pubbies can win the general, such as the vapid Rubio, slack-jawed Scott Walker or pompous Paul? I might have agreed until very recently. But the reelection of Rick Scott as Florida’s governor convinced me that there really is no limit to how awful a candidate can be and still get elected if the corporate media (which is default Republican — never forget!) helps him build the right narrative about his opponent.

Do you think only Florida — land of the twee and home of the cray — would be dumb and unhinged enough to elect someone who is a known liar with a track record of failure? See Bush, G.W., 2004 election. As I’ve argued in this space before, Florida is a microcosm for America in many ways, and when you laugh at us (which we deserve), you’re laughing at yourselves too, just as deservedly.

No, I can envision all too well a scenario in which the national corporate media pulls out all the stops to put forth Rubio, Scott or Paul as a youthful, attractive, hard-nosed pragmatist for the 21st century to backstop the Obama years. And they’ll pit that paragon against Hillary Clinton, that power-mad, has-been crone who couldn’t even keep her own husband away from the interns. Maureen Dowd is lining up her alliterations and dated pop-culture references even as we speak.

So Jeb — get your shit together, man. Steve M. at No More Mr. Nice Blog is exactly right about how you should have handled questions about the Bush Stain. But it’s not too late. Get on message and get-er-done, Jeb. We’re counting on you.






148 replies
  1. 1

    Be careful what you wish for. Of all the clown posse’, Jeb seems like the most plausible candidate to me.

  2. 2
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I think you mean Walker, not Scott. Different evil governor.

  3. 3
    msdc says:

    But the reelection of Rick Scott as Florida’s governor convinced me that there really is no limit to how awful a candidate can be and still get elected…

    On the plus side, at least the presidential election will be held in a presidential election year.

  4. 4
    Fair Economist says:

    And if anything can make a “Clinton restoration” sound attractive

    The Clinton years had the fastest wage and employment growth of my lifetime. By some measures the best since WWII. I also remember it as a period where things were generally getting better socially as well. And finally, it’s the period crime rates started to plummet. A “Clinton restoration” is going to sound good to a lot of people.

  5. 5
    piratedan says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: because the media will abdicate any responsibility for his chameleon-like positions or call him out on the fallacies of his statements because “horse-race” sells ad space and generates revenue. Not saying that Hillz is a perfect candidate, but she’s no Evan Bayh or Joe Manchin and that still makes her light years ahead of damn near any national pol with a parenthetical R behind their moniker.

  6. 6
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Color me unconvinced. Short of brain-trauma aphasia gaffes don’t matter.

    Mitt didn’t lose because of the 47% remark.

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    Get on message and get-er-done, Jeb. We’re counting on you.

    This reminds me of Bin Laden’s attempts to influence elections by his endorsements. I understand the temptation.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    Just to be clear, I view the presence of any GOP presidential candidate who is still in the race, and is still legally and Constitutionally eligible to assume the office as a dire threat to the nation and the world.

    So, I want them all badly damaged politically to the max by Fall 2016.. And so far Jeb! is just handing out fail like it was farts at the a chili contest. I mean, come on, what are we supposed to do?

    Edit: I heard earlier today that new GOP problem is how to handle all the crazy candidates in the upcoming primary debates. Looks like will certainly be more than ten, which was maximum last go around, or maybe the one before. Ten is one fifth of the way to 50, which is what I am in for on the upcoming BJ GOP primary clown car debate pool.

  9. 9
    Elmo says:

    It’s going to be the goggle-eyed homunculus (tm Charlie Pierce). Jeb! repels the base even worse than the Marquis; Rubio is too stone-stupid to avoid contradicting himself inside two sentences; and everyone else is going to split the Crazification Factor vote, leaving Governor Doe Investigation the prize.

    And I’ll be honest – he scares me. Governor of a Midwestern blue state, so the media will play up his bipartisan appeal while airily dismissing his nearness to indictment. The money will flow like water after Jeb! collapses in South Carolina.

    Don’t dismiss him. He can win.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    @Bobby Thomson:
    The operatives who are pushing Bush3: This Time We Mean Bidnez would have an easier time grooming Walker for a national marketing campaign–kind of a combo Ken doll-Mr. Potatohead project. Bland and evil, just like they like ’em.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Jeb is clearly not the smart one.

    But, I don’t count the Bush Crime Family out of the game. Not yet.

  12. 12
    cahuenga says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    That’s what I thought too… But the way he’s going I’d be surprised if he makes it to the primaries.

    Those Bush’s are like industrial strength stupid.

  13. 13
    shawn says:

    I really wonder if there is anybody who is planning to vote or not vote for Hillary Clinton today that could or would have their mind changed by anything or anybody running in opposition.

  14. 14
    SatanicPanic says:

    But the reelection of Rick Scott as Florida’s governor convinced me that there really is no limit to how awful a candidate can be and still get elected if the corporate media (which is default Republican — never forget!) helps him build the right narrative about his opponent

    in Florida…

  15. 15
    Citizen Alan says:

    Does it matter that Rick Scott was reelected by beating Charlie Crist, the emptiest suit in American politics? I was always troubled by his nomination. Were there no actual career Democrats in Florida? Did the Florida Democratic Party have to coalesce around a guy who’d been an independent 2 years before and a Republican 2 years before that?

  16. 16

    But the reelection of Rick Scott as Florida’s governor convinced me that there really is no limit to how awful a candidate can be and still get elected if the corporate media (which is default Republican — never forget!) helps him build the right narrative about his opponent.

    My only quibble with that statement is that if the Democrats had actually run a viable candidate against Scott, he might not have made it again. But then, the best the FL Dems could come up with was a used Republican.

  17. 17
    gene108 says:

    ” His candidacy neutralizes the “dynasty” objection.

    In my opinion, Bush, Jr. got helped immensely by running against a bit of a state-level dynastic politician, in Al Gore, Jr. and another wealthy New England blue-blood in John Kerry.

    But I am not sure the dynastic issue will be as much of a problem for Hillary, because she will be the first woman to be at the top of a major Party’s ticket and all the inherent hurdles she will have to deal with from the media, as a result.

    Also, she is not “old money” and people can clearly see that she’s worked to get where she is.

    Finally, I really think you need a person of Bill Clinton’s stature to be the first First Husband. A lot of men are instinctively (especially the older DC media guys) taken aback with the notion that a man will put his career on hold to support his wife’s career, the way Michelle Obama did, back in 2007, Hillary did in 1992 and now even Ted Cruz’s wife has done, with her indefinite leave of absence from Goldman Sachs.

    I cannot imagine a man, who is a well educated executive – like say, Kristen Gillibrand’s husband – being able to take off a couple of years, should she run for President, and then do some focus on a special cause, if she wins, like Michelle has done with childhood obesity, and not take crap for being pussy whipped by his wife.

  18. 18
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    I can envision all too well a scenario in which the national corporate media pulls out all the stops to put forth Rubio, Scott or Paul as a youthful, attractive, hard-nosed pragmatist for the 21st century to backstop the Obama years. And they’ll pit that paragon against Hillary Clinton, that power-mad, has-been crone who couldn’t even keep her own husband away from the interns. Maureen Dowd is lining up her alliterations and dated pop-culture references even as we speak.

    I can see that narrative forming already about Clinton. It’s early. Jeb will recover from this. His stumbles will be forgotten in a few weeks. The nytimes writes lovingly about him while frowning over all the serious questions Hillary’s existence on the planet raises.

  19. 19
    gene108 says:

    ” His candidacy neutralizes the “dynasty” objection.

    In my opinion, Bush, Jr. got helped immensely by running against a bit of a state-level dynastic politician, in Al Gore, Jr. and another wealthy New England blue-blood in John Kerry.

    But I am not sure the dynastic issue will be as much of a problem for Hillary, because she will be the first woman to be at the top of a major Party’s ticket and all the inherent hurdles she will have to deal with from the media, as a result.

    Also, she is not “old money” and people can clearly see that she’s worked to get where she is.

    Finally, I really think you need a person of Bill Clinton’s stature to be the first First Husband. A lot of men are instinctively (especially the older DC media guys) taken aback with the notion that a man will put his career on hold to support his wife’s career, the way Michelle Obama did, back in 2007, Hillary did in 1992 and now even Ted Cruz’s wife has done, with her indefinite leave of absence from Goldman Sachs.

    I cannot imagine a man, who is a well educated executive – like say, Kristen Gillibrand’s husband – being able to take off a couple of years, should she run for President, and then do some focus on a special cause, if she wins, like Michelle has done with childhood obesity, and not take crap for being whipped by his wife.

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    Oh, no:

    Jeb Bush, saying he wants to dump Obamacare, says health apps on his Apple Watch are a better option #fox10phoenix

  21. 21
    Keith P says:

    Maureen Dowd is lining up her alliterations and dated pop-culture references even as we speak

    No, her intern is.

  22. 22

    the hairspray-huffing, snake-handling, sister-humping loons who vote in the primaries

    Refreshingly understated.

  23. 23
    chopper says:

    see this is why I’m happy to accept the idea of candidates being asked about their family member’s earlier policies. as sick as we’ll all be about hillary being constantly asked about bill’s policies from the 90s it means El Jebe gets to be grilled about his loser shithead brother. hillary wins in that situation easily.

  24. 24
    jl says:

    I thought this reply to a comment by Larv was brilliant. Can we get Larv to run for president in GOP? Larv has a chance, dammit: much better at brain thinking reasoneonring than any GOPer I have seen in the race so far.

    ” The war in Iraq was a bad idea, so let’s have a war with Iran. ”

    Well, Iran and Iraq were on opposite sides of an earlier war. Therefore, according to the transitive property a war with Iran would be the opposite of a war with Iraq. If the Iraq war was a bad idea, then a war with Iran must be a good idea. The logic seems unassailable.


    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-5340278

  25. 25
    chopper says:

    @Kay:

    oh lol.

  26. 26
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @Kay: Seriously???? LOLOL

    The man has clearly never been without the means to pay for medical care.

  27. 27
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    the money people always decide the GOP nominee despite what the hairspray-huffing, snake-handling, sister-humping loons who vote in the primaries want, Jeb should be the prohibitive favorite. But he’s blowing it.

    He’ll be fine! The money people and the loons hate Hillary with the heat of a thousand suns. He could blow bubbles with his own snot and they’d pick him over herself any day.

  28. 28
    ralphb says:

    @shawn: That is an awfully good question.

  29. 29
    Hal says:

    If Dems in Wisconsin and Florida had run great candidates in both instances and lost? Then I would be worried. I’m tired of hearing about how invincible and dangerous Walker is because he won recall and re-election. Being anti-union is not going to help him in PA, OH or MI. This whole political season is starting way too early and that means a ton of meaningless media speculation focused on Republicans. Hillary has challengers on the left, but everyone knows she’s going to be the nominee unless another Obama comes along, and that’s just too boring for the media to focus on unless there’s a controversy. That means all the attention goes to the million people running on the right, but that doesn’t make any of them unbeatable.

  30. 30
    Kay says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    I loved it too. There’s a photo. He’s showing them the watch. .

    https://twitter.com/SKrafftFox10/status/598906186260291585

  31. 31
    Mandalay says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    But then, the best the FL Dems could come up with was a used Republican.

    This. There are plenty of DINOs, and plenty of RINOs, but Crist had the unusual distinction of being both a DINO and a RINO. He stood for nothing except himself.

  32. 32
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Kay: Does it give directions to the nearest ER?

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @gene108:

    ” I cannot imagine a man, who is a well educated executive – like say, Kristen Gillibrand’s husband – being able to take off a couple of years, should she run for President, and then do some focus on a special cause, if she wins, like Michelle has done with childhood obesity, and not take crap for being whipped by his wife. ”

    I hope that any first-Mr. who had the inner resources and imagination and ability to take off time from his career would be able to tell those giving the crap to go eff themselves, in a polite and appropriate first-Mr.ly way, of course.

    As for the dynasty angle. if Jeb! can get is head out of his ass, or his ass out of his head (whatever the problem is) and survive to the general, the obvious comeback is to take that head on. OK, some sad fools are all worried about political kooties crawling on them fi they vote for a candidate because some shit heads on the teevee are yelping about dynasties. It’s BS, but even if it were true, which dynasty would the people of America prefer to continue: Bill or Dub? Many may want different, but the choices are, Bill dynasty or Dub dynasty, which do you prefer? I think most people would have an easy choice.

  34. 34
    MomSense says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    He’ll be fine! The money people and the loons hate Hillary with the heat of a thousand suns. He could blow bubbles with his own snot and they’d pick him over herself any day.

    I’d love to see Jeb! blow snot bubbles. That would make this whole dog forsaken election cycle worth it.

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    I love the look on the person’s face in front of him- the man against the wall with his arms folded. A little skeptical :)

  36. 36
    Patrick says:

    @Kay:

    Jeb Bush, saying he wants to dump Obamacare, says health apps on his Apple Watch are a better option #fox10phoenix

    So is he going to force everybody to buy an Apple watch then? Will it cover pre-existing conditions?

  37. 37
    Tree With Water says:

    And because there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Jeb and Hillary where the 2003 Iraq War is concerned, either (as Jeb righteously pointed out), his nomination enables Hillary to ignore her catastrophically wrong-headed vote on the Bush-Cheney plot to war as politically superfluous. “Honorable people were misled by faulty intelligence”- the no fault fairy tale agreed upon by the two parties. A Jeb Bush presidential nomination is definitely made to order for those democrats willing to overlook being lied to on a matter of war or peace by their likely presidential nominee.

  38. 38
    jl says:

    @Patrick: MANDATE! Unfreedom! Tyranny!

  39. 39
    SatanicPanic says:

    @jl:

    OK, some sad fools are all worried about political kooties crawling on them fi they vote for a candidate because some shit heads on the teevee are yelping about dynasties.

    QFT. Seriously, the USA survived the Adams, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys and countless others, I think we can survive Hillary Clinton, who most people assume maintains some distance from her husband. Probably couldn’t survive another Bush though.

  40. 40
    EconWatcher says:

    I live in central Europe now, and I was recently challenged by colleagues to explain the whole “invasion of Texas” thing.

    I started out earnestly with something about right-wing media, epistemic closure, yadda yadda. But then, looking at their mystified and slightly disgusted faces, I just threw up my hands and said, “We’re a bunch of nutjobs. What can I tell you?”

    But then again, they’ve got Jobbik and the Austrian Freedom Party, so maybe I should have just told them to p!$$ off…

  41. 41
    Fair Economist says:

    @piratedan:

    Not saying that Hillz is a perfect candidate, but she’s no Evan Bayh or Joe Manchin and that still makes her light years ahead of damn near any national pol with a parenthetical R behind their moniker.

    Is anybody a perfect candidate? Bernie is pretty gun-friendly. If you look at Hillary’s postions on deBlasio’s progressive agenda she looks pretty darn good. She’s explicitly supported six of the goals and has been generally supportive on the other seven: for example, she supports an increase in the minimum wage, although she’s not calling for a specific number at present.

  42. 42
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Kay: What is ¡Jeb! doing with an Apple watch?? Isn’t that strictly a liberal accessory?

    @MomSense: I’m looking forward to the debates. 16 (Pataki) or 17 (Bolton) participants? We could have them in Citi Field. Or a Walmart parking lot.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @Patrick:

    It just has endless comedy implications.

    It’s like Romney. Remember when he told that nice lady in Pennsylvania her baked goods were subpar?

    Who raises these guys? Why don’t they know how to behave?

  44. 44
    Mandalay says:

    @jl:

    I hope that any first-Mr. who had the inner resources and imagination and ability to take off time from his career would be able to tell those giving the crap to go eff themselves, in a polite and appropriate first-Mr.ly way, of course.

    David Goldberg (who died last week), was the husband of FaceBook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and had the perfect response for that line of questioning:

    Mr Goldberg was often asked how he felt about living in his wife’s shadow; he made it clear that he was delighted by her success.

    Once that has been said there’s not much left to ask (unless you are an exceptionally stupid jackass).

  45. 45
    Brachiator says:

    @Fair Economist:

    The Clinton years had the fastest wage and employment growth of my lifetime. By some measures the best since WWII. I also remember it as a period where things were generally getting better socially as well. And finally, it’s the period crime rates started to plummet. A “Clinton restoration” is going to sound good to a lot of people.

    Is Bill running again?

    Voters rejected the Clinton Restoration gambit when Hillary and Obama were vying for the nomination. I don’t think that this will work for her that well in 2016.

  46. 46
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Hal: Have you ever seen Rick Scott speak or participate in a debate? He’s the worst retail politician I’ve ever seen — and that’s setting his policies, which are unpopular and horrible, aside. I was in an agony of embarrassment for him every time he opened his yap, and I hate the bastid! My point is, anyone who could fog a mirror, even a weather-cock retread like Crist, should have beat Scott. And yet he won.

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    @Kay:
    But all the trees were “just the right height.” Or was that Michigan?

    Romneybot 2.0 was some damn buggy firmware.

  48. 48
    MomSense says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Please let Bolton run. I can picture the SNL skits now with that pr0n stache of his.

    Definitely Walmart parking lots with a backdrop of RVs, flags, and the people of Walmart in the audience.

  49. 49
    Calouste says:

    @gene108:

    I cannot imagine a man, who is a well educated executive – like say, Kristen Gillibrand’s husband – being able to take off a couple of years, should she run for President, and then do some focus on a special cause, if she wins, like Michelle has done with childhood obesity, and not take crap for being whipped by his wife.

    Not in America obviously, but in developed, grown-up, countries that is not a problem. Husbands of female PMs just go on with their lives. Denis Thatcher got some stick, but that was more than 30 years ago and had also something to do with Maggie’s rather overbearing personality. And of course, a lot of countries already have a royal family, they don’t need to project that on their head of government’s family like the Americans do.

  50. 50
    rikyrah says:

    wonder if NOW will say anything about THIS?

    ……………………………………………….

    Sean Hannity Calls First Lady A Racist In The Most Racist Way Possible (VIDEO)

    Author: Elisabeth Parker May 12, 2015 3:36 pm

    What is it about white privilege that Fox’s Sean Hannity doesn’t get? After everything we’ve seen in the news, Hannity watched Michelle Obama’s searing graduation speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama, and can’t understand why she’s so angry and so black.

    Actually, Obama didn’t even come across as particularly angry, Hannity just doesn’t like to hear the truth about how horribly White America treats black people. It’s much easier for him to portray our first lady as a reverse racist. Ellen Brodsky from NewsHounds (they watch Fox so you don’t have to) caught Hannity on the air weighing in on Michelle Obama’s speech, and called it “shocking.”

    “But first, tonight, shocking comments from Michelle Obama while giving the commencement speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama this weekend. Now, he used the opportunity to express her own views on racism and discrimination in America. Take a listen, and look at this.”

    Cue selective clips that bolster Hannity’s appalling views of Obama as a racist. Like the part where our first lady talks to the 2015 graduating class at this historic black university about the “sting of those daily slights” they will encounter as they launch their careers in White America.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2.....ble-video/

  51. 51
    monkeyfister says:

    I don’t get any sense at all that Jeb is even INTERESTED in running for POTUS. It’s like he’s being forced or pushed to do it. Perhaps Cheney threatened to shoot him in the face or something, I don’t know. But, flaking out on Iowa, hiring all the same shitbirds from W’s failed admin, taking Foreign Policy advice from L’il Boots at all, let alone bragging about it… and now this uber blunder, and his blasé responses.

    I think he just wants to watch TV.

  52. 52
    Mandalay says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Is anybody a perfect candidate?

    I’ll happily admit that Barack Obama came pretty darn close for me. If his presidency has not quite lived up to his candidacy, let’s bear in mind that he set the bar really, really high, and I don’t expect anyone else to come close in my lifetime.

  53. 53
    Patrick says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Bernie is pretty gun-friendly.

    He is also against closing Gitmo.

  54. 54

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    We could have them in Citi Field. Or a Walmart parking lot.

    Hopefully somewhere a meteor strike won’t cause too much collateral damage, just in case God really loves us.

  55. 55
    jl says:

    @Brachiator:

    ” Voters rejected the Clinton Restoration gambit when Hillary and Obama were vying for the nomination. I don’t think that this will work for her that well in 2016. ”

    Damn! HRC will be running against Obama in the 2016 general? Then what is everyone worried about? Whewww, that is a load off my mind.

  56. 56
    shell says:

    @Kay: Maybe he should have a little chat with Luis Lang

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    So Jeb — get your shit together, man. Steve M. at No More Mr. Nice Blog is exactly right about how you should have handled questions about the Bush Stain. But it’s not too late. Get on message and get-er-done, Jeb. We’re counting on you.

    Jeb Bush running against Hillary or anyone else might be the Democrats’ worse nightmare.

    It is delusional to suggest that “Jeb Bush has no business running for president” because “his wretched family has done such damage to this country.” His family connections mean less than many Balloon Juicers want to believe, especially when you then go on to assert that Hillary’s family connections are neutral or a plus for her.

    No, Jeb is not as smart as he thinks he is, and he may well sink like a stone if he totally embraces his brother’s legacy. But if he says that he will govern like his father, but with the added luster of appealing to the fundamentalists, the Democrats may have a fight on their hands.

    In any event, the GOP Klown Kar is nearly full up, and we don’t know who is going to come stumbling out of it before the Republican circus is over.

  58. 58
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @MomSense: Bolton is so quick-tempered he gets pissed off during interviews. I’m convinced he’s some sort of performance art piece, like Andy Kaufman doing Tony Clifton. He can’t be real. A diplomat? Comedy genius.

  59. 59
    gene108 says:

    @chopper:

    as sick as we’ll all be about hillary being constantly asked about bill’s policies from the 90s

    Nothing Bill did was as close to being as stupid as running into a war on trumped up pretenses.

    He’s already come out and said the Commodity Future’s Modernization Act is a mistake.

    She’s already said the Crime Bill minimum sentencing guidelines are need to be re-examined.

    They are both in favor of gay marriage, i.e. DOMA is yesterday’s news and they, like the nation, have moved on.

    Probably the only thing that could sting Hillary is NAFTA and there’s a whole host of reasons manufacturing has moved overseas, other than NAFTA, such as other countries, namely China, actually putting state money into subsidizing their manufacturing sector in a way we do not in the U.S.

  60. 60
    askew says:

    I think Scott Walker is the one we should worry about the most. He has the same appeal that W has. It’s completely mystifying to liberals but appeal to independent voters. He also has the benefit of being new to the national scene, doesn’t have the DC stink on him, has executive experience, and has successfully stood up to the “evil” unions. He creates the worst contrast with Hillary.

    Rubio is dumber than a box of rocks and I think might have less political instincts than Hillary which is pretty surprising. He’s not going to make it out of Iowa.

  61. 61
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Did you ever see “The Life Aquatic”? There’s a line Bill Murray’s character says about Anjelica Huston’s character — something about how she was raised by servants so she doesn’t know how to behave. I’m reminded of it with Jeb and Romney’s cluelessness.

  62. 62
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @monkeyfister: I always thought some weird family dynamics were in play. GWB wanted to win out over his dad, and ¡Jeb! wants to win out over his dad and his brother.

  63. 63
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Patrick: My android phone won’t work with Jeb!’s Apple watch, is he going to MANDATE that I use an iPhone?

  64. 64
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @rikyrah: I am looking forward to her REALLY speaking her mind after her husband’s term is over.

    I’m hoping she names names.

  65. 65
    gene108 says:

    @Brachiator:

    Voters rejected the Clinton Restoration gambit when Hillary and Obama were vying for the nomination.

    Democratic primary voters and Caucus members bitch slapped Hillary for the Iraq war vote. Period.

  66. 66
    El Caganer says:

    If Jeb falters, we’re gonna see Willard again, retrofitted, rebooted and ready to run.

  67. 67
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @El Caganer: The thundering hooves of the apocalyptic white horse?

  68. 68
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I suspect it’s going to be Walker (campaign slogan: “Everybody’s Second Choice”) and he will be much harder to beat than expected, simply because of all the UNLIMITED CAMPAIGN CASH the Koch motherfuckers will be throwing at him.

    Hopefully he will choke on a pretzel and the only folks around that could save him will be non-union EMTs.

  69. 69
    Waldo says:

    I think you have to root for Jeb just to hedge your bets. I mean, if god forbid HRC somehow blows it, I do not want to be living four years under a Ben Carson Administration. Or the Donald. Or Demon Sheep lady. Or Kim Jong Cruz.

  70. 70
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Brachiator:
    I don’t think that’s what happened. I think Hillary got blindsided by the emergence of a once-in-a-lifetime politician. Right now, she’s beating all the Republican candidates in the polls, and is way ahead of any likely Democrat. That suggests the Clinton name is not holding her back much if at all.

  71. 71
    piratedan says:

    @Fair Economist: hey not arguing that but you can be assured that the media won’t say anything about it unless it can be used as a cudgel against her. My best guess would bee that it will be Benghazi and e-mails and Bill’s infidelity and whatever else they deem worthy of derision or scrutiny. Good things for the majority off Americans, why that might get us frighteningly close to actually having to discuss policy… I can’t imagine that the media gives a good goddamn about that.

  72. 72
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Brachiator: I don’t know, I think you’re overestimating how much people like Bush I- a one term and not very popular president who presided over a recession. “Would you like the country to return to the Bush years or the Clinton years” is going to be in Clinton’s favor no matter which Bush people think of… but it’ll likely be GWB they think of first.

  73. 73
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: You miss the point a lot.

    @askew: I agree on Scott Walker — on paper. But he doesn’t seem to have GWB’s political skills. Now, I was immune to W’s charms, obviously, but I could also see how his ersatz cowpoke folksiness would appeal to others in the “guy I’d want to have a beer with” sense. Walker seems to lack that talent.

  74. 74
    Mandalay says:

    @shell:

    Maybe he should have a little chat with Luis Lang

    He updated his gofundme page with this yesterday:

    sorry one last thing I have to hand it to the liberal side you sure do know how to get the word out when you dislike something. I say shame on the conservative bloggers for resting on there laurels.

    The irony is that his fund is now over $17k, and it looks like a lot of that has come from liberals donating $5.

    Lang’s lack of self-awareness is dumbfounding.

  75. 75
    the Conster says:

    @askew:

    Again, though, that’s his image. His first attempt at answering a question about a foreign policy matter caused the interviewer, and I forget who it was, some villager type, to pick his jaw up off the floor. He came across just as the dumbass doofus he looks like.

  76. 76
    shell says:

    And they say the first GOP debate is gonna be in August? Wow, there should be enough candidates still hanging on to make that one crowded stage. Only time for one question apiece , please.

  77. 77
    gene108 says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Seriously, the USA survived the Adams, the Roosevelts

    That Adams’ were good people, from everything I’ve read about them, if not exceptional Presidents; they both contributed a lot to the founding and success of this country in other capacities.

    FDR is arguable the greatest President of all time.

    Teddy is probably in most people’s top 10 and did a lot to go against the entrenched interests of his day.

    Maybe dynasties are not as inherently bad as people suggest?

  78. 78
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I think Walker is hard to judge because he hasn’t had the national spotlight on him. He’s been a big fish in a little pond. He might turn out like Perry, who scared me until he opened his mouth.

    ETA: IOW, what Conster said.

  79. 79
    Brachiator says:

    @Tree With Water:

    And because there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Jeb and Hillary where the 2003 Iraq War is concerned,

    Why is this important to you. It’s not 2003. What do you expect Hillary to do about this? Repent?

    But feel free to slap Jeb around on this point.

  80. 80
    Belafon says:

    And they’ll pit that paragon against Hillary Clinton, that power-mad, has-been crone who couldn’t even keep her own husband away from the interns.

    Are you drunk? I really surprised you went there: “HIllary’s such a bad wife she couldn’t keep Bill out of other women’s clothes.”

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:
    No sensible person would make John Bolton an ambassador. As you may remember, it was not a sensible person who made him an ambassador.

  82. 82
    gene108 says:

    @askew:

    I think Scott Walker is the one we should worry about the most. He has the same appeal that W has. It’s completely mystifying to liberals but appeal to independent voters. He also has the benefit of being new to the national scene, doesn’t have the DC stink on him, has executive experience, and has successfully stood up to the “evil” unions. He creates the worst contrast with Hillary.

    I will add that being from the Upper Midwest, many people will automatically assume he has little in common with Southern-Bible-thumping-snake-handlin’-Republicans.

    I caught the same assumption about Chris Christie, even though he’s just as anti-abortion, anti-same-sex marriage, etc., as the Southern Bible thumpers.

  83. 83
    askew says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That’s what I thought until I saw Walker win 2 more elections in Wisconsin. He seems to appeal to independents and Dem men, which are two groups Hillary is going to have problems holding on to.

  84. 84
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Belafon: Jesus Christ. Are YOU drunk? I’m saying that is/has been/will be the media narrative, not that I think that.

  85. 85
    MomSense says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    I’m convinced he’s some sort of performance art piece

    Ha! I may not be the best judge of such things, however. I thought the same thing about Reagan. I may have only been a tween but I remember hearing people say all these glowing things about him and couldn’t believe they were talking about the same clown I was looking at.

  86. 86
    askew says:

    @gene108:

    That’s true and the upper midwest isn’t particularly friendly territory for Hillary. She got her ass handed to her in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa during the 2008 primary. As a Minnesotan, she comes off as angry and aggressive which we don’t like much up here in our politicians. We like our politicians bland on the state level.

    Walker is the best bet for keeping Minnesota blue though. Because we may not like Hillary much but we sure do hate Wisconsin more.

  87. 87
    Brachiator says:

    @gene108:

    I cannot imagine a man, who is a well educated executive – like say, Kristen Gillibrand’s husband – being able to take off a couple of years, should she run for President, and then do some focus on a special cause, if she wins, like Michelle has done with childhood obesity, and not take crap for being pussy whipped by his wife.

    And you also have people like Stephen Kinnock who was elected MP for Aberavon in the recent UK elections. Whenever he is asked if his wife works, he says, “Well, she is the Prime Minister of Denmark.”

    Even though he was a successful business executive and now an elected politician, he still is junior in this power relationship, but doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.

    @SatanicPanic:

    Seriously, the USA survived the Adams, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys and countless others.

    Everybody forgets the Harrisons.

    Benjamin Harrison (the 23rd president) was the grandson of William Henry Harrison (the 9th president).

    And apparently, James Madison (the 4th president) and Zachary Taylor (the 12th president) were second cousins.

  88. 88
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I didn’t see it but don’t you know not to show off your expensive watch when talking to the commoners about pitching them into a formless void on health insurance?

    After that he handed out his personal trainer’s business card and briskly exited the venue.

  89. 89
    Amir Khalid says:

    So which Republican candidate should you be worrying about? Until Hillary or some other Democrat wins the Presidency next November, all of them.

  90. 90
    gene108 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But, especially on the Right, Hillary has been portrayed as a power mad, Lady Macbeth type, character for 23 years now.

    I have had on-line conversations with right-wingers, who truly believe that even though, she may not have had Vince Foster murdered, she is totally capable of having her political enemies murdered to advance her hold on power.

    I think, as has been pointed out before, there’s not a lot of “getting to know” Hillary; she has been in the public spot light for over two decades.

    People who think she’s a power hungry bitch have thought that for decades.

  91. 91
    Yatsuno says:

    @gene108: And the Harrisons. Though one had the dignity to die in office 30 days in.

    Grandfather/grandson. I had never known that until someone pointed it out to me.

  92. 92
    Gravenstone says:

    @Kay: I honestly question whether it will be physically possible to plumb the depths of stupid in that man.

  93. 93
    SatanicPanic says:

    @askew:

    He seems to appeal to independents and Dem men

    Does he? Everything I read about his recall win was that he pursued the kind of narrow, bring-out-the-base strategy that Bush ran on. One that won’t fly in 2016.

    ETA- this was 2014, but check this out-

    “Exit polling also showed independents backing Walker by a 53-43 margin, Wegge said. Only 7 percent of Democrats voted for Walker, and only 4 percent of Republicans voted for Burke.”

  94. 94
    Yatsuno says:

    @Gravenstone: Not sure if stupid or tone deaf…

    But hey maybe Apple watches can be the new Obamaphones!

  95. 95
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Belafon: Betty can defend herself, but I don’t think she went there, so much as predicting (accurately) that Maureen Dowd, and all of Fox News will go there.

  96. 96
    Belafon says:

    @Betty Cracker: Sorry, not the way I read it. Complete misinterpretation of that part of the paragraph.

  97. 97
    jl says:

    Just heard news Bolton is not running. Hope it’s not true, he would really bring joy to my heart in first GOP debate.
    If true, then that is first political tragedy and bitter sorrow of this cycle.
    But, we can hope against hope.

  98. 98
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @jl: I can see a debate devolving into a fist fight if Bolton were to participate. He is a diplomat that only Monty Python could invent.

  99. 99
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    If the debate and meteor strike were in a Walmart parking lot, that’s a two-fer.

  100. 100
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    You miss the point a lot.

    I tremendously enjoy the satire in your writing, but I think you are dead wrong in your assessment of Bush.

    But as I noted before, this is all just a matter of opinion. None of this means squat unless Bush and Clinton actually win their party’s nomination and actually go head to head.

    Also, we have not yet even had any primaries, so no presidential aspirant has been tested. And please don’t waste my time referring to polls as definitively indicating anything.

    So, no, I am not missing any point. You are simply arguing your own opinion, not any facts. And both our opinions are early judgments.

  101. 101
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @trollhattan: If the entire GOP field were wiped out in such a catastrophic way, I can see one of the Koch brothers saying “Oh f***k it” rolling up his sleeves and entering the race himself. “Cheaper this way.”

  102. 102
    MomSense says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    He is a diplomat that only Monty Python could invent.

    Oh he could absolutely be an employee at the Argument Clinic.

  103. 103
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: You attributed an opinion to me that I don’t hold, but it’s not important. Wevs, as the kids say…

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @Gravenstone:

    Clinton can beat him. I’m confident she can beat Walker too. He’s ghoulish. He has dead eyes. So far he’s preaching to the choir but that won’t last.

    The Koch’s should have backed Kasich. I think taking Medicaid and his not pursuing union-busting after he got smacked by voters scared them off, but he’d be a better national candidate.

  105. 105
    raven says:

    So I’m waiting for my surgery and this little nun in civvies is going from hovel to hovel asking
    people if they would like for her to pray for them. This was outpatient surgery so no one was really in THAT bad of shape. I thought abut just going along but ended up just saying “no thank you” with a nice smile. She obviously had been there before and said “Ah, you’re ok, well god bless you anyway”!

  106. 106
    Elie says:

    @rikyrah:

    I hear THAT…

    I truly had no idea he would come across this lame, but as I said on another thread yesterday, I just can’t accept that he looks THIS bad without being suspicious of something else… some weird rope-a-dope? Dunno –but I want to hold off being too gleeful just yet…

  107. 107
    Elie says:

    @Kay:

    agree with you on your assessment of Kasich and Walker

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    @Patrick:

    So is he going to force everybody to buy an Apple watch then?

    The Apple Watch Mandate.

  109. 109
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: So will you be able to fish?

  110. 110
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Voldemort v. Malfoy. Difference: Malfoy is prettier.

    Is it time for a “Riddle/Malfoy 2016” bumper sticker?

  111. 111
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Kay: Kasich is Conservative Wingnut. The Kochs want an Orthodox Wingnut.

  112. 112
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    My youngest fell off his bike and broke his arm last week. It was a bad break so they had to put him out to straighten it up and the nurse was my next door neighbor. He likes her- she has two labs and she invites him over to play with them. It was so nice because he was really scared and then Mrs. Batt strolls in, just extremely casual and calm :)

  113. 113
    Hal says:

    @rikyrah: Fox News contributor and token black person Angela Mcglowan was just on Fox wondering why Michelle Obama doesn’t mention she “probably” got into Princeton because of affirmative action. That’s the kind of crap Fox New’s old white demo wants to hear. They need to believe Michelle Obama didn’t deserve Princeton even though she graduated magna cum laude.

  114. 114
    catclub says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    That suggests the Clinton name is not holding her back much if at all.

    The Clintons have been attacked for 20+ solid years, and are more popular now than when they started. The Clinton name is NOT a liability.

  115. 115
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Patrick:

    Will it cover pre-existing conditions?

    No, but it will cover that little melanoma on your left wrist.

  116. 116
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I can see a debate devolving into a fist fight if Bolton were to participate. He is a diplomat that only Monty Python could invent.

    @Germy Shoemangler: He’s the kind of guy you could send to a PTA meeting and have it end with a declaration of war that eventually annihilates the entire Western world.

  117. 117
    Elie says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    I agree… Michele aint gonna hold back much.. I get the suspicion that she will have a whole lot to say about a whole lot of people and things. I think she has been fiercely angry at different points but has swallowed it for the sake of not making things even worse for her husband. I also believe that she will be Machievellian enough to extract payback in many deliciously subtle ways where she won’t necessarily reveal herself as a source… I look forward to large volumes of popcorn

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    @gene108:

    Democratic primary voters and Caucus members bitch slapped Hillary for the Iraq war vote. Period.

    The Balloon Juice comments from the primary season are a fun and raucous running debate of voter sentiment. And they don’t show in any way that the Iraq war vote was the main reason for Hillary’s defeat. Nor is your assertion borne out by exit polls.

    And people forget that Hillary and Rudy G were the “inevitable” and dominant candidates before the primary season began. Nobody was saying that her Iraq war vote was going to hurt her chances.

    @Amir Khalid:

    Right now, she’s beating all the Republican candidates in the polls, and is way ahead of any likely Democrat. That suggests the Clinton name is not holding her back much if at all.

    Very true. See Hillary as inevitable before the 2008 campaign began. For that matter, see all the polls absolutely guaranteeing that the UK elections would end up in a hung parliament. We all want to be Nate Silvers now, and assume that we can tease out all the meanings of polls. This is a fool’s errand.

    And before he finally came out on top, who knew for sure that Obama was that once in a lifetime politician? People who want to insist that Hillary is inevitable again, should maintain a little room for uncertainty.

    @SatanicPanic:

    I don’t know, I think you’re overestimating how much people like Bush I- a one term and not very popular president who presided over a recession. “Would you like the country to return to the Bush years or the Clinton years” is going to be in Clinton’s favor no matter which Bush people think of… but it’ll likely be GWB they think of first.

    A good chunk of the 2016 electorate probably barely remember Clinton and are only dimly aware of Bush I at all.

    But very simply, I am saying that unless Jeb closely grabs onto Dubya’s policies, voters are not necessarily look at him and see his brother.

    Also, as I have mentioned before, fundamentalists love Jeb, and see him as a more authentic Christian than Romney. The money men will be comfortable with Jeb. This does not make him inevitable, but it may give him an edge over the other riders in the klown kar.

  119. 119
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Well, apparently he’s not running. But the sage of NY (George Pataki) is stroking his chin and considering it.

  120. 120
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Elie: I want her to write a book. She is the best FLOTUS in my opinion.

  121. 121
    Hal says:

    Why is Hillary Clinton losing in the primary against Obama a death knell for her upcoming campaign when plenty of candidates who have lost primary battles have come back on won the nomination and the presidency? It’s not like Clinton lost by a landslide either. She almost beat Obama.

  122. 122
    raven says:

    @Kay: Cool.

  123. 123
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    We’ve got two Hillary Clinton autographs. Back when Hillary was campaigning for her husband my wife went to see her and got her autograph. Last summer during the book tour my wife saw her again and got her book signed.

    My wife supported Obama over Hillary in 2008.

  124. 124
    raven says:

    @Betty Cracker: Well, we’ve paid for the house and we are going. Nancy Griffith says “no one ever knows the heart of someone else” but, if you were to guess? Two fingers are still really numb and they gave me a nice bottle of painkillers and they made it sound like reattaching the nerve was going to be painful but it ain’t bad right now. The real answer is that “everyone must believe in something, I believe I’ll go fishing”!

  125. 125
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @monkeyfister:

    Perhaps Cheney threatened to shoot him in the face or something,

    Then ¡Jeb! should just apologize profoundly and move along.

  126. 126
    trollhattan says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:
    Good point–eliminate the middleman. And since David already has his old VP platform, he only need dust it off and add, “And give us the Internet. All of it.” and they’re good to go.

  127. 127
    patrick II says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    She may have met Brownback. If that crazy right-wing “libertarian” could get re-elected, even in Kansas, it’s scarey everywhere.

  128. 128
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @trollhattan: Yeah, why is he messing around with middlemen? He should just step forward, grab a mic and say “I’m it, bitches.”

    A few months ago I cut and pasted that VP platform into one of the threads. Someone said (was it you?) that it sounded like the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.

  129. 129
    pluege says:

    you’re arguing in the wrong world; you need to be in the world of Plutocratopia to understand that what is so obvious to anyone living in the actual real world can never penetrate the mirror-lined inner sphere of Plutocratopia. In that special world, jebby is an inner-circle rock star because he comes from the right stock and its so obvious even the non-inhabit plebs and serfs will be overwhelmed by his magnificence.

  130. 130
    JasonF says:

    Say what you want about Jeb, but at least he can tell you who he thinks is the greatest living president.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/.....index.html

  131. 131
    trollhattan says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:
    No, but I certainly wish I’d said that. :-)

  132. 132
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: That’s as fine a belief system as there is on this benighted rock.

  133. 133
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I would have voted for HRC in the 2008 caucuses and done it happily until Obama came along. I was following politics only very casually, and first heard Obama on an episode of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

  134. 134
    gogol's wife says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    I first read about him as an intriguing new politician in the New York Times, and shortly after that we were in Oak Park, and there were huge “OBAMA” signs hanging out every window, so I thought, “Hmmm, maybe there’s something to this guy.” This was before his speech at the convention.

  135. 135
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I disagree with any contention that Jeb Bush is clearly the least-bad of the Republican candidates. On domestic policy I might be inclined to agree, but his foreign-policy team is the clearest disaster-waiting-to-happen of anyone out there.

  136. 136
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Domestic policy? Two words: Terri Schaivo. Life begins at conception, goes on hiatus at birth, resumes when the body is no longer able to communicate (yet still consuming oxygen and nutrients) and persists as long as the individual previously indicated in Advanced Directives the spouse agrees that the individual should be maintained the individual’s funds provide for SCOTUS determines is appropriate.

  137. 137
    johnnybuck says:

    As I recall, Jebbie’s old man pretty much stumbled out of the block too. I will say the “competence” label reminds me of Dukakis, which is pretty weird. Weird in the sense that Republicans seem to be a lot like Democrats were in 1988.

    And as far as I can tell Hillary has lost only to the 2 term incumbent, and he aint on the ballot. Anybody see an Obama in that weird collection of grifters and sociopaths?

  138. 138
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Two Bush preznits, two invasions of Iraq.

    Connect the dots.

  139. 139
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator: On May 14, 2007, Hillary Clinton was leading Barack Obama in the RCP poll average by 35% to 23%. HuffPo’s aggregate is similar.

    Today, Hillary Clinton is pulling 61% in HuffPo’s primary average, 64% in RCP’s. Her nearest competitors are non-contestant Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders down in the single digits (I actually suspect that is an underestimate caused by Sanders only announcing during the sampling period; some very recent polls have him in the teens, and I guess we’ll see if those are outliers).

    But the situation is not comparable to this point in the 2008 cycle. People remember Obama as coming out of nowhere, but he was a significant player by spring 2007, Edwards and others had major support as well, and it was clearly a real contest. Clinton’s period of ’08 inevitability was all the way back in 2005 or 2006, before anyone really knew who was probably running.

  140. 140
    dogwood says:

    Hillary Clinton’s road to the White House can be relatively smooth or pretty rocky depending on the decisions she makes. I got some push back a couple of weeks ago for suggesting she didn’t run the worst campaign in decades. She actually ran the best republican campaign in 08 by a country mile. And I’m not talking about ideology, but rather methodology. There’s a large segment of the Democratic Party that loves the Clintons because they beat the republicans at their own game. They can get pretty exited when Bill or Hillary give it to the republicans and are declared the winners of a cable news cycle. They don’t get too excercised about the number of field offices that were opened in Nevada during the same cycle. The Clintons are smart people, but I’m not sure how teachable they are. If they still believe that Barack Obama is the biggest fluke in the history of American politics, and that the Morning Joe crowd is more influential than Jorge Ramos in terms of the democratic coalition, then she will struggle more than necessary.

  141. 141
    Brachiator says:

    @Matt McIrvin: What boatboy_srq said. The Terri Schaivo case represented an incredible and despicable abuse of government authority, enshrined an irrational anti-science and anti-truth stance as a conservative principle, and helped accelerate a shameful polarization of the Internet which saw right wingers actively run to sites that regurgitated falsehoods and deliberately distorted prior testimony and rulings in the Shciavo case in order to support an absurd position that Schaivo was just sleeping and might regain full consciousness at any time.

    But politically, Bush’s stance gave him a huge amount of credibility with religious fundamentalists. They love him and trust him far more than they loved and trusted Mittens Romney. I don’t know how strong this halo effect might be in actual primaries and caucuses, but I do believe this gives him an advantage over other GOP contenders right now. And his Establishment WASP bona fides gives him credibility with Republican money men.

    But I also think that this is far more important to GOP voters than the mere fact that he is another Bush.

    Also, to be clear, this just gives him an advantage starting out, before the primary season has begun. It is pointless to try to extrapolate any of this beyond the primaries, and nothing more than fiction to make any hard predictions about a Bush v Clinton matchup.

    I do think that all of the stuff that gives Bush appeal to fundamentalists makes him repulsive to many Democrats. But if Bush does make it through the primaries, I don’t think that he would have to worry about losing hard core GOP support if he played up to moderates later on. This is why I don’t think that he would be easy pickings by the Democrats.

  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @dogwood:

    The Clintons are smart people, but I’m not sure how teachable they are. If they still believe that Barack Obama is the biggest fluke in the history of American politics, and that the Morning Joe crowd is more influential than Jorge Ramos in terms of the democratic coalition, then she will struggle more than necessary.

    Yes, yes, yes! Amen, brother.

    @Matt McIrvin:

    On May 14, 2007, Hillary Clinton was leading Barack Obama in the RCP poll average by 35% to 23%. HuffPo’s aggregate is similar. Today, Hillary Clinton is pulling 61% in HuffPo’s primary average, 64% in RCP’s.

    Lay people should not make a big deal about polls. Even professionals don’t always know how to read this political trend stuff.

    In all this stuff, Hillary is not running against an actual candidate, and actual voters have not made any actual decisions in primaries and caucuses responding to candidate positions. All of this stuff is interesting, but not definitive.

    And keep in mind that even on the basis of the latest polls, it was a dead certain lock that the UK elections would end up with a hung parliament. Except that’s not what happened.

    Just as, in the end, polls giving Hillary a lead over Obama didn’t mean squat. And people need to keep in mind this analysis of Hillary the Inevitable of 2008:

    Back when Sen. Hillary Clinton was just starting her campaign, top aides and advisers had a ready answer when asked if she could win the presidency.

    “She’s already winning,” came the response, as repeated by chief strategist Mark Penn, campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe and other top aides and advisers, in memos, press releases and interviews as the campaign began more than a year ago.

    It was a rejoinder that fit the “inevitable” candidate — and for a long while, the response fit the facts.

    Clinton, D-N.Y., occupied the race’s top perch virtually until the voting started, with a campaign that was designed to hover above the opposition and break through with dramatic early victories that would end the campaign cleanly and quickly.

    But her campaign, it would turn out, was based on a series of fundamental miscalculations — about the mood of the electorate, the threat posed by Sen. Barack Obama and even the basic rules of the Democratic primary process.

    In retrospect, the mistakes started with a faulty assumption: That inevitability itself could underpin the rationale for a presidential candidacy, even in the face of a deep Democratic desire for change and the wide enthusiasm that greeted a first-term senator from Illinois.

    When the veneer of invincibility slipped away, so did much of the campaign’s strategic foundations, leading to the staff infighting, public eruptions, financial woes and a string of devastating defeats that contributed to Obama’s clinching of the Democratic nomination on Tuesday.

    Hillary looks real good, right now. But things have barely even started.

  143. 143
    Calouste says:

    @Brachiator:

    And keep in mind that even on the basis of the latest polls, it was a dead certain lock that the UK elections would end up with a hung parliament. Except that’s not what happened.

    Yes, but the result came as such a surprise for the UK pollsters that the day after the election they decided to start an independent inquiry into why they all got it so wrong.

  144. 144
    dogwood says:

    @Brachiator:
    I agree with you. But I do sense that Hillary is actually more suited for the times today than she was in ’08. I don’t sense that this is going to be a big change election. The rap on Hillary 08 was that she was a bad manager. I think it’s more accurate to say she was a bad manager because she hired bad managers. Candidates really don’t run the day to day operations, nor should they. Barack Obama didn’t micromanage his campaigns; he hired top notch organizers and strategists. It’s my understanding she hired a terrific cm this time. But we must wait to see how much power he has to hire, fire and set a course. If he has simply been hired to manage all the loyalists from Billary world, then his presence is simply window dressing isn’t it?

  145. 145
    rk says:

    I voted for Obama because Obama is far superior to Hillary in debating, charisma and charm and he doesn’t talk BS like all politicians do. Hillary and her 3:00am phone call and sniper fire in Bosnia was republican level BS. She tried to appeal to blue collar white voters by playing the race card. Her advisors were idiots (Mark Penn). She couldn’t count her delegates. Having said that Mr Charismatic and smart went with morons like Larry Summers and Rahm Emanuel and had an extremely slow learning curve with the republicans. You don’t play nice with republicans. You punch them in the balls and stomp on their faces when they’re down (figuratively). Hillary is hard working competent and intelligent and is capable of handling the job of president. The republican field consists of people who are almost criminally insane. So I’ll vote Hillary and drag whoever I can to the polling booth with me.

  146. 146
    PaulW says:

    I dunno why you’re worried. Hillary is beating EVERY Republican Clown by double-digits.

    …right…?

  147. 147
    Panurge says:

    @MomSense:

    Well, you have to compare Reagan to the four Presidents before him. He comes across like Mr. Sunny Day in comparison to them (even Carter, who had that big smile, but not so much else charisma-wise). Those who’ve only grown up with Clinton, W., and Obama–and that’s a lot of people by now–might not see it.

  148. 148
    contract3d says:

    Dude, quibble here.

    Speaking as a long-time computer geek (okay, really long time) I can assure you that the home of the Cray is Seattle.

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