It All Makes Sense Now

I’ve been honestly puzzled about Lil’ Marco’s failure to catch fire as a credible GOP establishment alternative to Trump. Sure, Rubio is a dim bulb, but he can string together a coherent sentence and isn’t completely hideous. He’s able to mouth extremist talking points in a calm, reassuring voice.

Thus far, Rubio has made a respectable showing in the debates. He is generous with feel-good anecdotes about the greatness of America, which allowed his bartender / hotel-maid parents to spawn a full-time political grifter.

On paper, Rubio looks great. He checks off all the wingnut requirements on the policy side and seemingly addresses the imperative to stop pissing off the fastest-growing bloc of voters, Hispanics, without being too threateningly not-white. So why the failure to launch? Thanks to Vanity Fair, I get it now. Behold:

rubio boots

Nope. That precious footwear won’t do at all, and the cobalt Ralph Lauren pullover does him no favors either.

Look, I don’t care what a candidate wears. If Bernie Sanders wants to raise awareness about income inequality in a tie-dyed caftan and Birkenstocks, if Hillary Clinton trades in her trademark pantsuits for a bumblebee costume paired with vintage go-go boots — I’ll still vote for our nominee over any of the GOP clowns, even if that clown comes packaged in an impeccable Savile Row suit.

But these things matter to GOP voters, who gravitate toward camo and cowboy togs. Ted Cruz’s communications director understands this, which is why he linked the photo above and tweeted “A Vote for Marco Rubio Is a Vote for Men’s High-Heeled Booties.”

Ouch. If Rubio wants to win this thing, he needs to stop allowing his wife to dress him and seek the sartorial advice of the Duck Dynasty people — stat.






138 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    As least he isn’t wearing a white blazer with the sleeves rolled up.

    Yet.

  2. 2
    Botsplainer says:

    Shit, those are probably $300 shoes. Even a cheap fuck like me recognizes quality. Trump can get away with it because he’s such a boor that he makes up for it in a way that resonates with the heartland (they want their New Yorkers aggressive and stupid, just like Archie Bunker). Because the rest of them are quieter, they can’t get away with it.

    Rubio might gain traction if he does s 48 hour binge of Scarface and adopts every mannerism of Tony Montana, all in service of right wing issues. Wide wing collars, gold chains, polyester sansabelts, nasal residue. Give America that touchstone cultural reference…

  3. 3
    ant says:

    I think the shoes look great.

  4. 4
    Phylllis says:

    Hell I don’t wear heels that high.

  5. 5
    greengoblin says:

    I have been looking for a pair just like them.

  6. 6
    Botsplainer says:

    @ant:

    Gotta agree. The lift is too much for me, but on a short little shit, they work.

  7. 7
    Germy says:

    Lately I’ve seen more and more photos of Ted Cruz in his prole/workingman costume. He wants to look like the guy in the “Four Freedoms” Norman Rockwell painting; the freedom of speech guy.

    No hint in Cruz’s costume of a guy who refused to study with kids from the “lesser” ivies.

  8. 8
    Germy says:

    Rubio wears Beatle boots? They look expensive. Is that what he maxed his GOP credit card out on?

    I can still imagine a scenario where the establishment gets behind him and pushes him to the top for the nomination. Because he’ll do and say whatever they tell him to.

  9. 9
    NonyNony says:

    I think that this is close, but misses the mark. Rubio’s lack of takeoff isn’t because he doesn’t wear jeans and a cowboy hat. Rubio’s lack of takeoff is because he can’t convince the voters that he’s the kind of politician who could wear jeans and a cowboy hat. It isn’t about the clothes, it’s about the personality he’s expressing to the public.

    If he actually went around dressed in jeans and a cowboy hat it wouldn’t matter. He would look like a little kid playing dress up, or Marty McFly in his cowboy outfit in Back to the Future III. But definitely not like Ronald Reagan. And he would still be expressing the personality of Marco Rubio – who on top of his general wet blanket attitude also gives off the vibe that while me might be a guy you’d be willing to loan $5, you wouldn’t expect him to pay it back.

  10. 10
    Ex Libris says:

    Hold the phone – are you suggesting that the kind of people the wingnuts are appealing to make irrational judgments based on superficial qualities rather than reasoned analysis? that they might choose someone to run the executive branch in all its complexity on whether or not he seems like an amiable fellow one might want to have a beer with rather than an intellectually-rooted, experienced, prudent administrator? that they might prefer bellicose posturing to sound policy-making? Unpossible.

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    I’ve been honestly puzzled about Lil’ Marco’s failure to catch fire as a credible GOP establishment alternative to Trump. Sure, Rubio is a dim bulb, but he can string together a coherent sentence and isn’t completely hideous. He’s able to mouth extremist talking points in a calm, reassuring voice.

    That’s your problem right there. They don’t want calm and reassuring, they want wide-eyed and incoherent.

  12. 12
    Face says:

    but he can string together a coherent sentence

    Only under the strong influence of dihydrogen oxide, however. Take away this crutch, and he’s as articulate as a platypus.

  13. 13
    omgwtfbbq says:

    Cruz is just jelly. Those heels make Rubio’s ass look faboo.

  14. 14
    Germy says:

    @Chris: But if they want wide-eyed and incoherent, he’ll do that, too, after some coaching.

    I really feel like he’s the chameleon the GOP establishment wants and needs.

  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Germy: Cruz — or possibly someone on his staff — really seems to get the cultural markers that are so important to the wingnut base. It’s not just the clothes; it’s the language, ads and everything else. Maybe they know they have to maximize base appeal since the candidate is universally despised by everyone who works with him in Washington — another win in the base’s eyes!

  16. 16
    Pogonip says:

    Red Wing work boots cost $269-&369.

  17. 17
    NonyNony says:

    @Ex Libris: To be fair, I think it’s human nature for most people to make snap superficial judgments. There are a lot of Dem voters who in 2004 didn’t want to vote for Kerry because of his air of wealth, or didn’t want to vote for Edwards because his personality “seemed sleazy”, or didn’t want to vote for Kucinich because he seemed nuts.

    (To be fair to the Edwards haters – they were right.)

  18. 18
    Woodrowfan says:

    I thought only the Flagg Brothers had them with a Cuban heel???

  19. 19
    TFinSF says:

    Every time he opens his yap he sounds like he is going to start crying unless someone gives his toy back. I think that’s his main packaging problem. (Being a dipshit is his main real problem.)

  20. 20
    Tone In DC says:

    I laugh at most anything about wingers. Like almost everyone here.
    And, I admit, boots like that are not my thing. But I can get a better guffaw from his terrible debate/talking points and his inability to manage money than the jape that his wife dresses him.

    Just sayin’.

  21. 21
    Mark B says:

    Are those cowboy boots? If so, the heel is traditional, although stupid for street shoes. The original purpose was to dig in while roping livestock. For dress boots, it’s as useful as the 24″ knobby tires on a Hummer.

  22. 22
    Botsplainer says:

    @NonyNony:

    Also, to be fair, Kucinich IS nuts.

  23. 23
    mere mortal says:

    Are you suggesting Rubio discard his current wardrobe in favor of something else in order to increase his electoral chances? Perhaps earth tones?

    Bob Somerby is rolling over in his grave.

  24. 24
    Randy P says:

    @NonyNony: I dunno, W actually was a little kid playing dress up, with play ranch, cowboy outfit and truck. And the repub voters liked that just fine.

  25. 25
    Botsplainer says:

    @Mark B:

    He’s a short little shit – those are specifically for lift.

  26. 26
    Botsplainer says:

    @mere mortal:

    I want him to go the full Tony Montana is service of RWNJ talking points. Give Trump a run for his money for the GOP soul.

  27. 27
    benw says:

    @BGinCHI:

    His name is Rubio and he dances on the sand…
    Just like that grifter twisting through a sucker land!

  28. 28
    Germy says:

    I don’t know. I can laugh at his appearance. I can laugh at his personality.

    But then I’m reminded of how I laughed at Reagan in the 70s and George W in the ’90s.

    For all I know, we’ll all be here complaining about President Rubio next year.

    I’ve learned the hard way not to overestimate the electorate.

  29. 29

    If he needs the lift he should go full seventies drag. Platform shoes with goldfish.

  30. 30
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    The boots in fact do appear to be high quality, and they’re stylish. But while they’re too stylish in a metrosexual way for the GOP base, they’re also incongruously too stylish for Rubio himself. He is too much of doofus to wear any kind of clothing that has much design style – especially a quality item of it – without looking like he’s trying ridiculously hard. To me, he looks like a natural for the high end of car salesman wear.

  31. 31
    bystander says:

    Cuban heels on a Cuban heel. I get it.

    Meanwhile, Trump is trying to scare people away from Cruz as Constitutionally disqualified for having been born in Canada. Of course, that theory is as wrong as it was when Trump kept insisting that Obama was not born in Hawaii while skipping over the fact that his mother was an American no matter where she gave birth.

    But I still haven’t heard anyone suggest that Cruz’s failure to renounce his dual citizenship until a few years ago is evidence of divided loyalties, arguably the reason the Framers stipulated the POTUS had to be a naturally born American. That to me is really what disqualifies him. Now, that I’d like to see argued at court if Cruz should somehow become the nominee.

  32. 32
    NonyNony says:

    @Randy P:

    I dunno, W actually was a little kid playing dress up, with play ranch, cowboy outfit and truck. And the repub voters liked that just fine.

    No that’s not what I’m saying. We aren’t in the target audience, but you have to understand that W remains a fairly charismatic figure among conservatives. They like him, and still consider him a likable and “honorable” man who was just out of his depth – unlike his backstabbing father or his slimy brother Jeb. He could pull off the faux rancher look because he cultivated a personality of being “just a guy” – he reminded a lot of conservatives of a wayward uncle or older brother who cleaned up his life and got on the straight and narrow after he found Jesus and they continue to attach those feelings to him.

    Also too – Rubio has the image of a middle-class guy who is trying to live above his station, W cultivated an image of a well-off man trying to “get back to his roots”. The way class resentment works in this country that means that Rubio is the one that they’re going to hate while W is the one that they’re going to laud and be the guy that they’d “like to have a beer with”. Because we truly are a messed up country.

  33. 33
    GregB says:

    If his political ads are anything to gauge him by, he’s suffering severe Napolean complex and will be using the US military to buttress his tiny shortcomings.

    The guy is a warmonger.

  34. 34
    Germy says:

    Being Less Crazy Than Donald Trump Does Not Make Marco Rubio ‘Moderate’

    Marco Rubio built his presidential campaign upon a strategy that has succeeded many times in the past, and (if betting markets are correct) stands a strong chance of succeeding again. He is running a campaign that is more or less optimized for the general election rather than the primary — a tactic that holds him back from viscerally channeling conservative anger, but which, by maximizing his electability, makes his nomination more attractive to party elites.

  35. 35
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Ex Libris: Yes, and they select their Presidents based on who they want to have beer with. Go figure.

  36. 36
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I disagree about the Rubio being a dim bulb. He’s phenomenally quick on his feet and has his material down. I’d wager no Republican has ever worked harder to be President, except for perhaps Nixon.

  37. 37
    Germy says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Yes, and they select their Presidents based on who they want to have beer with. Go figure.

    I always found it odd that they framed George W. that way. “He’s the one I’d like to have a beer with!” Did they know about his drinking problem, that he’d have to sip a coke while they drank their beer, because he didn’t trust himself around alcohol?

  38. 38
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I’m guessing he dresses himself which is even more damning. I think the base would get it if his wife picked those clothes out for him, but if he’s dressing like a East Coast librul fashionista on his own, well, that’s pretty disqualifying for the base, because, it’s a little too close to being gay.

    Ted Cruz, the down home Princeton grad? These rubes will buy anything.

  39. 39
    Botsplainer says:

    @NonyNony:

    My suspicion is that W is probably pretty warm and personable to close friends. His primary flaw is that he’s genuinely stupid, and was lifted far above his status by family money and his father’s political connections. A guy like that is easy to lead, and he was definitely led – hard – by the same people who ran a mostly senile Reagan during that regency (or is there another term for a ministerial-led government when the King is disabled?)

  40. 40
    NonyNony says:

    @Botsplainer:

    His primary flaw is that he’s genuinely stupid, and was lifted far above his status by family money and his father’s political connections.

    I think this even goes too far. He seems to be pretty average in intelligence. You can be pessimistic about the intelligence of the median American, but W seems more to me to be aggressively average in that department rather than an outlier at the stupid end.

    This of course leads to all of the problems you indicate. Because if you’re just average but everyone around you is well above average, you might as well be outright stupid for all the good its going to do you.

  41. 41
    Mike in NC says:

    L’il Marco’s first policy move as Preznit would be to reverse normalizing relations with Cuba, in order to please a handful of wealthy rightwing octogenarians in Miami. Electing this callow moron would be a yoooouge embarrassment.

  42. 42

    Others know more about this than I do, but it seems late in the cycle for a candidate to be still waiting to take off.

    26 days to caucus

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Has Ted Cruz ever had a real job? He’s a product of Princeton and Harvard. He’s a debate champion. He’s a dork’s dork. He’s roughly as manly as Bobby Jindal. Anyone who falls for the jus’ folksiness of Ted Cruz must WANT to be fooled.

  44. 44

    I would totally wear those shoes if they came in women’s sizes. I would pair them with skinny jeans and a cute tunic top.

  45. 45
    Elizabelle says:

    @bystander:

    Cuban heels on a Cuban heel. I get it.

    Well done.

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): And Bella Q beat me to “alleged metrosexual.”

  46. 46
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I don’t see Rubio holding back on expressing anger and vitriol. I think he says all the same things the other candidates say. The difference is the “anger” candidates have physically unpleasant demeanors and this magnifies their unpleasant rhetoric.

    Rubio has three issues wrt to surfing the rightwing anger wave. One, he’s too cute, like a little muppet, and this works against anything negative he says. Two, he’s way, way over-rehearsed and so attacks seem less grounded in real outrage and more like rhetorical flourishes. (For the record, I think Christie is exactly the same but for some reason, he gets away with it. My guess is because he has a long history of being a total douchebag.) Third, Rubio is so studied up to run for President, he knows no one gets the job without articulating a positive vision and so, unlike a Trump or Huckabee who just sit and wait their turn to say something nasty, Rubio is always trying to tack back to selling the vision.

  47. 47
    dogwood says:

    @Germy:
    The photo op is part of politics. For presidents those photos are part of the narrative of who they are. Partisans on both sides reflexively think their political enemies are always phonies. That kind of partisanship is tedious and juvenile. A picture of Reagan on a horse might be staged, but Reagan as a horseman is authentic. Reagan working out in the gym would have been phony. George W was not sedentary. Biking and clearing brush were things he actually did. What’s ridiculous is when physical activity that is viewed as “elite” has to remain out of the photo narrative. HW was very athletic, but he got mocked for being a tennis player. The entire Obama family plays tennis, but pictures of that are pretty nonexistent. And we all know what happens if you are a wind surfer.

  48. 48
    gene108 says:

    @Randy P:

    I dunno, W actually was a little kid playing dress up, with play ranch, cowboy outfit and truck. And the repub voters liked that just fine.

    I no longer mock George W. Bush for his ability to play dress up. The guy wore $2000 suits with $500+ cowboy boots and right-wingers decided he was just an “aw shucks” regular guy.

    Looking at how badly his brother’s floundering, it truly must have taken a lot of self discipline for Bush, Jr. to get into and maintain character as a good old Texas rancher for so many months and so many public appearances.

  49. 49
    Poopyman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Well, that pic up top shows what could be skinny jeans. And who knows what’s on under that pullover?

  50. 50

    @Poopyman: Indeed. I think those shoes would look good with a pair of tights and a skirt as well. However, that would be too cold for Iowa and NH at this time of the year. Versatile shoes are versatile.

  51. 51
    Amir Khalid says:

    @GregB:
    Napoleon Bonaparte was five foot seven, a bit taller than the average Frenchman of his time. It’s not too likely that he had a hangup about being short. As for Marco Rubio’s footwear choice, them Beatle boots look dated as well as inconsistent with the rest of his staid wardrobe. If he feels the need for a little extra height, there are good, conservatively styled dress shoes on the market with a concealed lift in them.

    Alternatively, he might start getting his suits here and learning to fake a Scouse accent.

  52. 52
    piratedan7 says:

    to be fair, I could give a shit how he dresses, it’s the bullshit that happens to escape his lips that concerns me.

  53. 53
    Ruviana says:

    Someone here said they’re voting for a Mars bar if that’s the dem nominee but I’d vote so so enthusiastically for Hillary if she dressed up in a bumblebee costume with go go boots!

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @bystander:

    Trump’s Obama birtherism was grosser than his Cruz birtherism because he was insisting Obama was lying. He insisted Obama produce a document to prove his parentage. This ridiculous requirement they set up had never before existed. That’s not even counting that they spend several years questioning the validity of a document that is accepted without question thousands of times a day all over the country.

    Birtherism was about making Obama less-than. Saying his own words weren’t good enough and he’d have to affirmatively DISPROVE an accusation. That’s why it was flat out racism. That belief that black people can’t speak on their own behalf without someone validating their story has a long, sad history.

    One more reason Trump is not an entertaining showman, but instead is a slimy creep.

    The re-emergence of a discussion over President Obama’s religion and birthplace as part of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign might give some people a sense of deja vu.
    The reality TV star and businessman has spoken extensively about his questions over whether Barak Obama was actually born in Hawaii like he (and the state of Hawaii) says he was.
    In 2011, when he was vocally mulling over a possible presidential run, Trump launched a public pursuit of Obama’s birth certificate, announcing that he has sent private investigators to Hawaii to see what they could find.
    The president then released the long-form version of his birth certificate in response to the uproar that Trump had caused. After its release, Trump said that he was “proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something nobody has been able to accomplish.”

  55. 55
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I disagree about the Rubio being a dim bulb. He’s phenomenally quick on his feet and has his material down.

    I don’t think he has any command of detail, but he is very comfortable on stage and can string together a coherent sentence or two without actually saying anything. If you don’t know anything about policy, or don’t really care and think personality counts for more than substance, which covers most media types and a solid chunk of voters, he seems like a plausible president. Which is why he’s been so successful as a straddler– he supported immigration reform, but now he doesn’t because reasons, and not amnesty; he’s going to send US troops to crush ISIS, but only when he’s persuaded regional allies to do it first; he’s against marriage equality, but really he wants to send it back to the states, etc.

  56. 56
    gene108 says:

    @bystander:

    Of course, that theory is as wrong as it was when Trump kept insisting that Obama was not born in Hawaii while skipping over the fact that his mother was an American no matter where she gave birth.

    Laws for children born overseas to American parents was different,when Obama was born. Even though Stanley Ann is American, if he was born outside the USA he would not have been eligible to be President based on the laws in 1961.

    Sometime in the intervening 10 or so years between Obama’s birth and Cruz’s birth the laws changed clearing the way for President “Calgary” Ted Cruz.

  57. 57
    Punchy says:

    Just wait until Dora hears all these negative comments about Boots. She’ll be itchin’ to cross the border with all the bankers and Morocci in order to slap Cruz in the maw. Perhaps with a fox in a swiped hooptie.

  58. 58
    benw says:

    @gene108: W’s looking better (as a candidate) all the time. It turns out he was kind of amazing in that he could combine the East Coast aristo/business, down-home good ol’ boy, and reborn evangelical wings of the Republican party all in a single person and get a pretty big chunk of the electorate to buy it, at least enough to get close enough to steal 2000. I mean, in 2000, I thought he seemed like a know-nothing, spoiled, beady-eyed jerk, but my betters informed me that I drank lattes and drove a Saab so STFU.

  59. 59
    GOVCHRIS1988 says:

    Someone on Rubio’s campaign should have directed him here for his shoes. Because seriously, who born after 1970 wears flamenco boots just for walking?

    http://www.myliftkits.com/

  60. 60

    @Kay: The raw sewage that comes out of Trump’s mouth is not entertaining at all.

  61. 61
    dogwood says:

    @Randy P:
    You do know that W was born in west Texas and went to school there through junior high. I’m pretty sure he had ridden in pick ups plenty before he went off to boarding school. If you live in an area where pick up trucks are ubiquitous, you’ll know that rich boys, middle class boys and poor boys all want pick ups.

  62. 62
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @dogwood:

    And we all know what happens if you are a wind surfer.

    Which, ironically enough, requires significantly more fitness than brush clearing, biking, riding horses, and playing rec – or even club – level tennis. It just looks like something only sissies do.

  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I don’t want birtherism cleaned up or turned into “both sides do it”

    Every other President said where he was born and no one hired a private investigator. The cherry on top was all of a sudden birth certificates were suspect- the same document everyone else uses for everything from passports to court proceedings was now questionable. Repulsive behavior.

  64. 64
    MattF says:

    Yeah, Rubio looks kinda phony– and I wouldn’t discount that as unimportant. Actual positions on actual issues do matter, but you also need a sense of how someone would approach new, unanticipated issues. And Rubio is the one who would be flummoxed at the notion of deciding something on its merits. Not a good place to be for any candidate, R or D.

  65. 65
    bemused says:

    @Germy:

    Nope, a lumbersexual in a leather jacket look is just not going to catch on.

  66. 66
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Face:

    Dihydrogen oxide.
    LOL! You’re mean. :-)

  67. 67
    Goblue72 says:

    They’re Florsheim’s and go for a little over $100.

  68. 68
    daveNYC says:

    Problem for Rubio is that now people are going to look at that photo and think he’s short, and short is no good in politics. Huzzah for shallow people.

    And while Rubio can put together a coherent sentence, I’ve seen enough of his ads that I can also say that they are very awkward sentences. There’s no flow, they’re clunky, a bit on the run-on side, and earlier elements of the sentences are repeated at the end (I assume for emphasis). They sound like they were generated by a dubious AI attempting to sound like a precocious eight year old.

  69. 69
    J. says:

    @greengoblin: Are you looking in Women’s booties? ;-) (I just bought a pair just like Marco’s from Cole Haan on sale.)

  70. 70
    NobodySpecial says:

    Tiny steps, almost real
    Tiny fingers you almost feel
    Make her walk or make her kneel
    Oh, she’s almost human beneath that Cuban heel

  71. 71
    catclub says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:

    Ted Cruz, the down home Princeton grad? These rubes will buy anything.

    Whose wife is a Goldman Sachs banker – increases his cred with the big money boys.

  72. 72
    dogwood says:

    @benw:
    I think W could combine all those characteristics because he was a product of all those things. I think Texas really is home to him. And you can’t spend a good part of your growing up years in a place like Midland without coming in contact with evangelicals , rednecks etc. George W was a drunk, but I don’t believe he did all his drinking at the country club.

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    Also, Betty, this whole post made me laugh

    I have the same boots!

  74. 74
    Anne Laurie says:

  75. 75
    Felonius Monk says:

    Maybe this could be Rubio’s theme song.

  76. 76
    Tommy says:

    @J.: Well I am short, I stand tall at 5’4 and short is not good in the grand scheme of things. I also have this thing for shoes as a dude. I know it is a stereotype that women like shoes or purses. I myself like shoes. I got NO idea what Rubio is wearing in that pic.

  77. 77
    Elie says:

    Rubio is very short. If he does not wear heels he will be towered over by male opponents and may be same height as Hillary

  78. 78

    Still beats Romney’s dad jeans. But that’s a low bar. In another election year he would be viable. But He, Trump is so expansive he leaves little room for anyone else.
    We’ll see about Cruz in the long term.

  79. 79
    do says:

    Before anyone jumps on me. I do know that W was born in Connecticutt. I meant to say raised rather than born.

  80. 80

    @Anne Laurie: May be Cruz is just jealous, he is ugly inside and out, unlike Rubio who has a prettier exterior.

  81. 81
    NonyNony says:

    @benw:

    W’s looking better (as a candidate) all the time.

    I will continue to insist that liberals severely underestimated W’s abilities as a political candidate. The man was really, really good at campaigning. If you were at all sympathetic to the message he offered – which remember involved “compassionate conservatism” and a level of outreach to pull non-white voters back to the GOP – then he seemed like a regular guy running for office. I would regularly hear Republicans contrast him with his father and complain that the elder Bush was a slimy politician but somehow he’d raised an honorable, religious son anyway. W had them eating out of his hands.

    If he had somehow managed to push the economic dump of 2008 into 2009, he’d still be regarded as the second best President in their eyes – right after Reagan. Some of them feel that way anyway, despite everything that happened.

  82. 82
    catclub says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Has Ted Cruz ever had a real job?

    How real do you consider supreme court clerk? He clerked a year for Rehnquist.

  83. 83
    Heliopause says:

    From my perspective Rubio is phony. I understand they’re all phony to some extent, but some of them are phony in a way voters enjoy and some aren’t. Rubio is just plain phony.

  84. 84
    gene108 says:

    @benw:

    I mean, in 2000, I thought he seemed like a know-nothing, spoiled, beady-eyed jerk

    Back in 2000, I was surprised people like him. The guy could barely string together a coherent sentence. I came off like an imbecile because of this, but there’s no accounting for some people’s taste I guess.

  85. 85
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mark B:

    Are those cowboy boots? If so, the heel is traditional, although stupid for street shoes. The original purpose was to dig in while roping livestock.

    Yep, pointy toes & high heels work great when you’re in a saddle with stirrups. But they’re terrible for walking — why John Wayne minced. They are, however, about the only way a short guy (like ferinstance Dubya) can add a couple crucial extra inches.

    For someone who’s supposed to be straight, Ted Cruz spends an inordinate amount of time criticizing other guys’ fashion choices (not to mention fussing over his own ‘presentation’ but that’s arguably just because he’s vain).

  86. 86
    Tommy says:

    @catclub: That is a good question. I am a upper middle-class guy now, but at times in my life I worked jobs that were not fun. I worked minimum wage jobs where I really needed that paycheck. Happy I don’t do that now, but now when I read or hear about a person working those jobs it isn’t foreign to me. You know maybe if Cruz worked one of those jobs he’d understand the world a little differently.

  87. 87
    gene108 says:

    @NonyNony:

    If he had somehow managed to push the economic dump of 2008 into 2009, he’d still be regarded as the second best President in their eyes – right after Reagan. Some of them feel that way anyway, despite everything that happened.

    I know a bunch of right-wingers, in the spring of 2003, who declared Bush, Jr. THE GREATEST PRESIDENT AMERICA HAS EVER HAD.

    And yes, they were very shout-y about it.

    He really connected with right wingers.

    Too bad he was a liberal sell out at the end of the day. If he had governed as a “True Conservative” the financial crisis would never have happened.

  88. 88
    Tommy says:

    @Anne Laurie: Long ago I realized I won’t be tall. That I would buy shoes that make me taller is something I can’t put words to. I would never vote for the man, but if he is trying to do this, make himself taller via shoes, well I dislike him even more.

  89. 89
    Tripod says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Not if they are doing flips off of waves on the North Shore. He looked just as inauthentic when they plopped him on a new Harley dresser.

  90. 90
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Kay:

    Every other President said where he was born and no one hired a private investigator.

    Well, his opponents spread rumors that Calvin Coolidge was actually born in Canada, across the border from Vermont (but his old man lied about it, so he’d be eligible for the presidency). And I have a vague recollection that Grover Cleveland was supposed to have fudged his birthplace, too. But that was back when nasty rumors couldn’t get media traction if you were the right sort of candidate (not to mention, there were so many worse rumors about both of them.. )

  91. 91
    Germy says:

    On social issues, Rubio has endorsed a complete ban on abortions, even in cases of rape and incest (a stance locating Rubio to the right of George W. Bush). He has promised to reverse executive orders protecting LGBT citizens from discrimination and to appoint justices who would reverse same-sex marriage. The centerpiece of Rubio’s domestic policy is a massive tax cut — more than three times the size of the Bush tax cut, and nearly half of which would go to the highest-earning 5 percent of taxpayers. By reducing federal revenue by more than a quarter, Rubio’s plan would dominate all facets of his domestic program, which is otherwise a mix of conventional Republican proposals to eliminate Obamacare, jack up defense spending, and protect retirement benefits for everybody 55 and up.

  92. 92
    Keith G says:

    I am still trying to find anything about Ted Cruz as a human being and fellow Texan that I can have a positive thought about.

    I am impressed by his media shop and it’s most recent choices. For the most part, it’s a sharp elbow philosophy with just enough playfulness not to be considered awful. One can slise a mean message a ling way if a grin is involved.

    Now, Cruz’s use of “Obama as Waffe” image for fund raising yesterday is pure awful.

  93. 93
    Anne Laurie says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    May be Cruz is just jealous, he is ugly inside and out

    Yeah, apart from vanity (and he’s obviously very, very vain) I get the feeling Cruz is fixated on “presentation” because he knows his personality wins him zero points. He talks all the time about how he dressed up even as a middle schooler, and his college roommate recalled (with loathing) him strutting around the women’s dorm wing in a fancy bathrobe he thought was a stylish dressing gown.

    There’s also the evangelical-preacher angle; as ‘God’s representatives on earth’ they all seem to be at least mildly fixated on dressing ‘fancy’. He’s doing better courting the media than I expected, but I still get the impression Cruz is running less to be president than to be God-King of an imaginary ‘Christian’ America.

  94. 94
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t want birtherism cleaned up or turned into “both sides do it”

    Besides which, there genuinely isn’t a case here. It’s extremely unlikely that you can even get Cruz to fall through the obscure residency loophole that might have threatened Obama’s eligibility if he really had been born in Kenya. (I’ve seen liberals praising Alan Grayson for attacking Cruz in this way, but Grayson seems just ignorant of the law and history.)

  95. 95
  96. 96
    kc says:

    Those boots would look good. ON A CHICK.

  97. 97
    catclub says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Besides which, there genuinely isn’t a case here.

    1. So what?

    2. A lot of talk that Cruz was a Canadian citizen for his first 40 years or so would take him down among the people likely to vote for him. “He is a Harvard educated lawyer and he forgot to renounce his Canadian citizenship?” Anyone who is vetted for a security clearance knows that dual citizenship is a big red flag.

    What is the downside to bringing this up? (After Cruz gets the nom.)

  98. 98
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Anne Laurie: wasn’t Jebbie’s great (x7) Uncle Franklin rumored to be born in Canada, too?

  99. 99
    catclub says:

    @Keith G:

    I am still trying to find anything about Ted Cruz as a human being and fellow Texan that I can have a positive thought about.

    He tried to help his drug addicted sister.

  100. 100
    Goblue72 says:

    @catclub: That’s a law nerd internship. Or more kindly, a post-grad fellowship. Whatever real work is in the real world, that ain’t it.

  101. 101
    phoebes-in-highlandpark says:

    @Germy: ala the famous Onion article about having a beer with Bush. Enjoy.
    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....ter-r-1836

  102. 102
    dogwood says:

    @NonyNony:
    W was a good candidate in many ways. He’s comfortable around a wide variety of people and despite conventional democratic wisdom he’s pretty authentic. He wasn’t “playing dress up”. Authenticity is an untanginable asset. In the 2000 presidential debates Al Gore won on substance and merit. Where he screwed himself was by appearing at each debate with a different persona I put a lot of the blame on Bob Schrum, but Gore went along with it. Being yourself isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. There’s a great story about JFK campaigning in WV and a coal miner asks him if it’s true that he had never done a day of hard labor. Kennedy tells the miner its indeed true. The miner replies “Well, you haven’t missed a damn thing.”

  103. 103
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: No, having no solution that is palatable to your base is not the same thing as no details. No details would be anything Trump says or even going back to Romney where his economic stimulus plan was the vague promise, “elect me and things will get better”.

    ETA: Rubio’s immigration plan was detailed. He said, let ’em work here all they want but no citizenship. See me in ten years.

  104. 104
    dogwood says:

    @catclub:
    After years of living with shit from republicans about the president’s birth, the idea than any democrat would want to go there with Cruz or any other republican makes my blood boil. Maybe the media is right. Both sides do it.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mere mortal:

    Republicans LOVE people who play dress-up. See the morons who took over the bird sanctuary in Oregon for a current example.

  106. 106
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: now you’re just trolling. It’s documented that he is half assing it out there, doing two events a day to the others’ five to six.

  107. 107
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @catclub:

    What is the downside to bringing this up? (After Cruz gets the nom.)

    The purity of one’s blood becomes an ever-greater issue in American politics. Political candidates start having to supply pedigrees. This isn’t a good place for anyone to go.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dogwood:

    At least there’s actual documentation and proof that Cruz was born on foreign soil. I’m in the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” camp. I want to see conservatives explain why it’s okay for Cruz to be born in Canada but not okay for Obama to be born in Hawaii.

  109. 109
    Prescott Cactus says:

    On the left side photo you can see a white towel on the stairway into the bus. Full photo shows he has these on 3 steps. They look like bath mats he lifted from a hotel and that ceremonial red carpet not available. Very anal me thinks, trying to keep his bus from getting salt & snow out of a vehicle in NH in January.

  110. 110
    goblue72 says:

    @Kay: Hey, they’re the ones who froth at the mouth over “illegals” – I got no problem shoving it down their throats until they choke on their own hypocrisy.

    Ted Cruz is borne to an American mother and a foreign father. (Sound familiar?) His father came here to attend college in the U.S. (Sound familiar?) Except unlike Obama, Cruz was borne in Canada. (His father became a naturalized Canadian citizen after his U.S. student visa expired – his father didn’t get U.S. citizenship until the mid-2000s, after his son’s political career started.

    I wanna see the snowback’s birf certificate.

  111. 111
    Paul in KY says:

    @Germy: That motherfucker drank. Don’t believe his ‘cover story’.

  112. 112
    Paul in KY says:

    @Botsplainer: The ‘minority’ (when the king/queen is too young to assume their duties)

  113. 113
    Paul in KY says:

    @dogwood: or ride around in a tank…

  114. 114
    Paul in KY says:

    @gene108: That son of a bitch could stay on message. One of the best I’ve seen at that.

  115. 115
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Paul in KY: I always considered the drinking a politely kept secret by the corrupt (but liberal!) MSM.

  116. 116
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: Napoleon did have a hang up about not being a good horseman & generally not liking horses (at a time when military/horses went together).

  117. 117
    dogwood says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    You may very well like to see it. Doesn’t make it right. The only political upside to going birther with Cruz is that it will bring Obama to the podium to defend him, which won’t sit well with wingnuts. And Obama won’t be simply trolling. He won’t like this at all.

  118. 118
    Paul in KY says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Also rich people, as a sailboard is not cheap.

  119. 119
    dogwood says:

    @Paul in KY:
    Pretty much.

  120. 120
    Paul in KY says:

    @catclub: That was probably fun, as Rehnquist was an evil toad, just like Cruz.

    So, no, that doesn’t count.

  121. 121
    Paul in KY says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I’m sure you are right.

  122. 122
    agorabum says:

    It’s not the boots that are the problem as much as the dopey fleece that Rubio is always wearing – the one with his name on it. It’s like something a mom would make her 6 year old wear. I don’t know if he thinks it makes him look like regular folks, but he just looks like a suit with a dopey fleece on.

  123. 123
    bystander says:

    @Kay: I don’t believe that the question whether Cruz’s dual citizenship (renounced only in 2014) disqualifies him constitutionally is the same thing as birtherism. I don’t dispute the facts of his birth. The purpose IIRC of the clause was to remove the possibility of foreign influence. And I also know there are attorneys who do not believe that dual citizenship is a disqualifier, but those are opinions and not the result of adjudication.

    OTOH perhaps we should be asking whether Dr. Saperstein was the attending.

  124. 124
    dogwood says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Speaking of Alan Grayson. im thinking about donating to his blue dog opponent if he looks viable. The last thing Hillary or Bernie would need in Florida is to be sharing a ticket with that asshole. They would be hounded by the press to respond to all the crap that comes out of his mouth. His birther lawsuit shows he has no discipline or integrity. It’s political theatre aimed at sewing up the democrats who love to be outraged just as much as the wingnuts do. Maybe he would tone it down if he won the nomination, but I think he’s too much of a narcissist to ever do that. I always had the strong suspicion that John Edwards might be a pretty slimy character under all the veneer. With Grayson it’s more than just a suspicion.

  125. 125
    Kay says:

    @bystander:

    I don’t believe that the question whether Cruz’s dual citizenship (renounced only in 2014) disqualifies him constitutionally is the same thing as birtherism.

    Well, I basically agree. I said Obama birtherism was worse because that was a denial of everything he ever said about his whole life, and then a denial of the ordinary document everyone else uses.

    By “agree” I mean I see the difference. I just don’t care that much about where Cruz was born or even dual citizenship. I’m kind of out of the mainstream on nationalism. I accept borders as a legal division and I would accept someone challenging Cruz on eligibility but I could never get all worked up about it. I had a native American case once that I loved because they’re a nation within another nation. This was even better because they’re a nation within TWO nations- their “nation”, the tribe, extended to Canada. It’s really a concept, “nation” :)

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dogwood:

    There is a legitimate question with Cruz: what exactly does “natural-born” mean for someone who was born outside of the US? There was no, none, ZERO question with Obama because, unlike Cruz, he was born on American soil.

    There was a bit of a question with McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal zone, which was outside the borders of the US but was legally US soil. Canada is not US soil, so I would like the question to be answered.

  127. 127
    David Koch says:

    Rand Paul is mocking Lil’ marco on twitter.

    HA!

  128. 128
    Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is a good explanation of how it’s been interpreted. Makes sense. You’re “natural born” unless you’re a naturalized citizen.

  129. 129
    Doc Physics says:

    @Chris: I see Rubio as the human equivalent of a reflecting pool: placid, unlined, and shallow.

  130. 130
    Matt McIrvin says:

    The Congressional Research Service put together a great document on this back in 2011, which basically convinced me that none of these “natural-born citizen” challenges in recent years have any substantive merit and they’re probably coming from a dangerous place politically.

    The Supreme Court hasn’t explicitly said so; most of the court cases get tossed out on standing or some such thing. But if we start insisting on all sorts of new conditions for people to be considered natural-born citizens, it could have bad effects other than restricting who can run for President. Cruz himself wants to make citizenship for people born on US soil dependent on their parents’ legal status. It might seem like delicious sauce for the gander to trip up his candidacy on some kind of tangentially related nonsense, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

    Personally, I’d be in favor of a constitutional amendment to get rid of the “natural-born” requirement and reduce it to simple citizenship, as conservatives were all keen on doing when they thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of them. All citizens of the US ought to have the same kind of citizenship, to the degree that it’s practically possible. This poking into somebody’s birth records and parentage to determine if they have the right kind of biological origin to hold office is just nasty.

  131. 131
    dogwood says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    What is very clear about Cruz, is that he is not a naturalized citizen. My grandchildren fit into the Cruz category. Born in Ecuador to an American mother and an Ecuadorian father. If there is another category for citizenship other than natural or naturalized, I am not aware of it.

  132. 132
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    The two step analysis just makes sense to me: 1. Citizen? if yes to 1., then 2.. naturalized? if naturalized then not eligible for presidency and since “naturalized” is already defined and has a process we don’t need to define “natural born”

  133. 133
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @dogwood: That was the argument with McCain as well: he’s a citizen and is not a naturalized citizen, therefore he’s natural-born.

    The Democratic nominee needs Hispanic citizens to turn out and vote. By and large, they’re not going to support Cruz. But if he gets the Republican nomination and Democrats go birther on him, I suspect it’s going to create blowback from people who don’t like having the nature of their citizenship questioned. Trump, of course, doesn’t care because his support base is nativists anyway.

    The article Kay linked to mentioned that the nonbinding Senate resolution reiterating that McCain is a natural-born citizen was co-sponsored by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I’d forgotten that. They were both in the Senate at the time, so it was a gesture they could make.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I would be perfectly happy to have the Supreme Court (or even a lower court with the SC refusing to hear an appeal) say, “Yep, American citizens born overseas to at least one American parent are natural-born.” Or to have it fixed once and for all by legislation, I don’t care. I just want *someone* to make an authoritative statement and settle the whole mishegas, already.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dogwood:

    To be clear, I think it’s stupid to try and argue that Cruz isn’t a natural-born citizen when current law seems pretty clear that he is. I just want the birther brigade to explain why the rules that they themselves formulated magically don’t apply to Cruz.

    I’d have to look it up, but IIRC Cruz hopped on the birther bandwagon himself, which is how his Canadian birth became public. If that’s the case, I think it’s fair game to ask Cruz why he thinks he’s a citizen and Obama is not.

  136. 136
    blueskies says:

    @Botsplainer: Hey, now, I’m a short little shit and even I wouldn’t steal those “boots” off of a dead clown.

  137. 137
    ed_finnerty says:

    @Tommy: “He’s Heightening”

  138. 138
    Tim I says:

    I think the boots reflect Rubio’s lack of stature, and not just intellectually. He keeps claiming that he’s 5″10″, which is not true unless he has his boots on. The lifts inside the shoe, combined with the hooker heels enable him to claim more height than god gave him.

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