As I’ve said before, the reason Ted Cruz couldn’t do the sensible thing and wait to run for president in
2016 2020, after he’d finished at least one term in the Senate, is that there are even younger crazier Ivy-educated Talibangelicals breathing down his neck. On the first day of the 2016 RNC convention, Senator Tom Cotton staked out his claim to 2020. Mr. Charles P. Pierce explicates:
What better way to begin coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention than to give you a preview of the 2020 Republican nominating process?… Senator Tom Cotton, the bobble-throated nuisance from Arkansas and onetime pen-pal of the Iranian mullahs… stopped by for breakfast with the delegation from South Carolina, where we learned what the euphemism du jour is for the candidate that this year’s process produced.
“I’m sure,” Cotton told the crowd, “that we’re all looking forward to a great Republican victory in November.”…
The theme of the breakfast was renewing American foreign policy and having the country re-engage with the world, which made it even more inconvenient to mention that the party is preparing to nominate a guy who has mused about chloroforming NATO. This is the territory that Cotton staked out for himself. He is the world’s youngest neocon, a Richard Perle starter kit. He has a reedy, unpracticed public speaking style that he’ll have to work on before he hits the cornfields of Iowa, which ought to be about 11 minutes after the results are announced in November. But he has his theme–namely, that we are all going to die.
“The world has grown more dangerous over the last eight years,” Cotton said. “And the reason for that is that Barack Obama’s foreign policy is…impotent.”
A frisson ran through the applause that greeted this remark–although whether this was because of Cotton’s argument, or because he said “impotent” in public, is hard to say…
TIME has the transcript of Cotton’s thoroughly anodyne-edging-into-dishonest speech, if you must read it. [Warning: autoplay]
Lauren Fox, at TPM:
… “Frankly, I think a lot of political leaders need to stop fanning the flames of racial division,” Cotton said Monday in Cleveland at an event hosted by The Atlantic. “Because there is a police shooting does not mean the police are racist or that police officer did anything wrong. You cannot know that until there is an investigation that takes place.”
But Cotton also hinted that the GOP needs to be doing more than it is to expand its base.
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