Mitt Romney puts on a full business suit every day lately, just in case.
— Bob Schooley (@Rschooley) November 13, 2015
Actually, I think Romney sleeps in a full business suit, because it’s what makes him most comfortable, but let’s just set that aside. Lead story in the Washington Post —
“Time for GOP panic? Establishment worried Carson or Trump might win“:
Less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses, there is growing anxiety bordering on panic among Republican elites about the dominance and durability of Donald Trump and Ben Carson and widespread bewilderment over how to defeat them.
Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot, virtually ensuring a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency and increasing the odds that the Senate falls into Democratic hands.
The party establishment is paralyzed. Big money is still on the sidelines. No consensus alternative to the outsiders has emerged from the pack of governors and senators running, and there is disagreement about how to prosecute the case against them. Recent focus groups of Trump supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire commissioned by rival campaigns revealed no silver bullet…
“The rest of the field is still wishing upon a star that Trump and Carson are going to self-destruct,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a former adviser to 2012 nominee Mitt Romney. But, he said, “they have to be made to self-destruct. . . . Nothing has happened at this point to dislodge Trump or Carson.”…
A reminder: That would be Eric “Etch-A-Sketch” Fehrnstrom, whose contempt for the average Repub voter did not exactly help his boss’s 2012 campaign. Not that he’d let that influence his professional opinion in 2015, of course.
… For months, the GOP professional class assumed Trump and Carson would fizzle with time. Voters would get serious, the thinking went, after seeing the outsiders share a stage with more experienced politicians at the first debate. Or when summer turned to fall, kids went back to school and parents had time to assess the candidates. Or after the second, third or fourth debates, certainly.
None of that happened, of course, leaving establishment figures disoriented…
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, herself an outsider who rode the tea party wave into office five years ago, explained the phenomenon.
“You have a lot of people who were told that if we got a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate, then life was gonna be great,” she said in an interview Thursday. “What you’re seeing is that people are angry. Where’s the change? Why aren’t there bills on the president’s desk every day for him to veto? They’re saying, ‘Look, what you said would happen didn’t happen, so we’re going to go with anyone who hasn’t been elected.’ ”…
Said Austin Barbour, a veteran operative and fundraiser now advising former Florida governor Jeb Bush: “If we don’t have the right [nominee], we could lose the Senate, and we could face losses in the House. Those are very, very real concerns. If we’re not careful and we nominate Trump, we’re looking at a race like Barry Goldwater in 1964 or George McGovern in 1972, getting beat up across the board because of our nominee.” …
We promised those dumb voters every good Repub would get a pony that shat money! And now they’re screaming for their ponies, the ungrateful rubes!…
DRAFT ROMNEY! seems unlikely but still makes way more sense than DRAFT BIDEN! ever did.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 13, 2015
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) November 13, 2015
And a Canadian japester chimes in:
If the Warren G. Harding clone doesn't work, there are more drastic and radical plans. Not sure if world is ready for Reagan Zombie
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) November 13, 2015
Apart from enjoying the scent of schadenfreude in the morning air (smells like flop sweat, with an under-note of antacids and faint hints of currency stacks set aflame), what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the week?