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Jeb’s Best Hope: Win Ugly

Jeb’s Best Hope: Win Ugly

Carpet bombing.

Jeb Bush’s campaign is in trouble, there’s no doubt about that.

His debate performances have been disastrous, he hasn’t generated enthusiasm, and he’s dropped to 5th place in the polling composites.

No longer will Jeb be standing on the debate stage in the center three spots next to Trump. The symbolism of Jeb almost being in John Kasich territory is significant.

But Jeb soldiers on, even as one of his big donors just called it quits over the negative tone the campaign has taken—specifically Team Jeb’s seemingly spiteful desire to take down Marco Rubio at all costs:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with oppo-research dumps. That’s why oppo-research is done. And if there is a damaging skeleton in Rubio’s closet, let’s find out now.

But in this case it smells vindictive and petty, a way to overcome Jeb’s downward spiral not by attacking the leaders in the polls — Trump and Carson — but by attacking Rubio out of spite.

Jeb was the mentor and Marco the mentee, but now the roles are reversed.

I don’t know if this constitutes a Plan, but Byron York reports on his communications with Jeb insiders as to the path forward to the nomination, Don’t laugh: The Jeb Bush victory scenario.

The scenario is that the Trump and Carson bubbles burst for reasons unrelated to Jeb, and that Rubio and Cruz then savage each other. But if that latter strategy doesn’t work, Jeb’s money will go after Rubio or Cruz, whoever is left standing:

Even after that ruinous moment in Boulder, Bush is still taking shots at Rubio, but JebWorld would clearly be happy to have Cruz take up the fight. In the careful-what-you-wish-for category, JebWorld believes Bush would do well in a one-on-one against Cruz, and the Bush super PAC will still be there to carpet-bomb the last opponent standing.

Really? That’s how you win?

I’m not naive, but this type of attitude is why we lost twice to Obama. Rather than a positive enthusiasm for a candidate, the money-people come in and carpet bomb, like they did to Newt in 2011-2012:

Mitt Romney had a strong win last night in Florida.  There’s no way to spin it otherwise, just as there was no way to spin Newt’s South Carolina win otherwise.

But at what cost?

Financially the cost was about $17 million for Romney and his SuperPAC, almost entirely on negative ads.  Of the $15 million in negative ads run by or for Romney, only one was positive,  a radio ad in Spanish run only 15 times.

Last night, Brit Hume described the win appropriately: “He beat Newt Gingrich by bombing him back into the stone age” with negative ads.

I predicted that after that carpet bombing path to victory, apathy among Republicans would be the result:

Are we any closer to a nominee?  Probably, although anything still could happen.

Are we any closer to defeating Barack Obama?  I think we are farther away than ever, as many Republicans, particularly those who joined in politics in 2009-2010, just don’t care anymore.

Unless something changes soon, apathy will be the legacy of Romney’s carpet bombing.

And I was right.

If Jeb’s only path to the nomination is to destroy any chance of a general election win, then he should do us all a favor and drop out.

[Featured Image via T. Beckett Adams Twitter]


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One of the things I think you can count on is that Cruz will NOT “savage” anybody.

He’s WAY too smart. He may gut them, but it will be very gently done, and with no apparent animus.

Like he’s been doing with T-rump. Just lil’ cuts, like you make in a skillful cross examination of a sympathetic witness. And, before you notice, they’ve bled out!

    “Just lil’ cuts”

    Perhaps I missed them. Please point them out.

      Paul in reply to Barry. | November 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Discussing his opposition to kelo-style eminent domain seizures and canadian-style single-payer healthcare systems, Cruz explains why both policies are anti-liberty. He leaves it for the educated listener to understand that Trump favors both with enthusiasm, and connect the dots for him/herself.

        rorschach256 in reply to Paul. | November 6, 2015 at 12:47 pm

        Unfortunately, there aren’t as many educated listeners as we would like…

        Barry in reply to Paul. | November 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm

        I didn’t say it did not happen. Just not sure what or when as it pertains directly to trump. I have heard Cruz discussing both items you mention but I did not here any reference to trump, which I may have missed. A candidates positions that are directly opposed to another is not what I thought implied. But as I said, I may have missed it, thus the question.

        I’m not seeing any “bleeding out” so far. Perhaps it will occur.

        Those that suffer from TDS are convinced they are able to discern and see things everyone else misses, and then congratulate their selves on how “educated” they are. An alternative universe.

          These imaginery cuts go hand in hand with the imaginery rope a dopes these same people keep seeing.

          Paul in reply to Barry. | November 6, 2015 at 4:44 pm

          If opposition to a candidate who has spent most of his adult life as a registered Democrat, has headed four companies that filed for bankruptcy, not only favors kelo but has actively stolen private property through eminent domain procedures, swoons over single-payer healthcare and is in general a massive crony-capitalist… if opposition to those qualities is a symptom of “TDS” then I guess I got it bad. Funny though, how that use of the word “deranged” and the “othering” strategy is exactly what a progressive would do.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | November 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm

          Opposing those things, or trump, has nothing to do with TDS. It’s the length some go to discredit trump, which include mis-quoting and outright fabrication (lying) that gives rise to TDS.

          I’ve yet to see any reference to Cruz “Like he’s been doing with T-rump. Just lil’ cuts” doing anything like that. As I said, maybe he has and I missed it. Pointing out the issues he differs with trump on, and there are many, doesn’t count. Cruz differs with just about everyone else in the race, to his credit.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | November 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm

          “I think that’s right. I think that, in time, I don’t believe Donald is going to be the nominee and I think, in time, the lion’s share of his supporters end up with us,” Cruz said in an interview taped Thursday that will air in full on Sunday.

          And he has long maintained that Trump’s rise would benefit the Cruz campaign, saying that Trump has encouraged voters to use a certain set of criteria to evaluate candidates that is favorable to Cruz.

          “And I think the reason is what I was just saying, that if you look to the records of all the Republican candidates, there’s a big difference between my record and that of everyone else if you ask, who has stood up to Washington?” Cruz told Cosby. “I think his involvement has been tremendously helpful to my campaign, because it’s framed the central question of this primary.”

          Barry in reply to Barry. | November 6, 2015 at 9:09 pm

          Is that supposed to be the “Just lil’ cuts”?

          I don’t see that as any kind of “cut”, just a declaration that: 1. trumps rise was good for Cruz, and 2. He believes he (Cruz) will win in the end.

          Maybe your definition of political “cuts”, big or small, is different than mine.

    You? You are against “Savaging?”


And why attack Rubio anyway? He’s in third place, barely ahead of Bush. Would it not make more sense to go after Trump or Carson? Isn’t that kind of setting his sights a bit low?

    clintack in reply to rorschach256. | November 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Because Jeb and Trump are both working to elect Hillary.


    More seriously, I think Jeb (and the other GOPe types) don’t take Trump as seriously as they should. They assume he’s just a place-holder protest vote and not a real candidate. And Rubio is the candidate most likely to steal donor and poll support from Jeb, now that Kasich (who?) has failed to launch.

meanwhile Carson has just inserted his other foot…

    This one is damning – much worse than the crap about the pyramids. He wrote about West Point in a book and that took deliberate thought to write down a lie. Shame.

And, meanwhile… War has been declared between Carson & CNN.

Check out Breitbart. This is WAAR.

Karl Rove must be sweating bullets these days.

The DC has picked up this morning’s CNN explosion.

Carson has a temper after all. Good.

I think it’s time for me to also support the Supporters of Ben Carson to my support list.

Cruz Trump & Carson, the three musketeers.

In my opinion, these three men are the Tea Party’s UniCandidate.

    Kondor77 in reply to VotingFemale. | November 6, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Trump gave boatloads of $$$$$$ to the Clitons. I’m pretty sure that’s a rule against Tea Party ‘candidate’ if there ever was one. The man is a fraud. For you to mix him up with the likes of real conservatives like Cruz, shows your lack of…something.

      Good morning Kondor.

      Yes. Yes he has bought influence on both sides as does the NRA because it is smart to do so. The NRA loses some members over it too, but its a small price to pay to protect the Second Amendment.

      Without #2A supporting Senate Democrats, Obama’s 2013 gun grab bill would have passed. That is a stone cold fact.

        Kondor77 in reply to VotingFemale. | November 6, 2015 at 1:47 pm

        So was Trump buying ‘influence’ when he called for an assault weapons ban in his own book? Or was he just trying to earn brownie points with Bloomberg? Because y’know it’s all about ‘influence’, baby. Universal single-payer healthcare?*(September 29th Forbes interview) The man does not have one conservative molecule in his body. He is the ultimate charlatan.

          Was that buying influencing? He no longer feels that way, right?

          Many people pivioted on that after 2A defenders proved the Democrats were misleading the country on that.

          Heck, I’ve seen gun-owning Elmer Fudds agree then to ban so-called assault weapons.

          Many notables changed their minds about it.

          Even I added my own AR-15 to the family gun safe and shoot it in competition now. Pew Pew Pew and didn’t have an interest in them prior to 2013.

          Eyes Open Now, by golly.

          Kondor77 in reply to Kondor77. | November 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm

          You prove my point. Trump has ‘pivoted’ on just about every core conservative issue over the last 20 years – and he even ‘pivots’ (have to admit, great word choice!) from day to day while on the campaign trail. He is a man who loves the attention above ALL else. He is astoundingly the only other man more narcissistic than our own current President.

          I’m more than happy to make your point, Kondor.

          When it comes down to it, these things have to be sorted before any contender is selected to be our champion in the general.

          Right now, his platform aligns closer with conservatives than any other.

          My personal preference is whomever among the three at the end of the primary battle.

          Maybe he was trying to get influence with Bush because it took a republican senate and a republican president to act u ally pass an assault weapons ban. Trump has evolved and has the most conservative position on tbe wall and illegal immigration. That is all that counts this time around. The people you tbink are real conservatives all support Obamas TPP trade deal sellout of our so erignty. Trump and jaff sessions oppose it. Maybe the real conservative isnt the ones you think they are. Trump 2016

          What are you talking about Britt? The Assault Weapons Ban was signed by Clinton and passed by a Dim House and a Dim Senate.

          Ragspierre in reply to Kondor77. | November 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

          He’s a lying MOW-ron. Ask him to compute an average! Totally beyond him!

          He’s a GREAT exemplar of a T-rump sucker.

          @Paul, I guess my memory of the events 20 years ago is incorrect. I guess I am remembering that it only passed the senate because of 6 to 10 turn coat republicans and in my mind I turned that into republican controlled senate. I guess I turned Bill Bennett’s drug czar recommendation to Bush for an assault weapons ban into an assault weapons ban that passed under Bush. Thanks for the correction.

          Rags you ignorant slu*t

          Better to be a great example of a Trump supporter than to be you a great example of an infantile arseh*le.


          Barry in reply to Kondor77. | November 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

          “@Paul, I guess my memory of the events 20 years ago is incorrect.”

          Clearly. The passage of that by a D controlled house and senate, and signed by Bill Clinton, was one of the things which led to the historic turnover of both the house and senate a couple months later.

Three Davids against the DEMRINO Uniparty Goliath.

If one goes down, his Supporters pivot to the other two.

These three together have the majority of primary voter support.

I loves me dose tums down. Sqee…

THIS RIGHT HERE is the reason I haven’t personally endorsed a contender and work to balance infighting on one of them against the other, as the DEMRINOs pray folks will do.

It’s too early for that endorsement. It’s still 2015, not 2016.

VotingFemale, I’ve come to the conclusion that Carson is in the race, not to win, but to fracture the truly conservative voting block enough to ensure a GOPe win for Rubio/Bush. Note, every time he starts to get really popular in the polls, he goes and stomps on his crank with golf cleats to bring the number back down again. He doesn’t want to lead the pack. He is happy in second or third place.

I view it as ‘probable’ that the timing of CNN’s morning attack on Carson was triggered by yesterday’s release of Carson’s rap song on radio.

Likely it was a macro-trigger. Why? Because there is no Dem Party if he swings black voters against Black’s worst enemy, The Racist Democrat Party.

Sammy Finkelman | November 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm

The Democrats are trying to do for and to Jeb Bush what they did to Romney: Plan an attack against him – focus group tested – and meanwhile use him in the primary to get rid of his opponents. Bush is using stuff against Rubio that probably originated with Democrats.

There’s a Hillary Clinton e-mail from 2012 indicating she doesn’t understand/wasn’t privy to that strategy in 2012.

In the Dec. 14, 2011, e-mail to longtime pal Sidney Blumenthal — with the subject heading “Axelrod and the Monkey Butt” — Clinton said she was baffled that Obama campaign aides were not promoting Gingrich as a way to damage Mitt Romney, whom she considered the more dangerous GOP challenger to her boss at the White House.

“Political malpractice. Why is Obama team attacking Gingrich!?!” Clinton asked, referring to the former House speaker. “Why are they acting as an adjunct to the Romney campaign!?!?!”

“They should be calling Newt ‘formidable’ and pointing to poll showing Republicans regard him as more ‘electable’ than Romney!!! Build up Newt without exciting Republican base voters to vote for Romney,” Clinton continued, in a Machiavellian flourish.

Hillary Clinton is not the brains of the Clinton campaign machine. Some people who worked on the Obama campaign are now working for Hillary

In the 1996 election the Clinton campaign was running commercials against Gingrich and Dole in 1995. The commercials were not run in New york, Los Angelos, or the washington D.V. media markets so that Dole and other big Republicans would not be alerted to them.

In 2011/2012, they were attacking Gingrich because they wanted to run against Romney, because every line of attack against Romney was prepared. It takes months to do that – at least their way.

They have no imagination – it’s all a machine. They probably even get the original ideas from focus groups or social media, things that come or the transom, or media outlets. See what people who don’t like Romney/Bush say and then test them out.

Similarly now, they have prepared lines of attack against Jeb Bush that takes months, if not a year or more, to develop.

Jeb Bush doesn’t seem to be the kind of a person who knows how to handle things like that. Maybe who doesn’t even realize what’s being done.

Sammy, I believe you are correct.

Sammy Finkelman | November 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm

I mean Jeb Bush doesn’t understand the nature of an attack against him when it is made, and when attacked, doesn’t know how to counter it. He can’t spot the fallacy.

The difference between Bush/Rubio and Romney/Gingrich is that non-attendance is a particularly bad attack- and even if it worked against numereous other candidates Rubio will answer it. With Ginmgrich the attack was Freddie Mac and he didn’t have agood or even abad answer. The Obama campaign people wanted Romney because he was a much dumber candidate.

Now Rubio is a little bit too clever and trying to skate by on minimal knowledge, but he is educating himself..

Just my opinion, Sammy, but I think Jeb is a pussy and that is something Mr FixIt can never fix.

Carly has more cajahones than Jeb.

It’s not spiteful. Jeb’s only real support has come from big donors. The base never liked him. Those donors are now moving to Rubio.

Taking out Rubio kind of makes sense from that standpoint. Who’s left after that? Trump? Carson? Cruz? Big donor establishment types have trouble with each of these candidates. Taking our Rubio means giving big donors no other options – which should have been Jeb’s campaign slogan all along: “Jeb. Suck it up, because you don’t have a choice”

    I would not put it past Trump to “arrange” deep pocket donors for Cruz & Carson at this juncture in time. Team work works to weed out the RINOs from the field and , in my opinion, if only these three are left we all win no matter who gets the nomination.

    Just my opinions, mind you.

    Ben Shapiro is a conservative, regardless of the fact that he writes for left-wing Politico.

    Ben may have embellished an offer extended to him to offer him a scholarship but he is clarifying now.

The “Ben may have” to whom I was referring to is Ben Carson.

holdingmynose | November 7, 2015 at 6:33 am

The GOPe wants another McCain/Romney candidate to run against Shrillary. As Prof. Jacobson wrote this kind of tactic is what turns off the base. The GOPe despises the base so they are just as happy if the plebes stay home on election day.