The John Weaver hire was a tell, but one that I was too blind to see. This is a guy who went to work for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2002, and thus played a role in making Pelosi Speaker. Later, he was the brains behind the Huntsman for President train wreck. Since Weaver believes the right wing base cost Romney the 2012 election, it follows that his candidate, Kasich, must avoid the same fate. He must not cater to the right, as Romney did by declaring himself, and pretending to be, a severe conservative. Kasich must follow the Bush 3 strategy, and be willing to risk losing the primary to win the general. So the 30-40-50% of the Republican Party who are strong conservatives can go chew rocks.
The disdain Kasich feels for us is the reason he wants to give us Bible lessons. He and Weaver are two peas in a pod. I liked Kasich because he gave the Article V BBA campaign a boost. He visited the Capitols, lobbied the state legislators, and made the phone calls. I figured he’d make it part of his Presidential campaign, and once he brought attention to, and made the case for, an Article V BBA, we’d get a boost over the top. I didn’t like his Medicaid expansion, but, hell, when you’re an elected official and you get a chance to pass out goodies to constituents, it’s hard to resist. I’d been aware of Kasich since ’94, and admired his conservative record in Congress. He was a Reagan man, and he stuck by his guns. If anyone was going to actually balance the federal budget I thought it would be him. I thought his record in Ohio was conservative. If he won, he’d have the experience and connections to get the job done.
That was then. Now it’s Don Juan or the Parson. In fact, there’s nothing much that Kasich can do for us on the Article V front any longer. The state legislative leaders who we need are, by and large, not interested in Kasich or his candidacy. This spring, once one of the Cubans wrap up the nomination, whoever prevails can help a lot. Until then, we’re on our own. Our job is to get to 32, and then the entire Republican Party will clamber aboard. Five to go.
The media candidates are a distraction, Christie’s going nowhere, Bush 3 will not get the nomination, and Kasich has taken himself out of contention. We’re left with the Young Guns, Senators all: Rubio, Cruz and Paul. I still like Paul, but he’s flailing as a candidate, so it’s one of the Cubans. Rubio has vastly more political appeal than Cruz, so he’s my guy. I’m going to be in touch with his Nevada campaign.
I’ve been taking shots at Nate “Numbers” Silver and the 538 boys, with all their useless mathematical models (at least at this stage). But they also get together and B.S. about what they think is happening, and they’re actually not far off. They think there’s a 75% chance the nominee will be Rubio, Bush or Kasich (in that order), with the other 25% going to Cruz or some other hard right candidate. They do not acknowledge — because they’re statisticians, not politicians — that Bush and Kasich are or will be damaged political goods, with heavy negatives among the rank and file. But all in all a pretty impressive analysis. These guys are worth keeping an eye on.
Here’s the question Kasich can’t answer: You say it’s immoral for us to spend money we don’t have, when we know full well that our children and grandchildren will be picking up the tab. But every nickel of federal Medicaid money you chose to take was borrowed. In order to provide services to the people of Ohio, you took borrowed money and spent it, and because someone else has to pay this bill down the road, it’s not your problem.
Rubio’s too damn hawkish. He thinks Russia is an enemy. He used the word. Wrong. It’s a competitor, not an enemy. We have some common interests with the Russians. Why be enemies with a guy with 5,000 nuclear warheads? It doesn’t make sense. We can sit down and work things out with Bad Vlad. Marco’s bright. He’ll figure it out. Hopefully.
Like Kasich, Rubio’s a blue collar guy, but at only 44 he’s closer to his roots. He’s clean, which means he hasn’t enriched himself at the public trough. When he starts doing New Hampshire seriously, he should do very well. He can relate.
I spend a lot of time analyzing the field, thinking things through, and trying to reach conclusions. Babbie, not so much. When I convinced her to watch the first debate, I was rooting for Kasich. She wasn’t impressed. She liked Rubio, hands down.
You really need to pay attention to the ladies.