I will attempt to restrain my enthusiasm, but things are going swimmingly. Let me count the ways.
- How does Bush keep going? He was humiliated in front of 14 million people. When he came at Marco on resigning the Senate, it was like watching an old bull lunge wildly at the svelte matador, only to have its spinal cord severed by a quick sword stroke. I don’t like the brutality of bullfighting. But this was gratifying. All Bushes are born on third base, and they all think they’re a family of triples hitters. You’ve got a lot of really cool things you can do, Jeb. Hang up your exclamation mark, and get to them.
- My Lord, Marco is good. He is not macho, he’s a stud. There’s a big difference. Forget Reagan, he’s another JFK. Unless you’re old enough to actually remember Jack Kennedy, you haven’t seen a truly gifted and natural politician, until now. Sure, Reagan was almost as good. But the Gipper, even when he was in the movies, was never a rock star like Kennedy. And from what I could see of Rubio’s wife after the debate, she’s far more appealing than Jackie Kennedy. They’ll be together on the cover of People soon. What’s Spanish for Camelot?
- In giving Paul Ryan the Speaker’s gavel, and in cleaning the barn, John Boehner has redeemed himself, at least to me. As long as Obama’s President, fighting him on the budget and the debt ceiling is a loser’s game. There just are way too many squishy Republicans to make it work. He’ll shut down the government, and when the media blames the Republicans, too many of them can’t take the heat. They’re cowards. That’s reality. Boehner dealt with it.
- Now Ryan can try to make serious progress on tax and entitlement reform. It’s highly unlikely he’ll accomplish anything. Obama is in no mood to compromise. But even if the D’s refuse to deal, Ryan can make the good faith effort, one that should be appreciated by voters. Most importantly, after the election, he’s the perfect legislative partner for Rubio (or, possibly, Cruz). Marco doesn’t understand the budget as well as Ryan, and doesn’t have the depth of his Washington experience. Rubio will be behind the wheel, while Ryan’s the legislative mechanic. Ryan knows his place, he’s doesn’t have an ego problem. They should be a great team.
- Part of Ryan’s deal to become Speaker is his refusal to spend half his time fundraising. This is how good people like Boehner go bad. They collect millions of dollars from donors, and there’s always a quid pro quo. You start representing donors instead of voters. Since Ryan will be dong far less of this than Boehner, he has a much better chance of staying clean.
- All the media candidates performed well enough to hang in there. Trump regained his composure, and will continue to bring the audience. He’s entertaining, and politics should be fun. Fiorina’s strong female presence is always welcome. And the kindly black, Dr. Carson, holds the pole position, which is a good thing. Rubio does not want to be leading the polls right now. It’s far better, at this stage, to have a putative front runner who has no chance of actually winning the nomination. Sure, the smart money is going to see that Marco’s the man. But he does not, repeat, does not, want to be in the lead right now.
- Marco won’t be in anybody’s pocket. My biggest worry about Rubio is foreign policy, and his desire to do Israel’s bidding in the Mideast. He’s been after Sheldon Adelson’s money, and that meant he was exposed to Adelson’s fanatical support of Israel. But all kinds of big money boys are going to be flocking to his side, and Sheldon will only be one of many. Strong support of Israel is in the Republican DNA, but you can’t go overboard. The American people will not tolerate another war in the Middle East. Inside the Rubio camp, cooler heads can now prevail.
- We have a very bright fellow on our side at the New York Times, Ross Douthat. he’s the youngest op-ed writer the Times has ever had. His predecessor as the token conservative there, Bill Kristol, isn’t all that smart, and has a snotty attitude to boot. On Sunday Douthat explained why Rubio is the favorite. Yesterday he correctly picked Marco’s backup, Ted Cruz. You always want a backup in these things. Douthat is half my age, and therefor knows half of what I do. I’m going to enjoy keeping an eye on him.
The rain has gone. I can see all obstacles in my way.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day.