It was only a few months ago when we had seventeen candidates. And for some time now it’s been clear that the final would be an all Cuban face off. Trump may still be standing this spring when it gets down to either Rubio or Cruz. If so, either one will dispatch him with relative ease. Trump’s not a serious candidate; he’s a joke — a vulgar showman, and a crude bully.
Rubio is the finest natural politician on the national stage since John F. Kennedy. Cruz is an arrogant and off putting man. He’s got that tinge of fundamentalism about him. He’s a hard man to like. Because Rubio is by far the superior candidate, he’s been my choice all along. A Rubio/Hillary election would be a mismatch.
But Cruz could win as well. Maybe not by quite the margin that Rubio would win by, but a clear and convincing win. He’s not that great a candidate, but Hillary’s a disaster.
I have to admit that, on substance, Cruz is a stronger and more consistent conservative. Yesterday he voted for a Rand Paul amendment that would have suspended visas and green cards from 30 Muslim countries with jihadi connections. Rubio voted no, and it failed 10-89. I think that was a mistake, though I’ll await his explanation.
I haven’t researched it myself, but Cruz says Rubio supported the coup in Libya against Khaddafi. Major screw up. Poor judgment.
Rubio is also apparently committed to taking out Assad in Syria. This is also unwise. We took out Hussein in Iraq, and Khadadafi in Libya. How much good did that do us? What makes us think that Assad’s replacement will be any better? Are you sure of that? How can you be?
Rubio is looking like a neoconservative lap dog. He got fooled into sponsoring the Gang of Eight immigration bill, and it blew up in his face, and that error is the main obstacle to his winning the nomination. Now he’s toeing the neoconservative line in Syria, another major mistake that he’s somehow been talked into. This could be a problem in the general. If the voters think Rubio is too eager to get back into the Mideast quagmire, it could cost him. And if he’s elected and gets into another messy war, we’ll all suffer.
But I like Rubio, and I can’t bring myself to like Cruz. He has no humility, a big liability for a politician. He’s always got to be the smartest guy in the room. He’s a self righteous, goody two shoe kind of guy who was undoubtedly the number one chalk board monitor in grammar school, a teacher’s pet kind of guy. Something’s wrong with any guy that Alan Dershowitz likes. He seems like a kiss ass, to be crude.
But you don’t have to be a nice guy to be a great President. James K. Polk was one of the most successful Presidents in our history, and when you read his diaries you realize he’s an insecure, paranoid little man. Other examples abound.
It reminds me of when I was trying to talk my neighbor Norm out of voting for Wally Hickel for Governor. I knew Hickel. He was an a-hole, as I was able to demonstrate. I’ll never forget Norm’s response.