Some people are pondering that there might be too many GOP debates, we’re starting to agree…
Rand Paul Could Have Gone His Own Way
When Rand Paul originally made his intentions that he would be running for President in 2016, there was some excitement from people who follow politics. The idea of someone like Rand Paul running as a legitimate small government Republican, almost brushing up against – yet not completely embodying Libertarianism banner – was exciting. While he wouldn’t have won the GOP field, it would have been interesting to see how it shook-up the Republican race.
Sadly as Rand Paul began his 2016 run, it became evident “the small-government Rand Paul” wasn’t going to run. Instead we got a Rand Paul that pushed for the defunding of Planned Parenthood more than pushing for monetary policies that decrease the power of the Federal Reserve. In all honesty, you couldn’t blame him. If you even want to be competitive in the 2016 GOP primaries, you have to put your most electable foot forward. In this election season, that means letting you social conservatism flag fly! The only problem with this strategy, everyone else is using the same thing. Soon you were lost in a sea of candidates that do the social conservatism shtick better.
Hence the low poll numbers for Paul.
Last night in the GOP debate however, the small-government/Libertarian side of Paul came out for a few fleeting moments when he clashed with Marco Rubio over military expenditures. It was a quick tease at the campaign Paul could have had. And for a moment, you saw what might have been.
Ted Cruz Droppin’ the HOTTEST of Biblical Knowledge
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) November 11, 2015
Stuck in the Friendzone
There was a tweet during last night’s debate that nailed Jeb Bush’s 2016 predicament pretty aptly.
Jeb on the debate stage sounds a lot like me trying to talk my way out of the "friend zone" at age 15. (And, okay, 16 and 17 and 18 and …)
— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) November 11, 2015
To the GOP base, Bush has become that “friend” which they invite over to watch a movie, while on the other end of the couch they are texting this to Marco Rubio…
Major donor we've been chasing for 6 weeks just sent a two-word email to the campaign: "I'm in." #GOPDebate
— Todd Harris (@dtoddharris) November 11, 2015
If this campaign were just Bush and the million other candidates running for the GOP that aren’t named Marco Rubio, then he could of just weathered the dizzying highs that candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson are currently giving the base. After all, talk about flat taxes and deporting millions of immigrants is sexy and all, but that nice Bush boy will provide a nice stable future, even if he isn’t all that exciting.
However, Marco Rubio does exist in these 2016 GOP primaries and the GOP base might be in the initial stages of a rom-com gone totally wrong for the Bush campaign. If he doesn’t sweep the Republican base off their feet soon, he’ll be going to a wedding as a guest rather than the groom.
Word Clouds Making a Comeback Ya’ll
— Sumantra Lahiri (@SumantraLahiri) November 11, 2015
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 11, 2015
Guys, Guys, Guys… Ben Carson Isn’t Going Anywhere Because of a Lackluster Debate
For the longest time the voter appeal of Ben Carson eluded many political junkies. With every lack-luster debate performance and in every critique of his – quite literally – Biblical based tax plan, many of us were left wondering, “what’s the big deal?” What does a large section of the GOP audience see that we don’t?
Without getting too much into it – we’ll cover this exact question in a reader email response – but in short, the things we question about Carson’s appeal are the things that Carson supporters love about him.
Last night Carson barely said anything during the debate. Other than the canned responses to general questions from the moderators, Carson very rarely (if ever) stepped in to interrupt or challenge other candidates over topics regarding terrorism and the budget. In the past, voters would look at that as weakness.
In Carson’s case however, that’s just part of his appeal. Along with other attributes – which again we’ll talk about in another piece – Carson’s appeal is that he doesn’t yell or challenge or rock the boat in any meaningful way. The things political analysts don’t understand about him are the very things that give Carson momentum within a large section of the GOP base.
It’s because of this reason; Carson won’t be leaving this race anytime soon. But eventually a candidate will have to talk about policy and not just his personal story. So in that sense, you can pretty much guarantee, the things that make him the front-runner now will also be his undoing. Yet however his downfall manifests itself, it won’t be in the confines of a debate. That’s for damn sure.
(Photo Credit: Fox Business, Ben Carson Instagram, Jeb Bush Instagram, Twitter)