Bye, bye Jeb! ….. Hello, Marco! Hello, Ted!
After last night’s performance by former Florida governor Jeb Bush on the CNBC-sponsored Republican debate stage, one has to ask oneself, does Jeb really want to be President. Does he really want the job.
Jeb’s poll numbers and his performance last night are pointing to his going down the same highway as former Texas governor, Rick Perry and Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker. Perry, in my opinion, was the greater loss of these three governors, but he simply could not out his ghosts from the disastrous 2012 run.
If Jeb did not have the donor network behind him that he does, which is now slowly unravelling and soon to be at snowball speed, and if he didn’t have the “Bush” name, he would be toast by now. He certainly let it be known, (warning: door opening) that he could be “some really cool things“, whereby he may get a chance to do just that.
Poor Jeb just continued down the ‘doe in the headlights’ pathway, when he tried to connect with the voters over Fantasy Football and online gambling regulation “I’m 7-0 in my fantasy football league.” It didn’t take long before he was taken down by Gov. Chris Christie yet again, this time by Gov. Chris Christie, “We have ISIS and Al–Qaeda attacking us and we’re talking about fantasy football?”
Senator Marco Rubio has already shown that he’s a good debater. Articulate, personable, rehearsed and quick thinking. He doesn’t get flustered (so far) and has a personal story that connects with Americans. Whether that translates into his being a good and qualified President, or the Republican version of Barack Obama has yet to be determined. There are more than quite a few people who remember his “Gang of Eight” debacle, and as a one-term senator and Florida state representative for eight years, does he have the experience to lead this country and the wisdom to appoint qualified people as advisors and staff. Jury’s out.
Which leaves us with Ted Cruz. Already being touted for his campaign breakout moment, Cruz wisely pulled a Gingrich and went after the CNBC moderators (note: NBC has pulled the video off YouTube because of “copyright” laws – hehehe), who did a very poor job in hiding their disdain and contempt for the people on stage.
“You look at the questions; Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, can you insult those two people over here? Marco Rubio, will you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?”
The dichotomy between the questions asked the candidates in the Democratic debate vs. this third in the Republican series was nothing short of mind-boggling. Cruz was well within his bounds for calling them out, with other media outlets joining the smack-down of CNBC moderators. The New York Times John Harwood was especially smarmy.
As for the rest of the sock puppets on stage this past evening, in my opinion, Dr. Carson is still in over his head; Ohio Governor’s Kasich is too pontificating; former Governor Mike Huckabee, nice but still a niche player; Carly Fiorina, who, btw, looked pasty and bland, did not have an aha moment that lifted her off of “another ran” image; Gov. Chris Christie had a good evening, but should have run in 2012; Donald Trump, was on CNBC’s list to make a non-entity for the evening. Some say he’s fading, I’m not so sure. This was one of his better debates because he realizes he’s now being taken very seriously by some.
Bottom line, the night belonged to Rubio and Cruz. Jeb’s on life support.