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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Jeb! Dante's Rubio Inferno

by JASmius

I have just one question, and it can be distilled down to one word: WHY? What does going kamikaze on rightwing Dezi accomplish for Jeb? How does it help his "comeback kid" gimmick? The math doesn't add up. If the ex-Florida governor could glom Rubio's support tomorrow, he would vault all the way to.....roughly 15% in the polls, a distant third behind Carson and Trump. He'd be THE "establishment" candidate again, but so what? If anything should be abundantly clear by now, it's that "establishment" candidates are anathema to the GOP base in 2015. Equally obvious is that Rubio is a superior candidate to Jeb - younger, more articulate, more charismatic, more telegenic, more knowledgeable, more electable. If Jeb wanted to be a statesman instead of a spoiler, he would "take one for the team" and get out of Rubio's way.

- Me, ten days ago

Jeb isn't taking my advice:

The super PAC, Right to Rise, which has raised more than $100 million backing Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, has released a provocative video against his rival Senator Marco Rubio for his stance on abortion, the New York Times reports.

Abortion?  Why abortion?  What's Jeb going to say?  That the pro-life Rubio isn't pro-life enough?  That sounds almost Tea Party-esque.  Are they the ones to whom Jeb is slyly trying to appeal with this silliness?  And if he was going to take the socon angle, how in the world is he not blasting Rubes for his embrace of sodomarriage?  That's such low-hanging fruit it's smacking him in the face like Donald Trump's testicles.

As Rubio has started to climb in the polls, the group's chief strategist has boasted that they are willing to spend as much as $20 million to show Rubio as unelectable and prop up Bush's candidacy.

Even if they could show Rubio as "unelectable" - most definitely a minority point of view, which helps explain why the Bushkins have taken the other side of it - how would that show Jeb as being MORE electable?  How would the Florida senator's "establishment" support not drift over to Chris Christie and his Tea Party backing not bolt to Ted Cruz?  None of this makes the slightest bit of sense.

Which evidently everybody gets outside the walls of House Bush:

"At the end of the day, wisdom dictates that an internecine fight between the two is unnecessary, and potentially damaging to both," said Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier and Bush fundraiser.

Scaramucci is not the only Bush supporter who finds the feud between the two unnecessary.

"Given their closeness while governing, I find the whole thing baffling," said Republican strategist Stuart Stevens.

"I seem not to be alone," Stevens added. "I don't see any evidence that it's working."

It's like the Green Goblin/Spiderman or Vlad Plasmius/Danny Phantom dynamics - defeated mentor turns against protege who surpasses him.  I'd throw in Obi Wan Kenobi/Darth Vader except that Rubio never "turned against" Jeb, unless you buy the Bush definition of Rubio running for the GOP nomination in Jeb's coronational cycle.

But Jeb WAS Rubio's mentor and friend and ally.  For many years.  And there are oodles and oodles of video clips reflecting that bosom relationship, which Team Marco has gathered into a highly entertaining campaign ad rebuttal:

After the New York Times reported that the pro-Bush super PAC Right to Rise USA has filmed an attack video claiming Rubio’s hard-line stance on abortion makes him unelectable....

Ah.  I should have known Jeb wouldn't try to attack Rubio from his right flank.  My bad.

....and its top strategist has shown a willingness to unleash as much as $20 million worth of ads targeting the Florida senator, Rubio’s campaign tried to turn the group’s plans to its advantage by raising money off of them.

“And they’re bragging about that? How is that the kind of ‘joyful’ campaign that Jeb claimed he wanted to run?!?!” writes Rubio campaign manager Terry Sullivan in the e-mailed solicitation for campaign contributions. Sullivan’s reference is to Bush’s well-documented desire to campaign “joyfully.”

The Bushies haven't yet released their hit ad against Rubes, BTW.  That makes the second time in as many weeks that Jeb has clumsily telegraphed a BS smear that rightwing Dezi has preemptively - and (heh) joyfully - squashed.  And this guy was going to go toe-to-toe in a back-alley brawl with Trump?

Exit cosmically ironic quote:

However, in defense of the attacks against Rubio, Mike Murphy, the top strategist for Right to Rise, said "part of running for president is you have to put your big boy pants on and get vetted on the issues, so we know we don't have a dud candidate running against Hillary Clinton." [emphasis "joyfully" added[

UPDATE: Hmmm; Hillary is also loading up for a preemptive anti-Rubio strike.  Anybody know if "Right To Rise" is bankrolling it?  That WOULD be an example of "bipartisan cooperation," after all.

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