In case any of you were wondering, the term "power-bomb" describes a professional wrestling move in which one antagonist bends the other over, puts his head between his legs, reaches underneath his abdomen, lifts and flips him upside-down so that he's facing the ceiling, and then drives him shoulders- and neck- first into the mat.
You can also see why I featured the 450-pound monster Big Van Vader as the metaphorical surrogate for the 450-pound governor of New Jersey, who did a very effective job of breaking Marco Rubio's back in New Hampshire last night:
Surging Republican hopeful Marco Rubio wilted under sustained attack in the latest U.S. presidential debate, denting his stature going into Tuesday's New Hampshire primary dominated by Donald Trump.
The telegenic, forty-four-year-old Florida senator - who polls suggest has the best change of winning the White House for the Republicans - was savaged by his rivals late Saturday for his lack of experience, floundering on a debate stage where he often shines....
The most sustained attack was waged by New Jersey governor Christie, a no-nonsense former federal prosecutor who has campaigned hard in New Hampshire and denigrated Rubio for being controlled by his team.
"Marco, the thing is this. When you're president of the United States... the memorized thirty-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn't solve one problem," Christie said.
That's actually a non sequitur when you think about it. Does Rubio ever claim that extolling America's greatness will solve any problems? No, he does not. Its purpose is to point out, in Gibbsesque doggedly optimistic fashion, that we CAN solve our problems, that we're not doomed to permanent decline (which we are, but work with me here). "Is this an argument for pessimism and 'American can't-do spirit,' Governor?" is a comeback Senator Rubio might have utilized.
Indeed, he (and his staff) had to have known that Rubes was going to have a great, big target on his back, sides, front, and stenciled across his pretty face - the Big Man telegraphed it a few days ago - but Christie's broadsides appeared to catch the Florida senator flat-footed, and he panicked.
The senator was mocked for repeating the same rehearsed line over and over again -- doing exactly what Christie criticized him for.
"Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing," Rubio said on a loop.
Well, that line may be rehearsed, but it sure as heck isn't wrong.
"There it is: The memorized twenty-five-second speech," Christie interjected.
"There are a lot of 'lines' and themes that a candidate revisits again and again over the course of a year's worth of speeches and debates and interviews, Governor. You do the same thing, as does everybody on this stage tonight. Is it really that unusual? Perhaps it's just that I've done my homework and know what I'm talking about - part of the preparation needed to be an effective president. If spontaneity in the White House is what you're looking for, we've already had seven years' too much of it."
Admittedly, I'm not standing behind a podium being blinded by five thousand watt klieg lights at the moment, but I came up with that right off the top of my head. Senator Rubio couldn't have mustered that answer on the fly? Or been prepared for it?
Instead he got knocked off-message into trying to counter-attack Double-C, and the one he used didn't even strike at his biggest weakness:
The usually-poised Rubio was booed for accusing the governor of dragging his feet in leaving the campaign trail when his State was hit by a deadly East Coast snowstorm last month.
"They had to shame you into going back. You stayed there for thirty-six hours and then he left and came back," Rubio said.
Rubes really didn't mention Hurricane Sandy four years ago, and Christie's fawning all over Barack Obama less than a week before the 2012 election that helped cost Mitt Romney the presidency? It was teed up for him, right there for the taking. And if Christie had come back with his usual defense of his love for his State and he was the governor and it was his job to do whatever it took to help his fellow Jerseyoids, that would have run clangingly counter to his "I could care less about Winter Storm Jonas turning my State into a glacier, I've got a White House to win" callousness. It would have shut down that avenue of attack in a heartbeat.
Heck, Marco didn't even bring up Bridgegate and ask the Jersey Dirigible if that's the sort of executive legerdemain to which he was making reference.
I just don't see how Rubio could have been that unprepared for a fusillade he had to know was coming. It really goes to illustrate Russell Wilson's adage about the separation being in the preparation. And now Marco Rubio is being metaphorically wheeled out on a stretcher with under three days to go. Not good.
Perhaps Ted Cruz will benefit. He wasn't the mass-beatdown target Rubio was, but he turned in his usual quality performance, and if he had been such a target, I think we can take for granted that he wouldn't have been unprepared.
Trump didn't help himself by feuding with the (voting) audience, but the combination of his bigger lead in New Hampshire versus what the pre-caucus polls showed in Iowa and the ass-kicking Rubio took last night will probably enable him to get into the win column on Tuesday.
I did get quite a kick out of the introductions drama:
As they introduced the candidates on the right side of the stage, Christie and Cruz came out and took their places but there seemed to be some confusion on Carson’s entrance.
Naturally. Probably because he had run out to the nearby Men's Warehouse for a last-minute change of clothes after dribbling vinaigrette on his tie and he didn't want Senator Cruz's staffers to see it.
One camera was showing the backstage area where they were waiting.
aka The "gorilla position".
Then they introduced Donald Trump who walked to the edge of the curtain and stopped. He didn’t come out on the stage. The moderator seemed confused, but went on to introduce Rubio and Bush who also came out to their stations. The camera kept going back to Trump, standing offstage waiting. I’ll confess that, just for a moment, I found myself wondering if Donald wasn’t planning some sort of epic “kiss my butt” moment where he turned around and left. That wasn’t the case, though.
After Bush came out, followed by Carson, the moderator repeated his introduction of Trump with the phrase, “and lastly, we welcome back to the debate stage, Donald Trump.”
Of course Trump wasn't going to turn around and walk out - look what that did to him in Iowa. No, this was easily recognized by anybody who is the slightest bit familiar with, again, professional wrestling (which Donald Trump most certainly is....)
Everybody knows that the champion is introduced last. I guess Senator Cruz doesn't watch much professional wrestling.
And then the punchline:
Trump then walked out and took the center spot as the crowd applauded, but the backstage camera showed John Kasich standing behind the curtains, completely forgotten and looking lost. Chris Christie had to speak up and say something along the lines of, “I think you forgot Kasich. You want me to introduce him?”
Imagine if Christie had just kept quiet (I'm sure Senator Rubio would have appreciated that) and Kasich had had to sheepishly slink out to his podium. Nothing could have been more appropriate and more deserved by such an aggravating, obnoxious RINO carbunkle of an unwanted and unneeded candidacy. Or, "Jeb Bush without the surname".
One other thought about Christie squashing Rubio last night: Could anybody have ever seen the equivalent thing being done to Barack Obama at one of the Democrat debates eight years ago after he broke out from the pack? Say, then-New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson going full-bore kamikaze on The One using the same avenue of attack and just tearing him limb from limb, leaving O standing there, shell-shocked, going "humina, uh, humina, uh, humina, uh...."? Obama would have been a lot more vulnerable to such an all-out assault than Rubio was. But that never happened, and we all know why: Barack Obama is half-black, and thus the Left's racist identity politics obsession protected him by rendering any such otherwise ordinary campaign rough & tumble preemptively impossible. And thus the perfumed prince swept on to the Democrat nomination and the dictatorship of the Obamateriat that has brought America down to the permanent decline from which Rubes believes we can still rescue ourselves. But in our colorblind party, the Latino presidential candidate was fair game, as he should have been, and he didn't and won't hide behind his ethnicity, as he should not.
Not that Rubio or Ted Cruz are "authentically Latino," anyway.
Of course, given that Rubio is anywhere from five to ten points more electable than Cruz or Trump in general election matchups, couldn't Christie have kept his mouth shut and "taken one for the team"? Or maybe Rubio's people have stuffed a triple whopper into it as soon as he opened it? We might still rue last night as a profoundly damaging campaign turning point, in the same way that this was one in the opposite direction....