Let’s imagine the first presidential debate in the fall of 2016 . . .(Um, grammatically, that should be "Out walk Clinton and Walker." But never mind.)
Out walks Clinton and Walker.
Out walks Clinton and Walker. They shake hands and Walker offers his arm as they walk over to the podiums. The image of a boy scout walking a senior citizen across the street comes to mind. Throughout the debate, she calls him Scott; he calls her Mrs. Clinton. She really is old enough to be his mother. Whenever she talks about the 1990s, his team shoots out e-mails to the media reminding the press that in the 1990s, he was younger than Chelsea is now, but he didn’t get a six-figure deal from a TV network for doing nothing. It’s the opposite of 2008, when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) looked grandfatherly and harried in comparison to then-junior Sen. Barack Obama.Oh, if only.
Yes, it would be such a genius move for Scott Walker to patronize Hillary Clinton in an ageist and sexist way by offering his arm to guide her to the podium. Patronizing Hillary in a debate in a physical way worked so well for Rick Lazio in the 2000 New York Senate race, didn't it? And it would be equally brilliant to follow up by barraging the media with emails saying, "Look at her! Isn't she old? Look at the crone! Croney Croney croney!"
Yes, the ageism would really go over well, given the presidential turnout rates of various age groups:
And I'll point this out one more time: As Election Day 2016 approaches, Scott Walker will turn 49. Hillary Clinton will turn 69 -- but Walker's wife, Tonette, will turn 61. If Walker's the nominee, the press will cover his wife and make note of the fact that she's older -- none of which seems to inspire Walker to reconsider his frequent disparaging references to the age of other politicians (not just to Hillary but, as Rubin notes, to Jeb Bush, who's only a couple of years older than Tonette).
Rubin thinks Hillary is going to talk about the 1990s a lot. Does she? I don't think so -- but Walker loves talking about Ronald Reagan. Walker began his now-famous CPAC speech with a paean to Reagan. He later got in trouble by invoking Reagan's confrontation with unionized air traffic controllers in reference to how he'd deal with ISIS. And, of course, there's this:
Every year, on their wedding anniversary, Walker and his wife celebrate Reagan's birthday by serving (according to Walker's memoirs) "macaroni and cheese casserole, and red, white, and blue Jelly Belly jelly beans."So which is the two candidates in Rubin's fantasy is living more in the past?
Walker may not have what it takes to win this nomination. But if he can pull it off, I hope he takes Rubin's advice very, very seriously.