... according to Politico's Annie Karnie [Brock] said something really weird on Friday about Marco Rubio.(Emphasis added by Yglesias.)
Brock said he doesn't dismiss what he characterized as an outside chance that Donald Trump could win his party’s nomination -- "You never discount a demagogue" -- but said he is not prepared to pour resources into planning for the rise of Sen. Marco Rubio.
"I just don’t see it," he said of the young Florida senator. "He has some critical weaknesses, his absenteeism, weird listlessness on the campaign trail, all the mess with his personal finances -- there’s a lot. He hasn’t been vetted."
"I think Cruz will end up as the nominee," Brock added, "and I think Trump will support him and have a big platform. We’ll be hearing from him at the convention and on the campaign trail."
Brock isn't the only person in Hillaryland who thinks Cruz will win -- Hillary's campaign chairman, John Podesta, also thinks it'll be Cruz.
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta handicapped the GOP race for 90 Democratic donors assembled at a private fundraising event in Berkeley, California, on Thursday night, according to a Clinton backer who was in the room, telling the crowd that he viewed Cruz as the likeliest nominee, followed by Trump, and then Marco Rubio.Are these guys trying to downplay Rubio strength because they don't want him to be able to go to Republican voters and say, "I'm the one Hillary Clinton fears"? Maybe. Or maybe -- as Yglesias's Vox colleague Andrew Prokop argues -- Rubio is running a terrible campaign:
There's something odd about Marco Rubio's presidential campaign: He hasn't been doing all that much, er, campaigning in the early states.Rubio, according to Prokop, thinks he's running a forward-thinking 21st-century campaign -- he doesn't need to campaign face to face in Iowa and New Hampshire as much as successful candidates have in the past, he believes, because voters will see him on Fox News, and that's all that matters. He thinks he doesn't need to make frequent appearances in the two states, build up campaign staff there, travel outside Des Moines when he's in Iowa, or rack up local endorsements. But if he really has this figured out, you'd think he'd be the one making moves in Iowa polls right now, not Cruz.
Unlike most recent presidential nomination winners, who have invested serious time and effort into campaigning and building organizations in at least one of either Iowa or New Hampshire, Rubio has taken a positively relaxed approach to both. He doesn't show up very often, doesn't do much campaigning when he is around, and doesn't seem to be building very impressive field operations.
And it's raising eyebrows. James Pindell of the Boston Globe wrote last week that Rubio's New Hampshire surge was "riddled with doubts," and that GOP insiders are bemoaning his "lack of staff" and "activity." National Review's Tim Alberta and Eliana Johnson reported Wednesday that Rubio's "weak ground game" was angering Iowa Republicans. And the New Hampshire Union Leader wrote an editorial headlined, "Marco? Marco? Where's Rubio?"
Maybe Rubio knows something about modern campaigning that the rest of us don't. But I think Iowa and New Hampshire voters still feel entitled to endless stroking and coddling, and he refuses to pamper them as they're accustomed to being pampered.