Tuesday, February 09, 2016

NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TODAY, RUBIO WILL GET A DO-OVER

FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten thinks Marco Rubio is at risk today:
It’s hard to say what people expect of Rubio now, but he’s in a pretty precarious position. Even before Saturday’s debate, Rubio’s hold on second place wasn’t especially secure, and with Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush all huddled with support in the low teens or high single digits, even a small post-debate dip could push Rubio from second to third ... or fourth ... or fifth....

It’s ... quite possible that one of the legs of his three-legged stool gets kicked right out from under Rubio in New Hampshire if he finishes third or worse. If that happens, who knows how the media will go after him.
Nahhh, the media won't keep going after him. Oh, sure, he'll be damaged if he finishes third or somewhat worse, but as long as he's somewhere in the midst of that group fighting for second place (Cruz, Kasich, Bush), well ahead of the true losers (Christie, Carson, and Fiorina), he'll get a media do-over.

The evidence is in this post from Erick Erickson:
The Marco Rubio Robot Bull—-

Much of the political press leans left and has zero experience in politics. Perhaps they graduated Ivy League, did a tour or two at Salon or some lefty blog, then got in on the ground floor at a national media outlet covering politics. They can afford to split rent with five other bros or gals, buy a couple pairs of skinny jeans that they’ll refer to in the singular as a pant or a jean, and silently mock all the people they encounter on the campaign trail who are not cool or sophisticated or dressed like they robbed a Goodwill store in Bangkok. These political reporters have decided that Marco Rubio is a robot because they hear him repeat his lines all the time. They are idiots and Marco knows what he is doing....

For eight years the GOP elite and pundit class have bitched and moaned that the GOP needed to stay focused and on message. Along come Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio who both relentlessly stay on message and the GOP have decided one is unlikable and the other is a robot. It is all nonsense. It is a mutually sympathetic circle jerk of pundits and press racing each other to come up with the wittiest stereotype to capture the imagination of bored politicos tired of the cold in Iowa and New Hampshire. It is a game to the press, but is a life and death, daily struggle to the voters who yearn for something more and something else. Just as the “Cruz is not likable” line is unfair to Cruz, the “Rubio is a robot” line is unfair to Rubio. Cruz may be unlikable to Washington politicos and Rubio a repetitive robot to the same group, but the American public have not seemed to notice.
Erickson published this last night, even before the polls opened in Dixville Notch. He was already working the refs: If Rubio tanks in New Hampshire, it's because the liberals want to destroy him, along with collaborators in the GOP Establishment. Never mind the fact that Rubio was tripped up by Chris Christie, not some bearded sous-chef from Brooklyn. Never mind the fact that members of the GOP Establishment fall on their knees every night and beg the Republican Jesus to give them a Rubio nomination. And never mind the fact that the mainstream press would love a presentable Republican nominee who can challenge the hated Hillary Clinton or that old guy who threatens the wealth of journalists' hedge-fund pals.

A Rubio loss will be blamed on liberal sabotage. Erickson is already assessing blame. Fox will undoubtedly follow up, given Rupert Murdoch's clear preference for Rubio. And the press -- already favorably disposed to Rubio -- will urge him to get back up on the two-wheeler and show us all that he can ride without falling down. His press after a New Hampshire loss will be "Can Rubio Come Back?" -- and hints that the answer is yes will be spotted everywhere. We'll be told he's sharper and crisper and clearly poised for a comeback if he just gets through a campaign appearance without repeating himself.

He'll still struggle to win the nomination, especially because several Establishment favorites are likely to stay in the race after New Hampshire. But he'll start getting great press again very soon.

9 comments:

Charon04 said...

I have been reading that one reason the party has not united around Rubio is that he is widely detested by actual GOP politicians, who regard him as both an empty suit and a back-stabber.

Obviously the press loves the guy, including a lot of right wing talking heads. But - he needs donors and politicians, are they there for him?

Victor said...

As bad a person as Erickson is, he's and even worse writer.

He's so predictable and insipid, he sometimes makes Bobo seem like Hunter S. Thompson!

Unknown said...

Steve M., I think it's possible you overvalue Erick Erickson as some sort of Super Genius major domo.

Incidentally - Erickson thinks SALON is a pinko site? What a buffoon. What a maroon. Salon may seem icon lefty to an narrow-minded cultural ignoramus rightwing nut job fat pig of white supremacist like Erickson, but it's MOR in SF nad mild-middle in the leftosphere. It's got some pretty darn good lefties dropping their rounder-edged pieces there, nost notably Digby. But for the most part it serves as a platform for specialty writers like Andrew O'Heir on movies, and process reporters like David Dayen and Steve Kornacki. A big chunk of its punditry has always gone to contrarian goons like William "Putz" Curry, carrying on a truly awful tradition of slipping on their own banan peels. I admit I did have Salon bookmarked among the sites in my News file, but mostly because of Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomy guy (who to me is ironically their most consistently reliable lefty-voice other than when Digby posts something there) and the gifted weirdo Alex Pareene - who's finally been given enough authority, at Gawker, that he can do his best/worst and not have to discipline or fire himself.

(I treasure the odd few times the weirdo manages to get on cable; it reminds me of the one time Marcy Wheeler was on MSNBC and said "blowjob", which got her dumped, apparently banned for life, despite that it's impossible to find a sharper news analyst anywhere in media (David Carr used to be pretty okay, but he had to tone stuff down; Wheeler OTOH has her own site and truly sick gifts.).

Ten Bears said...

I oft shut down reichwingers' attempts to corral me into listening to their talking points by telling "if you think The New York Times is liberal you don't read it. Because, of course, they don't read. Same applies to Salon.

Rand Careaga said...

The Bad Astronomy guy writes for Slate, not Salon. I used to maintain a paid subscription to salon.com, but apart from the fact that the content has gone way downhill, the site is so cumbersome and poorly put together these days that I seldom stop in.

Unknown said...

The fact that Rubio's Super PAC did a last minute switch in their ad buys to start attacking Jeb suggests they fear Jeb-mentum. And if Rubio does finish behind Jeb, it's going to look very bad for the Golden Boy.

Unknown said...

Rand Careaga - D'oh; you're right. I get mixed up by those 2, especially since in total I only go to Plait and O'Heir.

retiredeng said...

Rubio is certainly mechanically "on message." And the loony recesses of Erickson's mind are a terrible place to go for any real reasoning.

petrilli said...

If I could fit into a pair of skinny jeans I would wear them. So would Erickson.