Monday, August 03, 2015


There are seventeen Republicans running for president, but because Donald Trump is in the race, only three of them -- Trump himself, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker -- are in double digits in the latest Monmouth University poll. The latest Fox poll has only two candidates in double digits:

The newest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has four, Trump, Walker, Bush, and (barely in double digits at 10%) Ben Carson. Everyone else is an also-ran.

Today The New York Times told us that Jeb Bush's people see Donald Trump's campaign in a positive light: They assume he'll fade eventually, and meanwhile he's preventing other candidates from getting traction.
... for the moment he is depriving many of the other 16 Republican candidates of the political oxygen they need to win attention from grass-roots supporters in early nominating states and commitments from fence-riding donors.

That mainly helps Mr. Bush, who can quietly continue to build his daunting advantages in money and organization while his would-be challengers struggle to break through.
I bring all this up because a few months ago we were hearing that the Democrats were struggling with a weak bench. Whether it was because Hillary Clinton had frightened off potential challengers or because the 2010 and 2014 midterms had ended the careers of rising Democratic stars, the Democrats seemed to be in trouble. They might eke out a 2016 presidential victory thanks to their one superstar, but the future looked grim. Where were the prospects for the future?

Well, the GOP has a hell of a lot of prospects -- but they're all (or nearly all) getting crushed by Trump.

I actually think the GOP appears to have a deep bench because the right-wing hype machine is well oiled and efficient, and the mainstream media takes that hype machine's claims of stardom-in-the-making very, very seriously. Think of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. They're all callow neophytes with no real accomplishments. Yet they were all being declared superstars by the GOP's Mighty Wurlitzer before they'd hung the artwork in their Senate offices, and the MSM believed the BS.

But now they're all screwed -- Trump has stolen their thunder. Next time they try to run for president, they'll be the miserable failures who fell woefully short of expectations back in 2016.

Yes, the GOP had a bench. But it's been Trumped.


mlbxxxxxx said...

GOP doesn't have a deep bench, they just have a lot of numbnuts who all suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect and think they are god's answer in these troublesome times. Only a small handful of the vast and growing field have any right to claim any real consideration to be president of the US. Not a deep bench, just a deep and abiding lack of self-awareness.

M. Bouffant said...

Their bench is deep alright. W/ bench-warmers. Can't see any real talent 'though.

Blackstone said...

The group W bench... Mother rapers and father stabbers ...

Linkmeister said...

Chris Lehmann at the London Review of Books, June 18 2015 edition: "But the emerging field of Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential election is something else altogether. Of the dozen or so people who have declared or are thought likely to declare, every one can be described as a full-blown adult failure. These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way."

Victor said...

Great ending to this piece, Steve! :-)

Steve M. said...