A “deep bench” update…
I didn’t watch the entire Republican debate last night, but I watched enough. Most people are talking about the poor showing of Marco Rubio, particularly his moment of “flat out panic and mental paralysis,” repeating the same phrase over and over: “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.” As far as repetition, many observers have noted for a while that Marco’s debate performances mostly consist of regurgitating the same old talking points he uses in his stump speeches, which also vary little from one giving to the next.
But let’s also remember that Rubio used to claim that President Obama didn’t know what he’s doing. Now, he can’t stop himself from repeating that Obama does know what he’s doing. Marco, Marco, Marco… Do you have any convictions that you will stick to? Of course, this is the fundamental problem of conservative Obama hatred: They can’t decide whether he’s an incompetent, bumbling fool, or a devious, brilliant schemer bent on intentionally destroying the United States. They don’t even bother acknowledging their inconsistency; that would require some introspection on their part.
Anyway, I’ve long thought that Rubio comes across as a poor imitation of Barack Obama–leaving aside their ideological differences, of course. I mean, let’s face it, the absurd conservative criticism of Obama–not vetted, uses a teleprompter–just falls apart in the face of Rubio. And David Frum, in a series of tweets last night, made that point devastating clear. Below are the tweets in text form, but you can go here to see them in their original form.
Rubio’s 4x repeat was not an act of excessive message discipline. It was a display of panic at a moment of uncertainty.
Faced with a genuinely new situation, Rubio could not figure out what to do… and so stumbled into doing precisely the wrong thing.
The bug question about Rubio is: can this untested novice cope with the demands of the presidency?
Voters have pitifully little information about hi. In this way, Rubio is NOT like Obama at all.
The question D[emocratic] voters were asking in 2008 was: who’d opposed the Iraq war? Obama had little record – bit was the right record for Ds.
On the central question of 2016, immigration, Rubio go the answer massively wrong from a Republican point of view.
Phyllis Schlafly here massively documents how wrong (from an R point of view) Rubio was http://www.eagleforum.org/immigration/rubio-record.html
Worse, Rubio’s explanations re immigration raise questions about how well he ever understood what he was doing.
Was he merely a personable front man? Was he outwitted by Chuck Schumer? What did he learn from what he himself now describes as error?
Rubio has gotten away with his glibness because of persistent R under-estimation of Barack Obama.
Candidate Obama in 2008 was dangerously untested yes, but he was obviously a man of profound depths.
Obama had laid out his whole philosophy of life in a massive, highly self-aware and very revealing memoir.
But yes, the lack of experience in Obama was grounds for worry. That’s why Obama added Biden to the ticket.
With Rubio, though, Republicans are asked to nominate an unknown quantity – wrong by his own admission on his most important decision.
Republicans are asked to nominate an unknown quantity who has not offered useful information to predict the kind of president he’d be.
Last night, they got a maybe unfair glimpse of the kind of president he’d be when the pressure was on.
It was unnerving – and what has Rubio offered over this campaign to calm those nerves when they twitch?
The world instantly tests new presidents. Nobody can be fully read. But some are more read; some are less – and less is dangerous.