Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17, 2015--Debate Postpartum

The first hour of Tuesday's GOP debate was largely devoted to candidates speaking from their talking points and thus it was predictable and, in political theater terms, boring.

But then in the second hour things heated up and it became more entertaining. It also revealed who might turn out to be the final three and the strategies those three will likely use to claw their way into that elite group.

To forestall any suspense you might be feeling, the final three will be TRUMP, Rubio, and Jeb Bush. Yes, Jeb!.

In regard to the ultimate nominee, after the Republican convention deadlocks, expect that to be Paul Ryan. He is hovering not too far in the background, trying to act like the SPEAKER and presidential. He's even taken to delivering ex cathedra speeches in flag-bedecked settings. The beard helps. Makes him look like a Founder.

But back to the final official-candidate three. Here's how things well play out. The other night we got a sneak preview of their plans.

Attack, attack, attack.

TRUMP will continue to do what he has been doing, while hoping for at least one or two more instances of domestic terrorism to lock in his over-fearful base while attracting enough quivering semi-independents who want a strong man to make America Great Again. He will be attacking individual rivals but ramp up his attacks on Obama, Hillary, and political elites, none of whom, in his view, know how to swagger on the world stage or have the experience or competence to get anything done.

Rubio, who won the debate the other night largely by glibly showing off that he knows "stuff" while displaying that he also has cojones by attacking Ted Cruz, will continue on the same tack. Expect more and more of his campaign fire directed toward his fellow Latino, Cruz, whose paper-thin voice went up an octave when under fire. Voters will not select for president someone who sounds as if he's inhaled helium.

And then there is the formerly hapless Jeb Bush who will continue to show he has moxie (plus gravitas) by relentlessly and effectively attacking TRUMP. It worked on Tuesday (look for this to show up in a post-debate bump in the polls) so expect more of the same. If he can, as he did, get under the skin of someone as formidable as TRUMP think what he'll do when it comes to confronting really bad guys like Putin and Assad.

Forget the rest of the candidates. Carson is now fully cooked, Christie was taken down by Paul Ryan of all people--he is less than half Christie's size--who revealed him to be the Third World warrior he pretends to be.

Shoot down Russian planes over Syria? As Paul said about Christie, "If you're looking for someone to start WW III, you have your candidate." And he couldn't resist piling on by making a nasty reference to Christie's alleged involvement in closing down the GW Bridge.

No one else is even breathing much less threatening to push their way into the inner-inner circle of final-finalists.

You heard it here.

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