Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mr. Nice Guy

Ben Carson has soared to the top of Iowa polls largely by being Mr. Nice Guy.  his drone comments aside.  He has adopted a soft-spoken attitude, letting his opponents fight it out between themselves for who is Mr. Tough Guy.  The Good Doctor actually favors a path toward citizenship for illegal immigrants currently residing in the country, which puts him at the opposite end of the Republican spectrum, as far from Trump as you can get.  His favorability rating also towers over Trump, with 81 per cent of Republicans saying they like him, whereas only 6 per cent say they don't.  No one else even comes close to him in this regard.  How far this takes Dr. Carson remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Chris Christie tried out his stand-up routine on the Jimmy Fallon show sitting down.  Chris definitely has the gift of gab, but he also has this nasty habit of sticking his foot in his mouth, such as suggesting tracking numbers on foreign visitors so that when they overstay their visas, they can be more easily identified.  He would have Fred Smith of FedEx set up the program in his first three months in office.  Maybe he meant it as a joke?

Even more funny is seeing Mitt Romney being promoted as a GOP alternative given the chaos Trump has caused on the campaign trail.  Here is former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich making his case for Romney.  Of course, Ehrlich is completely full of shit, citing youth and liberal Republicans for Trump's surge, when it is all too clear he is playing directly off the base of the Republican Party.  But, like most of the so-called GOP establishment, Ehrlich is in denial.

One of the things that is clear is that the GOP is at a loss as to what is going on in the polls.  None of their establishment candidates are faring well and the base of their party is favoring so-called "outsiders."  Neither Jeb nor Marco nor Scott Walker have been able to take flight in this campaign.   Walker didn't do himself any favors by suggesting a wall along the Canadian border, leading Andy Borowitz to pen this cutting post.

Rick Perry appears to be down to his last campaign worker in Iowa after a series of defections due to no longer being able to pay his campaign staff.  It appears former Gov. Rick will be the first casualty of this campaign, although his SuperPACs apparently have the funds to keep a shadow campaign afloat, assuming the well doesn't dry up completely.

You have to wonder about the staying power of Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Jim Gilmore and Bobby Jindal as well.  All these guys are polling around one per cent, making it easier for CNN to winnow down the next "Presidential" debate field.  The only one of the bottom tier to get a bounce in recent weeks has been Carly Fiorina, who may squeeze into the next scheduled debate on September 16.

The Donald remains the man to beat, but I don't think even he expected the Good Doctor to sneak up on him like this.  Trump has been careful not to go after Carson, who has always been well liked among the Republican faithful.  For his part, Carson has also refrained from attacking Trump, or any of the GOP candidates for that matter.

Carson has toned down his rhetoric since accusing President Obama of lying like a psychopath, but still believes it is the President who is dividing the country, when he needs look no further than his own political party and see the battle lines that have been drawn in this campaign.  Chris Christie is threatening to "go nuclear" in the next debate if he is ignored again.  Jeb has adopted a nuclear strategy of his own to counter Trump.  However, I think if Carson has taught his Republican peers anything, it is you don't have to shout to be heard.

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