Yesterday I talked about the media narrative and how, no matter what the result, the narrative would already be in place.

Anyone who watched the coverage yesterday and today can recognize this.

 

Just a week ago, we were told by the talking heads that Donald Trump’s 2nd place finish by 4 pts was a crushing defeat that it brought questions about if Mr. Trump was for real.  At the same time Marco Rubio’s 3rd place finish was the sign that his time had come, the media was all Rubio all the time.  Endorsements poured in and Marco mentum was the rule of the day.

Not so Ben Carson whose 4th place was an afterthought, nor Ted Cruz whose actual victory seemed to mean nothing because NH is different kettle of fish (do people put fish in a kettle)?

 

Well now we’ve seen NH and we’ve learned some interesting things.

 While finishing 2nd place by 4 pts is a crushing defeat in Iowa in NH 2nd place by 18 points is a great victory that can propel a candidate to the upper tier of the GOP field even if said candidate didn’t manage to crack 10% in Iowa.

We learned that while 3rd place by 2 pts in Iowa is an incredible finish that gives a candidate momentum 3rd place in NH by 4 point is no big deal even in a state where you aren’t expected to do well.

We’ve further learned that while 4th place in Iowa is not even worth mentioning 4th place in NH revives a campaign and guarantees a candidate can go on even if that 4th place finish is the best said candidate has done so far.

And most odd of all we’ve seen that a first place finish by a wide margin is less newsworthy than finishing 2nd.

How can this be?  Well it’s very simple.

For the MSM Jeb Bush and John Kasich are the most liberal members of the GOP field supporting Obamacare, Common Core & Illegal Immigration and thus the easiest for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders to defeat, therefore any meme that potentially advances their chances to get the GOP nomination is to be given the full force of the msm.

Ted Cruz opposes all of those things, thus in Iowa his 1st place finish is eclipsed by Marco Rubio and his 3rd place finish is eclipsed by Jeb Bush because under no circumstances shall any scenario that advances his candidacy be advanced.

Finally while the media absolutely hates Donald Trump they fear Ted Cruz.  Therefore while they will downplay Trump’s win for now they will hold their fire under the assumption that it might come down to Trump vs Cruz and in that case they will go all in for the Donald.

Never forget that the media’s stories are already written, it’s only a question of shoehorning the facts to fit them.

 

**************

I remain in bed, unable to stand for more than a few minutes with my head spinning and unable to hold down even dry cereal.

The irony is that these symptoms which are considered normal in the aftermath aftermath of my illness could go on for months and continue to cost me days of work that I can’t afford to miss.

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If anyone tells you that they know what’s going to happen today in NH they are full of it.

However while the actual results of the evening are totally up in the air, the MSM memes for today are completely predictable.

DONALD TRUMP:


If Donald wins this by more than 10 pts

MSM will start talking inevitably and declare that only the #2 finisher (unless it’s Ted Cruz) has a prayer to stop him and the talk will be if the establishment decides to go all in.

If Donald trump wins by less that 10 pts (my best guess)

MSM meme will be Trump is vulnerable and MSM will extol the virtues of any 2nd or 3rd place finisher not named Ted Cruz as the alternative to Trump.

If Trump loses to any person not named Ted Cruz.

Said person will be lionized and the Trump campaign declared a paper tiger, they will really cheer if it’s a Bush or Kasich.

If Trump loses to Ted Cruz

Mass Seppuku among members of the MSM and the Party will go all out to push whoever is 2nd.

TED CRUZ

See above if he wins

If Cruz finishes in 2nd or 3rd.

Media will pretend he doesn’t exist and will push the other 2nd or 3rd place finisher , if he gets 3rd by less that 2 pts they’ll push the 4th place person as advancing too.

If Cruz finishes 4th or below , even by one vote

MSM will treat him as a one trick pony and pretend his national campaign is doomed.

 

MARCO RUBIO

If Rubio finishes 2nd or 3rd

He will  be pushed as he alternative to Donald Trump unless a governor finishes 2nd then Rubio will be hit as a guy on the decline.

If Rubio finishes 5th or below

He will be written off by the MSM

 

JEB BUSH, JOHN KASICH, CHRIS CHRISTIE (who can tell the difference anymore?)

 

If any one of them finish in 2nd -4th

Said candidate will be dubbed the “Winner” of NH Establishment primary which will be treated as more important than actually winning..  If more than 1 finishes in the top 4 both will be cheered.

If the finish is 2nd place said candidate will be treated  as if they actual won NH even if they are 20+ pts behind the winner.

Any finish by a gov below 4th and said candidate will be told it’s time to go.

Note Jeb Bush will be treated as if he finished one level ahead of whatever spot he finishes at.

BEN CARSON

Unless he finishes 4th or above he will be totally ignored except to blame Ted Cruz for said finish.

MSM will do their best to keep Carson in the race in the hope that he will hurt Ted Cruz in the south.

 

CARLY FIORINA

Unless she finishes top 4 MSM will say it’s time to go.  If she finishes top 4 with Cruz and Rubio may become de facto Establishment alternative

 

JIM GILMORE

If he finishes about any other candidate it will be treated as  a victory.  If he does not then he’ll tweet out that he’s now in the top 5-8 depending on how many candidates drop out.

MY PREDICTION:  The only candidate that drops out post NH is Chris Christie unless Kasich finishes 6th then he’ll consider it.

 

The Democrats:

BERNIE SANDERS

If Sanders wins by less that 15 points.

MSM will treat result as a great Clinton Comeback and Bill will talk about Hillary as the 2nd coming of the comeback kid.  If it’s single digits it will be considered the Clinton miracle.

If Sanders wins by 15+

Bloomberg is in, Biden is maybe in and Hillary & Bill launch an all out campaign to destroy him that will make the attacks at Ken Starr look like nothing.

 

HILLARY CLINTON

If somehow Hillary Clinton wins

It’s all over for Bernie & the FBI investigation

 

The chances of Hillary being indicted are directly related to how well she does.

My best guess (Bernie by 12)

 

All of this is fun but remember this above all:

 

The actual results are secondary to the the meme the MSM wants to push, those have already been determined.  The only question is will the results allow those memes to be credible.

**************

Today my plan had been to take a day off of work, head to NH, visit some polling places and finish at the Ted Cruz event in Hollis.

Instead I’m in bed, unable to stand for more than a few minutes with my head spinning and unable to hold down even dry cereal.

The irony is that these symptoms which are considered normal in the aftermath aftermath of my illness could go on for months and continue to cost me days of work that I can’t afford to miss.

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Ever think you had woken up and found you were still asleep and dreaming?

That’s how I felt when I saw this tweet from the Donald Trump camp.

My reaction to this was, wow, just wow, which is a polite way of saying:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

In a way it makes sense. The Donald™ has decided (correctly btw) that there is little or no chance of winning over Ted Cruz voters so there is no downside for him here and given the abject hatred of Ted Cruz by the establishment GOP, the media etc etc etc this line of attack is likely to be repeated and popular and hopefully overshadowing the Marco Rubio surge. All part of the overall Trump control of the air campaign plan

Of course it’s also there is always the chance that he’s making this idiocy up as he goes along.

I was thinking it was most self delusional tweet you will see from a presidential campaign, or at least it would be if twenty minutes before I made this Joke concerning Rand Paul & Rick Santorum (both good men btw) leaving the GOP race…

….Jim Gilmore tweeted this.

My reaction of course is ARE YOU KIDDING ME, he really means it!

I’m trying to figure out which tweet is more delusional and just can’t decide so I think it’s time for a poll.

[yop_poll id=”8″]

After all the world needs more laughter.

First, the whine:

The abbreviated version, from Twitter:

Via Patterico, who links to: Trump accuses Cruz of ‘fraud,’ calls for new Iowa election, which in turn bring us to the cheese (emphasis added to the text following the tweet),

The tweet referred to a report from CNN’s Chris Moody during the caucuses that Ben Carson would take a detour from New Hampshire following Iowa, heading to Florida instead — which some took to mean that Carson was suspending his campaign.

The Cruz campaign then alerted its leaders to the tweet from the CNN reporter but, as Cruz explained in an apology on Tuesday, neglected to send the follow-up tweet in which Moody clarified that the Carson campaign had told him that the retired neurosurgeon was not dropping out of the race but rather just picking up fresh clothes. On Monday night, Carson accused the Cruz campaign of “dirty tricks” but accepted its apology.

We can debate all day whether Moody incorrectly conveyed information to a campaign; the fact is that during a caucus, it is to be expected that any such information would be put to use – it’s a caucus.* (See update below)

What is clear is that Trump is now using Carson, after attacking Carson as “pathological“,

Now. If you’re pathological, there’s no cure for that, folks.

and insulting Iowa voters while he was at it.

Trump’s approach is “I whine until I win,”

Go buy yourself a farm in Iowa, Donald, and try to not use taxpayer subsidies and eminent domain to get it.

Just spare us the whine and cheese.

UPDATE
Uh Oh, Was Marco Rubio Guilty In The Ben Carson Dropout Rumor?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

There are multiple reports in the media that Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown will endorse Donald Trump for President today.

It is likely that I will not have access to the net when/if it happens so I am writing this in anticipation of the event and all conclusions are based on the report being correct, but let me say right now that if it’s true it’s very significant not because of Scott Brown’s popularity with the Tea Party which has taken a huge hit but with his popularity with the Establishment.

Recall that Senator Brown was the hand picked candidate of the GOP establishment to run in NH, beating out several Tea Party candidates with better records on things like guns, and being practically the only GOP senator to fail to unseat a Democrat incumbent in trouble.

That being the case one might have expected Scott Brown to go with Jeb Bush, or John Kasich or even Chris Christie.

And with the strong finish by Marco Rubio and the MSM dubbing him the new GOP establishment he might have been another viable choice for an endorsement.

He has not.

This is a very public declaration by a candidate currently identified with the NH GOP establishment that the normal establishment candidate are not going anywhere, furthermore it suggests that Donald Trump is still considered the guy to beat in the state.

Also it gives Donald Trump a boost at a time when he most needs it with a candidate who has crossover appeal to democrats who might not want to vote for Hillary but can’t bring themselves to go Bernie and a signal to the “Stop Cruz at any price” crowd, that it is Trump, not Rubio who has the best chance to beat him.

On the minus side Brown has burned some bridges with 2a guys and some conservative activists but in fairness those guys are likely already with Ted Cruz so it’s not a big loss for Trump.

I’ll say this for the Donald, between Palin, Brown and Dole he really has a group of endorsers who are diverse.

It’s no exaggeration to say that this race is not finished with providing surprises.

As of this moment the only think we know for sure about Iowa is the fact that hotel room prices are about to drop like a rock.

As I will be at work with no access to a radio or the net my first knowledge of the results in Iowa will, unless I take my laptop with me as I have no smartphone, either at 7 AM or what people with smartphones tell me during breaks.

It’s my opinion that Ted Cruz will put it out, that the turnout thanks to the storm will not grow as much and his ground game will make the difference. It’s also my opinion that not enough people will choose to vote strategically (although it’s the pragmatic thing to do) to turn the Donald Trump events into victory.

It’s also my opinion that Sanders wins simply because to the young Sanders voter the caucus itself is like a Trump event & they’ll so because it’s an event, plus there is enough fear in Hillary voters to make the difference.

But even if I’m wrong and it’s Trump Cruz vs Cruz Trump what’s next? Since I’m obliged to write thing before I have any clue what has actually happened here is what I think:

If TED CRUZ wins by a lot:

An unlikely scenario, but if it happens it will make a huge difference in NH guaranteeing him top 3. This will require cause a bloodbath in NH as the big three establishment candidates plus Rubio fight for their lives. Jeb Bush may decide to back out of NH all together and decide to go all in for SC in order to retain the donor class. But it also becomes last stand for Kasich and Christie, particularly if Rubio finishes a strong 3rd.

It also means that Ted Cruz’s already formidable ground & money advantage increases greatly

As far as the Establishment goes a big Ted Cruz win means decision time. It’s all in to stop him, but to who, Trump, Rubio or Bush? If the Cruz win comes with a Trump collapse then suddenly the the old rules apply again and Bush rises from the grave as Stacy McCain fears.

If TED CRUZ wins by a little (my best guess):

Then all the conventional wisdom that the pundits have talked about continues, Trump in this case likely does well enough to ensure a NH win (unless he collapses then Rubio become the Stop Ted Establishment fan.

All the Ted Cruz wins by a lot scenario’s above apply to a lesser degree including the panic. It also gives the GOP establishment a little time to put off their decision as to what to do.

If Trump comes a close second expect him to be like the US Army after Kasserine, someone who learns a lot from an initial defeat. He will go after Cruz like there is no tomorrow.

If Donald Trump wins by a little

Then NH is his, Cruz might settle to 3rd or 4th there and it sets him up well for continued success. In one respect a close win is best for Trump as it confers the victory he needs with the lessons that a close call can teach.

Cruz will be pilloried by the MSM for losing in this case in an attempt to write him off (it will fail) and it might tempt some campaigns that should end to continue at least to NH or SC) It will also give new hope to Christie and Carson and be a boon to Rubio. If somehow Rubio finishes 2nd to Trump (very unlikely) then he will become the defacto GOP Trump alternative

If Donald Trump wins by a lot

The whole game is blown up. NH is his, Nevada is likely his and the Bush SC plan is in deep trouble. Ted Cruz holds on in the south & will need to rally there. NH becomes a fight for 2nd place but the GOP establishment might just decide that they had better hit the Trump Bandwagon NOW rather than later, unless Rubio comes 2nd & then they might decide to go that way.

It’s possible that this helps Bush the most since with Cruz disposed of he has the biggest donor network to actually compete.

This is the only Scenario where I see either Huckabee or Santorum getting to NH

Final thought: If any candidate other than Trump, Cruz or Rubio finish in the top 3 THAT becomes the subhead in the GOP no matter what the result. If it’s an establishment guy NH goes completely insane.

Note: If suggestions that Carson is thinking of dropping that have just been reported, all bets are off.

Democrats:

If Bernie Sanders wins by a lot:
The Trump explosion squared. DNC panic and the Biden & Bloomberg stuff goes into overdrive. Both the “stop Bernie” and the “Replace Hillary NOW!” plans go into full swing and the Clintons find themselves fighting for their political lives. At this point the black community will have to choose a side. The Clintons will tell them to name their price and pay it, but they might just see what the Replace Hillary Now and Bernie camps might offer for their support.

It’s possible that the Obama administration and the Clinton’s go into mutually assured destruction mode. That all depends on what threats get made by the Clinton’s or the Administration in an attempt to either force them to back her or pressure her to leave. MSN in full panic mode.

If Bernie Sanders wins by a little (my best guess)

The slow Clinton bleed continues and all the tough decisions that a big Bernie win would force are delayed. Again Clinton appeals to the minority community to be her firewall post NH but minor defections continue. The DNC decides to sweat it out for NH in the hopes that Hillary can recover post NH. The whispers of indictment continue but aren’t enough to go anywhere yet. It’s all wait and see.

If Hillary wins by a little.

Most of the DNC panic dissipates, suddenly Biden & Bloomberg are silent. Nothing from Justice but the infighting in the FBI over the rule of law continues but is suppressed by Obama. In many ways this is the optimum result for the left because it solves problems without forcing their hand totally. The one danger for the DNC is if there is any sign of a “dirty tricks”, then the Democrat activist revolt will make Chicago 1968 look like a Victorian Picnic.

If Hillary wins by a lot:

It’s all over, no indictments, Justice covers for her and the FBI is caught between outrage and resignation. The press goes all in to cover for her and turns all it’s attention to destroying Trump or Cruz.

Final thought. The MSM goal is to advance whatever scenario helps elect Hillary to the White House and destroys first Ted Cruz than the GOP. If you keep that in mind in the coverage of Iowa over the next 24 hours, then you will not be surprised.

(Fyi the GOP goal is to destroy Ted Cruz so in that half of the coverage they and the MSM will be working together.

When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force

Newton’s 1st law of Motion

Lyndon Johnson’s loss had been due a political fluke. He had been beaten not by his opponent’s friends but by his opponent’s foes. 

Lyndon Johnson the Path to Power

A few days ago I saw a piece concerning Iowa that crunched the numbers in Iowa that suggest Donald Trump is going to have more trouble than he thinks in Iowa.

Really, so in order to justify Trump’s lead, somehow 50,000 more caucus attendees will have to show up and vote for Trump than have ever shown up before. Trump has 12 paid staffers in Iowa, led by Tana Goetz, a 48-year-old former runner up on “The Apprentice.” Wow, what raw horsepower.

He contrasts that to Ted Cruz:

Cruz has over 1,000 precinct chairs, a 240-plus person leadership team and over 5,000 volunteers in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties (all of which Cruz has pledged to visit before the caucuses, and it looks like he’ll make it happen). They’re led by seasoned professionals such as Jake Dagel, who was field director for Turning Point USA.

It’s a devastating  analysis but it overlooks one very important thing, and that’s strategic voting

While the GOP doesn’t have the same process as the dems who can, if the supporters of a candidate can’t get enough people to go with them to advance go with another candidate, it’s going to be very apparent very early if an attendee’s candidate has a shot in their district.

When that happens then it will be time for voters to decide:  “Do I stick with my guy or do I think strategically?”

Think if you are a Jeb Bush, or a Chris Christie, or a John Kasich guy.  Your man isn’t going to win Iowa, you likely won’t even finish in the top 3.  What is your game plan to win the nomination?

If you’re Jeb Bush guy, you need to be the last non-Trump man standing.  So you have to stop Ted Cruz.

If you’re Chris Christie or John Kasich you have to finish in the top 3 in NH, you aren’t likely to stop Donald Trump there so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

You’re Carly Fiorina, Trump is a perfect foil for your campaign, Ted Cruz is not so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

and it’s not just establishment types thinking this;

You’re a Mike Huckabee or a Rick Santorum supporter, your only prayer (assuming you have one) is to cancel out the one guy who has taken the votes you won with in 2008  & 2012 so that you can win in the south so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

You are Ben Carson voter, you know your man who has the potential to attract voters in the south who might normally not vote in a GOP primary but you have to get to those primaries with a campaign still alive so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

Your Rand Paul voter, you can’t allow libertarians to be looking for another principled alternative so you have to stop Ted Cruz.

The only candidate with a disincentive to this is Marco Rubio, the NYT not withstanding he needs to keep his guys in line to keep himself viable, a fight between him and Cruz diminishes his rivals and increases him, he needs is folks to boost his numbers at all costs.

Now you might say:  “But Datechguy Iowa is a big conservative state what makes you think there are enough establishment votes to save Iowa for Trump”

My answer.  Mitt lost Iowa by only 8 votes and those Mitt guys are all in for Bush  stopping Cruz.

Bottom line, with the exception of Marco Rubio every single other candidate has an incentive to stop Ted Cruz from winning Iowa, even if it gives the win to Trump.

Trump doesn’t need 50,000 extra voters to show up at the caucus to win, he simply needs enough voters to put the other candidates voters in a spot where they have a pragmatic choice between helping Trump win or helping letting Cruz win.

That is Donald Trump’s secret weapon and don’t think for one moment he doesn’t know it.

P.S.  You’ll not that I didn’t include Jim Gilmore with all due respect for the former gov of VA why would I?

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

Ok let me preface this post that this is pure speculation.

I’ve been thinking about last night’s debate and while I still think Trump’s move to skip it was strategic I was asking myself why play prevent?

Trump last debate was good and much like Ty Cobb who WAS Capable of hitting for the long ball but choose not to (There is a famous story of him, after the live ball era spending a week hitting for power like Ruth just to prove he could before going back to his short ball ways) The Donald CAN do substance and between the idiocy of banning MLK quotes, the new revelations out of Cologne and the continued crime from people here illegally & news concerning people staying over their visas he had all the material to knock any debate out of the park and when that YouTube question on Islam came he could have cited the hate crimes vs Christians and Jews and showed that question for the BS it was.

Put simply there is no reason why Trump COULDN’T have won that debate, so why didn’t he show up and do it instead of being reduced to citing online polls.

So why did he do it?

I think it’s was the video based questions.

During the debate both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio where hit with questions backed up by video from Megyn “the terror” Kelly and pressed on positions they had. They handled those questions well, (I think Cruz better than Rubio but I might be biased here) but they handled it.

A lot of Trump’s supporters are people who haven’t showed up before, people who normally don’t get involved who only get their info from what they’ve seen on in pop culture.

What happens to that evangelical support if Kelly plays the NY Vales clip with Tim Russet?

What happens to his conservative support if Kelly plays the video of him praising Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama etc etc etc.

If Trump is there, his supporters are watching an seeing that stuff for the first time, more importantly they do so in a setting where they are exposed to alternatives that said people can choose.

I speculate that Trump decided that risk was too great and needed an excuse not to go, thus the initial poll, I think the Fox snark concerning it was a Godsend to Trump as it provided an excuse to stay away and play the victim card. If he could have dictated that note himself he would have.

Again this is pure speculation, I could be totally wrong, but the more I think about it, the more I think this is what went down.

Twas video that scared the beast.

Update: I can’t believe CNN actually just said the same thing. MSNBC’s Morning Joe is going all in with the Donald wins meme.

Update 2: I’m getting a lot of pushback on twitter over my Donald Trump stuff I think I hit a nerve

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

The full folly of Donald Trump’s decision to skip the GOP debate is being proven tonight.

Tonight has been the worst possible result for him, the GOP debate has been full of substance, strong answers and serious discussion, with plenty of quotable moments that have nothing to do with Donald Trump.

That’s bad enough, but what’s worse for Donald Trump are two things:

If you are running as a strong man you can’t be afraid of a woman like Megyn Kelly (particularly if you will likely be facing Hillary Clinton in a general election)

If you are painting yourself as the indispensable man the last thing you want to prove is that this is wrong.

There will be a lot of short term spin on this.  Perhaps his attempt to play prevent might even help him win Iowa but in the long term this is going to hurt Donald Trump badly.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

At Politico, Shane Goldmatcher writes that there is a new target in tomorrow night’s debate:

Hollow or not, Donald Trump’s threat to boycott the final GOP forum before Iowa votes has complicated Ted Cruz’s game plan, forcing the Texan to prepare for two different debates — one in which he tangles directly with the front-runner and another that sets up the senator as the largest target on stage.

Given recent speeches by leading establishment GOP leaders (and an outlier poll that suggest Jeb’s all out assault on Marco Rubio might be pulling dividends in NH).

This sets up a chance for an all out assaults on Ted Cruz by the GOP to the benefit of Donald Trump which given their hatred of Cruz makes a lot of sense.

Since the party has designed its early primary structure/rues to favor an early leader in the belief that said leader would be a Jeb Bush or if you’re a really radical member of the GOP establishment John Kasich they recognize that if Donald Trump early lead is the polls is correct he’s going to be hard to stop, so the GOP has pragmatically decided they’d might as well get in line now.

Furthermore win or lose Trump has the dynamic that Mike Bloomberg had in NY. A lot of left leaning activists etc were VERY careful going up against him as mayor because they knew eventually he would be out of office and they would be coming hat in hand for money. A lot of people in the party know they will be wanting some of that Trump money later and don’t want to do anything that will cut them off from that source. (In fact we see this dynamic in the “please show up” BS coming from Fox).

And of course as I said the day after Mr. Trump announced, if you’re a GOP office holder and potential candidate do you really want to swing at a counterpuncher with a billion dollars and a long memory?

One might think that Trump’s debate move is strategic (it is). One might think it’s a long term mistake (it also is) but one can’t deny that the one thing he has done is read the GOP establishment like a book and used both the “rules” and their nature to his advantage, forcing the GOP to go along.

However the party is forgetting the price on the other side of this choice but that’s a later post.