29 October 2015

Republican Debate: Jeb Bush looks as though he’s done for


Jeb Bush had to win last night to save his flagging campaign. Last week, we learned that he made significant changes to his campaigning operation, cutting payroll by up to 40% and imposing spending limits. After last night’s performance, those changes don’t look to be paying dividends.

1. Insiders: Bush bombed, Rubio won – Politico 

Nearly 60 percent of respondents said Bush lost the CNBC debate, botching his comeback opportunity and looking desperate in an attempt to attack Sen. Marco Rubio’s poor attendance record in the Senate. They offered their reactions immediately after watching Wednesday’s prime-time debate in Boulder, Colo.

“[Bush] looked opportunistic and desperate when he went after Senator Rubio on missing votes and after he walked straight into a crushing right hook,” said one Iowa GOP insider. “He also looked weak and ineffective. The exchange diminished an already failing candidacy.”

2. On Carson, Trump, Kasich, Cruz and Christie – The Economist

Carson is unlikely to get the nomination, yet committed Republicans seem to hold Mr Carson in unusually high esteem—a frisson of goodwill, signified by a murmur of kind chuckles and sympathy, radiated from the audience almost whenever he spoke. Mr Trump was wise not to be rude to him; the moment—which will surely come—when he cannot help but be rude to Mr Carson will perhaps signal the unravelling of his campaign.

Among the supporting cast, there was a solid-enough performance from Mr Kasich to suggest he remains a viable emergency replacement for the role of establishment favourite. There was flair from Ted Cruz, a Mephistophelian senator from Texas, beloved of a, thankfully fairly small, right-wing fringe; and the usual pugnacious display from Chris Christie, the street-fighting governor of New Jersey.

3. The (Other) Establishment candidates strike back – Bloomberg 

Ohio Governor John Kasich tore into both front-runners, calling Carson’s tax plan, modeled on the Biblical tithe, “fantasy” and accused Trump of promoting an immigration plan that would amount to “splitting families” by ordering the parents of American-born children deported. 

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz earned applause from the conservative audience for attacking the press. The Texan joined U.S. Senator Rand Paul in calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve and ending the federal bond-buying program known as quantitative easing.

4. Ben Carson’s disappearing act – Vox

It’s easy for fellow Republican candidates and political analysts to dismiss Carson because his amiable nature and impressive personal narrative simply don’t compensate for his failure to make a plausible argument that he would be better than any of the other candidates — much less all of them — as president. Despite his poll numbers, they’re treating Carson as a non-factor. And that’s about right.

5. Donald Trump is still King of Twitter – The Washington Post

Most mentioned candidates on Twitter, with share of debate conversation:

  1. Donald Trump: 22.19 percent
  2. Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.): 14.49 percent
  3. Dr. Ben Carson: 12.58 percent
  4. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.): 12.24 percent
  5. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush: 11.30 percent
  6. Carly Fiorina: 7.13 percent
  7. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 5.43 percent
  8. Ohio Gov. John Kasich: 5.39 percent
  9. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee: 5.07 percent
  10. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.): 4.17 percent