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December 08, 2015

Comments

Winter

@Tomi
Is there actually a still a winning strategy left for the Republicans? Anyone care to phantasize?

Tomi T Ahonen

(gosh I hate it when my fingers slip and my long reply is lost..)

So lets try again, hi Winter

Thanks, great question. I had a nice long detailed reply and it was gone.. So now the shorter version on SECOND thought haha... Could be done, would need ideally totally new candidates who are not poisoned by this process now, and who are moderates and 'ideal' for this election. Hillary on the DEM side means its going to be a female surge and that is going to wash anything else out. Except if.. not as VP but if the GOP nominates a woman on the top of the ticket. That is the only way to neutralize Hillary's advantage. Both sides nominate a woman, it will be a historic wave election yes, but at least Hillary won't get any advantage for BEING a woman. So it can't be Carly Fiorina as she is now seen as another white man by most women haha... But yeah. A deadlocked convention would allow a compromise candidate to be selected, so imagine Condi Rice or Kelly Ayotte or Susana Martinez or someone like that. Condi would neutralize also Hillary's experience at State Department plus bonus, she's bring some black vote to GOP who normally never vote for that party. Or take Susana now its a LATINA woman on the top.. but not the fake Hispanics Rubio or Cruz both who seem to hate immigrants and their own roots. Imagine say Susana with General Colin Powell as VP choice. Running as a moderate ticket and now with very credible centrist and minority positioning.

But voters aren't that dumb, they'd also want the Republicans to stop some of the madness and do at least some legislation also that is in the mainstream. There is a bipartisan Immigration law that passed the Senate and would pass the House if Paul Ryan just let it get a vote. It would be HATED by the Tea Party wing. But Paul Ryan is a smart dude, he might do that and mitigate some of the damage to the Hispanic vote. And then maybe similar steps for some issues like minimum wage for example or even modest gun control (like the really silly one around the no-fly list, you can't fly on a plane but you can buy a gun? Thats sheer madness).

They could make a run for it. The biggest single advantage Hillary has, is that its now the time for the once-in-forever wave for the first-ever woman as President. That comes once, it will never come again and whoever it is (as long as its one of the two major parties and the nominee is sane, ie not Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina or Michelle Bachmann), that woman will be elected. To neutralize that inherent advantage Hillary has into 2016, the GOP has to find a way to put a woman on top - who also needs to be qualified to be President and acceptable to the party as the compromise - and still obviously needs to be a good campaigner etc...

Out of the current candidates, I think Rubio on top and Carly Fiorina as VP would be most dangerous pairing for Hillary. Rubio would likely win Florida and if he pivots to more Hispanics-friendly tone for the general election, he could bring the Hispanic voter gap to near 40% to GOP (and only 60% to Hillary) but Hillary is sure to pick the most popular Hispanic as her VP choice ie Julian Castro so it is unlikely to be that good for Marco. But its still plausible. Carly as VP would be the best attack dog and would be enough cover for most Republican-leaning Independent women, that they could vote for her instead of the hated Clinton.. But Hillary would still have a wave advantage so Rubio-Fiorina is certain to lose but might not be a landslide.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Winter

@Tomi
"Imagine say Susana with General Colin Powell as VP choice."

That would be an innovating choice.

However, from what I have read and know from European populists (I am a total outsider) I am afraid that would now be too late in the cycle. Trump's supporters, aka, the Tea Party, have smelled blood. Now, any "compromising" with Obama, or a non-nativist candidate, would likely split the party.

Even if Trump would quit the race, someone else (Cruz?) would step into his shoes. They maybe already have made a deal about that.

But I keep my fingers crossed for next elections. Others within the party will have the same idea so, maybe, this idea could be hammered into the Republican support base?

Catriona

Trump isn't a monster. He's a charlatan. He doesn't actually believe what he is saying. However, every time he says something controversial, he gets roundly condemned by the "media elite," and his supporters eat it up.

He's playing on the pent up frustration with the establishment in both parties. Look closely at his appeal, and it is primary working class Americans without a college degree. They have been hit the hardest over the last 30 years, and don't see either party solving their problems. Their knock on Democrats is that they spend too much time on social issues they don't care about, and want to "help" them by expanding welfare programs. Democrats can speak until they are blue in the face about how these programs help them, but it will always fall on deaf ears. They don't want "help." They want jobs.

They have similar frustrations with Republicans, who they see as talking the talk sometimes, but never walking the walk. Trump comes across as "telling it like it is." It's almost like combining Chris Christie with Mike Huckabee and Ross Perot. That's Donald Trump. He's a reality TV star in a reality TV world.

The best way to "fight Trump" is to stop talking about him. "Standing with Muslims" won't work. (Hint, there hasn't been an uptick in violence against Muslims since San Bernardino, and there wasn't one after 9/11, either). All that does is fuel the flames since it gives more attention to Trump (which is what he craves). Britons signing a petition to keep him out of the UK in the name of free speech does the same.

Catriona

@Tomi, nobody knows who Julian Castro is. And nobody votes for VP. Heck, George HW Bush got elected with Dan Quayle on the ticket. Gore and Cheney were active VPs, but Biden has returned the role to its traditional place in the background.

I don't think it is necessary for the GOP to have a woman on the ticket. Republican women don't vote for someone just because she's a woman (at least not to the extent that Democrats do). Hillary's main benefit is strengthening her base vs. winning crossover votes or independents.

I wouldn't be surprised if Cruz or Rubio look to each other if one of them is the nominee in a show of party unity. That's what Reagan did when he picked George HW Bush (it was Bush, not Carter or Kennedy, who popularized the term "voodoo economics"). Again, nobody votes for VP, but it would paper over the internal party differences.

Long term, the Democrats have just as many issues. They can't keep winning nationally if they don't develop talent locally. Plus, certain of their constituencies are getting more active. BlackLivesMatter is a major threat to the electability of Democrats. If they return to their pre-Obama turnout levels in the future, the Democrats are in trouble. Latino voters are concentrated in mostly solid Democratic states (California, Illinois, New York), so their impact is limited largely to Florida (Texas isn't even close to flipping in 2016 or 2020). African-Americans are more spread out, and thus a few percentage point difference in turnout has a bigger impact.

Catriona

Besides the likelihood that big, public moves to "stand with Muslims" will backfire and just give Trump more momentum, the other reason it is a bad idea is that it is unnecessary. By and large Muslims fare very well in the United States. Unlike Europe, the U.S. doesn't have Muslim communities in slums. There are no Molenbeeks or St. Denis here. Muslim Americans are more likely to be professionals and have higher than average incomes. There hasn't and won't be a wave of anti-Muslim violence (there wasn't after 9/11). No one really expects a "Muslim ban."

The people saying we shouldn't succumb to our fears are the very people doing just that. It's as if they have no concept of hyperbole and can't detect when someone is making outrageous statements just to make outrageous statements.

Pekka

I think Marco rubio is dead now. He don't want exception on rape, incest or life of a mother on abortion (position taken on first debate). He is somewhat of a climate denier (lose the young vote I guess), the tax plan he proposed has 0% capital gain tax so people like Mitt romney and Warren Buffet will pay no tax. Though I heard he put few exception to this lately. He is very vague on the immigration issue and I think he will remove both executive action president have done for undocument immigrants (Atleast latest Daca(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T77sLD1pei4)). And just now on sunday he said he will appoint supreme judges to make same-sex marriage to revoke the latest action.

I don't think he can win the general election with these positions. And barely anyone in the media is talking about this.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter, Catriona and Pekka

Winter - valid points but understand what a deadlocked convention is. The rules of the party state, that the Convention chairman will call a new vote, and then another new vote, and continue - until a nominee is found who won 50% plus one vote. This can go on for days. And between votes, the party leaders (and the campaigns obviously) will try to get to some 'deal' to get the deadlock broken. On the first votes, the first hours, no way will they accept an outsider. If the Convention is deadlocked on the second day of voting, they will most definitely search for outsider compromise candidates. If the rivals truly 'hate' each other and won't agree to support the 'other side' then find a 'neutral' candidate who didn't run in the race. Adlai Stevenson on the Democratic side was the last time such a compromise candidate was selected after a deadlocked convention (1952). And usually such compromise candidates lose badly but the last time such a compromise candidate won the general election was Franklin D Roosevelt in 1932. It can happen haha... not most likely outcome but it is technically plausible. Note also, that the compromise CANDIDATE has to want it too haha, not at all sure any of the people I mentioned wants to go into the bloodbath that 2016 is likely to be for the Republicans haha, and would prefer to wait for 2020 or 2024 when the party might be evolved more towards the middle.. The compromise candidate could be.. Romney haha.

Trump and Cruz possible deal. Yeah, that mysterious meeting when Cruz visited Trump Towers shortly after Trump joined the race, and their mutual non-aggression pact.. there could be a secret deal in place. Would be very Trumpian and Cruz is most definitely a sharp cookie, I really would love to know what ACTUALLY happened at that secretive meeting...

Catriona - on Trump not being a monster, yeah. I see its a distinct possibility this is a hoax Trump is playing on vulnerable paranoid extreme wing of the Tea Party edge of the Republican support. Would be very opportunitistic, callous calculating and Machiavellian move(s). But if this is not the real Trump then what is and when might that real Trump appear. If Trump calculated some 'other benefit' than actually winning the Presidency, then he would need to quit sooner or later. In that case the 'real Trump' might not be ever exposed and the fact that Trump would be a serial liar of unprecedented degree even among politicians, professional liars. But if Trump intends to - and continues to fight for the Presidency past the Convention either as GOP nominee or independent, then the real Trump would necessarily need to be revealed - and then... his base supporters would be mad beyond any reason. Utterly betrayed. Now, how dangerous is it to anger and betray a peacenick socialist love-everybody Bernie Sanders supporter? Not too bad. How about the armed militia conspiracy theorist secede from the union rebellion Nazis of the very extreme right? Gosh they are not just armed with assault weapons, they probably have their own arms manufacturing capabilities haha... Trump might need to drop out simply to not anger that edge of his 'support'. Incidentially that Charlatan angle was a key part of the abandoned Trump blog I had been drafting.

On Trump the reality TV star yeah. You hit it very much on the head there. The political 'game' has changed dramatically and irreversibly and one of the changes is that reality-TV aspect (and related social media chatter on Twitter etc). Trump is totally unmatched on that side. Unmatched by either side, not Cruz not Rubio not Carson and not Hillary or Bernie. Nobody does reality TV and gets on TV every night and on Sunday talk shows every weekend like Trump. The total TV coverage of Trump is more than all other candidates running on both sides, combined. He is the master of this side of the game and he is using it masterfully. Again, latest polls just out now for first time Trump pierces the 40% level to 41% nationally. This a week after the Muslim quote and near total condemnation from all sides.

Best way to fight... yeah would be to deny Trump the air. No coverage. Same by the way with terrorism... but yeah, thats not going to happen in a freedom of press USA where he is legitimately a front-running contender for President. He's in effect learned how to game the system and the system hasn't figured any way to solve the 'Trump problem'. Incidentially Politifact did a comparison of politicians on their lies. Obama and Hillary clock in with 26% and 28% lies out of statements over several years of that reporting. Carson had the most lies at over 80% but Trump's political statements were about 75% lies. Three out of four statements he makes is a lie. This compared to 'normal' political lies which means three out of four statements is true haha... Trump just lies lies lies and refuses ever to admit he was wrong. So at some point the political and free press 'system' will catch up with serial liars and expose them and the population can reject obvious serial liars but right now, Trump is gaming the system and overloading it with bullshit... but yeah, he is a master at it. Carson got caught and started to get continuously called out and he's now history. This could happen with Trump too, but someone has to figure out a way to do that and so far, nobody has. If Trump is exposed as the biggest liar ever to lead a party's nomination, most of his soft support will vanish and even part of his hard support will waver. But as of now, Trump is winning in this game.

On Julian Castro. 'nobody knows' who he is, fine. Thats across the general electorate. He is however, the most beloved Hispanic politician among... Hispanics. THEY exactly know who he is and they LOVE him. Remember the head-to-head polling we had recently from Latin support, where even the two Republican Latin candidates, Rubio and Cruz don't break get to 30% support against Hillary while the GOP 'autopsy' of 2012 calculated they need to get to 40% support. This is the Hillary WITHOUT Julian Castro. And if Trump is the candidate his support was if I remember correctly only 16% among Hispanics, literally the worst ever tested. Worse than 'self-deportation' Romney.

I did not say they vote for VP. I said Hillary who already has a Hispanic wave, will easily boost it with Castro as her pick. That only ADDS to her winning margin - which she desperately needs because even if Hillary manages to flip the Senate, if the Republicans hold the House, she can't implement much of her liberal agenda. So she needs as huge a wave as she can possibly build, to dislodge the gerrymandered districts.

(more comments coming)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Winter

@Tomi
Here is an interesting analysis on why Cruz will not dislodge Trump. Basically, the Republican voters want a WINNER. Someone who attacks and wins. Trump is attacking and winning. Cruz is seen to be afraid of Trump. And Republicans will not vote for someone who is afraid.


Ted Cruz Can’t Beat Donald Trump Because He’s Scared Sh*tless of Him

"It isn’t enough to be willing to go after Trump, or John Kasich would be making a dent. The only way Trump will lose is if someone delivers him the beating he so richly deserves, and Ted Cruz sure isn’t the one to do that. Trump has drilled down so far into the Republican voters’ psyche that I doubt any Republican candidate can whip him like he needs to be, because there’s just no room to throw those punches. That epic beating, if it ever comes, will be at the hands of Hillary Clinton, in a general election debate."
http://www.mediaite.com/online/ted-cruz-cant-beat-donald-trump-because-hes-scared-shtless-of-him/

Winter

@Tomi
Btw. If Hillary is worth her salt, she is already formulating and testing a strategy against all her potential rivals. It will not be about bashing, e.g., Trump, but about drawing the most voters in her camp. The best strategy might simply be to drive Trump et al. into such extreme positions that they will lose their support among moderates.

Letting Trump "live" politically might be a very smart strategy to destabilize the Republican party for some years to come.

All to the detriment of the nation, though.

Tomi T Ahonen

(continuing)

Hi Catriona - on the gender gap. I didn't mean that Republicans should put a woman on top to win Republican voters - but some who have OTHER issues like foreign policy esp against Trump or Cruz - would be more inclined to vote for Hillary if they are also (moderate) women than men in the GOP. There is already a gender gap. Its been growing in DEMs favor. Now because at least one woman is on the top of the ticket - there will be a surge - or do you suggest there will be no surge of women voters with Hillary? That surge is MOSTLY among less-interested occasional voters, independents in the middle. THOSE will go almost exclusively for Hillary - UNLESS there is another woman on the TOP of the ticket also on the Republican side. That is several points more for Hillary above and beyond the already large gender gap. It becomes an unbeatable combination for Hillary. Unless the GOP also puts a woman on top, in which case the gender issue is a wash. Fiorina as VP will not win over those independents and undecideds but Fiorina as VP could stem many moderate 'tempted' Republican women to stay in the fold.

As to Hillary's main strength, no, we totally disagree on that. She is NOW fighting for the liberal edge, as anyone in either party does, they go to their base in the primary season. Then for the general election they surge back towards the middle. Everybody does this but Hillary has far less distance to go than ANYONE on the GOP field who is on the main stage of the debate tonight. She is a populist. Of course she will go to the center. But will a Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio have the guts to break with the base and go for the Independent vote and be branded a traitor in this hostile GOP environment now? I doubt it. They would mostly hold those very extreme - under normal years the most extreme positions seen by GOP candidates - and try to fight the general election from such extremes, haha like Rubio saying no abortion even for rape or incest or life of the mother? Thats a suicidal position in the year of the wave of women voters.

Cruz plus Rubio as rivals joining could be less painful than Reagan-Bush was. They are not far apart. Its mainly the politics part, how ugly will the campaign get in the Spring (and if its a 3 way race, how badly can Trump spoil that party). But politically for general election it would be two extreme conservatives, even worse than one, with a moderate VP to balance the ticket. So we're again looking at catastrophic landslide loss to Hillary if the two are paired (or say its Trump on top and Cruz as VP, same thing, even worse than either one alone).

The far smarter play for either one is to pick either Fiorina or some moderate like John Kasich or Chris Christie etc as VP choice. Kasich would bring Ohio well into a leaning-red category so I'd put him ahead of Christie who can't even deliver NJ.

Long term DEMs, I agree on the local talent. It will be helped immensely if Hillary has good coat-tails AND if Hillary then governs as a genuine liberal, rather than Obama's failed attempts to appease the Republicans at every stage utterly frustrating his base. But you're right, the GOP has a strong farm team and DEMs a weak one.

On your Latino vote you're missing several vital states including red but soon to be purple Arizona and battleground states NM and Colorado. And on Texas if Cruz is not on the ticket, I say 2016 will see Texas counted deep into the night ie it ends up being competitive while staying red and for 2020 it will be a battleground state from the start. Because of Hispanics and by 2020 the DEMs will have been able to dismantle a good part of the effects of gerrymandering.

Now on the Muslim hysteria. I think here you are grasping at straws. Its been incredibly widely condemned by conservatives and Republicans, not only Trump's rivals. That went over the line, seriously. It will also be part of his legacy after he lost, where he will be remembered as one of America's most notorious racists similar to how McCarthyism is thought of now as unjustified anti-communist hysteria. But yeah, fresh ABC/WaPo poll out today gives Trump 38% so almost 40% in another poll. He wasn't hurt by that statement, it actually again boosted his support.

Pekka - good points but most of those were Rubio's stated positions months ago so its not really any change. What the 'establishment' traditioanal Republican leadership desperately wants is a 'winner' to somehow steal the nomination away from Trump or Cruz, because they fear that either Trump or Cruz would be a total national catastrophy in all races for the party. They see Rubio as more electable and a good contrast vs Hillary (youth, Hispanic etc). But you are right, Rubio's actual positions would in most recent years have been those of the most extreme right-wing nutcase position even more extreme than Huckabee of 2008 against McCain or Santorum similarly in 2012 against Romney. But this year with Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, all far far to the right even of Rubio, Rubio suddenly seems 'mainstream' haha. A nasty illusion. If the GOP wants to win, they would have to nominate a moderate. Marco is way way too extreme to have any chance in the general election. Why he polls well against Hillary at this stage is simply that the majority of the nation hasn't yet paid attention and they like the guy. They don't know what crazy positions he is standing for. So you're right, he's another who will go down in flames but Cruz or Trump would be worse.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Winter

@Tomi
"If the GOP wants to win, they would have to nominate a moderate."

I have asked this before, but still cannot grasp it.

Anyone with the slightest experience in US politics can see that the likes of Sanders, Cruz, or Rubio can never ever win presidential elections in the USA. More than 60% of the voters hate their political ideas enough to even switch side if necessary. Even Trump is unelectable.

I can understand that Sanders runs. He just wants to get his issues in the lime lights and will happily go back stage afterward. Trump himself wants to be in the lime lights. He wants the attention, and that is what he gets in spades.

But Cruz and Rubio? If they get nominated they will loose, they can never run again and their role in the party will largely be over. Are they really deluding themselves this much that they think they could win? And their supporters?

Catriona

@Winter, the polls suggest that Rubio could win the general election. Contrary to Tomi's positions, apart from abortion his views aren't far out of the mainstream. He rode the Tea Party wave in 2010 but isn't really a Tea Party member. He has a position on immigration that most Americans find reasonable. His foreign policy isn't all that different from Hillary Clinton's (which Cruz is trying to use to his advantage in the primary). People don't vote for ideas. They vote for parties or the candidates as people.

Cruz isn't well-liked within the GOP. He wants to get his message out, and if he gets the nomination he will. If he doesn't get the nomination he could well remain a political force, perhaps as an independent. He's clearly running the best campaign right now. He knows how to get his message across.

As for why they are running now, it's because of timing. It's an open election. "Waiting" until 2020 means conceding the election to Hillary Clinton and hoping she's unpopular by the end of her first term (a real possibility, but not something that an aspiring politician wants to project). But if another Republican won then they'd need to wait until 2024. A lot can change in 8 years. No one heard of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio 8 years ago. The candidates for 2024 may well be (and for the Democrats almost certainly will be) people with no national name recognition today.

Catriona

@Tomi, the Democrats can't undo any gerrymandering in time for 2020. First of all, gerrymandering won't have any impact on a presidential election. Second, the congressional lines are already drawn and won't be re-drawn until 2022 at the earliest. It's state legislatures that draw electoral lines. Republicans hold 29 governorships and have total control of 30 state legislatures (with 8 states split, 1 technically non-partisan, and 11 Democrat).

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/08/19/one-party-system-what-total-republican-control-of-a-state-really-means/

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/08/19/one-party-system-what-total-republican-control-of-a-state-really-means/

Most of this has happened since 2009, but the pace really picked up after 2010. The GOP wave came at a favorable time, since it coincided with the census. The Democrats' best chance of recovery would be a Democratic wave starting in 2018 and running through 2022. Either Hillary would have to prove incredibly popular (i.e. be Bill II), or she'd have to lose in 2016 and whoever wins from the GOP proves incredibly unpopular.

It's only now that some observant national Democrats are realizing just how bad their party's position really is.

Catriona

@Tomi, Obama HAS governed as a liberal. Where has he attempted to appease Republicans? The only concession he granted was the sequester in 2011, but he was able to get his desired tax policy by default in 2013 because of the way the 2003 tax cuts sunset. He's used executive action to a greater degree to work around Congress (don't point to numbers - it's his qualitative actions) on matters such as immigration, administrative and regulatory appoints, and judicial appointments.

Where the GOP dropped the ball was by not packing the courts when Bush II was president. Harry Reid was an obstructionist who filibustered most of Bush's Appellate Court appointments. When the GOP returned the favor, Reid changed the rules and Obama packed the courts with liberals (particularly the influential DC Circuit Court of Appeals). That will have a lasting effect, and if Hillary wins, she'll complete the task at the Supreme Court.

Hillary can't "govern" any more as a liberal than Obama has unless she gets a Democratic Congress. Obama had one for 2 years, and he passed Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and a big stimulus bill. That sounds pretty liberal. When he lost control of Congress, he started using executive actions. If Hillary lacks control of Congress, she'll be forced to either make a deal with the GOP or use executive actions just like Obama. Bill was able to do that, but it's less certain Hillary is capable of doing that. She was never a governor and had a mostly uneventful tenure as a Senator and didn't build the natural relationships that help with deal-making.

On foreign policy, Hillary is to the right of Obama (i.e. more of a hawk). On domestic policy, she's more of a weather vane. She campaigned to the right of Obama in 2008, but is now campaigning to the left.

Winter

@Carriona
"@Winter, the polls suggest that Rubio could win the general election."

Would these polls stand when Hillary hammers in the message about Rubio's stands on social issues?

And how many Hispanics agree with his hard-liner position on Cuba?

Catriona

@Winter, in Florida, probably a lot. Not as many as before, but still quite a lot of Cuban-Americans do not support normalizing relations. They want the Castros out and their land returned. That's why Florida has such a huge Latino population to begin with. If Rubio wins Romney's states and FL, he's up to 235 Electoral Votes. Adding Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire would put him at 271 (a plausible path). NH has a mind of its own (one of the few states that elected a Democrat to the Senate last year but where a GOP Senator will likely survive next year). Economic issues trump social issues in Ohio. VA may be too "beltway" these days, but OTOH, a conservative like Rubio might be able to fire up enough of the base in rural areas to offset Arlington and Tysons Corner.

As for the social issues, it is entirely possible that next year isn't about social issues. Courts have settled most of the critical issues. Who cares what his view is on same-sex marriage? It's a non-issue. The Left is now trying to turn this into a civil rights issue by passing laws banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but it isn't getting a lot of traction. It doesn't really seem to be a problem, and isn't really a high priority item.

The WaPo ran a story today. Younger millenials aren't quite as aligned to Democrats as their older counterparts. They are more concerned about finding decent jobs, and aren't convinced that Democrats are any better than Republicans, since many of them are entering the job market now and are struggling to find good paying jobs. They might well be receptive to a Gen Xer, or at least not motivated enough to show up at the polls to vote for an old Baby Boomer in the same numbers that Obama got 3 years ago, even if they do disagree with Rubio's views. And those born before 1990 will be kicked off their parents' health plans by next year and be forced to buy overpriced "health insurance" plans to subsidize their elders or face heavy fines (sorry, "taxes"). The reality of "free" health care (at least as implemented by Obama) will become known. Again, Rubio isn't going to win this segment, but he just needs to not lose badly.

The argument within the GOP is that if nominating a moderate is the key to winning an election, then Romney should have won. All the tarbrushing aside, he truly is a moderate whose views are fairly mainstream. Sure, he said some things to sound conservative, but what politician doesn't say whatever it takes to get the nomination? The putative promise of Rubio is that he's conservative enough to get the GOP nomination and get the base excited about him, while likable and relatable enough to appeal to a mainstream audience. As he pointed out in one of the debates, he had student loan debt, imperfect credit, and didn't grow up wealthy. It will be tougher for Hillary to claim he's being elitist or just another rich guy when he opposes expanding student loan programs (particularly since Hillary is a 1%er). Yes, he bought a boat with his book advance, but that's like a next door neighbor who buys a fancy car after winning $1 milllion in the lottery. Rubio also paid off his loans at the same time (and can deflect that criticism).

What's interesting to me is Cruz's use of data and analytics. I don't like Cruz and don't want him to get the nomination, but if he masters the use of data he could negate any advantage that Hillary has by bringing over Obama's people. Remember, with D&A it isn't so much how much you spend, but how you use the data. It shows that the GOP is starting to "get it" with respect to D&A. And it reinforces to me the idea that Cruz would be a valuable running mate should Rubio win the nomination.

millard filmore

@Catriona: "Contrary to Tomi's positions, apart from abortion his [Cruz] views aren't far out of the mainstream."

Cruz tried to have the USA default on its debt. That is hardly mainstream, and is wildly dangerous. Since I have mentioned my view on this before, I will only say it is irresponsible for a world power to even appear to let this happen.

Catriona

@WorstPresidentInHistory, no one really believed default was iminent. OTOH Hillary told her daughter that ISIS attacked us, and then a few days later promised to persecute someone for exercising his right to free speech by posting a YouTube video. She has no respect for our constitution. I'll take a lightweight over a criminal any day.

Catriona

Crappy YouTube Video Guy is still in jail on bogus charges thanks to your constitutional criminal hero, Millard Fillmore. Sorry. I have no respect whatsoever for people who will sacrifice our hard-won rights for political gain. Hillary is not qualified to be our leader.

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati