Who’s Next (to drop out)?

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 11.40.07 AMOnly one more pre-season Primary before we get the regular conference Primaries, right?

The hard numbers from last night:

Trump 35%
Kasich 16%
Cruz 12%
Bush 11%
Rubio 11%

And the predictions from last night…
I was relatively close, saying

Trump 27%
Kasich 17%
Rubio 14%

But neither I, nor anyone else in the Leavenworth St. comment section had Trump over 30% (“Media Chump” had him at 30% — but then had Kasich at 7%).

And, arguably more importantly, no one else had Cruz beating Rubio, which, beyond Trump winning, was probably the biggest surprise of the night.

Many are now counting Rubio out. But if he does well in South Carolina, he will be right back in the hunt with Trump and Cruz for Super Tuesday.

But it was interesting that Rubio got pegged down so far, arguably all because of his debate performance — which I’d be willing to bet that most people didn’t even see last Saturday night. Many said that Rubio had a very good debate second half — but the only media story was about Chris Christie’s takedown.

So here is an interesting tidbit passed on by a reader…

Christie may be able to put in his diary that he twice helped get a Democrat elected.

In 2012, Romney had just a nose out in front of Obama in the RCP’s poll of polls, but then came Super Storm Sandy and Christie saying “it’s time to put politics aside” and giving Obama plenty of photo ops with grieving families.

Now he’s done a lot to cripple the most electable of the GOP contenders, which is Rubio.

Hmm. Though I’m not sure you can completely blame Christie for going after Rubio when he smelled blood. He certainly thought he had a chance in NH at that point. Question is, will Christie now step up and endorse Rubio? Or at least say he was just kidding about the robot stuff, or whatever.

Here is my early prediction for South Carolina:
It will effectively get rid of all except Trump, Cruz and Rubio.
And Rubio will do well enough to have a strong Super Tuesday campaign.

And the pressure will be on for Jeb, Kasich, Carson, and Fiorina to quit.
Especially Jeb, from those who want Rubio.

Your thoughts?

 

“So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time…”

In the mean time, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel talked at the Omaha Chamber of Commerce yesterday. And he told them how awful he thinks the Presidential candidates are.

So to contrast, Hagel brought up the GOP candidates from…1980.

“Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, John Connally, Jack Kemp and Howard Baker.
They were decent, civil men. You just don’t see that today.”

OK, first of all…WTF?
If you want to call out Trump, fine. And it’s not hard to find people who don’t LIKE Ted Cruz. But I’ve never heard him called “indecent” or “uncivil”.

And Rubio, Bush, Christie, Fiorina, Kasich, Carson and Paul? Hagel is saying that they’re not up to snuff on his decency and civility scale? Really?

Hagel has probably ALWAYS been an angry old man, but this sort of caps it.
Because he wants you to look at the election from THIRTY-SIX YEARS AGO.

How about this. How about if back in 1980, you said…

“You know when we REALLY had good candidates? 1944! THOSE were some candidates! Now we just have a washed-up Hollywood actor who wants to get us into WWIII, the privileged son of a Connecticut Senator and a mop-topped old NFL quarterback who has only been elected to the House!

“Now get off my lawn!”

(Mic drop.)

***

Oh, Lincoln Journal Star
I get that you need to make money. I get it.

But the new online layout for the paper?

This is what I got when I clicked on JournalStar.com:

LJS03

And then once the screaming ads moved a bit, I still got this:

LJS04

 

This is the “paper” that gets stuck at the bottom of my shopping cart that I never look at.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 11.33.59 AMAnd why is it that the online version doesn’t even seem much like the print version. The stories don’t line up.

In the mean time, the hot news in the Lincoln Metro section is that Mayor Beutler has retired his campaign debt! Wow!
Now THERE’s some headline news.

 

A LOT of Budweiser

By the way, funniest post-New Hampshire Tweet:

(dannymoe regularly kills it…)

If you were following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter, you would have already seen that.
Oh, and if you Like L.St. on The Facebook and/or subscribe, you will be updated whenever there is a new post as well.

Thanks all!

Taking it for Granite

Chipper
HELLO! My name is…

OK prediction folks, place your Granite State bets!

To make things more interesting, not only do you have to give first, second and third, but you have to give percentages as well.

The bookies down at the barber shop (the ones who are known to take high school football bets) have Trump hitting 30%, and Rubio doing “well”. (That’s betting parlance.)

And then…Kasich, yeah?

Whither Jeb(!)?
And how does Cruz do? Does he go down in Iowa history with Presidents Huckabee and Santorum?

If you already gave a prediction in the previous post, do it again here.
And our last prognostication winner, Scotty McHenry, said — pre-debate:

(Iowa) is Ted’s high point. Won’t get any better for him after this. Marco vs Trump.

But now we would ask Scotty to get more specific or risk losing his Oracle of Leavenworth status.

Who will take his crown!?

The predictions here:

Trump: 27%
Kasich: 17%
Rubio:  14%

And no one drops out before South Carolina.

(Oh, and Larry David 55-45.)

 

Good visuals?

Brad Ashford announced his intention to try to walk the line between getting Democrat votes and pandering to Republican constituents. He did it over at Barrett’s Castle on Leavenworth St. (not affiliated with LeavenworthSt.com). Wonder what sort of deal Mary Barrett gave the campaign. (heh)

He prattled-on to KMTV about wanting to cut regulations some more, but didn’t note that he voted against the recent bill to do exactly that.

Don Bacon did note…

Nick Starling of KMTV then made personal visits to Chip Maxwell and Don Bacon to get their on-camera comments about Ashford. (And good for Nick to go the extra mile to get them on camera, as opposed to just a statement.)

Chip said cut the deficit, Don said more military expertise in Congress. Both good lines.

See the report here:

But were those the images that the GOP candidates wanted? Ashford was in a busy room that looked full-ish, and he had to speak loudly over the din of the party around him.

Both Maxwell and Bacon were shown at their announcements — with Kay Orr standing behind Bacon.

Then Chip was interviewed sitting on a living room chair, sporting a “Chip Maxwell for Congress” sticker. (One wonders if the family members have to put them on before sitting at the dinner table.) (Also Nick may have misspoke when he said “current Douglas County Commissioner”…)

Bacon was in front on a plant in a lobby. And he was given time to give a nice short career bio.

I’m not sure you can pass up those opportunities. But that being said, the visual for Ashford speaking at a loud gathering is a leg up on those speaking in an empty room.

Probably over-thinking it.
Maybe.

 

And the party-breakdown in the non-partisan body is…

Oh,and then there was the LJS’s Don Walton, who for some strange, unknown reason has to take a weekly dip into the George Norris Unicameral pool, and talk about how awesome it is that the Nebraska Legislature is “non-partisan”.

Ah…..
Feel that refreshing non-partisanship wash over you.
See, Don even says that Brad Ashford loves that the Legislature was non-partisan…

And then in the next story we will hear more about those non-partisan Democrats in the Uni who vote in a unified Bloc on every issue.

But hooray because non-partisan!

 

Yeah, well…potholes!

Anyone notice all the Facebook posts and joyous Tweets about how good the snow removal was recently. All the Facebookies who posted pictures of their clean streets?

For that matter, none of the news stations had video of all of the successful plane landings at Eppley either.

But the point is that sometimes these things DO get overblown, and all of the Angryfacebook posters should feel free to adjust their future venom levels.

 

Your wish is Granite

Polls close in New Hampshire at 6pm Central.
As do the allowed predictions for The Granite State.
(Or, as we simply will call it in our upcoming dystopian future movie: “Granite”.)
(“How long you lived in Granite now?” “Well, ever since the militias got massacred in Empire and the water dried up in Keystone…”)

Follow Leavenworth St. on the Twitter because you can then get all of our exciting movie updates and the updates on tonight’s Granite excitement!

Deb Fischer endorses Marco Rubio

Deb Fischer Fox 020816 copyNebraska’s Senior U.S. Senator, Deb Fischer, announced her endorsement of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio for President this morning.

Fischer appeared on FOXNews this morning to make the announcement, but also spoke with Leavenworth St. to provide more details.

“I’m always impressed with Marco.

He has great vision, he’s good on the issues. And after I watched him in Iowa and saw how he kept to a positive campaign, that was really important for me. That’s what Nebraskans want and that’s what Americans want. 

They want somebody out there who will talk about the issues and talk about solutions.Especially someone who is going to keep them safe, and that’s Marco Rubio.

Rubio endorses Fischer in 2012He is so strong on national security and national defense. And that’s a priority for me and this country.

I serve on Armed Services and chair the subcommittee on emerging threats and I know the challenges we are facing as a country. Marco has a thorough understanding of that. He’s the guy who will keep us safe. He has a deep knowledge of foreign policy and international affairs.”

Fischer noted that she first Rubio him during her 2011 campaign for the U.S. Senate, and he appeared at an event for her in October of 2012. But she heard about him before that.

“When he was Speaker of the Florida House, (former Nebraska Unicameral Speaker) Mike Flood had met him at a national Speaker’s meeting and was very impressed with him, and told me about him.

Fischer & Rubio in Omaha, November 2015.
Fischer & Rubio in Omaha, November 2015.

Rubio was most recently criticized by Governor Chris Christie for not being an executive. Senator Fischer didn’t agree.

“Senators make decisions every day. That’s why I’m always a kind of surprised when that seems to be a talking point out there.”

National Journal reported on Sunday that Fischer, along with Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska were going to be endorsing Rubio, but on their own time. Senator Fischer said she wasn’t aware of that report, but noted that all of those colleagues serve on the Armed Services Committee with her.

Rubio spoke at the 2015 Nebraska GOP Founder’s Day Dinner in Omaha in November. The entire speech can be heard as a podcast at WheelsDownPolitics.com.

See the entire FOXNews interview here:

Down at The Chuckle Hut

Trump_BrothelSenator Ben Sasse continues to get good press on his confrontations with Donald Trump.

This time he sat down on FOXNews and expressed his consternation with Trump’s non-specifics.

See a summary report here:

Trump fans could probably take issue with the Sasse Tweet FOX quotes where he says…

…because if Iowa voters rejected Trump by a 3-1 margin, they also rejected Marco Rubio by a 3-1 margin and Ted Cruz by a 3-1 margin, right?

The argument is that if it were a 2-man race, like for the Dems now, Trump would be way behind. But that waits to be seen.

And while Trump’s Granite State poll margin looks pretty good, it would be Marco Rubio who could slip ahead of Cruz in both New Hampshire and South Carolina.

As in lots of other years, Super Tuesday, March 1st could be the big decision date.
That will be:

Alaska Presidential Preference Caucus
Alabama Primary
Arkansas Primary
Georgia Primary
Massachusetts Primary
Minnesota Precinct Caucuses
Oklahoma Primary
Tennessee Primary
Texas Primary
Virginia Primary
Vermont Primary
Wyoming Precinct Caucuses and Straw Poll

And by the way, what sort of Banana Republic are we that this is the Primary method we’ve come up with? Sheesh…

 

Party in the Situation Room

One thing about Sasse’s line…

“…I mean, the President answers the phone at 3am in the Situation Room, he doesn’t answer it at the Chuckle Hut.”

Hmm.

Just to clarify regarding “POTUS answers the 3am call in the Situation Room.” The President might get a call FROM the Situation Room, while he is sleeping in his bedroom. That’s the idea, right? When you’re President you answer the hard call at any time of day or night, where ever you are.

But most likely from your bed, in your bedroom.

You probably don’t get woken up at 2:45am, put on a robe, trundle your way to the elevator that takes you 3 stories to the underground bunker that holds the Situation Room, ease into your leather chair with the Presidential Seal on it, and THEN answer the call that you KNOW is coming at 3am.

So, OK maybe that was a misstatement.
‘Cause that’s sort of needed to make the next line work.

Because the implication (one would assume) is that Trump is busy being a comedian, so he is taking the important 3am call from a comedy club — in this case we can assume that said comedy club is called, “The Chuckle Hut”.

(Strangely enough, there doesn’t seem to be an actual “Chuckle Hut” anywhere in the U.S., except that it’s commonly used as the name of generic comedy club. Only actual reference seems to be from “30 Rock” and even that was used for another joke.)

So maybe better would have been…
“When the President answers that 3am call, he doesn’t do it from the Chuckle Hut.”

In any case, we get it. Trump’s not serious.
Just passing this one along to the staff for clarity of the joke’s sake.

 

Almost as good as the 11-Worth Cafe…

Always exciting stuff from the Washington, D.C. Nebraska Breakfast!

OK, maybe not “exciting”…but…well…here ya go:

Hey, nice job whomever came up with that “Nebraska latte” logo.

But if you’re in DC, it’s always a little kick to see what’s going on in the Capitol in the early morning hours.

Here’s the Nebraska Breakfast link, if you’re in town.

 

At this point, still Carly-free…

Hey, I have to go to a thing at the kids’ school on Saturday night, so I won’t be able to live-Tweet the GOP Debate.

But please include me on any of your pithy-Tweets (@LeavenworthSt) because then I can follow along with them as I watch later on the DVR.

And if you want to see what others are saying to me, do a @LeavenworthSt search while watching, and join in. I’m tellin’ ya, it’s the best way to watch.

Oh, and there’s a football game on Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

The Wheels Down Politics Show – Attorney General Doug Peterson

(Click above to play in the browser or Direct download by clicking here, or by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.)

Peterson 03Jerry Kratochvil interviews Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson.

Kratochvil and Peterson take a deep dive into the issue of medicinal marijuana in Nebraska — particularly the point of cannabis oil used to combat epilepsy symptoms.

They discuss State Senator Tommy Garrett’s bill in the legislature and some of the competing discussion points — particularly in a letter from the American Epilepsy Society (linked below). They also hit the general marijuana laws in Colorado and Nebraska, as well as the status of Nebraska’s lawsuit against Colorado’s pot law.

A.G. Peterson also expands on his office’s crackdown on sex trafficking in the state and who they are focusing on in their awareness campaign.

They finish up by talking a little about the state of Peterson’s health, as well as how he got from Lincoln to Malibu and back to Lincoln.

On the web: Attorney General Doug Peterson
Twitter: @AGDougPeterson
Facebook: Doug Peterson

American Epilepsy Society letter on expansion of CBD in Nebraska

***

You can find this, and all of our podcasts at WheelsDownPolitics.com and by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.

Thanks for Liking us on Facebook, following us onTwitter and subscribing for our updates (up top on right)!

Straight outta Concord

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 1.11.33 PMJust finished up a great podcast interview that will be up tomorrow morning, so we will keep this one short and sweet…

 

Oh Lord no…

Well, Donald Trump has called for a re-vote of some sort in Iowa. Or a re-caucus? He isn’t happy about the actions of Ted Cruz on caucus night, particularly regarding the calls that Ben Carson was out of the race.

But here’s the thing. Trump ain’t stupid — though everyone thinks he is. Of course he doesn’t expect a re-vote in Iowa. The plan, likely, is to keep the press talking about this for the next week, and keep asking Cruz about it. And that way Cruz isn’t talking about his plans or why New Hampshirites should vote for him.

Trump must feel pretty comfortable about New Hampshire in that sense, that he isn’t worried about any backlash of sounding like a sore-loser — and then will move on to South Carolina.

It really is a chess-match that Trump is playing, and it will be interesting to watch to see if he ends up out-smarting himself. Some think he could end up going 3rd party himself and really screw up everything.

You think about it and we will take our New Hampshire predictions (with percentages this time!) on Friday or Monday.

 

Snipe hunting

Democrat cheerleader Nancy Hicks at the Lincoln Journal-Star took to snide commenting about the recent snow storms in Omaha and Lincoln.

Her claim is that while Omaha had plowing issues with the recent mid-day storm, it was all clean streets and happy drivers in the Capital City.

“Although some people always complain about snow removal, it seems Lincoln drivers have been less critical.”

Riiiight.

And Nancy puts her finger on it:

Ty Barger, the city’s maintenance manager — and the man who was compulsively checking the weather report every five minutes on Monday and who had already told city staff and hired contractors to show up for duty at midnight — said he knows the reason for the difference between Lincoln and Omaha.

“We are quite good at what we do.”

Oooooh.
What’s that implication Nancy?

Hey look, I love Lincoln and the people there.
But the streets downtown are a mess.
And I’m talking about when they’re dry.

But way to stoke that indignation against Big Bad Omaha, Ms. Hicks.

 

Any way you define it

Chuck Hagel’s full statement regarding his party, in an interview with NPR:

Well, I’m not sure what the Republican Party is today, but I know what I believe as a Republican.

When I started out, references to Eisenhower Republican or the first Bush Republican, Reagan Republican – I was in a Reagan administration. I was in the Bush One administration.

These were Republican parties of, I think, responsible policy toward international affairs, strong military, diplomatic engagement, strong economy, free markets, free trade.

You’ve got now, in my opinion, a Republican Party’s that’s – it’s tribal. You’ve got probably five different dimensions of a Republican Party that are pretty strident.

Yes, I’m still a registered Republican. I don’t define who I am based on what everybody else is. I know who I am, and I know what I believe, and I’ve always taken that position.

And sometimes, it doesn’t always work to my political benefit.

And then there are “Republicans” who put a Barack Obama sign in their yard and caucus with Democrats.

Those kind of “registered Republicans”.

 

I luv ya!

Enjoy tomorrow’s podcast!
And please follow Leavenworth St. on the Twitter, because that’s where the news is happenin’!

Coming back over the bridge

This is what Democracy looks like (in C.B.)
This is what Democracy looks like (in C.B.)

Yes, I correctly predicted the Cruz win last night.

And, I had that strange tingly feeling on the back of my neck that Hillary Clinton’s coin-flip calling skills would be gold last night. Gold!

But I must call out reader and commenter Scotty McHenry who not only called it for Cruz (before the caucuses began), but pretty much nailed the whole evening:

Cruz slips by Trump with a better ground game but the real story is how close Rubio is to beating them both.

On the dem side Hillary barely defeats Sanders. Again, due to a better ground game. But the story tomorrow will be how Hillary was nearly defeated.

In other news, Scotty just advised a guy that he would kill his father and marry his mother…

So along with the Clinton campaign’s astounding “luck” at winning coin tosses, rock-paper-scissors and “the number that’s in my head”, there were other theatrics as well.

Someone from the Carson camp mentioned that the Dr. would be going to Florida before going to New Hampshire, and that turned into “Carson is quitting the race!”.  This was reportedly stated to caucus-goers in Johnson County, and was now infamously Tweeted by Rep. Steve King as well. (Sort of curious that all of this was done by the Cruz supporters…)

My guess is there is some sort of deniability by those who shouted this stuff — claiming they were only respouting what they heard. And the Carson folks didn’t help much with the “getting a change of clothes in Florida” thing either. (It wouldn’t have been that hard to say he was spending a half day in Florida before jetting up to New Hampshire.)

But it should at least put the Trump and Rubio folks on notice that the Cruzers will be going for the throat again and again and again.

So what next in New Hampshire?
Scotty’s prediction:

(Iowa) is Ted’s high point. Won’t get any better for him after this. Marco vs Trump.

One precinct's results
One precinct’s results

My speculation is a Trump win — maybe even a Rubio second — and then a brawl in South Carolina. And reportedly, Cruz is already concentrating on the Super Tuesday states in anticipation of a flat performance in the Granite and Palmetto states.

(And by the way, in the next dystopian movie, they should re-name all the states that way: “Palmetto”, “Granite”, “Hawkeye”, “Lone Star”, “Cornhusker”.

“Where are ya’ll headed to?”
“Big Sky, by way of Great Potatoes.”)

 

Have a Koch and a smile

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse was heralded by many Twitterers for his work against Trump in the final weeks of the Iowa campaign.

No word whether Sasse would be off to New Hampshire to dive into the campaigning ’round Dixville Notch.

In the mean time, he was at the Koch Brothers retreat in Southern California, where the discussion is how much to spend in an anti-Trump campaign.

 

FEC what’s shaking

A little news in the FEC Report areas.

Don Bacon and Brad Ashford announced their numbers. Ashford was strong-enough with around $300K for the quarter.

Bacon? Meh…$40K.

Well, we probably can put that in the “it’s early” category, but not for THAT much longer. Coupled with the not-great recent poll, the Bacon camp will have to step things up to show that they can take on Ashford — let alone out-name-ID Chip Maxwell, who they better not look past.

Getting your butt kicked a little isn’t a bad thing for a campaign. It can tighten it up and set a little bit of a fire under it. But then people want to see some momentum as well.

And WHOMever makes it to the General will likely see a weird landscape in the autumn with the Presidential campaigns and the ballot initiatives.

In the mean time it’s doubtful anyone will be laurel sitting.

 

YOUR Bellevue Thuuuuuundersnow!

Enjoy the ThunderSnow!
(Again, my preferred name for a minor-league hockey team.)

Twitter‘s the place to be to discuss politics, but also please Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook, because that’s how your Friends learn about us!

Iowegians

It all happens tonight.

That is, unless it snows early.

In which case, get off the roads so they can plow!

They’re saying the weather won’t be hitting until later, but you have to think that the “everyone but Trump” crowd is hoping for some snow, with the theory that Trump’s supporters are “soft”.

Then again, the Trumpians I saw in Council Bluffs were willing to stand out in the cold even after they closed the doors.

So here’s the deal: Make your predictions in the comments — and put a name (some sort of name) on it. You will be heckled / praised tomorrow accordingly.

And just to stir the pot I’ll say…Iowa is always weird, and seldom picks the winner…so…Cruz and Hillary.

(i.e. I don’t think Cruz will win the nomination and I don’t think Hillary will either. Dun, dun duuuunh!)

 

I like Mike

And Nebraska’s former Governor, Senator and U.S. Ag Secretary Mike Johanns weighed in as well.

He’s a Jeb Bush guy.

Which is sort of sticking his neck out there (to the extent anyone’s watching him).

The CW is certainly that Jeb is toast, so why bother? But there’s also a certain amount of loyalty for Johanns towards the Bush clan, so there ya go.

 

Rat race

And if you’re following Senator Ben Sasse’s Hawkeye Road Trip, you’ll have seen that The Donald finally got tired of Sasse’s Twitter snipes and went after him.

Trump Tweeted;

Sasse responded saying he took “gym rat” as a compliment.
But then he went a step farther:

Uh…ok.

I had to look this one up.

See, apparently Trump is VERY touchy about people criticizing the size of his hands and fingers. He has been accused of having small paws and stubby phalanges. And he has been known to go after people who point this out.

So on the one hand, many of the Buzzfeed types on the Twittersphere were cackling with delight that Sasse made that move — getting personal with Trump when HE gets personal.

On the other hand, are Twitter dick-jokes (ask any woman what the small-hands thing means) really the realm of a United States Senator?

Sasse has been receiving much well-deserved acclaim for preaching about conservative principles, especially in relation to Trump. But going down this road cheapens all that. I’d go so far as to say that in another day, an elder statesman would have summoned Sasse into his office and told him to knock it off.

Just because a Presidential candidate thinks its cool to tell you whether he wears boxers or briefs, doesn’t mean you should jump up and declare your underwear choice.

Sure Trump is mean and petty. But to a certain extent, he has earned the right to be what he wants. And plenty of people reject him just for that mean and petty streak. But Trump doesn’t apologize, because he has no one to apologize to…until he gets elected. Then he would owe those who elect him.

In that light, Sasse should keep in mind that people are reading his Tweets because the people of Nebraska put a “U.S. Senator” in front of his name (no matter which account he is Tweeting from).

And he has made his constituents proud by defining conservative values.

He should continue to make them proud by letting the radio jocks make the personal jokes.

 

Twitter is first with EVERYTHING

With the focus across the Muddy Mo, we can hold off to talk about the latest FEC numbers until tomorrow.
Stay tuned!

And follow @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter for updates through the evening!

Finally…

USA Today
USA Today

Debate takes:

Trump: Even. Probably didn’t net gain or lose any from his fundraiser. Some thought he should have debated. Others like the cut of his jib for staying away. You’ll remember that Senate candidate Joni Ernst stayed away from the Des Moines Register’s editorial board — and now they call her Senator Ernst.

Cruz: Without Trump to be his foil, may have lost a little. He’s all hard-core and anti-establishment…but at some point people are going to wonder why SO MANY people that know him do not like him.

Rubio: A lot of people think he came out the winner, and I probably can’t argue. But I do think he needs to take down his “angry” tone, just a bit. I get that he’s trying to sound extra forceful, but on nearly every question, it’s like he’s angry at everything. “And you wanna know about this lectern? Well I’ll TELL you about this lectern!”

Carson: At one point he gushed out everything he knew and learned about Russia and the Mideast. It was like he was operating on a brain and all the knowledge spilled out onto the operating room floor. (Now THERE’s a visual for ya…)

Bush: This type of stage just isn’t his forte.

Christie: I thought he knocked it out of the park on a few answers. I don’t know if he can catch much fire in New Hampshire, but if he did I wouldn’t be surprised.

Kasich: Yeah, well…

Rand: Rarely do you get to see a candidate on a major stage with that much, “Yeah I know I’m not going to win, so F–You,” of an attitude. But his supporters are still psyched.

So what does that leave for the caucuses?
The giant motzaball out there is whether Trump’s Iowegians show up.

A notoriously small percentage of people actually go out to caucus in Iowa. So do the Trumpians — who I would speculate are on the low end of that turn-out ratio (i.e. they don’t usually go) — show up?

And if not, does Cruz dominate?

New Hampshire is not likely to mimic Iowa, but whatever happens in the Hawkeye state will reverberate across the country.

Fun stuff, eh?

 

Did even his buddy Biden listen?

And in case anyone was listening, Chuck Hagel doesn’t think Ted Cruz’s carpet bombing plans are workable.

Then again, if the President didn’t listen to Hagel, why should Ted Cruz?

 

MONY MONY

Brad Ashford’s FEC numbers are in, and are decent.

Interestingly, the OWH’s Joe Morton, to to editorializing just a tad to saysthis about Chip Maxwell’s $2K COH, and a poll that says 2/3 of GOP voters are undecided:

Winning over almost two-thirds of the electorate requires a campaign, which takes money.

Heh. That’s one way to put it.

 

Hear ye

Opening it up on this Carl Curtis Open Comment Friday!
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Iowa Road Trip

Nebraska’s Junior U.S. Senator, Ben Sasse, is on his “Anyone But Trump” Iowa Road Trip, and he chatted with Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin for four minutes on all things Iowa, Trump and caucuses.

See it here.

Sasse on Bloomberg

Sasse says that Trump is saying, “if I’m elected I’ll do whatever I want…

That’s an interesting point, and maybe Trump feels that way…but has he said that? And are other candidates not saying what they will do as President — as opposed talking about how much they will be working with Congress?

There are plenty of conservative issues on which to oppose Trump, as Sasse is doing. He should hammer all of those if that’s the point he wants to make. But the “strongman” notes, not to mention the infidelity stuff, is going another direction.

Though Sasse no doubt knows this.

One pro-tip for the Senator:
Ditch the Husker jacket if you’re trying to influence Iowans.
No one says you have to go Black & Gold (or Red & Yellow), but going Big Red can make you the enemy to many eyes.

 

Fort still for Carly

On that same beat, Sasse joined Rep. Jeff Fortenberry in Waukee, Iowa as Fort continued his endorsement of Carly Fiorina.

Fort endorsed Fiorina in October, and has kept by her side, though her poll numbers have flagged significantly in Iowa and elsewhere.

Noted Rep. Fortenberry:

“I think Carly Fiorina has the character, I know she has the commitment, and she has the vision to repurpose government and restore America.”

 

Senator Fischer in DC

Nebraska’s Senior Senator, Deb Fischer, is in Washington, D.C. and recently spoke on the Senate floor, in tribute to Nebraskans who have given their life for their country.

Here is her speech for Sergeant Josh Ford of Pender.

She notes…

(His father) recalls Josh saying to him, when home on leave the April before his death:

“Old man, I now understand why you were so tough on me while I was growing up. You only wanted me to become the best person I could possibly be.”

During his limited time on earth, Josh did just that.

Our nation, and all Nebraskans, are forever indebted to his service and sacrifice.

Indeed.

 

But, you know, the party left HIM…

And in former Republican news, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel gave a grand to Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold.

Feingold is challenging sitting Republican Senator Ron Johnson.

 

Who’s going to insult Megyn Kelly?

The No-Fun Debate (i.e. Trump-less) tonight!

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