The Krait may not be perky today, but she's real snarky. Dumbos beware. The target for The Krait's bite is the latest Dumbo brouhaha over the proclamation by Faux News that the first Dumbo presidential debate of the 2016 campaign would be limited to top 10 challengers at that moment. That's right. Ten debaters. All on the same stage. Perhaps Faux News will adopt at format like Hollywood Squares. Of course, that format will present a challenge because the game show format was 3 cubes high and 3 cubes wide. Uh oh. 9 squares and 10 debaters. What would Faux News do with the 10th debater? This could be first crisis of the 2016 campaign. If this is (fair & balanced) political nonsense, so be it.
[x NY Fishwrap]
Rush To Judgment
By Gail Collins
Tag Cloud of the following piece of writing
Time flies when you’re having fun. Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July and then, the next thing you know, it will be Aug. 6, the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and the date of the first Republican presidential debate.
Less than 11 weeks away! True, 11 weeks is nearly twice the length of the entire national election schedule in the United Kingdom. But this is why we had the Revolutionary War.
“It’s actually not early,” said a Republican National Committee spokeswoman. “Four years ago the debates started in May.”
Think about that, people. This presidential campaign is slow getting started.
Fox News, which is hosting the debate, doesn’t want more than 10 people on stage, and that’s a challenge because the number of Republican hopefuls is somewhere between 15 and 2,376. There are two ways to think about this. One is that having 10 debaters is still ridiculous. It’ll be like a playground fight conducted entirely by middle-aged people in suits.
The other is the howls from the potentially excluded. Fox’s idea is to take the candidates who score highest in the polls. When you get down below the top seven or eight, you’re talking about people who have failed to break 2 percent. But they all believe that’s just because they have yet to blossom.
“The idea that a national poll has any relationship to the viability of a candidate — ask Rudy Giuliani that, ask Phil Gramm that,” sniped Rick Santorum, one of the likely excludees.
Have you noticed that whenever anybody wants to bring up disastrous presidential candidates of the past, the first name that pops up is Rudy Giuliani? Do you think he minds being a walking embodiment of Failure to Meet Expectations?
But about Rick Santorum. He’s nowhere in the polls now, but he did win a couple of primaries in 2012. We have not seen much of him since then, except for his spirited and successful battle to block ratification of the United Nations treaty on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.
How many of you are willing to give up Rick Santorum? Fine. But you’re going to have to tell him.
At this point, presidential polls are mainly about name recognition — or, in the case of Donald Trump, the fact that some Republican voters have a dark sense of humor. Carly Fiorina, who’s trailing, isn’t exactly an average-American-household name, despite her spectacular crash-landing as C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard. But she expressed confidence — via her “super PAC” — that her “growing momentum” would get her into the Top 10.
At the Iowa G.O.P. Lincoln Day Dinner last weekend, where 11 hopeful Republicans gave speeches, Fiorina went out of her way to show her foreign policy chops.
“I know King Abdullah of Jordan....”
“I can remember as well sitting in Bibi Netanyahu’s office....”
Fiorina had to be forced offstage when she went over the 10-minute time limit. Ten minutes is probably about 20 times what candidates are going to get in those debates, so it is possible we are detecting a future problem.
Perhaps you are wondering how the other candidates fared as dinner speakers. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin revealed that he not only lived in Iowa as a child, he spent part of that childhood wandering around the neighborhood with an empty mayonnaise jar, raising money to buy a state flag for the city hall. “Stories like that are what’s great about Iowa, what’s great about the Midwest, what’s great about America,” he said modestly.
Jeb Bush won a lot of support when he avoided saying anything weird. “First and foremost, I’m the husband of Columba Bush,” he told the gathering, reminding them that he had at least one member of the family who has not yet involved the nation in a war in the Middle East.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina veered between corny jokes and foreign policy, which created a strange effect. It’s not every day you’ll find a candidate who can giggle while saying, “I’m going to call a drone and we will kill you.”
I say keep Lindsey Graham. And, what the heck, Carly Fiorina. And Rick Perry, who was a veritable sunbeam in Iowa, burbling on about the corn crop while the other speakers were so down on the Barack Obama era that they sounded virtually suicidal. Plus, we know that Perry is the kind of guy who can really perk up a debate.
Fox News says that if it bumps some candidates, they’ll get “additional coverage and airtime” the same day. It’s not clear whether this would be an interview or a second Clash of the Losers debate. We definitely want the debate, Maybe featuring Governor Chris Christie, Donald Trump and Rick Santorum, together again for the first time. Ω
[Gail Collins joined the New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and later as an op-ed columnist. In 2001 she became the first woman ever appointed editor of the Times editorial page. At the beginning of 2007, she took a leave in order to complete America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines. Collins returned to the Times as a columnist in July 2007. Collins has a BA (journalism) from Marquette University and an MA (government) from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Gail Collins’s newest book is As Texas Goes...: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda (2012).]
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