Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Day 3 – Sunday with Jeb!

(Andrew C. Bome continues with his posts from New Hampshire with some interesting insights and praise for Jeb!)
Sunday and Monday were very busy days catching a bunch of rallies.  One of the downside of the Republican clown car of candidates is that there are a whole lot of Republican candidates that are having rallies.  We saw most of them.
Sunday morning was our chance to see Jeb!.  I use Jeb! Because he does; he doesn’t want to use his last name, and I will respect that.  At least it is not an unpronounceable symbol.    The event was in a grade  school gym; the event was full, but  Alan and I made it in time to get some seats. 
Before the rally we were chatting with some of the “no labels” people.  That is the movement founded by Jon Huntsman and Joe Lieberman; somehow they feel that partisanship in the US is destructive and that people should just compromise and sacrifice to get things done.  Sounds nice in theory, but given Lieberman’s (and folks like Lieberman) participation in the “no labels” group, compromise seems to mean that Democrats should just act like Republicans and the world would be a better place.  They wanted to extract a promise from Jeb! That he would convene a meeting of congressional leaders of both parties within 30 days of being elected president.  They never did get to ask their question, mostly because they never put up their hand.
A somewhat concerning moment:  At the beginning (after the roadie sound check) we were asked to turn off our phones; I was afraid that we might see a repeat of “Harperdammerung”, but that never happened.
The Jeb! Rally was the best of the lot.  First, he had endorsement from Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham.  Graham’s endorsement is significant because it tells us that Jeb! Is in the campaign at least until South Carolina; Jeb! Is probably counting on a credible showing in New Hampshire and a win in South Carolina.  Senator Graham will help with that.

Graham was a good speaker.  He was warm and funny and delivered his lines well; I don’t think he should give his day job to go into comedy, but he is funnier than most politicians when he delivers bits.   He talked about the debate and commented on how Cruz made Ben Carson angry, and how difficult it is to make Carson angry; he also said he learned that you never want to make Chris Christie angry at you.   He finished on a serious note and talked about the sacrifice of veterans and their families; he asked the audience to pick a commander-and-chief that is worthy of the sacrifice. 
Susan Collins spoke next.  She was less memorable than Senator Graham, but she did talk about Jeb!’s compassion.  Maybe she is saying that Jeb! Is a compassionate conservative.  She also said that Jeb! Was the best president for perilous times. 
Jeb! Then came on.  He impressed.  While he was critical of the Democrats (he specifically said Obama & Clinton)  he talked of the importance of solving problems and serving constituents.  He said that is why people go into public service. It is what is done and it is what should be done in Washington.
His first promise was to move the embassy to Jerusalem.  

He also made another promise.  He said that he would not blame Obama for anything.  He said that he got sick and tired of Obama blaming his brother for everything and Jeb! would not be doing that.  This was the biggest applause line of the day.  This will probably be the first promise he breaks; blaming the last guy is a time honoured tradition in politics.

Trump Campaign Material
He then spent some time attacking Trump.  He talked how he attacked women, Latinos, Muslims and the disabled and said that you don’t want that kind of man as a president.  He also attacked Trump’s intelligence; not knowing what the Nuclear Triad is, is not a good thing in a presidential candidate.
Jeb! Had one of the best lines I heard.  He is behind in the polls and the media has not been taking him seriously as a candidate.  He talked about the media convening a “secret squirrel meeting” in Washington and anointing a candidate.  It is a line that is worth using and I might use in future.
He went on to questions and answers.  The only thing that was memorable was that someone asked him about global warming.  He did say that Global Warming is a thing and that it is caused by human activity; his solution is that we should learn to adapt.  While that is not a good answer, this is the first time I have heard a major Republican admitting that Global Warming is a thing.
Overall, I was impressed by Jeb!.  He is smart, he is thoughtful and is a good speaker.  He was obviously energized by a good debate performance on Saturday night.  If I was a voter and an independent, I would vote on the Republican side and vote for Jeb!.  Not because I think that he should be president; I am a liberal and I would vote Democrat in the general.  But I think it is important that a democracy has at least two functioning parties.  Jeb! Is one of the few of the republicans who is not a clown; the republicans deserve and need a candidate that would make a credible president.  Jeb! Is credible.
The Next President of the United States?

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