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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Treat the Donald with care

We start today with news that Nancy Reagan has sent invitations to sixteen candidates for next month’s debate (Sept. 16 on CNN). Before everyone panics, it doesn’t mean there will be sixteen candidates on stage at one time – the program will be broken up into two back-to-back debates, both moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper.

All of the hopefuls from last week’s event were invited except for Jim Gilmore. It may be because Gilmore does not meet CNN’s requirement of polling at least 1 percent in three national polls.
Donald Trump
Speaking of networks/debates, Donald Trump has made peace with Fox News. According to Dylan Byers of Politico, “Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes called Trump to assure him that he would be treated fairly by the network. And Trump, who according to a source with knowledge of the situation, had threatened to boycott Fox News altogether, agreed to appear on ‘Fox & Friends’ and ‘Hannity.’”

The détente makes sense for both sides. Fox needs Trump for ratings and Trump needs Fox to reach conservative voters.

Nothing was said about whether Trump has made up with Megyn Kelly personally. The Donald has said several times that he won’t apologize for his comments, and now Kelly says she won’t either. Did you really expect either to extend an olive branch?

Trump appears to have come out of the dust-up without too much damage, too. For example, Rev. Franklin Graham didn’t seem offended by what Trump said at the debate, calling him a “smart man.”

Even Ted Cruz is taking the Trump subject delicately, saying it would be foolish for Republican candidates to be too harsh with the Donald. Like Graham says, Trump is a smart man… but Cruz might be smarter.

“I am grateful to Donald Trump for forcing the media to talk about illegal immigration,” Cruz said. “Illegal immigration is a tremendously important challenge facing this country, and it is an issue where I have been leading the fight for many years.”

This week’s “candidates in trouble” segment

Politico has come out with yet another story suggesting trouble in the Rand Paul camp, this time back in his home state of Kentucky. Paul is trying to convince the state Republican Party to alter its nominating rules to accommodate both his presidential run and Senate reelection campaign.

He’s having some difficulty in doing so and the story suggests he hasn’t come through on promises he’s made to raise money to cover the state party’s costs.

It almost appears to be a case of the press trying to make something out of nothing.

And while it’s debatable – and perhaps a little early – to predict doom for Paul, there are some sure signs that Rick Perry’s candidacy is in trouble. Due to a severe lack of fundraising, Perry has stopped paying his campaign staff.

The former Texas governor is being chased by the ghosts of his 2012 campaign where he entered late, appeared to be unprepared in several debates and committed a number of errors that eventually ended his campaign.

Perry also failed to get his breakout moment in last week’s “Happy Hour” debate, but his now all-volunteer staff remains hopeful he’ll have one in next month’s event.

One last note on fundraising… Ted Cruz has raised more than a million dollars online since the Cleveland debate, another sure sign that his message is resonating with the grassroots.

David M. Drucker of the Washington Examiner reports, “The Cruz campaign said it had received more than 10,000 contributions online averaging $54.77 each, with campaign web page views at 296,000; impressions from Facebook posts at 20.5 million and impressions from tweets at 12.3 million.”

Jeb Bush’s millions come from mega-donors. Cruz gets small contributions… and the votes.

Are we heading for a “Goldwater situation?”

Pat Buchanan discussed several of the leading Republican candidates on the Hannity show recently and predicted that if Donald Trump wins the GOP nomination that a significant number of Republicans wouldn’t back him.

“[A]nd you could have a Goldwater situation.”

Meaning the establishment would fail to support their own nominee, just like it was in 1964. Buchanan said it could also happen if Ted Cruz is the eventual victor.

Establishment Republicans try to scare conservatives in every election with the “electability” specter. The only problem is that it’s the so-called moderates (like McCain and Romney) who don’t inspire anyone and end up losers.

Trump almost certainly would scare off some voters – but he also would win many who likely wouldn’t participate without a candidate they believe in. The establishment’s chosen candidates may “frighten” fewer people, but the folks who would do all the campaign work as volunteers won’t bother with it – especially this year.

Ben Carson, voice of reason

Soft-spoken Ben Carson doesn’t draw the headlines Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina attract, but he’s got a unique message that perhaps only he can deliver.

Addressing a question on the “Black lives matter” movement, Carson replied (as reported by Melanie Hunter of CNS News), “We also need to concentrate on teaching values and principles to young men, because, you know, when you talk about things like black lives matter, I think absolutely they matter, but we need to be worried about the fact that the most likely cause of death for young black men in the inner city is homicide, and most of those homicides are not coming at the hands of the police.”

Judging by the continued left-inspired protests in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere, Carson’s message is going to take a while to sink in. But Ben’s life story proves that skin color does not hold one back – are people watching?

Why there won’t be a third Bush presidency

Finally today, Brent Bozell writes about the futility of a third Bush presidency.

Simply put, Bozell says conservatives aren’t about to buy the establishment’s lies again. “Conservatives have had it with Me-Too Republicans, the kind who spend millions of dollars campaigning as champions of conservative values only to passively—and dishonestly—go along with liberal Democrats on virtually every single important issue. They’ve had it with the cowardice and/or duplicity of John Boehner in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate.”

Jeb may be a nice guy and people still think well of the Bush family on a personal level. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to vote for the establishment’s choice.

It’s just not happening this time around.

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Campaign Conservatives

Conservatives are sick and tired of the "campaign conservatives" we keep getting. They campaign as conservatives, but once elected they vote like liberals.

Thanks for the roundup.

Great commentary all-around except for this one bit: "Trump needs Fox to reach conservative voters."

Most conservative voters know that Fox is not conservative. I think it would be more true to type that Trump needs Fox to convert some Republican lifers, who believe everything the Republican leadership and their media mouths on Fox tell them. But even that # is shrinking.

And as I typed on another article on CHQ, I think it's becoming clearer by the day that Cruz and Trump are working together. And that both campaigns have iron-clad teams who do NOT leak info that the candidates don't want leaked. For example, the fact that they met privately was trumpeted all over the media. But not a word about what happened at that media has been leaked by either side.

And they continue to say the same stuff but with a good cop/bad cop feel that doesn't touch each other.

They probably know that Pat Buchanan is right: It was the Repub Estab, led by the Bushes and Romneys, who caused the Goldwater landslide defeat. And they absolutely will do the same thing to either Trump or Cruz.


Maybe not

Not sure, but it may be that the Repub Establishment may find it harder to control the people now with the web and the 24 hour news cycle. People are likely more informed now than back in 1964. Just a thought. I could be wrong.


I lived in Buffalo NY during the Goldwater campaign (yeh I am that old) and the Rockefeller republicans actually set up competing campaign offices in Erie county because they deemed the local county republican organization too conservative