Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ted's Hail Mary isn't a bad play

by digby

I wrote about Cruz's gamble for Salon this morning:

Say what you will about Ted Cruz, he is a good student. After watching Donald Trump upstage everyone in the race all year long, he knew that after such a big string of wins the night before, yesterday was going to be a big day for the frontrunner, particularly since he had scheduled his first major foreign policy speech for that morning. So, taking a page out of the Trump manual, he scheduled his own big event that afternoon and word quickly "got out" that he would announce Carly Fiorina as his running mate. Sure enough the cable news nets all covered Trump, of course, but then switched almost immediately to the Cruz event and covered both his speech and Fiorina's in their entirety. He bested Trump at his own game by dominating a very packed news cycle that should be been all about Trump's triumphant march through the northeast.

There may have been some good luck involved as well. The Cruz campaign clearly had planned the Fiorina announcement as part of his Indiana Hail Mary and likely because he knows that Trump's biggest vulnerability is with women voters. He couldn't have known that Trump would launch a sexist broadside against Hillary Clinton during his big victory speech on Tuesday night that brought that issue into broad relief --- and created a meme that went viral when the first lady of New Jersey, standing behind Trump and reflecting the feelings of millions of American women gave him an obvious side-eye when he said this.

I think the only card she has is the woman's card. She's got nothing else going on. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the women's vote. And the beautiful thing is women don't like her, okay?

He obviously thought this was an extremely clever line since he had said it earlier in the day and Clinton had responded to it in her own victory speech. And Trump, as is his wont when a woman challenges him, couldn't resist going there again on Morning Joe:

Trump: I haven’t quite recovered, it’s early in the morning, from her shouting that message. I know a lot of people would say you can’t say that about a woman, because of course a woman doesn’t shout. The way she shouted that message was not ... ewwwww ... that’s the way she said it, and I guess I’ll have to get used to a lot of that over the next four or five months.

One can imagine that millions of women gritted their teeth and mouthed the words "what an ass" when they heard that one.

Lucky Cruz happened to be planning to play his own "woman card" later that day to take full advantage of Trump's sexist impulses. After all, Trump may be deluded that the ladies really like the cut of his jib, but the fact is that they actively loathe him. The Gallup polling over the month of March, showed that 70 percent of women have an unfavorable opinion of him. Cruz needs votes and he's strategically targeting the people who already hate his rival. What choice does he have?

Cruz's speech was a dull and predictable as usual but he did take the opportunity to remind every woman who was listening exactly what Trump had said about Fiorina:

"Everyone remembers that in one of the earliest debates Carly confronted Donald Trump. [cheers] A man who in his characteristic understatement said of her "look at that face". [Boos] And everyone of us remembers the grace, the class the elan with which Carly responded. She responded to Donald that she knew exactly what he was saying and that every woman in America knew exactly what Donald Trump was saying. One of the great principles of bullies, they feed off of fear. They feed off of people who will cower in the corner when they yell and scream and insult and holler and curse. And they don't know what to do when a strong powerful woman stands up and says "I am not afraid."

He was basically saying that Donald Trump has very small hands. It's fair to assume he hopes that Trump will show his usual lack of control and respond on the stump with his patented crude misogyny. He offered this doozy up to Chris Cuomo on CNN already:

“When I came out, I was competing against 17 very capable people… and a woman.”

The pundits all dismissed Cruz's so-called "Hail Carly" as a desperate move, and it is. But Cruz had to do something to change the dynamic after Trump's string of wins in the east and this isn't a bad way to do it. Fiorina never won much in the way of votes but all the reporters who followed her campaign reported that she was quite popular on the trail especially among GOP women. It's unlikely to hurt and could possibly help. It's worth a try.

Cruz and Fiorina may be antediluvian political throwbacks in most ways but for all his faults Cruz does not seem to be threatened by professional women. After all, his wife has been the primary breadwinner. And there has been some kind of "arrangement" between them from the beginning of the campaign. Recall that Cruz's Super Pac contributed big bucks to her campaign which would normally seem quite bizarre but which was explained at the time by Amy Chozick of the New York Times:

“Fiorina finance chairs told me supporters of other candidates have thrown them $$$ to have a woman in race attacking HRC.”

Now she's oddly in cahoots with HRC, drawing misogynist fire from Donald Trump. What a strange campaign.

Finally, there is one other excellent reason to recruit Fiorina to the cause. If Cruz could pull off a miracle in Indiana and live to fight another day, Fiorina might be helpful in her home state of California. She may have failed spectacularly in her Senate bid but she did manage to get the GOP nomination in a statewide contest and she is well-connected with the Republican establishment there. It's possible that she could actually do some good and help keep Trump's delegate haul below the magic number.

All of this is an extreme long shot and most people think that Trump has it in the bag even if he comes close. But this has been the weirdest primary race in history and you just never know. Cruz is still in there, working every available lever to keep his campaign alive. Yesterday he managed to upstage Donald Trump on the day of his greatest triumph and took clever advantage of Trump's weakness with women. He isn't dead yet.