Christie, Huckabee To The Kids Table

While that is definitely more than a little embarrassing, it’s a better fate than George Pataki and Lindsey Graham, who’ve been banished even from the consolation round.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee will not be present on the main stage during Tuesday night’s Fox Business/Wall Street Journal debate. The event will feature eight candidates, the fewest Republican contenders to appear on one debate platform so far.

Neither Christe nor Huckabee cleared the threshold of having scored at least 2.5 percent in an average of the four most recent national polls conducted through Nov. 4.

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On the main stage will be businessman Donald Trump, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

On the undercard stage will be Christie, Huckabee, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York governor George Pataki failed to qualify for either event.

Whoops. I actually thought Christie was beginning to demonstrate some positive buzz and momentum recently. 

Waaaaaaaaaaah

The Post has the story of the RNC temper tantrum.

The Republican National Committee announced Friday that it was suspending its partnership with NBC News for an upcoming presidential debate in February, moving fast as anger at CNBC’s handling of Wednesday night’s Republican forum boiled over.

In a letter to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said that their relationship for the debate, scheduled for Feb. 26 at the University of Houston, was on hold “pending further discussion.”

The RNC has faced increasingly vocal — and active — dissatisfaction with the debate process from presidential contenders in the wake of Wednesday night’s face-off, with candidates and their campaigns complaining that CNBC conducted the debate in “bad faith” and asked questions in an attempt to spark infighting. “We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns,” Priebus wrote Friday.

In a statement, NBC News called the RNC’s decision “disappointing.”

Somebody call the waaaambulance. What a pathetic bunch of babies. Is that how they’ll deal with adversity as president? Bitch and whine and moan? Your modern GOP, ladies and gentlemen.

GOP Debate Party – With Actual Comedians!

What better way to watch the ongoing antics of the remaining passengers in the GOP Clown Car than to go to a party with fellow Democrats and watch? MCYD is going that idea one better – actual comedians to entertain you before, during and after. And me and my bad puns and warped sense of humor will be there too. So come to the AFI on October 28 and have some fun.  

NYT Grades The Debate

You got my assessment last night. Here’s another one from the Times, which I think is good even if I didn’t agree with all of it.

Both the Times and Chris Cillizza of the Post liked Marco Rubio’s performance better than I did. Sitting here on Thursday morning, I can remember significant moments from virtually every candidate’s performance – but not one from Rubio. And while both noted – correctly – that Rubio didn’t get a lot of chances to speak, in a crowd of 11 candidates, sometimes you have to create your own opportunities. The moderators were very good at letting people speak, and Carly Fiorina, as I noted last night, got off some of her best lines when she interjected herself into a conversation on the military, when she’d been ignored for an extended period.
My sense is that neither Donald Trump nor Ben Carson, the two front runners, did anything that will cause them to fall in the polls in the near future.

I think Carly Fiorina will – again – move up, and I think Scott Walker will fall into Rick Perry territory. Stick a fork in him – he’s done. Start the clock on his death spiral right now. I put the over/under on three weeks. I’ll take the under.

It will be interesting to see what kind of movement there is on John Kasich. The big winner in his hometown debate in Cleveland, Kasich didn’t do badly at all last night, but I wonder if his surge will be blunted by the continued meteoric rise of Fiorina.

Even though Jeb Bush was much better last night, there were moments when he tried to get forceful with Trump when it was apparent his heart just wasn’t in it. I think there’s a growing sense that this is true of his whole campaign. I could see his poll numbers go down as a result.

Ted Cruz also bears watching. He’s been drafting off Trump with the crazy voters, but he disappeared quite frequently last night. Not horrible, though, and his best lines were red meat to the Tea Party crowd, so he may well stay steady. 

Rand Paul will get a bump, but considering how far he’s fallen, it’s likely nobody notices. Ditto for Chris Christie, but I think he will move more than Paul. But going from 1 to 4% isn’t enough at this point. Christie will need another solid debate performance to have any chance of becoming relevant.

Vying To Be #10

Three GOP governors – Kasich, Christie and Perry – are making a last minute push to not be relegated to the kids’ table at the debate next week. Two of them will make it, one won’t, per Politico.

With just six days to go before the inaugural Republican primary debate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry are locked in a three-way scramble for the last two podiums on the main stage.

The fight for entry into Fox News’ primetime event — and the fear of being relegated to the early-evening undercard debate — has forced all three candidates to step up their media campaigns, courting Fox News and conservative radio outlets in an effort to curry last-minute support before the polling window closes on August 4.
This week alone, Christie has made four appearances on Fox News, accounting for more than half of the total appearances he’s made on the network since launching his campaign in June. Those hits include coveted primetime interviews with the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity, all of whom draw millions of viewers. Perry has made three appearances on the network since Tuesday. Kasich, who appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Friday, will do so again on Saturday. He is also talking to influential conservative radio hosts like Laura Ingraham and Hugh Hewitt.
The importance of qualifying for the debate, which takes place Aug. 6 in Cleveland, Ohio, has upended the usual pace of the primary campaign. Six months out from the Iowa caucuses, candidates would normally be focused on building local support in early states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But with national polls determining inclusion in the debate, campaigns have been forced to play for a far-wider audience, either through media interviews or attention-grabbing headlines.
“No one has ever paid this much attention to the national polls this early on,” a staffer with one of the three campaigns said. “We’ve been very aggressive engaging with voters on the ground, but so many people paying attention to the polls now.”

The clown car just keeps getting clownier. So looking forward to the debate – it’s tailor made for a drinking game.