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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cruz supporter tells why he lost

It's so over even Rich Danker, head of the Lone Star Committee, a PAC that supports Cruz, admitted it. On Sunday as Cruz and Kasich formed an alliance against progress, Danker sent a memo to supporters that said it's over.

And why.

Via Bill Kristol (who posted the whole thing), this is the heart of Decker's memo:
Cruz's obsession with being the conservative in the race barred the door to the broader Republican primary electorate that, while just as conservative as Cruz, does not base its vote on an ideological scorecard, or even fidelity to the conservative movement.
This self-constraint also led Cruz to restrict the places he tried to win. Iowa and South Carolina met the criteria – but New Hampshire was out of the question. Florida seemed unlikely to him with two favorite sons running. The southeastern states were the big prize, and the fact that so many were frontloaded onto Super Tuesday for this cycle made that outlook even more appealing. Most of the media's acceptance of a successful Cruz candidacy was based around this dynamic. To Cruz, the primary calendar was like a chessboard he would try to deftly navigate. Instead, it turned out to be what it has always been for the GOP: a game of knockout dictated by what happens in the first three states.
My former boss Jeff Bell dug up this fact last year: no presidential nominee of either party since the beginning of the New Hampshire primary in 1952 has ever finished worse than second place there. As he put it, there are three tickets out of Iowa, but only two out of New Hampshire.
I shall be more blunt: The self-constraint that Decker mentioned is actually the limit of the voting bloc he appealed to. Ditto Kasich.

Trump ran a national campaign. Bush was the only other one who did, and he bowed out after his third loss.

Decker's memo reflected this:
Like his state strategy, Cruz was very selective when it came to media availability. He allotted more time for conservative media, was limited his appearances on mainstream outlets. He took press questions infrequently. A frequent image became Cruz delivering his talking points into a podium of microphones, and then hustling away to avoid reporters' questions.
Trump basically took every legitimate media interview request that landed in his inbox. He held numerous press conferences and took lots of reporters' questions. He became such a staple of the television talk shows that he was afforded the rare privilege of phoning in his appearances rather than appearing on camera. While these appearances, most notably on CNN with Jake Tapper where he declined to condemn hate groups, occasionally froze his campaign in its tracks for days, they totaled up to nearly $2 billion in free media coverage, six times what Cruz earned. I would argue that this disparity was completely legitimate given the candidates' inverse attitudes toward media availability.
What have I been saying? Trump earned his media. Everyone else had someone else buy it. Cruz ducked reporters ("hustling away to avoid reporters' questions") while Trump took them all on. Sure, he tossed the blowhard Jorge Ramos of Univision from a press conference, but then he brought him back in and had a confrontation, blowhard to blowhard.

Truth is, Cruz is a policy wonk.

Trump is a leader.

Cruz ducked the mainstream media. Trump devoured it.

Then he burped and farted, but what the hey.

And there was this:
Campaign strategy aside, many conservatives are perplexed that Ted Cruz could lose to Donald Trump when Cruz is undoubtedly the closest ideological approximation to Ronald Reagan since he left the scene. He's the perfect conservative, many said, so how could he lose in a conservative primary?
I think this analysis misunderstands how Reagan framed himself as a candidate. He was not running to be winner of the CPAC straw poll or get the most conservative endorsements. He made it clear he was running to revive the U.S. economy and defeat the Soviet Union. Those were objectives that made it easy for any voter to support him. A majority ended up getting behind him because his ideas achieved those objectives, not because they dazzled on an ideological scorecard. Like Cruz, Reagan in 1980 had to get by better-funded establishment Republicans. But he didn't try to shrink the nominating contest into a conservative beauty pageant.
I trust Decker learned. Kristol said he is a fine young conservative. Plenty of room to grow in his career and I wish him a great deal of luck.


  1. I think there are a lot more people like that than the Cruzzers we think of.

  2. Donald Trump certainly has shown that he appeals to a larger swath of the Republican Party than Ted Cruz. And he's bringing Reagan Democrats back in, too? How can he lose? (Don't answer that.) - Elric

  3. I think there are a lot more people like that than the Cruzzers we think of.

  4. Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. Trump went out there and started swinging hard at everyone, clearing the field before anyone else could get settled or traction. This gave him an impressive lead that he wasn't able to lose, it gave him a cushion for all slip-ups, both natural and manufactured.

    Ted Cruz had the well-organized set-piece campaign according to the conventional orthodoxy. This is not to disparage the well-organized Cruz campaign, against anyone else it would have worked. But Donald Trump is not anyone lese, he is unconventional, he did not need to follow the rulebook. In fact, I think following the rulebook would have been a detriment to Trump.

    If Cruz spent a little more attention on exploiting opportunities as chance has them appear, and if Trump was a little more organized in the logistical aspects of campaigns...

    Let's see how Swamp Fox Trump does against conventional tactics Gen. Lady Clinton when they come together.

    - Mikey NTH

    1. You mean Banastre Tarleton Clinton

    2. Tarleton was competent at small unit irregular warfare. Strangely, he lost when Morgan trapped him into a set piece battle at Cowpens.

      - Mikey NTH

  5. Decker’s memo sounds to me like preparation for the next presidential campaign. Cruz failed because he 1) was too conservative (“…Cruz’s obsession with being the conservative in the race…” and 2) did not suck up to the media (“…Cruz was very selective when it came to media availability…”).

    So the GOPe consultant-recommended solution for the next presidential campaign once the GOPe rids us of Trump is to 1) be less conservative and more moderate and 2) suck up more to the media. This is the standard GOPe “strategy” which gave us losers like McCain (and his “straight talk express”) and Romney.

    The consultants miss the point. Trump did not follow their model and that is why he is successful. He is not a moderate, but rather an extremist on the one issue that matters to the Republican electorate which is immigration. And no GOPe consultant would counsel the next Republican presidential candidate to handle the media the way that Trump has, slaughtering their leftist sacred cows at every turn.

    Steve in Greensboro

    1. No. I heard something different. I heard:

      (1) You cannot just be "the conservative";
      (2) You have to take the risk that media availability entails because you will get coverage that you cannot otherwise pay for;
      (3) You have to contest in the early states because they are the grim filter of candidates;
      (4) You have to pick nationalistic broad themes for a nationwide race. While your GOTV may be geared down to congressional districts, your broad message must be nation-wide.

      - Mikey NTH

  6. Unfortunately, Trump loses 40+ states in the general after the media get done with their character assassination of Trump. Prepare for the end of the USA. It's over.

    1. Trump is far too wise to not have a counter offensive to defeat any idiotic negatives the media will throw at him. You better believe he will beat them and Hillary at their own slimy games.

    2. Good evening, Mrs. Clinton. Surprised to see you here.

      - Mikey NTH

    3. Gee. I wonder if he has standing in some sort of lawsuit to bring against Clinton. A little lawfare against her would be good while he's battling the Trump U thing. And it'll be fun seeing her dragged into court (not just showing up in Congress or a deposition of some sort).

  7. Can't remember where I read it, maybe here, but Donald Trump's theme was about America as in "Make American Great Again". Ted's was about Ted as in TrusTed. There's a world of difference in the two.

  8. Cruz starts to get that "cut off" feeling.


  9. When it comes to politics, ya gotta give Mr. Trump credit for one thing...he's a fast learner.

  10. Maybe I missed an opportunity here. I can out-burp and out-fart all of these dudes. You should be here to listen to me walk to the bathroom every morning.

  11. Who says Cruz is all that conservative? I suspect Ted Cruz tagged himself as such. And maybe I'm the only one who's not buying it.

    I was for Cruz before I was against him. Then I began reading about him and concluded Cruz is not a conservative but a finger-in-the-wind opportunist. But by that time, the Cruz meme was 'conservative.'

    This idea that "Cruz is undoubtedly the closest ideological approximation to Ronald Reagan" is ridiculous. Reagan was a natural; Cruz is a phony. Reagan ran (1980) on three principles: 1) smaller government, 2) lower taxes and 3) peace through strength. Add securing our borders to that list and you've got Trump's campaign, who's also a natural.

    Btw, K T McFarland was on Fox Business News yesterday saying she loved Trump's speech on foreign policy today. She said it was "Reaganesque." :~)