He had a bad day. Despite his insistence to the contrary, Marco Rubio did not do well in the recent Republican debate. Which disappoints me. I still believe he is the best candidate running for President right now.
I was surprised that he did not answer challenges from his competitors about his lack of governing experience and instead went into a tirade against the President. He is not the first candidate to avoid a question by substituting a prepared message – desiring to embed it into the minds of the viewing audience. But he oversold it. He repeated it over and over again. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called him on it several times - referring to that comment as a memorized 25 second sound-bite speech. Thus painting Rubio as - although very bright - nothing more than an experienced politician that doesn’t respond to questions – and will carry that inexperience into the White House, if he wins.
That was his first mistake. His second mistake was that he should have acknowledged his error. An error so obvious that if you support him, it is cringe worthy watching it repeated over and over again in the news media. It would not have hurt his message to acknowledge he made a mistake during the debate. It would have instead helped, by showing humility.
But instead he kept insisting that he is glad that message is being replayed in the media so often because that is the anti Obama message he wants to get out. But he totally ignores the negative commentary that accompanies those clips. And the way the negative way audience at the debate reacted to it.
Two very big mistakes. Which is too bad since he had so much momentum going into tomorrow’s New Hampshire Primary. Nonetheless, I still believe he is the best candidate for the job even after his dismal performance at the debate - and how he’s handling afterward. I do not believe those mistakes are fatal. He can and hopefully will turn things around and have a much better debate next week before the South Carolina primary. Besides, I’m not so sure debates win elections.
For me support for Israel is the deciding factor in who I will vote for. This does not mean I have dual loyalties. No one should challenge my love for this country. I am a proud American; support the ideals upon which this country was founded; and am grateful to be living here in the 21st century.
But Israel has only one true friend in the world, and since I care deeply about the Jewish people, that is the number one issue for me. Among those running for President there is no who supports Israel more than Marco Rubio. If he is elected, the relationship between our two countries will improve substantially. There will no more be any personal enmity between the leaders of our two countries. I believe our ties will be closer than ever. Not that they are bad now. But forgive me if I think they could be better in a more positive political climate that shares conservative values. As does Likud and the Republican party. And whose leaders views are far more in line with each other – sharing mutual views on existential issues facing both countries. Like the nuclear deal that grants Iran the right to move full speed ahead towards nuclear weapons in a decade or so. With a promise to annihilate Israel - while already having the ballistic missile capacity that can carry an eventual nuclear payload right into its heart.
While all candidates (Republicans and Democrats) swear that support Israel is ‘unshakable’ (to use an Obama term) forgive me if I think relations will improve under a Republican. And we need one that is electable, like Rubio.
Not that I agree with Rubio on all things. For example I support bettering relations with Cuba, something Rubio adamantly opposes. I am also in favor of more gun control, which I believe he isn’t. But overall, his views are the closest to mine. Especially where they count the most, support for Israel.
Rubio has the best chance of winning against Clinton, who will no doubt be the Democratic candidate, despite the problems she’s having. Sanders, and avowed socialist, will in the end lose. I don’t think the majority of the American people – even Democrats - will support a socialist. And no one else opposes her.
What about Hillary Clinton? Would she be so bad? Truthfully I don’t know. But my guess is that she would more or less continue the President’s agenda in all areas, including the bad deal with Iran. And continue harping about the settlement issue being the biggest obstacle to peace in between Israel and the Palestinians when we all know that the real obstacle to peace is a long history of Palestinian violence against Israelis. Which has not subsided!
In a recent blogpost, I said that if Mrs. Clinton was elected she would not only be the first woman President, she would be the first feminist President. There should be no mistake about that. In just about every appearance she mentions that fact that she is a woman and how important that is. That feminism is high on her agenda was made clear once again by a weekend campaign appearance by former Secreatry of State, Madeline Albright. She said there is a special place in hell is reserved for any woman that votes for Bernie Sanders. That practically received a standing ovation. There’s more. Renowned feminist pioneer, Gloria Steinem who has much use for men as a fish has for a bicycle just added her prestigious feminist credentials to the Clinton campaign. If you feel about men the way Gloria Steinem does, then Clinton is your 'man'.
Back to Rubio. I would not count him out yet. One glitch – even a big one like this, is not enough to count him out. Even if he does not do as well in the New Hampshire primary as expected because of his debate performance, he will have ample opportunity to redeem himself in future primaries. I do not see any of the other Republican candidates winning in a general election against Clinton, despite her possible legal problems. Which surround her use of a private e-mail account to send classified messages when she was Secretary of State. That will make her vulnerable. But not unelectable - if there is a strong mainstream Republican candidate like Rubio opposing her.
I don’t know who will end up winning between the two if they end up running against each other in a general election. It may end up being very close. But in my view Rubio has the best chance of beating her from among all the other Republicans running. Stay tuned.