New Hampshire and Iowa have done their job. Half a dozen Republican candidates for the presidency are gone: Four of them in the week after New Hampshire.
The political guillotines have been falling faster than Madame Defarge could knit.
Chris Christie’s political hopes have been decapitated too.
I’ll miss him.
Make no mistake — Christie has been a lousy governor, at least in his second term, for New Jersey, and he would have made a disastrous president. But at least his Straight Talk Express did expose so much flatulent nonsense form the young Senate up-and-comers in the Republican race.
Above all, Christie should be remembered and cherished for his fatal demolition job of little Marco Rubio — The Boy in the Bubble — on February 6 in the last GOP televised debate before New Hampshire.
That exquisite slam-bang takedown did not help Christie one whit in New Hampshire, a tough, old industrial straight-from-the-shoulder little state where his message should have resonated. He still came in only sixth. So now he’s gone.
The worthless Carly Fiorina is gone too. She ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground, but Republican primary voters, showing infinitely more good sense than that fateful H-P board that made her (briefly) a CEO, hardly even placed her among the also-rans.
As for Jim Gilmore, he got half as many votes in New Hampshire — give or take a dozen – than Vermin Supreme, a joke candidate who wears a boot on his head.
Gilmore finally left the race after New Hampshire. But why had he stayed in it at all unless he was really auditioning for the next series of The Walking Dead?
At least political zombies Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee finally accepted their fate.
Santorum won the Iowa caucuses in 2012 and Huckabee won in 2008 and both at least until February 1 of this year still believed with perfect faith that A) they could replicate that cosmic achievement and B) that it would somehow propel them to the nomination in Cleveland and thence to the White House.
Deranged fantasy and obsessive fugue states come no worse than that.
However, for Rand Paul, whose campaign never even spluttered towards any kind of life, some words of genuine regret.
I am no libertarian but Paul would have made – and would still make – an exemplary attorney general or secretary of state. He is sane, measured, balanced and decent — and repeatedly showed great moral and political courage as the only voice speaking out against one ugly and needless excess after another in the Republican debates.
He alone of the dead-and-gone candidates deserves to be missed.
We are still stuck with Jeb! – and the hot air has been sucked right out of the brief Rubio and Cruz balloons in New Hampshire.
Cruz may get back some of his swagger in South Carolina but even there, The Donald is attracting the votes that should have gone to him.
Also, Cruz’s campaigns shenanigans playing low and dirty in Iowa will backfire badly on a candidate whose lack of likability tripped up his brilliant political intellect: Richard Nixon anybody?
As for Marco Rubio, he came third in Iowa in the caucuses and was immediately touted by the worthless passing dinosaurs of the political establishment as The Coming Man yet proved so spineless and inept that he threw it all away by melting down in front of a national television audience within five days.
The Boy in the Bubble turned out to be a Five Day Wonder too. He’s cooked and done as well.
Now we have a clear Trump drive to the coronation with a rising, slow-but-solid John Kasich who ought to quickly eclipse the ineffable Jeb! Kasich has the best credentials to become the last establishment candidate standing to at least attempt a gallant last stand around the GOP elephant against The Donald.
Also, keep an eye on Cruz as he hovers on the fringes, looking to get back in the race in South Carolina and Nevada.
And as Porky Pig would rightly say: Th-That’s all, folks.
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Martin Sieff is the author most recently of Cycles of Change: The Three Great Cycles of American History & the Coming Crises that will Lead to the Fourth (Amazon-Kindle2015) and Gathering Storm: The Coming Seventh Era of American History & the Coming Crises that will Lead to It(Amazon-Kindle 2015).
Visit Martin at www.MartinSieff.com
Martin Sieff is a former senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and former Managing Editor, International Affairs for United Press International. Mr. Sieff is the author of “That Should Still Be Us: How Thomas Friedman’s Flat World Myths Are Keeping Us Flat on Our Backs” (Wiley 2012) and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East” (Regnery, 2008). He has received three Pulitzer Prize nominations for international reporting.