It was almost sad the way Rubio kept repeating the same line over and over at the debates. Even Chris Christie started pointing it out. I'm not sure if he just got nervous or ran out of talking points but it basically ended his campaign.
That was never really fair to Rubio. It's only remembered BECAUSE Chris Christie pointed it out. It's hardly unusual for candidates to give the same speech over and over again. There's an actual word for it, a stump speech. You talk to any journalist that follows a candidate around and they'll tell you that they hear the same lines and corny jokes a hundred times.
For debates, Rubio was doing what most candidates do. He was pivoting from the question to the message that he wanted to send. Such message discipline is usually lauded. Christie and Trump are a bit different. Both of them are a lot less rehearsed and willing to wing it. Christie, being faster on his feet and targeting Rubio, pointed out that he was doing what most of the candidates were doing in that debate. But when Rubio made the mistake of going back to his main talking points again, he fell into a trap without realizing it and Christie jumped on him.
All that said, Rubio's never really impressed me. He's always struck me as someone chasing after the next job instead of doing his current job correctly. The whole immigration reform debacle is a prime example. He let himself get roped into trying to sell a deal negotiated between McCain and Schumer (basically negotiating just how open the borders would be between those two) because he wanted to have a big accomplishment on his resume. He's actually gotten a little better since his presidential aspirations have been punctured.
|Haley has been getting groomed for a candidacy. And she has the ability to get nominated. Sarah Palin she is not. So glad she's no longer relevant. She made me want to punch baby seals every time she talked. I don't know what McCain was thinking putting her on the VP pedestal like that. Had he picked someone more competent, we might have had a very different turnout.
Eh. The only bit of juice and excitement that ever came to McCain's campaign was his selection of Palin. I suspect he would have lost by even more if he'd pick Joe Lieberman like he'd wanted to.
Funny thing about Palin, she actually wasn't all that terrible a pick based on how she presented herself in Alaska. She ran as an outside reformer trying to clean things up in the state. That actually fits very well with McCain. If she'd maintained that persona, she might well have been fine. But the combination of the insta-vetting that was the most intense I have ever seen and Palin getting caught up in her own hype and stepping out of her reformer ways and just trying to be a political star were what really sunk her. If she'd turned her folksy charm into admitting that she was playing catch-up on foreign policy and just supported McCain, she might well have still worked.
Again, though, it wouldn't have mattered. McCain barely even tried to campaign after the primaries. He let Obama off the hook from plenty of potential scandals and didn't even fight during the debates. Considering 2008 was already a year of economic crisis and an unpopular Republican president, he might as well have just conceded in September.
Yes but you don't stump speech like that in a debate. Save those for rallies, campaign speeches and such. Do that in a debate and you're going to look unprepared. And no, it's not remembered just because Christie pointed it out. We all heard Rubio do it live...4 times. The fact Christie called him out on it only drove the point home. Can you point out another candidate that has done that 4 times in 1 debate? Even more specifically where at least 2 of those times it wasn't even relevant to the question he was being asked?
But you're on point about his intentions being higher and higher office and then getting humbled after the elections. He definitely comes across as simply wanting the title at whatever costs. The fact he won Puerto Rico is not surprising but winning DC definitely suggests he had long held talks with DC insiders before the election cycle. And he won Minnesota for some reason. I don't know if he is any better of a senator now than before the 2016 elections but his drive for office seems to have subsided.
Lieberman wouldn't have been much better in terms of helping McCain. You're right. But he wouldn't have hurt McCain like Palin did. Lieberman has plenty of experience....in losing presidential elections. But then again we don't have much historical data to look at with cross-party tickets in the modern era. Not sure if he would have alienated Republicans or gained Democrats for McCain. I personally haven't liked Lieberman for a very long time given his ambition to get violent video games banned in the early 90s.
As for Palin, I never really knew anything about her until after her VP selection. I just think she was a mix of not being ready for that kind of spot light, not being experienced enough in federal level politics and going full bore with the folksy persona just devastated McCain's campaign. She was the reality TV politico of the era. I think McCain kind of gave up. He knew he blew it on the VP choice too much to expect a realistic chance.