Ronald Reagan won and changed history. Dude rocked. And now the GOP is left trying to recreate his electoral victories. But I don’t think the GOP can decide why Reagan won. Was it because he was likeable, optimistic, and witty or was it because he was conservative.
That’s the question. If it’s likeable, optimistic and witty we’re looking for, Marco Rubio might be the guy. If it’s conservative, it’s Ted Cruz. The problem is that Cruz isn’t all that likeable. C’mon. Don’t fool yourself. He’s just not. That long droning and screeching speech he gave the night of his Iowa win was just plain awkward. Look, I agree with most of what comes out of the guy’s mouth but is he likeable and media savvy? Not so much.
Now Rubio on the other hand is likeable and media savvy but the conservative base doesn’t trust him and likely won’t come out for him like they’d need to in order to beat Hillary. After immigration, they just won’t trust him.
So we’re left wondering what’s more important as an electoral strategy. Is Rubio attracting the moderates going to get the GOP ahead or is Cruz firing up conservatives going to get us across the finish line. You’re not going to get both in this cycle. One or the other. In recent years we went with candidates who weren’t all that likeable and not very conservative (McCain and Romney).
Both Cruz and Rubio are good on issues of life and religious freedom, which I think are the two most important issues this cycle. I probably trust Cruz to push harder on these issues than Rubio. But to be fair, it’s exactly that hard charging attitude that makes him not appealing to moderates.
This is not a side question. It’s THE question. Look, the number of folks in Iowa caucusing for Republicans shattered records while the number of Dems caucusing in Iowa was abysmal. Maybe this is the kind of year where you just drive out your base and hope that the excitement gap on the Dem side helps the GOP.
I don’t know the answer. I’m just a blogger.