Editors' Blog

Worst Kept Secret

The makings of a president. From Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins ...

But to those who have known him longest, Rubio’s flustered performance Saturday night fit perfectly with an all-too-familiar strain of his personality, one that his handlers and image-makers have labored for years to keep out of public view. Though generally seen as cool-headed and quick on his feet, Rubio is known to friends, allies, and advisers for a kind of incurable anxiousness — and an occasional propensity to panic in moments of crisis, both real and imagined.

It's hard to think of a better quality for a president than to lose your cool and panic at clutch moments.

The Fine Print

You'll hear a lot today about how since 1322 or whenever it is, only three men have lost the New Hampshire primary and gone on to be president. But definitely pay attention to who the three are: Clinton, Bush and Obama. In other words, the last three presidents, going back 24 years. So yeah, the New Hampshire primary ain't what it used to be.

No Rubespocalypse?

We now have a number of polls that give us a some look into the fall-out from Saturday night's debate. The picture is mixed. We have two tracking polls which show a slight downtick for Rubio (ARG and UMass Lowell) and one (CNN/WBUR) which shows a slight uptick. Notably the last is the only one that includes some interviews from today.

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Bubble Boy

I will say that I have serious doubts that Bloomberg for President will survive first contact with the Hudson River. I say this as someone who thinks Bloomberg did or continued a lot of good things in New York City. But I strongly suspect that a Bloomberg for President insurgency would create a movement on the scale of Lieberman for President.

After all, he wants your gun, your soda and your union card. Should go great.

Bill, Bill, Bill

As someone who's just loved Bill Clinton since I was right out of college, I feel like this is about to get painful. He's now going after Bernie Sanders. And he's (rightly) saying he needs to be careful about what he says as the election gets "hotter." Yes, you do, Bill. You really do.

The attacks I heard yesterday don't seem terribly out of line. I think there's a good argument that Sanders somewhat one-dimensional diagnosis of the country's ills doesn't capture the fullness of the challenges we face as a country. But now we're also seeing the inevitable rumor mill about a post New Hampshire Clinton campaign shake up. This is starting to feel a lot like how 2008 did when Barack Obama started to look like he was an existential threat to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

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Flying Blind

We will of course know soon enough. But I just wanted to flag that we have almost no New Hampshire poll data since the Rubio debacle at the Saturday night debate. With the exception of the two tracking polls conducted by UMass Lowell and ARG, all the late polls (Monmouth, CNN/UNH/WMUR, Franklin Pierce) finished collecting their sample sometime on Saturday. So they may have made a few calls after or during the debate. But nothing after the Rubot press frenzy began. And probably few if any after it even happened.

Those two tracking polls both show Rubio tracking down one point between yesterday and today. That's hard to read too much into. But that can mean Sundays numbers came in poorly but we offset by Saturday and Fridays numbers.

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Tough Guy

When it comes to playing 'dominance politics', it is all about showing, not saying. And boy did Chris Christie ever show it with his surgical disembowelment of Marco Rubio on Saturday night. (He removed so many of Rubio's organs that it almost turns into an issue of co-pays and insurance coverage.) But I wanted to flag the Trumpesque, tough guy language he used the next day on CNN's Sunday show ... (emphasis added)

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Rubes' Momentum Breaks

I confess I had figured Jeb! was one vote away from ditching the race and signing on a spokesman for Low-T drugs. But now we're seeing that there are initial indications that Marco Rubio's momentum at least has been broken by the Rubot incident. The latest tracking polls show only a tiny drop from his earlier numbers but they are enough indicate that the rush of support in his direction was arrested by Saturday's debate, which is probably all his opponents needed, or the minimum they needed.

Why Are There no Comments on the Editors' Blog

(This is not so much a post for the moment. But for years I've answered this question in a million different emails. And I have long wanted to do one post about it so I could simply refer to it when asked.)

Why are there no comments on the Editors' Blog?

Good question. What we now call the 'Editor's Blog' was the entirety of TPM for the first five-plus years of the site's existence. And fifteen years ago, comments were not something you could just spin up easily as you can today. In fact, for roughly the first three years the site was online I coded each post by hand, by which I mean I wrote each successive post directly into a handful of html documents I'd written myself. There was no CMS. And yes, once or twice I actually inadvertently overwrote a weeks worth of posts. Luckily, both times I was able to find some reader who had the deleted posts in their browser cache and sent it along to me. Creating pages by hand like that, there's simply no way to have comments.

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Feel the Lair

Believe it or not, I hadn't seen Larry David's Bernie Sanders impersonation until this morning. It wasn't that I wasn't interested. I didn't need to. Larry David has been doing a proto-Bernie Sanders impersonation for the last twenty years. I've seen it a million times.

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