How else to describe Marco Rubio's night last night?
Finished a strong third place just a percentage point behind Donald Trump, and just 5 points behind winner Ted Cruz, then went out and gave a very impressive, positive and uplifting speech completely off-the-cuff that put everybody else's speeches to shame - even those that were prepared in advance. The other thing that impresses me about Marco Rubio?
He knows who the enemy is. That would be Hillary or Bernie, and he doesn't care which. As one political commentator noted this evening, Democrats are scared to death that Rubio might be the nominee, because he and his family break that old white male stereotype every time they step on stage.
What a contrast on the GOP side, with Trump seeming to re-enact that movie scene from 'Singin' In the Rain', when all former silent film star Don Lockwood (played by Gene Kelly) could repeat was "I love you, I love you, I love you" because he had no useful dialogue. You could tell that Trump wasn't prepared to lose tonight, and he was not a happy camper. To reverse a tactic he's used on Jeb Bush this campaign season, Trump had very low energy - very low. I'm thinking he's regretting skipping that last Fox News debate right about now.
Trump was followed by the longest, most self-centered and self-serving speech by Ted Cruz since - the last Donald Trump rally. And what's up with the hand-held microphone, Ted? And why did you have to refer repeatedly to prepared notes? And could you have mentioned your website one more time please? We didn't catch it the first few times you called it out in your victory speech. Maybe you could use one of those average $67 donations you mentioned to rent a podium mic.
On the Democrat side, I now know why some people refer to Mrs. Clinton as "Shrillary". When she gets worked up, her voice takes on a pitch that caused my dog to start howling. Ironic to hear her check off all the separate constituencies whose rights she says she's going to protect (women, gays, workers, etc), then in the next sentence claim that Republicans are the ones trying to divide us and tear us apart.
Martin O'Malley and Mike Huckabee have suspended campaigns that were never going to go anywhere in the first place, and look for more on the GOP side in the coming days. Bush and Kasich likely will continue past New Hampshire, but it will be largely a three man race following South Carolina, into Nevada and the SEC primaries of Super Tuesday. Huckabee's 2% won't give anyone a boost on the Cruz / Trump side, but look for Bush, Kasich, Christie and a split of Rand Paul supporters to help Rubio in the coming weeks. Ben Carson's votes will be the key. Whoever they go to will go a long way towards securing the nomination.
On the Democrat side, if Bernie Sanders gets a double-digit victory in New Hampshire, he can make the early primary season a living Hell for Hillary. Below 10 percent, however, and the air of inevitability for Hillary will begin to remove the oxygen from his campaign.
But either way, while Ted Cruz had a good night at the polls, Marco Rubio had the better night with his performance.
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.