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February 26, 2016

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"An incoming Trump administration would suddenly realize that Mexican governments are in general quite helpful to the United States."

I think you left out the words "rationally motivated". It might be, but it's assuming a conclusion. Is there any reason we should take his statements during the primary at less value than we take the statements of Rubio? His future policy might be constrained by the enormous bureaucratic inertia of the US government, but there's no a priori reason to assume he doesn't mean what he says.

I was following the press conference of the Christie announcement, incidentally. A masterpiece of timing, designed to take any air out of the room if Rubio landed a hit, planned before the debate. The language Trump used to describe Rubio there tells me that Trump is intending to paint Rubio as effeminate, a lightweight choke artist who wears too much makeup. I am sure less subtle innuendos will come out before the Florida primary -- not that current polling indicates Trump will need it.

But you know the LBJ anecdote: "Of course it ain't true, but I want to make the SOB deny it."

I think we should all become familiar with the Shy Tory effect, as we watch people we once regarded as reasonable Republicans evade the question of whether they will vote for Trump. It would astonish me if, should Trump be nominated, he picks up less than sixty million votes in the general.

So, Christie AG or VP?

VP we will likely not know until August, and nominees for cabinet-level positions, hopefully never.

A lawyer-comedian friend suggested Joe Scarborough as Trump's likely VP pick, and I think it's brilliantly plausible. He's Southern, from the Florida Panhandle, which can't hurt with that swing state, formerly in Congress, and a conservative network television personality, so it would result in who knows how many more dollars of "free media." In addition, mainstream media people are less likely to condemn one of their own as a matter of professional courtesy.

The behind-the-scenes evidence makes a Trump-Scarborough ticket plausible.

Hugh Hewitt raised the issue last month. Scarborough dodged very unconvincingly; Hewitt took his response to mean that he would accept a Trump invitation.

I am going to put up a very brief personal post.

The Scott Adams take on Trump is that all his statements are basically anchoring and taking higher ground. By claiming he'd build a wall, he's setting out his negotiation starting position, which is "keep Americans safe." It's hard for other candidates to argue against keeping Americans safe, and extremely difficult for them to find space between "keep Americans safe" and "build a giant wall" in which to lay out their policies.

Did Scarborough take himself out of the running?

http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/02/joe-scarborough-donald-trump-kkk-219950

JKR: I don't understand Scott Adams' position. If Drumpf's positions are serious opening bids, then nothing changes. In the case of the wall, for example, his opening bid will get him nothing: Mexican politicians will have no choice but to call his bluff. That then puts him in the position of backing down or destroying NAFTA and Mexico-US security cooperation. I know what I think he'd pick.

So what is Adams trying to say? That it is hard to argue against the Donald? Well, yes, but not because Drumpf has positioned himself in some logically unassailable position.

I'm at a loss. Can you explain Adams' argument?

It certainly looks like Scarborough took himself out -- the television bluster probably could be walked back, but the editorial in the Washington Post is a little harder.

Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania) has endorsed Trump -- 10th district, most of the "Northern Tier" and some of the Alleghenies. Looks like that Sean Trende white-max strategy is on, sigh. He told political reporter Matt Fuller why, who then Tweeted it: "Basic argument is current system isn't working."

(Might I add that Twitter is amazing for real time and on-the-spot reporting? It's a strange and I would say dysfunctional social media platform for most other things, but it is *superb* for breaking news.)

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