Political Animal


March 25, 2013 8:14 AM Quote of the Morning

By Ed Kilgore

Sometimes you see a single sentence that so perfectly sums up an element of the zeitgeist that you just have to pass it on. This is from a Jonathan Martin Politico piece this morning about the declining national buzz surrounding Paul Ryan:

Last year’s It Boy of the graying Republican Party has been bigfooted by the GOP’s new twin heartthrobs, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Wow. No wonder Charles Pierce calls Politico “Tiger Beat On the Potomac.”

UPDATE: Commenter T2 is absolutely right: Republicans (and Politico) may be excited about Paul and Rubio at the moment, but keep your eye on that wingnut bully-boy from Texas, Ted Cruz! He’s got both The Crazy and the exotic Ethnic Thing pushing him up the charts! Dreamy!

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on March 25, 2013 8:57 AM:

    The great Charles Pierce is a national treasure.

    And something that Conservatives will never be able to duplicate, since they suffer from a complete lack of any sense of humor, probably due to their irony deficiency.

  • bleh on March 25, 2013 9:16 AM:

    And who can forget W-boy's crotch-hugging flight suit? THAT sure sent a tingle up a lot of "graying" legs.

    And we wonder why they have such a fetish for guns and war...

  • Peter C on March 25, 2013 9:27 AM:

    Do you remember when the common wisdom was that "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line"? That certainly has changed!

  • Patrick Star on March 25, 2013 9:28 AM:

    So, does this make Rand Paul the Justin Bieber of the Republican Party?

    Thanks, Politico, for yet another valuable contribution to our political discourse.

  • max on March 25, 2013 9:30 AM:

    Last year’s It Boy of the graying Republican Party has been bigfooted by the GOP’s new twin heartthrobs, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

    The Ryan from Wisconsin has been Palined and found wanting. Replacing wahtshisname Brown.

    I'd cry in my beer, but I'm too busy trying to figure out how to get the money to send Rob Zerban.

    No wonder Charles Pierce calls Politico “Tiger Beat On the Potomac.”

    People read that thing for some reason. Maybe they should have nudie pictures.

    ['Hey, if the press is going to implode as it has been, let's make sure it implodes on the right people.']

  • DRF on March 25, 2013 9:55 AM:

    We're still a couple of years away from the beginning of the 2016 campaign season. It's quite possible that one or more of the guys currently being discussed won't be in the picture at all by then.

    Rand Paul has run in (and one) exactly one election. Rubio had a history as a state representative in the Florida State legislature prior to his one and only statewide election. Ryan now has some experience campaigning at the national level, although whether or not it has done him any good is anyone's guess.

    Clearly, all three of them have national aspairations, but any one of them could burn out long before campaign season.

  • T2 on March 25, 2013 9:56 AM:

    why did Pierce leave out Ted Cruz? Back to Ryan....his problem is a normal one for the Tea Party political generation: once he was put under the microscope of a public stage, his ideas fell apart. Getting the VP nod was a disaster for him. He'll forever be mentioned in the same breath as a guy named Mitt. But more importantly, he'll be remembered as the guy Joe Biden blew off the stage in a nationally televised debate. That was the end of Mr. Ryan.

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2013 10:51 AM:

    "Any one of them could burn out long before campaign season."

    . . . And they all probably will. Peirce and Kilgore are making the same point: how trivial and silly the coverage of this issue has been and still is.

    I'm working on pushing the Cruz/Bachmann ticket in 2016. It could finish off the current Republican party coalition for good.

  • Braxton Braggart on March 25, 2013 10:58 AM:

    Not to thread-jack, but down here in the Lone Star State we've taken to calling the junior senator from Texas "Carnival" Cruz. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? As the Reader's Digest used to say, use a word five times and it's yours forever!

  • Rob Lewis on March 25, 2013 11:34 AM:

    c u n d gulag: YES on Charlie Pierce.

    And my very favorite example of why conservatives should never, EVER try to be funny: Ross Douthat on Bill Maher. *cringe*

  • MuddyLee on March 25, 2013 11:53 AM:

    Ted Cruz also has the backing of Jim DeMint and the crazy money people at the Heritage Foundation. This may hurt him with sane America, but it will be a plus with CARs (crazy ass republicans).

  • matt w on March 25, 2013 12:04 PM:

    Guess we'll get to find out how quickly being born in Alberta isn't a problem for eligibility for the Presidency and being born in Hawaii is.

  • Speculator on March 25, 2013 12:11 PM:

    Rand Paul's rising star is making a case for the Republicans continued move to the right, New Message or no New Message. Rand on the ticket will lose the election for them again. The right isnít hearing the American people; they're too busy talking for us, right over us.

    Does anyone else feel Rubio is VP material only? After Obama, what Republican minority will be allowed in the Oval Office? The VP's office will have to suffice.

    The one I see the most in line with the Bush, McCain, Romney criteria is Scott Walker. He's shown his partiality to our wealthy overlords with union busting and should he run, the campaign money would pour in.

  • ComradeAnon on March 25, 2013 12:26 PM:

    Charles Pierce may be a treasure, but EWW!

  • MattF on March 25, 2013 1:44 PM:

    I'm pleased to say that I predicted Ryan's decline. To be a bit blunt about it, Ryan has an honesty problem. Remember that marathon? Remember that fitness regime? Oh, well, tsk, tsk. That sort of thing doesn't kill a reputation immediately, but it's damaging in the long run.

  • weirdnoise on March 25, 2013 4:29 PM:

    Our political media are all about attracting eyeballs. So it makes sense that Cruz will be their next darling. There is very little to distinguish between how the media covers politics, and how it covers entertainment or sports.

  • T2 on March 25, 2013 5:30 PM:

    Thanks for the mention, Ed. But on Cruz's "ethnicity"....he was born across the border ...in Canada! He doesn't play well in the Tx Hispanic (primarily Mexican descent) community. Besides, no culture likes a jerk.

  • AG on March 25, 2013 7:48 PM:

    At this rate, the Republican who best captures the sentiment of the party base is probably Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. I don't think he'd ever win, but if his candidacy ever became viable it prove a lot of dark things about that party.

  • Renai on March 25, 2013 10:20 PM:

    Anyone who thinks of Sessions as a standard bearer needs to drive through Alabama, and that includes Sessions himself.

  • metamorphoses on April 28, 2013 5:52 PM:

    To clarify: IMHO: Senator Cruz lacks the minimum requirements to serve in the Office of the President of The United States: he was born in Canada...