Good morning Austin:
At yesterday’s Cruz-Trump rally against President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, I ran into a man dressed as George Washington, holding aloft the Pine Tree/Appeal to Heaven flag that, as he explained, flew over six cruisers that he (George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army) commissioned in 1775, effectively becoming the first American Navy.
Washington was played by James Renwick Manship, who takes the role seriously. He lives in Mount Vernon. His Post Office Box is 1776 and his phone number is 703-NRA-1776.
I last encountered Manship at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside D.C. in February.
When a reporter from the Voice of America approached Manship for an interview yesterday, he said, “I usually think I’m the voice of America.”
Manship was not the only character in costume for yesterday’s rally.
As I was talking to Manship, Captain America sidled up to him.
Meanwhile, on stage, Cruz slightly revised Shakespeare.
When mention of the Republican leadership in Congress drew boos, Cruz, said, “Hold on. I come not to bury Caesar but to praise him. I want to give a path forward. There are two men in Washington, D.C., who can defeat this deal. Their names are Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker John Boehner.”
It’s a nice turn on the famous opening of Marc Antony’s funeral oration from Shakespeare’s Julius Caeser.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
But, of course, Antony’s intention was quite the opposite.
From National Review:
“He’s going to say that he agrees with Trump’s assertion that the professional political generation is full of crap – he may not use the word crap, I don’t know,” aide Curt Anderson said in call with reporters on Wednesday. But, “he will say that Trump’s remedy is not conservative change, it’s simply Donald Trump.”
The Jindal campaign also released a video likening Trump to Charlie Sheen.
From Colin Campbell at Business Insider:
In a statement released to reporters, Jindal’s campaign manager unfavorably compared the Republican real-estate magnate to actor Charlie Sheen.
“Charlie Sheen is clearly Donald Trump’s spirit animal. Or maybe it’s the other way around?” campaign manager Timmy Teepell said.
“They’d win here, they’d win there, they’d be bi-winning. It’s a match made in heaven,” he added.
The former “Two and a Half Men” star is famous for his public meltdown in 2011, which featured Sheen admitting past drug use, repeatedly declaring that he was “winning,” and other outrageous behavior.
The Jindal statement was reacting to Trump proclaiming earlier in the day that his future presidency would be full of “winning.”
“If I get elected, you may get bored with winning,” Trump said at a Washington rally against the Iranian nuclear deal, before backtracking on the boredom aspect of his expected victories.
I don’t know about the Sheen video. It’s not nearly as good as Jindal’s truly avant garde push-up contest against his personal demons.
Regardless, Trump’s not going to like this. It’s just a question of what insult he will throw at Jindal.
With Perry it was Trump’s suggestion that there ought to be an IQ test to get into the debates.
But, unlike Perry/Jindal, Cruz has decided to go the buddy movie route with Cruz. From CNN:
“It is a bit of a romance,” Trump told CNN at the rally. “I like him, he likes me. He’s backed me 100% about illegal immigration. He was the one person that really — and there were a couple of others — but Ted Cruz was out there and he backed me very strongly.”
From the New York Times’ Gail Collins
Ted Cruz adopted a strange summer strategy of joining himself at the hip with Donald Trump, thus guaranteeing that no one would ever notice anything he said or did. Meanwhile Mike Huckabee totally elbowed him out of the frame when Cruz tried to welcome the anti-gay marriage county clerk from jail. He is hoping to make a comeback this month by bringing the government to a halt over the federal budget. It’s been a time-honored campaign tactic ever since the days of President Newt Gingrich.
It is true that Huckabee’s minion kept Cruz out of the frame as Kim Davis was released from jail Tuesday, in a scene that was sort of Inherent the Wind as reimagined by Preston Sturges with a miscast Sylvester Stallone as Huckabee. (Davis went from cell to stage to the strains of Eye of the Tiger, the theme from Rocky III.).
Ken Herman was in Abilene yesterday where Huckabee owned up to keeping Cruz off-stage.
Local reporter in Abilene: “We know Senator Cruz was there and he wasn’t up there with you. How did you keep him away from all that attention you got yesterday?”
Huckabee: “Well, it was our event. We sent people on the ground within eight hours of her incarceration. My team sponsored the rally, we invited the guests. we put it together. The day before we found out Senator Cruz decided he was going to come and so i invited him to come in and meet with Kim Davis and have an opportunity to visit with her. But it was our rally and our folks had put it all together. and, you know, i don’t think anybody would have an expectation that we would add a speaker at the last minute.”
Fine. Fair enough.
But, the fact Cruz placed in the Kentucky Derby to be by Davis’ side – I mean where was Jindal or Rick Santorum – on one day, and then was leading a rally arm-in-arm with Donald Trump the next day on the West Lawn of the Capitol suggests a fully engaged candidate with a plan.
It may or may not be, as Gail Collins wrote, “strange,” but it is a strategy.
As for his buddy Trump – to him, well, Kim Davis is kind of a loser.
“It was too bad that she had to be put in jail and I’m a very, very strong believer in Christianity and religion,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly on Fox, “but I will say that this was not the right job for her.”