Primarily Speaking

image of former Texas Governor Rick Perry, to which I've added text reading: 'Hey, don't forget I'm terrible too!'

Poor Rick Perry! He is trying so hard to get people to remember that he is just as terrible as the other Republican contenders, and no one is even paying attention!

He's so desperate he's even whipped out the old "talk shit about senators" trick: "These are really bright, capable individuals. But my point is, do you want to take a chance on someone who doesn't have a track record of being an executive. When you walk off the Senate floor, you walk off the Senate floor. You don't walk away from things when you are Governor, you have to deal with things." So fuck you, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz!

Sorry, Rick Perry! You're going to have to be a lot more creative in your displays of nightmarish horrendo humanity than that! These are no Willards Mitts Romneys you're dealing with. We're back in Tancredo territory, son!

Obviously, it's going great for Senator Marco Rubio, who is winning over converts every day with great policies like his Florida Health Choices no-mandate health insurance exchange, which opened last year and now covers fully 80 people. EIGHTY! Take that, Obamacare (which covers 1.6 million people in Florida)!

And it's definitely going great for Senator Rand Paul, who's going on an "anti-abortion offensive." It sure is offensive! BOOM! (Thank you; I'll be here all week election.) Sayeth Paul: "We should ask the other side, do you think there's nothing special about life? Do you think there are no rights involved in a seven- and eight- and nine-pound baby?" Ha ha terrific questions! A+

It's not going quite so great for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose approval ratings are not quite in the toilet yet, but they're definitely fixing to plop in there any minute now. "Forty-one percent now approve of Walker's performance, while 56 percent disapprove." Light a match!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has obviously decided to take the high road lololol j/k: "Though he didn't mention Hillary Clinton by name, Bush was clearly aware of her recent Ohio pit stop to the Mexican fast food chain [Chipotle] on her road trip across the country, taking the opportunity tonight to take a not-so-subtle jab at the former secretary of state. 'I actually cook it at home. I don't need to go to Chipotle. Do I go there? Yeah, I go there. The one on US 1. Drive my own car, park my own car, get out of my own car,' he said. 'Get Chipotle, take it home.' (Notably when Bush left the event tonight, he sat in the passenger's seat of the black SUV that awaited him.) 'But we normally cook our own food, my own Mexican food at home. It's pretty good,' he said." So he totally doesn't go there, but, when he does, he doesn't travel by hired driver, except when he does. Cool story, bro.

While Bush was making this totally trenchant commentary on her eating habits, Hillary Clinton was talking class warfare: "There's something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker. There's something wrong when American workers keep getting more productive...but that productivity is not matched in their paychecks. And there's something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days. And there's something wrong when students and their families have to go deeply into debt to be able to get the education and skills they need in order to make the best of their own lives."

And, in a bid to prove she's not just talking the talk but actually means to walk the walk, Clinton is reportedly planning to hire "Gary Gensler, a former top federal financial regulator and strong advocate for strict Wall Street rules, as the chief financial officer of her campaign."

[Note: Video may autoplay at link.] Former Republican Lincoln Chafee says he's definitely running, but not officially. And his big criticism of Clinton continues to be her 12-year-old Iraq War vote, for which she's since apologized and said she was wrong. Very bluntly: "As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake [became] more painful. I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple."

I have to be honest here: Though I agree with Chafee (and Clinton!) that Clinton got that vote wrong, I feel like there is more integrity in her admitting having gotten it wrong than there is in Chafee continuing to attack her for it at this point. If the best you've got is: "You made a big mistake that you totally admit and deeply regret!" that is some weak sauce.

It's also not a rationale for a presidency that's going to persuade me, that's for damn sure. I need a real platform. Given that Clinton says herself the vote was wrong, it's not even a point of meaningful difference.

That's not an argument against a primary. Let's have a primary! But it's got to be more substantive than this to matter, is my point.

Meanwhile, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is using a pretty similar strategy, criticizing Clinton's former positions on same-sex marriage and issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. But, her positions have changed, and are now in alignment with his, so his criticism essentially boils down to: She didn't come to those positions quickly enough.

Okay. I actually agree with that, but, again, that's not enough. What are your policy positions that are fundamentally different now? I'm ready to be convinced, so convince me!

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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