Saturday morning James and I watched the funeral for Justice Scalia. It was one of those grand American events where we all connect at some level to observe a slice of history. There is certainly a great deal to disagree with when it comes to the rulings and views Scalia provided the nation over the past decades. But there was also something worth noting and honoring when it came to recognizing his public service. The funeral provided that national moment of reflection.
But then when the coverage was over we spent a fair amount of Saturday sitting outside reading. On Friday my copy of Mary McGrory, The First Queen of Journalism, a fantastic biography by John Norris, arrived in the mail. Yesterday the weather was warm and sunny, the coffee was hot, and there was no better place to be than outside while the pages turned. Over a late lunch we then watched the Nevada caucus results being reported. To top the day off we spent the evening at a house warming for a newly married couple. For hours we talked and laughed and would you believe the topic of politics was front and center?
Since many in attendance were state workers it is fair to say there was a most pointed tone to the conversations. One man who worked for a business in the area leaned in while pointing at me and asked “why don’t you run for governor”? I believe my views hit a strong cord when talking about the need to unify our political divisions and seek compromises in the construct of state policy. Over and over when I talk with people the desire to once again be the type of state we once were prior to Scott Walker is something that just resonates. It never fails to make points.
I was heartened that Hillary Clinton had a solid win in Nevada. I had predicted prior to New Hampshire that the Granite State would be Bernie Sanders high mark and that is coming true.
I was simply stunned by the scope and breadth of the win Donald Trump had in South Carolina. I still strongly feel there is a path to stop him but there needs to be a recognition that some powerful players are needing to step up and take on Trump directly and with force.
The piss-ant way House Speaker Ryan responds to questions about Trump, as was evidenced this morning on Capital City Sunday , shows why there needs to be tough-minded people who know it is time to take Trump out of the nomination fight. To do that they need to confront and not back down from the bluster and bombast.
I was sorry–though not at all surprised–to see Jeb Bush leave the national stage. His days as a politician are over. Without doubt he was the smartest GOP candidate with a skill set that would have made him an effective president had he won. I had long thought him to be the one to lead his party into the general election. What remains in the GOP field are mere snarky shadows with the exception of John Kasich, who is known for his substance.
As I look at the news columns I came across a brief snippet from Politico that sums up where we are this morning. It hits everything perfectly.
GOP’s Palmetto primary and the Dems’ casino caucuses clarify this crazy race: Trump triumphs, Clinton is revived, Bernie loses mo, Marco’s new nickname is 3-5-2 (his finishes so far), Cruz loses evangelicals, Jeb scrams, Kasich sticks around as asterisk in apparent three-man race, and Carson keeps campaigning because why not.