by Rod D. Martin
January 15, 2016
Did anyone notice that Ted Cruz rose to his current lofty height by showing that the Washington Establishment loaths him, whereby he (and Donald Trump) have shunted aside Jeb Bush and an entire generation of established Republican “statesmen”?
Guess what: getting the New York Establishment to go nuts on him too — at a moment when his chief remaining obstacles are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (maybe) — is pretty brilliant.
First of all, let’s just be clear: Ted Cruz had an incredible night. His opening was the strongest of any I’ve ever seen in a Presidential debate. He didn’t let up. Donald Trump and Marco Rubio — in that order — had great nights too. But Cruz didn’t just “look presidential”: he looked like he was the President, again and again and again.
It was that strong. Frank Luntz’s focus group agrees, 26-0.
So what is all this foolishness about #NewYorkValues? In short, it’s a big mistake for the mainstream media and the Republican Establishment, in a year when the field is dominated by outsiders and the voters hate the media and the Establishment…which is every much as centered in New York as in Washington, D.C.
But you don’t have to know that to understand why #NewYorkValues will help every Republican candidate (except Donald Trump). Just watch this, from 1993:
#NewYorkValues may mean the 9/11 first responders to Megyn Kelly. To virtually the entire rest of America, it means something more like this:
Or maybe these:
No one has to make these, er, points in Iowa, South Carolina or the SEC primary states. No one. Ever.
What’s stupid, of course, is that the entire Establishment just made what for Cruz was an offhand comment into a viral meme. That cannot possibly end well for them. Oh, it’s all fine for Fox (based in New York) to show patriotic pics from 9/11. But that obviously isn’t where this ends. Take for instance this:
Thank you, Daily News. Point made. Indelibly.
#NewYorkValues haven’t been the rest of America’s values for a very long time, and the only people who don’t know that are the folks who regularly ride first class on the Acela. And New York proves it in a tangible way at every opportunity. Do the words Chuckie Schumer mean anything to you? Michael Bloomberg? How about Rudy “taxpayer-funded abortion is a Constitutional right” Giuliani? Anthony Weiner? The Clintons? Paul Singer? Elliot Spitzer (“Client 9”)? The mafia? West Side Story? Will and Grace? Sex and the City?
Yeah, those are values that really resonate with Iowa farmers and South Carolina church ladies.
If Donald Trump has proven anything, it’s that Ted Cruz’s only option now is to double down. This fake scandal, this faux outrage (entirely from people who would never in a billion years vote for Cruz OR Trump) is not something he’d have sought: I’m quite certain he did not imagine he would be facing this particular kerfuffle on a debate stage, and indeed, it was the one moment in the entire night when he did not seem perfectly poised. But now it’s out there.
He has to make it a theme.
#NewYorkValues hurts precisely one person over the next three months: Donald Trump. After that, assuming Trump isn’t the nominee, it hurts precisely one other person (if she’s still around): Hillary Clinton. And as the New York media beats this drum, daily demonstrating the definition of “butt hurt,” they will produce an uncontrollable avalanche of memes demonstrating #NewYorkValues that sums up the race for the vast majority of America, and particularly those parts which Ted Cruz, or virtually every Republican candidate has to win.
Too divisive you say? When the Bushes start apologizing for “Taxachusetts” and “the Left Coast,”or New Yorkers start apologizing for “flyover country,” we’ll talk.