For two weeks we have been tracking closely the discussion, behavior, trends and analysis in several groups: the CNN team, the Salem Media team, the professional apparatus of the RNC, and the individual GOPe candidates. An overall theme is well established to aid in predicting what will follow – more on that later.
In the interim, here’s Jake Tapper explaining, well, actually I would assert “pre-justifying”, the approach to pit the candidates against each other. [*NOTE* Jake first made this accidental assertion of his intent at 3:05pm on September 11th]
Today Tapper discusses the goal to “pit the candidates against each other” against the backdrop of a discussion with CNN President Jeff Zucker, who apparently gave him the green light:
The venue and format goals align with the ideological goals – only RNC Party “insiders” will be part of the very carefully hand-picked debate audience. This is structurally designed to aid the optics and narrative creation.
Whereas the Fox Debate in Cleveland was akin to a populous rally with thousands of the unwashed masses in attendance, the Reagan Library venue is only a few hundred chosen by the party apparatus to create a tone of “seriousness” and allow Trump’s popular appeal to be framed as “vulgarian”.
The audience will be hundreds of George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Charles Lane and Jonah Goldberg types – the cocktail/country club class. This is essentially Jeb’s home team – responding to, contrasting and trying to draw out the insufferable vulgarian on stage who does not -in their collective opinion- deserve to be there.
Of the 11 people on the stage, seven are specifically part of the GOPe roadmap. The angle of intellectual superiority, and thereby vulgarian diminishment, will come from two specific sides, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio. Both acting as shields and swords for Jeb.
Rand Paul will be the muckraker, assigned to go grab Trump, pull him into the mud, and be the visible representation for those amid the electorate who have not yet seen Jindal and Pataki’s pre-debate assault….. Christie and Kasich will be Rand Paul’s relief and relay team once Paul reaches the point of overkill.
Chris Christie doing the same number on Trump that he did for Romney on Gingrich ’12. And Kasich at the pearl-clutching ready to highlight all this horrible division and non-productive “polarization”. The goal of the three amigo’s to paint Trump is an “extremist, racist, crazy, vulgarian, nativist, sexist, only-worthy-of-reality-TV ” etc.
This paves the way for the “high-brow” tag-team of Rubio and Fiorina to step in with their well rehearsed 30 second sound bites the cocktail class republicans know and love.
Carly with her pursed lips and condescending tone, a fave of the elites when encountered; Rubio with his pontifications explaining what skill sets are demanded for the most important job in the world, and how Donald Trump doesn’t have them…. etc.
Remember the Republican Pledge?