Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekly Scorecard for GOP candidates

Okay, everyone, it's time to take a look back at each of the potential GOP candidate's weeks.

Next week, we'll take up the Democratic field.

As I explained last time, I'll hand out awards, where applicable, for my favorite bits of commentary or reporting.

One such award is an homage to one of the greatest riffers in cinematic history, Al Pacino's "Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade", and the other is an homage to Josephus -- the great, 1st century Jewish historian who was essentially a fantastic reporter.

The Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade Award is given to the best commentary; the Josephus Award to the best reporting.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

a. More Democrats endorse him.

b. Christie -- no fan of a long nomination contest.

c. Rejects a minimum wage hike.

d. Calls Obama "extraordinary" in his state of the state address.

e. Christie will attend the Super Bowl.

f. He'll do Letterman next week.

g. Facebook's co-founder hits Zuckerberg for supporting Christie.

h. Democratic leaders starting to consolidate around Barbara Buono.

i. Jim McGreevey thinks a Christie presidential bid would be "very different" than usual.

j. Stuart Rothenberg: Is Christie overrated?

Josephus Excellence in Reporting to Dan Roem for "Meet Barbara Buono, the Democrat likely to face Chris Christie."

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade Excellence in Commentary to George Will for "Chris Christie, the bombastic but likable governor."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio

a. Joins the Gang of Eight on immigration reform.

b. Rubio is a "No" on Hagel.

c. Dana Milbank calls Rubio "courageous" on immigration.

d. Rubio pitches immgration reform on Hannity's show.

e. Ted Cruz is skeptical of immigration plan; Rubio responds.

f. Rush Limbaugh tells Rubio his immigration efforts are "admirable and noteworthy."

g. Rubio fears "bidding war" over citizenship.

h. Rubio stresses border security.

i. Tea partiers hammer Rubio on immigration.

j. Rubio does Mark Levin.

k. The entire Rush Limbaugh chat with Marco Rubio.

l. David Vitter calls Rubio "amazingly naive" on immigration; Rubio aide hits back, alludes to prostitution.

m. The Rubio family might move to DC.

n. Sen. Bill Nelson says Rubio is giving conservatives "cover" on immigration.

o. Larry Thornberry laments over Rubio's plan: "Is this what comes of defeating Charlie Crist?"

p. Ann Coulter: "Rubio's amnesty a path to oblivion for the GOP."

q. Glenn Beck on Rubio's plan: "The Republican party is over, and I'm calling for a third party."

r. Rubio tries to sell immigration reform to Red State readers.

s. His big gamble.

Josephus Excellence in Reporting to Robert Costa for "Marco Rubio's Charm Offensive."

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade Excellence in Commentary to Rich Lowry for "Marco Rubio's bad deal."

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan:

a. Delivers high-profile address at the National Review Institute Summit.

b. Ryan: Clinton would've fixed our country's fiscal woes by now.

c. Surprisingly, on board with ending the gun show loophole.

d. Ryan thinks Obama is too casual about the debt.

e. Predicts sequestration will happen.

f. Warn GOP about being portrayed as "villain" in one of Obama's "morality plays."

g. Paul Ryan's prudence.

h. Ryan: Premature to talk Prez16.

i. Does Martin O'Malley have better abs?

j. Ryan's priorities right now: Fiscal > Abortion.

Joseph Excellence in Reporting to Jon Ward for "Paul Ryan Medicare Reforms still on the table, says adviser Yuval Levin."

Lieutenant Colonel Fran Slade Excellence in Commentary to Caroline Baum for "Paul Ryan can do better than do-nothing Congress."

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul

a. Set to deliver major foreign policy address at Heritage next week.

b. Doesn't want Egypt to get our F-16s.

c. Rand Paul vs. John Kerry.

d. Rand wants a bigger GOP tent.

e. Paul claims "Over-the-top-aggressive-foreign policy" isn't conservative.

f. Says GOP needs to "evolve" on immigration, but doesn't get specific.

g. Rand: Against gay marriage, but also against DOMA.

h. Paul: If you attack Israel, you're attacking the U.S.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz

a. Tears into Chuck Hagel at confirmation hearing; impresses the right.

b. Scarborough was so digusted by Cruz's clash with Hagel that he won't even mention his name.

c. Cruz has "deep concerns" about Gang of Eight's immigration plan.

d. Advice for GOP: "Stop listening to the New York Times."

e. Sans podium or notes, delivers a strong address at the National Review Summit.

f. Cruz looks back: Romney should've said "You can build that!"

g. Wields a pistol grip.

Josephus Award for Excellence in Reporting to David Drucker for "Cruz's Grassroots Role at NRSC still evolving."

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade Excellence in Commentary to Sean Sullivan for "Ted Cruz's delicate balancing act."

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

a. Gets the high-profile Gridiron keynote.

b. Calls for the president to meet with governors on Medicaid.

c. Jindal reverses himself on Hospice; extends program.

d. Karl Rove: Rubio is right on "stupid" comments.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush:

a. Jeb calls for digital schools.

b. Travels to Arkansas to call for expanded charter schools.

c. Newsmax on Bush vs. Rubio (with a rather alarmist headline).

d. Political opponent tries to play gotcha on Jeb.


SD Sen. John Thune

a. Thune is reserving judgment on Senate immigration plan.

SC Gov. Nikki Haley

a. State Treasurer won't run against Haley in GOP primary.

b. SC Supreme Court will hear an activist's complaint against her.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

a. His transportation plan (cut gas tax; raise sales tax for new projects) gets through a key committee.

b. Chats with Jennifer Rubin about his transportation and education proposals.

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte

a. Introduces bill to extend ban on internet taxes (hooray!).

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 

a. Will speak at a fundraiser for a Christian school in Michigan next month.

[Photo of report card: Debt Relief]