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When talk-show hosts endorse a candidate, it's bad news for both.

March 21, 2016

What About Beck?

I’ve got a great idea for a movie. A guy is running for president. He seems like a pretty smart, nice guy. His campaign is going pretty well, and then... some nut-job endorses him.

The candidate is polite and thanks him, and moves on with his campaign. But the endorser just won't go away. He starts showing up at the candidate’s rallies, and the movie just gets nuttier and nuttier and weirder and weirder and...

Oh, wait, this has been done already. No, I’m not talking about What About Bob?, the 1991 movie starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. No, this is the 2016 movie, Nightmare on Cruz Street, starring Ted Cruz and... Glenn Beck?! When did he get into show business?

Oh, well. As my parents used to say, “Choose your friends wisely,” and apparently Ted didn't listen to his parents. Or then again...

It’s so sad to see a perfectly good campaign ruined by a talk-show host. But that’s what happens when you lead a guy on. And it’s what happens when talk-show hosts endorse a candidate. Bad news for both of them.

You can’t control who endorses you. Back in 1982, when the media was trying to snag Ronald Reagan on an uninvited endorsement, Reagan simply said, “He endorsed me. I didn’t endorse him.”

Of course, that didn’t suffice the media, anymore than it did when Donald Trump disavowed David Duke’s endorsement 500 zillion times. Trump could have used Reagan’s answer too. But if he did, his opponents would have said, “I’ll dare you use the words of Ronald Reagan. You’re not a true conservative!” Since he didn’t, they are saying, “Why didn’t you use the words of Ronald Reagan. You are not a true conservative!”

So, I guess you can’t win for losing – word battles that is. But Mr. Trump is winning where it counts – in the voting booths. And as long as Ted Cruz continues to associate with talk-show ideologs, he’ll be losing what really counts – credibility!


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