In “The Things We Love to Loathe” Ms. Collins says as New Hampshire goes, so goes everybody. Here she is:
When it comes to bringing us all together, I don’t think anybody is better at it than Martin Shkreli.
Shkreli is a 32-year-old former hedge fund manager — see, I just said “hedge fund manager” and already masses of readers are shuddering in unison. He’s the one who bought rights to a drug needed for H.I.V. patients and then hiked the price 5,000 percent. He later appeared, wearing a hoodie, before a Forbes Healthcare Summit to say his only regret was that he had not raised it higher.
Yes! That guy! Naturally, all this drew a lot of congressional critics, and Shkreli expressed a yen for an honest exchange of opinions. (“I would berate them. I would insult them.”) He got his chance this week when he was called before the House oversight committee, where he took the Fifth, while smirking and twiddling a pencil.
This was the committee whose Democrats and Republicans kept shrieking at each other during the Benghazi hearings. Now, every member was united in a bipartisan desire to leap over the table and strangle the witness. Nobody has brought forth so much shared emotion since the video of Nora the Piano Cat.
The point here is that there really are a few things we can agree on, even in these troubled times. In the spirit of Shkreli, let’s look for some others on the campaign trail:
Rick Santorum is the worst friend in the world. Santorum, a former senator, was running for president until this week, when he reminded the nation that he was in the campaign by resigning from it. He then announced he was endorsing Marco Rubio.
That won Santorum an invitation to appear on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to talk about his big decision. Asked what it was about Rubio’s performance as a senator that impressed him, he said: “I guess it’s hard to say there are accomplishments.” Pressed on that interesting take, Santorum continued helpfully: “The first four years he was in the minority and nothing got done. And by the way, what happened this year under the Republicans that he got done?”
Recovering from that bout with sentence structure, Santorum closed by noting that the public was “looking not at someone with accomplishments and a track record but someone who had a — who was considered someone who was an outsider.”
We are enjoying the idea that Donald Trump screwed up the deal. If he fades in New Hampshire, will it be because he hasn’t been able to master the business side of the game — direct mail, polling, organization? If so, was he possibly too cheap to pay for it? The campaign says absolutely no, but it’s a lot of fun asking.
Hillary Clinton should not have given those speeches for Goldman Sachs. Clinton did very well at a Democratic forum and debate this week. Except when she was asked, during the forum, why she accepted $675,000 for giving three speeches for the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. (“That’s what they offered.”) She had a somewhat less awful response at the debate, but then was unable to say whether she’d ever release the speech transcripts. (“I will look into it.”) The situation here is clear. Clinton is never going to say she’s sorry, release transcripts or announce that she’s decided to clear everything up by donating $675,000 to charity. It is what it is, and you’re going to have to take it or leave it.
It’s kind of pathetic they’re not letting Carly Fiorina into the Republican debate. True, she’s irritating, but she’s the only real candidate who was excluded. You’ve already got seven guys on the stage, so what the heck. However, the world is probably not universally in agreement with Fiorina’s theory that she was the victim of a plot by ABC and the Republican National Committee to disempower New Hampshire voters because the other candidates are so afraid of her.
Marco Rubio gets really good jobs. We have heard a lot already about Rubio’s $800,000 advance for a very modest memoir about his formative years. And the billionaire auto dealer who donated $100,000 to Florida International University, where Rubio was hired as a visiting professor for $69,000. This week, NBC News reported that he worked less than 10 hours a week during his first semester at the teaching gig, missing three of his 10 classes.
Jeb Bush is the worst campaigner in the history of campaigns. New Hampshire is his kind of state, and this should be his resurrection moment. What do we have? A video of Bush delivering his zinger line to a silent room and telling the audience: “Please clap.” A campaign video of the candidate putting on a hoodie. Plus, I believe I speak for many people when I say that it is not a good sign when you have to drag in your 90-year-old mother.
And now he’s running an ad featuring C+ Augustus during the super bowl… If there’s anything that should bury his campaign it should be that.
Tags: The 2016 Clown Car