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Cuban Sandwich

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 22/02/2016 Adam Neiman

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Cuban sandwich, noun: grilled ham and cheese between two pieces of Cuban white bread, usually a submarine style roll. Also, the 2016 Republican race for the presidential nomination.
It will certainly be ironic to watch two young Latinos eat the Hispanic-baiting Trump's lunch. The sort of just desserts that make a satisfying World Wide Wrestling narrative. It also produces exactly what the GOP's Growth & Opportunities Project prescribed in its post mortem on the Romney campaign in December of 2012. The triumph of the new inclusive Republican party over the ANGRY WHITE MAN, perfectly played by the Donald and the old white shoe WASP establishment, just as perfectly personified by Bush.
Presidential campaigns are trials by fire. Everyone who makes it stumbles at least once on the road to the White House. Until they screw up and right themselves, the donors really don't know how strong a candidate is. Rubio weathered his debate debacle very well. Now the donations and endorsements will rain down on him by the bucket. Even his old mentor Jeb! will be signing on shortly.
Trump and Cruz will split the right in the southern states on Super Tuesday, allowing Rubio to take strong second or third place finishes in each of these. Maybe even eek out a win or two. The primaries are all proportional until March 15th. Marco won't fall way behind in the delegate count, while gaining momentum in each contest as the center consolidates around him. Then comes the winner-take-all primaries in big northern states with more moderate Republican voters. Kasich stays on till the 15th to split Michigan with Trump and carry Ohio just in case the convention in Cleveland needs to be brokered.
Out of all this madness pops the 2016 GOP dream ticket, Rubio/Kasich; a perfect combo of passionate Latin young blood and avuncular old white guy experience. Not to mention swing states Florida and Ohio. Ted Cruz and his father Rafael will work the evangelical circuit after the convention, especially the fast-growing, traditional values, prosperity gospel circuit of Latino churches and radio stations. Cruz, the former Supreme Court clerk, gets a slot on the high court for his pains after a brief stint with the court of appeals. And the Republicans slice off the 30 percent of the Hispanic vote they need to maintain dominance for the rest of the century. As Reagan predicted some decades back, "Latinos are Republicans. They just don't know it yet."
How about that ham, Donald Trump? The big cheese stands alone, of course. Then the class clown/bully laughs all the way to the bank. Producer and star of the greatest reality TV show on earth, he's had the time of his life. And as a no cost brand building investment, a very artful deal indeed.
This perfect storm is on track to demolish the demographic strategy the Democratic left has pursued since the late 1960s. If it succeeds, Democrats will need a new strategy and more importantly, a potent new ideology to match.
Sanders is right. It is a rigged game, probably more than most Democrats can even imagine. The apparent disarray on the right is tempting many Democrats to swing for the fences this year. As we learned after the McGovern fiasco 44 years ago, a critical part of rigging an election involves discrediting your most dangerous opponent and insuring you face the least viable candidate in November. That was Nixon's dirty trick.
I was a young McGovern staffer in 1972, as were Bill, Hill and many other idealistic boomers. We were riding a high, convinced we were part of a political revolution that would sweep the nation. We carried one state. Only after the Watergate hearings did we learn how we had been played like pawns. Those who stayed in the game were a little more cautious going forward.
We felt the burn.

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