Caucus insights from the 15th precinct

By Tom Quiner

My caucus was packed.

Hundreds of Republicans packed into what used to be the old cafeteria of my junior high school.

Nearly a half a century ago, I lunched with my chums in this room sweating over an upcoming test or talking about the pretty girls sitting across the room.

Tonight, the stakes were higher. Members of my community were going to weigh in on who they thought should be the next president of the United States. I was pleasantly surprised to see neighbors present who had voted Democrat for as long as I’ve known them. This year, their high school aged daughter made the trip to the March for Life in Washington D.C.

Suddenly, they were caucusing for Republicans.

Another friend was there. He had voted Democrat his entire life until a decade ago. He reached a point where he couldn’t bring himself to support a party that so whole-heartedly embraced human abortion.

One-by-one, people stood up to pour their heart out in support of their candidate.

When it came to the last candidate, Marco Rubio, I stepped to the podium to make a few remarks.

The audience erupted when I said the following:

“I don’t think America can afford four more years of American decline at the hands of run-amuck liberalism. A Hillary Clinton presidency is a guarantee of moral rot, fiscal decline, and national insecurity that could actually leave us longing for the days of Bill Clinton.

God help me for saying that.”

There is a lot of anger in this country over a haughty, bullying federal government that steps on the little guy rather than watch out for him. Disgust for Washington was on open display.

Regarding Rubio, I hammered home his conservative credentials. I made it clear that Mr. Rubio is not the namby-pamby lap-dog Establishment candidate portrayed by the Rush and Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham crowd, conservative pundits who, in fact, have emerged as the true Establishment in the Republican Party.

Marco Rubio is a rock-solid conservative. My caucus listened and agreed, providing him with an overwhelming victory over Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in precinct fifteen.

How a Laura Ingraham could carry on such a love-affair with a guy like Trump with his wishy-washy pro life record is beyond me.

Think about it: if Marco Rubio was the milquetoast Republican portrayed by the Establishment Punditry class, the last thing he would do is give up his Senate seat. He’d want to hold onto it as an insurance policy to keep him safe and secure inside the Establishment beltway if his presidential campaign sputtered.

But he didn’t. He is not running for Senate. He is all-in in his run for the White House. Interestingly, he is THE single candidate feared the most by the old-guard Establishment and the new-guard Establishment. Collectively, they are pouring millions of dollars into advertising to defeat this true, principled conservative.

Senator Rubio overachieved in the Iowa caucuses, that’s for sure. He finished some 8 points higher than the last poll predicted he would do.

But can he overcome tens of millions of dollars of nasty negative ads directed against him in New Hampshire and beyond?

Let’s hope so, because he is the Republican’s best hope to regain the White House.

After the caucus, Karen and headed down to the Rubio headquarters at the Marriott to meet up with my son and three year old grandson. If you watch the video clip above, you’ll see the back of my grandson’s head sitting on my son’s shoulders as Rubio speaks.

What a grand evening. Thank God for our Republic.

May Senator Rubio have continued success.


  1. Shawn Pavlik on February 2, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Go, Cruz! 😉

  2. Shawn Pavlik on February 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    By the way, I was really pulling for both Rubio and Cruz to do well. I hope this trend continues, and we see Rubio continue to climb. I would love it if it was Rubio and Cruz vying for the candidacy at the end, and Trump left with slim pickings. Trump will probably win NH, BUT if Cruz and Rubio can close and get within 5-10 points that should really be considered a loss by Trump. If either of them can beat Trump in SC, then it is only a matter of time before Trump drops out of the race. He won’t win many southern states, and those are most of the early primaries.

  3. Shawn Pavlik on February 3, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Another BTW: you claimed “Interestingly, he is THE single candidate feared the most by the old-guard Establishment and the new-guard Establishment. Collectively, they are pouring millions of dollars into advertising to defeat this true, principled conservative.”

    Actually, Rubio IS considered by most to be the Establishment Candidate. That isn’t to say he isn’t conservative, but he is the candidate of the big 3 that the establishment likes the most. Trump is a dumpster fire waiting to happen. Cruz is “too conservative” for the establishment, even though he is only slightly more conservative than Rubio. Google “Rubio establishment favorite” and see what happens:

    from Reuters:

    from USA Today:

    from the Times:

    And there are 26 million other hits that talk about Rubio as the establishment candidate. Well, at least 26 million that have those words together….

    Again, I don’t think this a bad thing at all, as Rubio is very conservative, so to call him the “establishment candidate” is a good thing. It means, in reality, the establishment has lost its moxie. They can no longer promote milquetoast moderates like John McCain, and expect to get them through the primary process. Jeb Bush at 3%?? Are you kidding me? LOL The establishment cannot stand Cruz because he has fought them tooth and nail for conservative principles. They cannot stand Trump because he’s a blowhard with no real positions, who thumbs his nose at them every step of the way. So their “consolation prize”, given that Bush and Kasich will soon be done, is Rubio. And for me that is a heckuva consolation prize. Hopefully, Cruz and Rubio will work together to beat Trump, and it will come out between those two. I would be a very happy man come November.

    • quinersdiner on February 3, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Good stuff, Shawn. For me, the takeaway is that Rubio is the most conservative “establishment” candidate in history. I’m in marketing, and it seems to me Rubio is more “salable” than Cruz to the general public. Even more, I think he can work with people better. I agree on policy issues with Cruz on most things, except the VAT tax. I think his position on ethanol subsidies was admirable, one with which I agree. That took guts in Iowa.

      • Shawn Pavlik on February 5, 2016 at 11:41 am

        You may be right. And Rubio is in a very important swing state, so winning there will be important. Now if only there was a popular Pennsylvanian Republican (not Santorum, sorry), to go with Rubio on the ticket, that would basically ensure a victory for the GOP. Once Hillary gets indicted it may not matter.

        • quinersdiner on February 5, 2016 at 12:00 pm

          Your last sentence is the zinger! I know this will make you clench up, but a Rubio/Kasich ticket is a winner because Republicans must take BOTH Florida and Ohio. Or a Rubio/Fiorina ticket would be interesting. As a side note, isn’t it interesting that the MSM is ignoring the significance that Ted Cruz is the first Hispanic to win a caucus? Remember how they slobbered over Obama’s race in 2008?

  4. Shawn Pavlik on February 5, 2016 at 11:43 am