New Poll Skewers Cruz-Rubio Tangle

In the last week but especially in the days since Ted Cruz’s victories in Maine and Kansas, pressure has grown on Marco Rubio to drop out. Rubio may have gotten under Donald Trump’s skin in the last two debates but Cruz was the one who appeared to benefit as he won five states slowing, if not entirely halting the frontrunner’s momentum. Both Cruz and Trump responded to Rubio’s failure to win more than the Minnesota caucus by calling for him to get out of the race. Even though the anti-Trump cause would seem to rely on Rubio beating Trump in Florida while John Kasich won Ohio, Cruz’s backers believed the Florida senator was finished. Though few thought Rubio would even consider bailing on the race before the March 15 winner-take-all primary was held, the Cruz camp was operating under the assumption that he was so far behind Trump that there was no point persisting in the idea that he had a chance. In response, Rubio claimed his own polling showed a very different story than the one told by the last Florida surveys that were published ten days ago that gave Trump a 20 point lead.

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New Poll Skewers Cruz-Rubio Tangle

Must-Reads from Magazine

Qatar and the Columbia Journalism Review

A conflict of interest.

Should Al Jazeera–the broadcast organ of Qatar’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood regime–be required to register as a foreign agent in the United States? Alexandra Ellerbeck and Avi Asher-Schapiro of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists think the answer is no, and they have a long essay in the Columbia Journalism Review laying out their case.

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Making a Monster Stronger

Gifts we cannot take back.

New York Times reporter Alex Burns seemed to approve of the “intellectual honesty” on display Monday night when Barack Obama’s former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, defended President Donald Trump’s diplomatic engagement with North Korea as hard-nosed realism. “We’ve had diplomatic relations with plenty of brutal dictators when it has seemed to suit our interests,” Burns recalled Clapper saying. Advocates of this approach to foreign affairs want to believe their Olympian posture amounts to the absence of undue judgment, but it’s more like the absence of critical thought. On that score, both Donald Trump and Barack Obama share many similarities. Kim Jong-un is not just one dictator among many, and the Democratic Republic of Korea is not just another country.

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The Limits of Trolling

How Trump undoes Trump's agenda.

The Bad Donald Trump—the one who ran a campaign fueled by insult and conspiracy theories and misplaced animosity against American alliances—never went away. He was always there. The man is who he is. But various forces had conspired of late to keep him at bay: a good-to-great economy, improving poll numbers, and, presumably, the thankless efforts of his senior staff. Then the Bad Donald came roaring back over the G-7 weekend.

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Trump Helps Obama’s Team Recognize How Disastrous Their Policies Were

Ulterior motives.

Those in Barack Obama’s orbit were fond of commandeering the title of his second book, Audacity of Hope, and applying it to just about everything the president or his administration did. Obama delivers a speech extolling the benefits of modernity? “Audacity.” Obama wears a tan suit to a press conference? “Audacity.” Obama defies his party’s extremes while achieving some incremental legislative successes? “Audacity.” The former president’s admirers have appropriated the word’s positive connotations—daring, fearless, spunky, transgressive self-assuredness—but the word has an alternate definition that is equally apt but rarely applied to Obama or his courtiers. That’s a shame, too, because the impertinence the former administration’s leading lights often display sure is audacious.

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PODCAST: Trade Boors

Podcast: Trump, trade, and temerity.

Donald Trump heads to Singapore for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un fresh off a pretty contentious summit with the G-7 nations in which conflicts over trade policy blew up into a full-scale war of insults between the American and Canadian governments. What does this mean for the Atlantic alliance and the North Korean summit? Also, the attacks on Trump at the Tony Awards over the weekend leads to a discussion of the value of civility.

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