Jeb's done, but Marco Rubio has just begun.

Jeb’s done, but Marco Rubio has just begun.
graphic: HuffPost front page

“Someone convinced you attacking me is going to help you.”Marco Rubio

THE ONLY thing Jeb Bush could offer was a cough. But when he turned to Marco Rubio to do the Sun Sentinel’s bidding, the paper who told the senator to resign, “not rip us off,” the last thing Bush expected was for Rubio to turn his attack line into a win. Mr. Rubio did that time and again during CNBC’s weirdly amateur debate. All I could think was that I was glad Democrats had been spared such journalistic incompetence.

Jeb began confidently

“He’s a gifted politician. But Marco, When you signed up for this, this is a six-year term. You should be showing up to term. Literally, the senate, what is it like a French work week? You get three days where you have to show up. You can campaign. Just resign and let somebody else take the job,” Bush said.

[…] “The only reason you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position,” he said. “Someone convinced you attacking me is going to help you. Here’s the bottom line, my campaign is going to be about the future of America it’s not going to be about attacking anyone else on this stage.”

Rubio again and again turned an attack line from one of his opponents into a winning moment for him. The first we’ve seen of this talent from the Florida Senate hater, which should send the message to Republican donors sitting on the sidelines that if they’re waiting for Jeb! to wake up and present a presidential persona, that time has finally past, if it was ever there at all.

No one can possibly think that Jeb Bush is the one to take on Hillary Clinton.

Team Clinton will have to readjust their thinking that Bush will prevail after last night and begin to seriously consider that the Marco Rubio may have finally found his way out of the pack.

The Weekly Standard judged that the GOP have “our final six.” At the top of that list is Marco Rubio and here’s another reason why.

The three winners of the night were pretty obvious: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump.

Rubio ended Jeb Bush’s campaign with the kind of body shot that buckles your knees. That’s on Bush, who never should have come after Rubio in that spot for a host of strategic and tactical reasons. But what should scare Hillary Clinton is how effortless Rubio is even with throwaway lines, like “I’m against anything that’s bad for my mother.”

That leaves us with Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson, who, by the way, is actually leading the field in some polls.

Of the final three listed above, only Carly Fiorina has proven her value beyond the men, because as a vice presidential nominee she’s already shown through her presidential audition that she could be the most effective GOP pitbull to answer all things Hillary.

Clinton’s team have been assuming, in the face of no one rising but Donald Trump, that Jeb Bush remained the man most likely that she’d face. That theory was blown to smithereens last night.

Jeb! is over, finished, kaput. Who’s going to tell him is unknown, likely his donors when they don’t return his calls, because they’ve gone over to…

Marco Rubio, the political protégé, who finally showed real talent on Wednesday night.

The same cannot be said for the CNBC anchors, though Becky Quick did have moments. The undercard debate was nearly unwatchable and I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

“The performance by the CNBC moderators was extremely disappointing and did a disservice to their network, our candidates, and voters,” Priebus said. “CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled.” [Washington Examiner]

The real winner of last night was Hillary’s texts. If you’re not signed up, you should be.