Matthew Norman

Press Awards Columnist of the Year 2008, the political commentator Matthew Norman also writes The Independent’s media diary.

The humbling of Marco Rubio puts Trump back on top

The sporting shocks come not only thick and fast, but in fat. Within hours of Leicester’s annihilation of Manchester City, the latest performance in the revival of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – technically: Republican primary debates – found obese rank outsider Chris Christie destroying odds-on chance Marco Rubio. It was hardly the first cushion-biting debate humiliation of the kind. Four years ago, Texan eighth wit Rick Perry reacted to forgetting a key campaign pledge with a silky “Oops!”. In the 1992 vice-presidential debate, Ross Perot’s running mate Admiral Stockdale – a ringer for Victor Meldrew’s older brother, who set his hat alight with the contents of his pipe – started by asking “Who am I? Why am I here?” And in 1976, Gerald Ford assured Americans that there was no Soviet domination of eastern Europe, and under his presidency never would be. 

Is this the most cretinous of all Tory backbenchers?

As the son and one-time employee of a high-street bookmaker, Philip Davies will know whether it represents value when I install him as 13-8 favourite for Hyper-Cerebral Backbencher of the Year. As ever, this is a crowded field. Philip’s fellow Tory Peter Bone has earned himself a richly deserved reputation as the chump’s chump, while rentagobs John Mann and Simon Danczuk are rightly revered as the Tweetledumb and Tweedledunce of Labour’s muscular right. 

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