By almost any measure, relative to the buzz he generated, Rubio was the most-efficient. He spoke for a cumulative total of just 6:22 – putting him seventh in time used. Donald Trump spoke most, for 10:30. And Bush was in second, 8:33. But both of them generally received far-poorer reviews than Rubio.
The contrast between the fresh and fast Rubio vs. the phlegmatic and lackluster Bush only added to the nagging questions about Bush’s ability to be the party’s torch bearer. Jeb’s supporters say this, too, shall pass.
“I’m a Jeb supporter, and I think Jeb did what he had to do last night. But when you look at all 10 candidates as far as where they were at the beginning of the night vs. where they were when they left, Rubio did the best,” said Brian Hughes, a top Florida Republican consultant. “Rubio had some tough recent weeks but his performance on the national stage could enable him to reemerge as a top-tier candidate.”…
“Yesterday’s Jeb Bush was Marco Rubio last night,” said one Bush backer who worked in state government under the former governor. “That kills me. And it’s gotta kill Jeb.”