DAVID BROOKS, NEW YORK TIMES: The party is less libertarian than it was three years ago, both on domestic and foreign affairs. Second, on a matter of his personality or personal presentation, his whole shtick was authenticity. And an authentic figure cannot be a trimmer. And he’s become — tried to make himself more mainstream and more acceptable to parts of the party, but has chipped away at the edge of authenticity.
So, he’s caught in a tragic bind there. As a libertarian, he can’t get elected. As a trimmer, he’s a trimmer, and he’s stuck there.