Posted on | March 14, 2011 | 44 Comments
In a column for The Hill, the former New Hampshire senator surveys the 2012 GOP presidential primary field and confronts his dread fear that You-Know-Who might win the nomination:
Because the nominating process has become so dominated by primary elections, with the vast majority of the delegates chosen by direct vote, it is entirely possible that with no presumptive winner or even favorites, a candidate who runs second or third in a great many primaries could go into the convention with a sizable block of delegates.
Who would this favor? Does Sarah Palin come to mind? Although she is not viewed by most as strong enough to win, she is viewed by many as a person worth voting for to make a statement. And primaries tend to be populated by people who go to the polls with the purpose of making a statement.
Finishing second and third isn’t really a big deal — until you get enough delegates to be the nominee. And picking a nominee who it seems would be easily defeated by President Obama might not be the best statement.
For crying out loud, Republicans, stop doing this!
In what alternative universe does it make sense for prominent Republicans and conservative pundit to publicly declare that the GOP’s 2008 vice-presidential candidate — clearly one of the favorites of the party’s grassroots — is a guaranteed hopeless loser in 2012?
Who does that help, besides Obama?
Look: Everyone studying the 2012 GOP field has their Please-God-No candidate, or perhaps a short list of them. My own darkest fear is a Draft Jeb Bush movement. (“Read my lips: No more Bushes!“) Among the actual likely candidates, however, the one I absolutely can’t bear to think about is Mike Huckabee. He’s a warm personality but, as Ann Coulter says, Huckabee is essentially a pro-life Democrat.
So obviously, I’m anti-Huck. But what’s the point in beating up on the guy every day when, for all we know, he’ll be up on the stage in Tampa accepting the nomination in August 2012?
Gregg’s name has been bandied about as a 2012 candidate, so perhaps he fancies himself on that stage in Tampa. If so, taking a cheap shot at Sarah Palin — and Clyde Middleton is right, this is a cheap shot — is the best way to move himself to the top of the Please-God-No lists of everyone who supports Palin.
More likely, however, Gregg is trying to play kingmaker. Fine: Let him declare which candidate he supports. Let Gregg tell us whose agenda he is secretly serving by submarining Sarah, and then that candidate can go to the top of the Please-God-No list.
Even if Palin isn’t your first choice for 2012 (my own fondness for Herman Cain is certainly no secret), these public outbursts of Palinphobia are unseemly and counterproductive, unless it is your goal to ensure Obama’s re-election.