The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Everybody’s Talking 2012

Posted on | May 24, 2011 | 55 Comments

Instapundit had an uncharacteristically long post about the 2012 Republican presidential field, my favorite reaction being Professor Stephen Clark’s remark:

“Rove and Krauthammer amuse me with their response to Herman Cain. Since when has it become self-evident that a man with the professional accomplishments of Herman Cain is unfit to hold the office of President for not having spent the better part of his life as an elected politician and has, unforgivably, remained unknown to the likes of Rove and Krauthammer? Paging Professor Codevilla.”

Karl Rove is the Architect of . . . what, really? A campaign that squeaked past Al Gore by the barest of margins in 2000, and scored a slim majority against John Kerry in 2004. Looking back on it, Gore and Kerry weren’t the most formidable candidates the Democrats ever fielded, and yet Rove’s reputation as a strategic genius rests on his management of campaigns that just barely beat them.

Rove’s disparagement of Cain, then, is to be taken with a grain of salt. Charles Krauthammer once worked for Walter Mondale. ‘Nuff said. 

Bill Kristol’s pining for the Great Rescuer is, I think, apt to be unrequited. He clearly wants either Chris Christie or Jeb Bush, and neither of them is likely to jump in this late.

Is Sarah Palin in or out? That’s the biggest question mark at this point. The next major televised GOP debate is in August, and I’d expect she’ll give a definite “yes” or “no” by then. But think about this: If Palin waits until August, she’d be spotting her opposition at least a 100-day lead on organizing campaigns in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and other early states. Practically, then, her apparent indecision points strongly toward a “no” for 2012.

A poll from New Hampshire seems to show Mitt Romney with a commanding advantage there, but 87% of Republicans there say they have no idea who they’ll vote for, so it’s really wide open.

Can America resist the frenzied hysteria of T-Paw fever? To ask the question is, I think, to answer it. And if Dave Weigel wants Republicans to nominate Pawlenty . . . ?

Eric Cantor wants Paul Ryan to run for president — and who doesn’t like Paul Ryan? I think he’s an obvious favorite for the vice-presidential nomination, regardless of who gets the presidential bid. For any sitting member of the House to run a presidential campaign is, however, a long row to hoe.

Finally, Monday on Sean Hannity’s show, Herman Cain admitted to blowing the “right of return” question on Sunday:

“['Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace] caught me off-guard. I didn’t understand the right of return. That came out of left field, out of all the questions I anticipated him asking me, I didn’t even conceive of him asking me about the right of return. I now know what that is.”

Ace was impressed. It’s probably not enough to win over Krauthammer. But then again, Krauthammer isn’t an Iowa caucus voter.

And there’s a new Zogby poll.

UPDATE: Don Surber tells the story of how Karl Rove was unwisely willing to write off West Virginia in 2000.


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