The Other McCain

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

Selecting The Next Bob Dole Proving More Than A Trifle Tedious

Posted on | May 2, 2011 | 17 Comments

by Smitty

American Power
picks up on the quest for more 2012 GOP candidates. Rubio’s firm withdrawal matches Christie’s. Who, then (emphasis mine)?

So for Republicans in 2012, while it seems late in terms of the “invisible primary” of money, media, and polling, in fact there’s still plenty of time for other candidates to throw their hats in the ring, and the field shaping up isn’t as bad as the media makes out. Mitt Romney’s going to be formidable, despite talk that RomneyCare is a killer (and I’ve even suggested RomneyCare’s an albatross). All Romney has to do is denounce his own healthcare record in Massachusetts as a colossal mistake, make reference to polling there looking for a change, and then turn around and say never again! It might be tough in the primaries against fellow Republicans, but with a GOP Congress looking to repeal ObamaCare, Romney can ride his mea culpa on top of a wave of conservative opposition to big government. He’s telegenic and an experienced campaigner, and the press will take him seriously, unlike Donald Trump.

Beyond that, I don’t know much about Tim Pawlenty, although he looks pretty self-assured at the clip from New Hampshire above. We’ll know more after a round of GOP pre-primary debates. Robert Stacy McCain reports on Herman Cain, by the way, who topped an AFP poll coming out of yesterday’s event: “Herman Cain Wins 2012 Presidential Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire” (with video). I like what I’ve seen of Herman Cain, and at this point it’s hard to figure out which would be a better ticket, Herman Cain and Allen West or Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, although I think this is still super long-shot territory.

But notice that discussion of Governor Mitch Daniels, who was Budget Director in the George W. Bush White House. Hmm … Should he take the adoration seriously and enter the race, he’ll likely end up an also-ran who leaves the grassroots wanting. The Times gives cursory discussion to Sarah Palin. Perhaps her moment to enter the race has passed (doesn’t bother me, since I’ve long suggested she run in 2016). There’s also mention of Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and Paul Ryan, and who knows, maybe one of them will surprise us (I like Christie)?

In any case, like I said, let’s get on with the debates and see how things shake out. And keep an eye on the money. Michele Bachmann’s been raising funds like the devil, and fundraising’s one of the factors facilitating media coverage, so things can snowball for a candidate that way.

It strikes me that the GOP has the harder decision to make. The Democrats are totally sold out to the Progressive Cthulhu. The Tea Parties are attempting to hold the GOP to some semblance of a non-Progressive pose. The GOP, and the country, can win only if the GOP decides to lose its Ruling Class, Progressive posture and do something a bit more, you know, representative. One would think that this decision would be less of a challenge, but let me pose a corollary to the Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

Once entrenched, bureaucracy is harder to root out than an insurgency.

Back to the Bob Dole question of who can give the most graceful concession speech. Yes, this is a devil’s advocate play. The GOP heads are aghast at anyone exhibiting real passion for the historical roots of American greatness. The we-are-not-sheep spirit that informed the revolution in the first place. At the same time, we have seen enough of a rock star president who doesn’t know how to fill the office. And, in Trump, we’ve seen enough of a buffoon who can’t differentiate between leading the country and a reality TV show.
So who fits the bill of someone with enough heart to be recognizably American, yet enough savvy and résumé to be taken seriously by the big donors? I respect Herman Cain tremendously. The sole legitimate question that will be raised about him is his health. Having read his book, I also like Tim Pawlenty. There is no shame in quiet competence. Sarah? Sorry, she’s still not a candidate. Disposition remains not unfavorable, but the Left’s efforts at poisoning the well have been nothing short of phenomenal. Part of me wants to support her in a pure illegitimi non carborundum sense, but that is pure emotion, and we should not be voting with our hormones, ever.
One day, maybe, we will achieve an era where politics can be more safely boring.


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