Election 2012–Already getting it wrong

Before getting to 2012, I offer condolences to the family of Geraldine Ferraro. I disagreed with her politics, but respect her accomplishments. Being the first woman on a presidential ticket matters. Without her, Sarah Palin may not have gotten the opportunity.

Yet Geraldine Ferraro also was the first Italian American on the ticket as well. This was rightfully a source of pride for that community.

It says a lot about her that in her later years she became friendly with the man who defeated her in 1984, George Herbert Walker Bush. Also, she was not the reason the ticket lost. Ronald Reagan defeated Walter Mondale. It is always about the top of the ticket. She excited the Democratic base.

She was a patriotic American who loved this country, and I offer solace and condolences to her family.

Now on to 2012.

As I predicted, I am already totally right about my getting it totally wrong.

In March of 2007 I began blogging with some individual portrayals of the candidates I considered to be the four serious adults running for the 2008 GOP nomination. They were Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Fred Thompson, and Mitt Romney. I also did a profile on Newt Gingrich although I was convinced he was not running. He is all about solutions, and i figured the American people were not ready for solutions.

In March of 2011 I will have profiles of Haley Barbour and Tim Pawlenty, along with updates on Gingrich and Romney. They are the big four this time.

For anybody else to even be worth a mention, they have to have a specific niche.

Rick Santorum can run as the true socially conservative candidate. This most likely will get him as far as Mike Huckabee in 2008, since after Iowa social conservatism is not enough. If Huckabee runs again, Santorum will be finished faster than Sam Brownback in 2008.

I did not think Michele Bachmann had any niche at all, and I was also convinced she was sitting this one out. If Sarah Palin enters the race, that destroys Bachmann. Yet Palin seems to be sitting it out, and Bachmann really can run as the Tea Party candidate.

John Bolton can run purely on a foreign policy platform. This will crowd out Rudy Giuliani, although if Rudy gets in first it may be Bolton who gets edged aside. Either way, there is room for a specific foreign policy candidate.

I am holding off on endorsing anyone until Giuliani decides. If he is in, I am backing him again. If he is out, Haley Barbour is most likely my choice.

Romney, Pawlenty, Gingrich, Bachmann, Palin, Santorum, and Bolton are all acceptable to me. None of them raise any concerns in terms of agreement on issues. Huckabee must explain his position on taxes so the Wall Street Journal editorial pages do not crucify him.

As much as I love Donald Trump the entertainer, I will not cover him as a presidential candidate unless he officially runs. I am convinced that he is absolutely not running. The guy is a brilliant promoter of his brand, which is him.

The only candidate that is totally unacceptable to me is Ron Paul. Unless he actually wins something, ignoring him is best.

I predicted Gingrich and Bachmann would sit this one out. I may already be wrong on both counts.

Herman Cain would like to run as the self-made millionaire businessman, but Mitt Romney already has that covered. Mr. Cain inspires crowds, but time will tell if that translates into votes.

Tim Pawlenty is the epitome of the default candidate after Romney. Pawlenty is the guy that everybody personally likes and nobody hates. I still insist he is running for Vice President. If he runs a positive campaign refusing to criticize anybody else especially Romney, this will be confirmed.

In a field with bland Caucasian Midwestern Governors, Mitch Daniels gets crowded out by Romney and Pawlenty, especially Romney.

The bottom line is Romney has tons of money and has been campaigning since the day he lost in 2008.

Despite the media’s insistence that the race is wide open, they say that every four years and every four years the GOP takes the guy next in line in the hierarchy. Until that trend is broken, it remains firmly in place. GOP voters are not known for boldness.

Romneycare and Mormonism will not be issues.

So who has the best chances to take him on?

Palin is a rock star. If she enters the race, he is in trouble from an enthusiasm standpoint. He will argue that he is more electable, but the GOP primary may decide to go with excitement over safety.

Barbour is the best fundraiser in the GOP. His entry means money, which keeps him in the game. Plenty of pols around the country owe him, and he will cash in the chits. His accent will not be an issue.

Gingrich is the intellectual heavyweight. If he runs, it will be because he believes the American people are finally adult enough to listen to straight talk about real solutions to serious problems. The other candidates will all attack Romneycare, but many will not offer alternatives. Gingrich is a walking wonk. He clearly knows policy.

If all of these candidates tear each other to bits, that will turn off Iowa voters. They like nice politics, unlike the people of New Hampshire who like the rough and tumble stuff. In 2004 Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt obliterated each other, allowing John Kerry and John Edwards to slide through. Edwards ran the positive campaign.

The beneficiary of top tier mud slinging, assuming they run positive campaigns, would be Pawlenty first if he sticks to the nice guy strategy, or Santorum if he just stays on message as the real social conservative.

By New Hampshire Iowa will be forgotten faster than Huckabee in 2008. His supporters like to say he came in second, but that is misleading. Other candidates with more support dropped out while he stubbornly stayed in the race after the outcome was all but settled. Giuliani, Romney, and Thompson rallied around McCain quickly.

The one thing hurting Romney is that in 2008 he was the least liked by the other candidates. They may not want to rally around him so quickly. Yet like Barbour, he has been spreading cash to GOP poobahs all around the country. He will call in those favors.

Lastly, will somebody besides me get a buzz going for former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle to be considered for the vice presidential slot? I can’t do it all by myself.

As I said, in the coming days and weeks I will have profiles of the candidates, but nothing more. I refuse to start the 2012 election ad nauseum for another few months unless there is actual news.

Between the Middle East and the American economy, the last thing Americans need is another neverending campaign cycle.

Besides, I am tired of making predictions. I am always wrong.


5 Responses to “Election 2012–Already getting it wrong”

  1. “Romneycare” and the LDS will certainly be problems for Romney among the GOP base. Same problems last time. Barbour’s professional background could cause him problems with the Tea Party movement. These problems may be insurmountable for the two of them. On the national ticket, Romney is superficially better suited to win than Barbour, as Barbour’s Boss Hogg demeanor will turn of too many voters outside the South. But Barbour’s history with the Republican Revolution of ’94 gives him the edge in the nomination.

    Speaking the Revolution, Gingrich benefits hugely from that, though ironically he had less to do with it than Barbour, and is generally considered the reason it died out as soon as it did. On the national ticket, Gingrich is a disaster. His involvement in the impeachment of Bill Clinton weighs on him like a 200lb sack of feces strapped to his back. Obama can pounce on Gingrich’s all-ideology-no-reality epistemology. Gingrich doesn’t have “solutions,” just wacky philosophy.

    Candidates like Bachmann simply scare the heck out of the non-GOP public, and the GOP Establishment. She’s a great demagogue for the Tea Partiers and such, but to everyone else, she’s a nut. The GOP Establishment will not let her get too far. She’s a generator – not a motor.

    Giuliani’s time has passed, I think. This election will not be a contest of who can insiuate 9/11 in every sentence the best.


  2. Micky 2 says:

    “Gingrich doesn’t have “solutions,” just wacky philosophy.”

    If it werent for Newt Billy boy never would of had that surplus you all take credit for.

    Anyway, sadly, theres no excitement in this corner over anyone yet.
    Who I’d like to see on a ticket and who is actually electable are different stories.
    I have sad feeling I’ll settle for anyone who can dethrone Barry.
    Kinda like Kahddafi.
    The replacement cant be any worse

  3. As I said, Micky, I think Haley Barbour had more to do with the Republican Revoloution than did Gingrich. Gingrich was always a very divisive and controversial figure. Barbour was and is a brilliant political tactician. Gingrich waxes philosophy, with always the history scholar coming through. He talks about big things and big ideas. But don’t get wrong. He’s quite the legislator too. He was one of the must effective Whips in GOP history. Then again, that’s about getting everyone on board with the big things and big ideas. As for actually building the big things, and realizing the big ideas, Newt is just not an executive. He’s a conservative history teacher for all intents and purposes.


  4. Oh, and you may be right about those other two items: I don’t see any big stars rising from the GOP right now. Not a one. Take some of the big, nationally recognized names like Romney, Palin, Huckabee, Giuliani, Trump… ask anyone what they think of any one of them, and most people would say give a base description of what they’re famous for. No majority of voters would make any of them president right now.


  5. Micky 2 says:

    jersey, Newt as majority speaker positione Clinton to accept the terms enabling the surplus.
    As a “student of history” you should know this.

    “Gingrich waxes philosophy, with always the history scholar coming through.”

    Sounds familiar, see above last comment.

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