Posts Tagged ‘2012 presidential election’
December 7th, 2011 at 6:05 pm
Santorum, Huntsman, Trump, and Newt
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I’m not sure whether my title line sounds more like a disreputable law firm or an unpublished fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Anyway …

There are a lot of good points flying around these discussions. Let me hit on a couple of things in Ashton’s post from earlier today.

He’s certainly right that Santorum may get an unexpected star turn during the NewsMax debate moderated by Donald Trump later this month. Like Ashton, I find the whole affair unsavory (a point I’ve been making over at Ricochet, though I’ve been getting significant pushback there), but I find Santorum’s decision to participate much more reasonable than Newt’s. The former is in such dire need of a Hail Mary pass that he can’t let quibbles with the format keep him from one last shot at a broad swath of the electorate. Newt, whose surge is continuing unabated, doesn’t need the exposure — and his participation is at odds with his repeated insistence that he’s the Serious candidate in the race.

One final note regarding Huntsman, whom Ashton mentioned in passing. As the anti-Newt campaign has developed legs in recent weeks (particularly with the Republican establishment in Washington), there has been yet another search for a conservative alternative, which has led some pundits (including the esteemed George Will) to posit that Huntsman deserves another look. Their rationale? That the former Utah governor has been the most consistently conservative candidate in the field — both in rhetoric and in record — on taxes, guns, and abortion.

This is another example of the principle I keep coming back to as we discuss presidential candidates: having the right positions on paper is necessary, but not sufficient. Huntsman may be good on a handful of issues, but his campaign has been weighed down by the fact that he consistently picks fights with the conservative base, often over superfluous issues (did we really need another election year argument over evolution? Has there ever been a significant presidential decision that hinged on that debate?). He’s the guy who comes back from a stint as Ambassador to China to tell us how bad we look overseas. He’s the guy who tells the Republican Party how primitive it is. And the primary he’d most like to win is with the media.

Why hasn’t Huntsman taken off? Because the only time he communicates with conservatives is to tell them how ashamed of them he is.

December 6th, 2011 at 4:43 pm
Sorry, Gents — It Won’t be Santorum
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Ashton and Quin posit some ideas below for why former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (a man I admire) hasn’t become a significant candidate in the Republican presidential field. Let me tackle a few of these suppositions and then explain why I think Santorum’s campaign is in the basement — and why it will stay there.

Ashton wonders if the media has an aversion to Santorum because of his stances on social issues. I doubt it. Mike Huckabee was the social conservative candidate du jour in 2008 and he got plenty of press coverage. The fact that the media mandarins are often unsympathetic to people of faith doesn’t keep them from covering religious candidates– it usually just means they’ll cover them with scorn. It’s been 25 years since Pat Robertson ran for president and the press is still taking their shots at him

Quin is correct to note that Santorum consistently shows a very strong grasp of the issues in debates. He’s also correct to note that the former senator gets very little camera time at these forums. That latter fact, however, doesn’t explain Santorum’s failure to catch on. The time a candidate gets in a debate is a lagging indicator of his relevancy, not a leading one. Herman Cain didn’t get much attention in early debates either, but he maximized what time he had and his performances led to his rise in the polls. The same was true of Newt Gingrich early on. Ditto Huckabee in 2008. If a second-tier candidate wants to get into the first tier, he has to know how to exploit the few openings that come his way. Santorum doesn’t.

Like Quin, I don’t put much stock in the argument about Santorum as a loser because of his performance in the 2006 Pennsylvania senate race. Those are calculations that are primarily made by beltway types for beltway types.

Of all the diagnoses, I think Quin’s point about Santorum’s failure to win style points in the debates is closest to the mark, though I would take it much farther. Santorum actively hurts himself in these forums. He has a seemingly unshakable tendency to come off petulant, complaining about how much time he gets and boasting about his congressional record in a manner so ostentatiously self-regarding as to be off-putting.

It’s also important to remember that “style points” matter (just ask Rick Perry). Style, particularly in the way you communicate, is one of the major levers of presidential power, though it’s not always sufficient (just ask Barack Obama). Santorum conveys no personal warmth, humor, or sense of personality whatsoever. He seems just as bland as Tim Pawlenty once did behind the podium.

That may seem like a superficial standard by which to judge a possible president, but it’s one of the standards we use (it’s a lot less operative at other levels, including the senate, which is why Santorum hasn’t had this problem before). Americans have an emotional attachment to the presidency and they’re always implicitly asking themselves “Is this the person I want in my living room for four years? Is this the person I want to rally behind in a time of crisis?” Unless and until Santorum can figure out how to convince voters to answer those questions in the affirmative, he’ll remain mired in the single digits.

December 1st, 2011 at 9:47 pm
Will Romney Outsource Attacks on Gingrich?
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A piece in Politico today looks at the efforts by Mitt Romney’s campaign team to ward off the growing challenge from the Newt Gingrich boomlet. While the author, Reid J. Epstein, spends a fair amount of time examining the lines of attack that are being planned for both Romney and his surrogates, one aspect of their strategy is undersold in the piece. Epstein writes of the Romney campaign:

… They’re also ready to sit back and wait for the other candidates who are more dependent on strong showings in Iowa to do the dirty work.

Cue all-purpose gadfly Ron Paul. Paul is out with a devastating new anti-Gingrich ad that plays right into Romney’s hands. In fact, the ad — with its focus on questioning Newt’s conservative credentials — plays a lot better coming from the undiluted Paul than the notoriously squishy Romney. The reality, though, is that it probably does much more to help the latter than the former. See for yourself:


November 29th, 2011 at 6:18 pm
Obama’s Campaign Geniuses Don’t Understand the Basics of Republican Politics
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Everything you need to know about the Obama political team’s total ignorance of Republican politics can be summed up with one fact: when Obama chose then-Utah Governor Jon Huntsman to serve as his Ambassador to China in 2009, he did so thinking that he was removing a formidable opponent for the presidency. Huntsman’s tepid performance as a 2012 candidate — and his total inability to connect with the conservative base — have comprehensively given the lie to that notion, an outcome that the president’s political team could have envisioned if they had actually talked to any Republicans.

Now, the best minds in the Democratic Party are at it again. With Newt Gingrich leading in the polls in Iowa and South Carolina — and closing the gap in New Hampshire — they’re issuing a new television ad targeting … Mitt Romney?


Reports indicate that the White House is convinced Romney will be the nominee and wants to soften him up early. That’s silly for a couple of reasons. First, it shows (as did the Huntsman calculation) that these strategists don’t realize that being the Democrats’ favorite Republican doesn’t automatically launch you to the front of the field. Second, Romney’s continued inability to get above about 25 percent in the polls (his favorability has actually been dropping of late) and Gingrich’s surge make it extremely premature to assume a nominee. And third, even if the White House’s hunch is right, what difference is a general election ad airing a month before the primaries going to make?

The alternative, more Machiavellian interpretation is that the White House wants to weaken Romney in order to bolster Gingrich, who they view as the more beatable candidate. If that’s true, watch this video and ask yourself if this is a man you’d be spoiling for a fight with:

If this is how Team Obama plays offense, they better hope they have a hell of a defense in 2012.

November 23rd, 2011 at 3:52 pm
Update: Huckabee NOT Endorsing Romney (But Thune Is)

Apparently, the media – and I – misread Mike Huckabee’s remarks to South Carolina Tea Party members as an endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  Here’s a fuller quote of Huckabee’s answer to whether conservatives should stay home on Election Day 2012 if Romney is the Republican nominee:

“It would be real tragic if they stayed out. Mitt Romney may not be their first choice, but Mitt Romney every day of the week and twice on Sunday is going to be a much more effective president for issues that they care about than Barack Obama.”

In other news, one-time 2012 aspirant Senator John Thune (R-SD) did endorse Romney today in Iowa.  Even without Huckabee’s support, Romney is building up Beltway conservative bona fides with Thune and freshman Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) coming on board.

November 22nd, 2011 at 7:27 pm
Huckabee Endorses Romney, Tells Tea Party To Do the Same

In a head-scratching move, Mike Huckabee told South Carolina Tea Partiers that it’s time to support Mitt Romney for president.  How’s this for emphasis:

“I think Republicans and conservatives and the Tea Party need to get behind him and say, ‘You may not be our first choice, but between you and Obama, I’ll vote 40 times to get you elected,” Huckabee said.

The biggest loser with the socially conservative Huckabee’s endorsement of the socially moderate Romney is GOP candidate Rick Santorum.  Pundit chatter pegged Santorum as the beneficiary of the anti-Romney social conservatives in Iowa, but current poll numbers show Santorum still trailing badly.  There’s still time for him to make a move, but Huckabee’s endorsement of Romney just cut it in half.

November 8th, 2011 at 9:00 pm
Watch Newt
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As Ashton notes below, I’ve been peddling a theory for the last several weeks that Newt Gingrich is poised to end up in a one-on-one showdown with Mitt Romney for the Republican Presidential nomination. The reason is simple: despite his seeming meltdown early in the campaign, Newt has been playing the long game, eschewing attacks on the other Republican candidates, and using the debates as a cost-free method to display his intellectual mastery of the issues and his ample abilities as a communicator.

It’s a savvy strategy, though like all “great in hindsight” moves it has benefited a lot from luck. If Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, or Herman Cain had been able to to convince the primary electorate that they had presidential deliverables, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Even the leaden Tim Pawlenty campaign may have been getting a second look if the former Minnesota governor had stayed in the race. But they haven’t, and Newt (who probably enjoys a five-point premium in the polls just because of the number of Republicans who’d love to watch him debate President Obama) is now riding high: a new poll out of Iowa yesterday had him second, only four points behind Herman Cain, who is likely to start taking a serious nosedive any day now.

One note of caution: as Ashton mentions, I have my doubts on whether Newt can overtake Romney in the final tally, as two factors will come into play once the former speaker is seen as a formidable threat. First, his intemperance while leading the House of Representatives will be brought back to the fore. Newt can reasonably argue that he’s even better equipped to lead the nation having learned the lessons of those years. Fair enough, as such things go. The other issue will be his messy personal life, which is the factor most likely to torpedo the campaign. If Gingrich has learned anything from the Herman Cain debacle, hopefully it’s that he should be candid about his past — and do so as quickly as possible. That will allow him to better control the story and adequately separate fact from fiction. Expect to hear a lot about Newt’s new-found religious convictions when those issues take center stage.

As for Romney, he should hope that Newt stumbles on one of these issues, but be prepared for him not to. The front runner has had it easy thus far, with most of his major opponents taking themselves out of contention without the former Massachusetts governor having to so much as lay a finger on them. Ask any Democrat from the last few decades: Newt will not be nearly so easy a target.

October 25th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Like It or Not, This is Your Presidential Field
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I’m in agreement with Quin’s sentiment, expressed below, that the Republican presidential field could have benefited from a few more entrants, especially if it was accompanied by getting rid of some of the dead weight currently in the field (at this point, I’d be happy for the debates to be four-man affairs with Romney, Perry, Gingrich, and Cain). For some perspective, imagine the lineup on stage for a debate between those who passed on the race: John Thune, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie. That’s a group that is depressingly more presidential than our current crop.

I don’t share Quin’s optimism, however that the field is going to change. Mike Pence has pretty safe odds to become the next Governor of Indiana, a prospect that’s not worth sacrificing for a long shot presidential bid out of the House of Representatives. Bobby Jindal would have engaged in something just short of electoral fraud if he jumped in the race only days after winning a second term as governor (the Iowa Caucuses will actually be held before he is even sworn in for his next term).

One factor, however, is nearly dispositive: timing. Next Monday is the filing deadline for the Florida Primary. Tuesday is the deadline in South Carolina. If we’re going to see anyone else in the field, it’s going to have to happen in the next few days. Putting together a campaign on that timeframe — particularly when most of the big donors and premium staffers have already been snatched up — is next to impossible, which means this field is almost certainly set. Like it or not, the next time you the see the candidates take the stage at a GOP debate, you’ll be looking at the future Republican presidential nominee.

October 25th, 2011 at 10:31 am
Bobby Jindal for HHS Secretary?

Last week, Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal coasted to an easy reelection thanks in large part to a strong record of accomplishment in reforming his state’s previously out-of-control healthcare system.  Here’s what a writer in Forbes has to say about Jindal’s version of reform:

While Jindal’s record on reducing health-care spending is impressive, even more impressive is how he stayed focused on improving the quality of Louisiana health care, putting paid to the Democratic conceit that the only way to improve health-care quality is with more government spending, and that anyone concerned about budget deficits is destined to harm those most in need.

If a Republican wins the White House in 2012, he or she will need an energetic expert running the Department of Health and Human Services in order to repeal and replace Obamacare with a free market alternative.  If records matter, Bobby Jindal should be every fiscal conservative’s choice for what may be the most consequential cabinet position over the next four years.

October 18th, 2011 at 1:15 am
Is Ron Paul Framing the Election?

One way to think of a presidential campaign is as a nationally followed negotiation.  Each political party provides players who in turn generate ideas for public consumption.  Some proposals change the national consensus (e.g. Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts), while others fall flat (Walter Mondale’s “I will raise your taxes” pledge). 

If we look at what leading Republicans have proposed this cycle, it’s an impressive range of serious fiscal ideas.  Paul Ryan has his “Path to Prosperity” budget, Rick Santorum his tax cuts. Mitt Romney has 59 points to get America working, and Herman Cain has “9-9-9”.  Now, Ron Paul says we should cut $1 trillion dollars by eliminating entire federal cabinet departments and going back to 2006 funding levels for those that survive. 

My suspicion is that Paul’s plan will get the most criticism because it is the most radical.  But might it also be the most helpful in a sense, since it probably represents the least government that any major Republican will put his or her name to this year?  And if that’s the case, then isn’t Paul doing the electorate a favor by clearly articulating what the most radical version of reform would look like so voters can weigh the differences fully? 

If Quin, Tim, or Troy has anything to add, I’d like to read it.  Is Ron Paul’s plan bold, crazy, or something in between?

October 18th, 2011 at 12:57 am
Obama’s Campaign Finance Hypocrisy

Once upon a time, candidate Obama promised to participate in the federal campaign finance program in a sop to free speech restrictionists.  Of course, he reneged as soon as he could, claiming that since the system is “broken” it was his right to collect as much money as he could  from willing donors.

Fast-forward to today, and it looks like President Obama has long forgotten his former aversion to privately financed campaigns:

[The President] can also raise large contributions for the Democratic National Committee — topping out at $30,800 per donor rather than the $5,000 limit on contributions to candidates — that are helping finance the party’s broader efforts to help Democrats up and down the ballot. During the last three months, the committee has already transferred funds totaling more than $1.3 million to Democratic organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the party’s filings.

I don’t begrudge any candidate for choosing a free(r) market approach to campaign finance.  What’s galling in Obama’s case, though, is that once again we have an example of how brazenly opportunistic he is when it comes to basic principles.  Whether it’s promising people they can keep their health insurance after Obamacare or campaigning as a post-partisan then saying Republicans want folks to drink dirty water, the man seems incapable of keeping his word. 

The joke on some politicians is a truth applied to the president: you know he’s lying when his lips are moving.

October 14th, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Perry Getting Hit from the Right

The hits just keep on coming at Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.  The governor of Texas is in increasingly hot water as he tries to parry away charges that he’s soft on illegal immigration and insider tax breaks for friendly corporations.

In Texas, Tea Party activists are demanding that Perry sign an executive order or call a special session of the state legislature to pass an Arizona-style law authorizing state police to check a person’s immigration status.  On the business front, Perry’s use of a governor-controlled “emerging technology fund” is drawing criticism for producing more misses than hits for taxpayers told that tax holidays for some would create jobs for many others.

Perry can’t run away from his record.  He can, however, enhance it with better defenses of it.

We’ll see if he’s up to the challenge.

October 7th, 2011 at 9:37 am
The Obama Jobs Freeze: Unemployment Remains 9.1%
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Unemployment remained unchanged at 9.1% last month, and has now exceeded 8% for 32 consecutive months since February 2009.  That’s the longest stretch since the federal government began issuing monthly reports in 1948.

And there’s a reason why that 8% benchmark is important.  When Obama passed his nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” bill that same month, his administration projected that unemployment would never exceed 8%, and be all the way down to approximately 6% today.  Instead, unemployment quickly climbed to 10.1%, and has remained above 9% for all but two months in that record 32-month span.  Moreover, the economy only added a lackluster 100,000 jobs for September, far below the estimated 200,000 necessary each month to reduce the rate by just 1% over the course of a year.  Compounding that depressing figure, keep in mind that approximately 45,000 of the jobs that were added came as a result of Verizon employees returning to work after striking in August.

It is helpful to compare the real-world results of Obama’s economic agenda with Ronald Reagan’s.  In the same 32-month stretch following the effective date of Reagan’s tax cuts, unemployment plummeted from 10.4% to 7.1%.  The comparison speaks for itself, yet now Obama demands that the country pass more of the same – his new “mini-stimulus.”  Mr. Obama, it’s time to return to what demonstrably works, not continue what demonstrably doesn’t.

September 30th, 2011 at 10:37 am
Obama Smirks, Lectures Americans Who Have “Gotten a Little Soft”
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In a remarkable new interview with an NBC affiliate, Barack Obama smirks and lectures that Americans have “gotten a little soft.”  Take particular note of his expression as he utters those words.

According to Obama, you see, it’s never a problem with himself or his policies.  It’s that he somehow didn’t explain himself often enough to the rest of you ungrateful rubes – never mind that he has done little else in his presidency than give cliche-saturated speeches or golf.  Or now, that you people have “gotten a little soft” for his tastes.

From maligning Americans who supposedly “cling” to their guns, xenophobia and religion, then later to ambivalence toward American Exceptionalism and now this, Barack Obama just oozes adoration for this country, doesn’t he?

September 29th, 2011 at 9:00 pm
The Lovable Herman Cain
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Ever since his victory in last weekend’s Florida straw poll, Herman Cain is getting a lot more attention from political pundits who had previously considered him nothing more than B-level fodder for the Tea Party. This works out nicely for Cain, who may reap financial dividends in addition to electoral ones because of the upcoming release of his book, This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House (it’s out next Tuesday).

Reviewing the book over at Pajamas Media, Pajamas CEO Roger L. Simon makes it abundantly clear why Cain — despite some previous gaffes — is a deeply attractive candidate. As Simon writes in his opening:

The secret of Herman Cain is that he seems — at least to me — genuinely to be a mentally healthy human being.

This is no small thing, particularly in the world of politics — even more so presidential politics, where large dollops of nearly clinical narcissism are necessary to propel the ambition needed to run for this most powerful of offices.

As most of us know by now, Cain leavens his narcissism with generous jolts of humor — much of it self-deprecating — that make him, at this moment anyway, the most engaging figure on the political scene.

Then there’s this impressive digest of Cain’s resume:

This is the same man who put himself through Morehouse College majoring in math, got a masters in computer science from Purdue (while improving academically), plotted rocket guidance for the Navy, started in business at Coca-Cola, then went on to turn around the fortunes of Philadelphia’s Burger King franchise, take over the aforementioned Godfather’s Pizza chain, become the head of the National Restaurant Association, be appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and host a radio show into the bargain. And, of course, he defeated the Big C.

The most heartening insight, however, may be this one:

This Is Herman Cain also includes an appendix spelling out the candidate’s stands on the issues. Its final section — My Candidacy, Against the Odds — contains the following in bold face:

1. I don’t claim to know everything:
2. I don’t pander to groups;
3. I am terrible at political correctness.

Not bad for starters.

Cain still has a very long way to go to prove that he’s got presidential mettle. But if it turns out that he does, it will be a beautiful thing.

September 9th, 2011 at 3:13 pm
New York Times Flatters Palin

New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas did today what precious few liberal commentators would: give Sarah Palin a fair hearing.  “Confessing” a knee-jerk reaction to Palin that writes-off the former Alaska governor before she speaks, Giridharadas nonetheless noted Palin’s striking analysis of the current political scene from a recent speech in Iowa:

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

This is the kind of anti-establishment populism that Palin articulated to victory against incumbent Republicans in Alaska (first, fellow members of the state’s Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, then the sitting governor).  Indeed, one of the main reasons John “Maverick” McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate was because of her willingness to buck the system in favor of her principles.

As just what might those principles be as president?  Giridharadas says:

Ms. Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism.

On one side would be those Americans who believe in the power of vast, well-developed institutions like Goldman Sachs, the Teamsters Union, General Electric, Google and the U.S. Department of Education to make the world better. On the other side would be people who believe that power, whether public or private, becomes corrupt and unresponsive the more remote and more anonymous it becomes; they would press to live in self-contained, self-governing enclaves that bear the burden of their own prosperity.

No one knows yet whether Ms. Palin will actually run for president. But she did just get more interesting.

September 6th, 2011 at 5:44 pm
Mitt Romney’s Economic Recovery Plan

I’ve taken my share of shots at GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for all the usual conservative misgivings about his candidacy.  And while this post is in no way an endorsement of him or his campaign, I do think it worth sharing a link from the Boston Globe to Romney’s newly unveiled economic plan.

Thankfully, it’s all about how to achieve economic growth.  Quin mentioned previously that Rick Santorum, one of Romney’s rivals for the nomination, also has some good ideas.  As conservatives get down to the business of eyeballing the candidates, we’d better get as informed as we can be.  Republican or Democrat, we can’t make another presidential level mistake.

August 26th, 2011 at 6:47 pm
No, America, You Can’t Keep Your Health Plan

Remember when in June 2009 President Barack Obama promised that under his health care reform bill, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.  If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.  No one will take it away, no matter what”?

Byron York makes this contradictory observation:

On the one hand, the new law orders the establishment of health care “exchanges” through which anyone can purchase government-subsidized coverage. On the other hand, the law levies fines on employers who fail to offer coverage to their employees — but sets the fine far below the cost of coverage. In 2010, the average employer paid $4,150 to cover a single employee and $9,773 for family coverage. (Both figures are about double what they were in 2000.) The new law sets fines for employers who don’t cover their workers at $2,000.

So when it takes effect in 2014, the law will give employers a choice: Continue to offer increasingly expensive health coverage, or pay a relatively small fine, save a lot of money, and let employees buy their own subsidized coverage on the exchange. The incentive seems pretty clear.

So too does the bold-faced lie Obama told (yet again) in the health care reform debate.  Whichever GOP candidate gets nominated for president should make this issue one of the main talking points of the general election.

August 24th, 2011 at 2:07 pm
Portnoy: Blacks Should Blame Obama, Not Tea Party

Howard Portnoy at Hot Air offers to help redirect the frustration Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) vented recently against the Tea Party to a more appropriate target:

The situation creates a catch-22 for Waters and other black politicians. They can continue to rail out helplessly at forces they have no control over. Or they can accept the bitter reality that the messiah they thought they were electing is either mythical or yet to come. Is it possible that the calls to primary Obama will come from, of all places, the black community? It would certainly represent a healthy first step toward a post-racial America.

August 22nd, 2011 at 2:30 pm
More Liberal Rationalizations for Doomed Huntsman Campaign

The liberal obituaries for the mostly-dead Huntsman for President campaign get an interesting addition from Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast:

The Huntsman strategy here is obvious: position himself as the moderate and reasonable guy on the off chance Republicans decide to be moderate and reasonable. We must assume he is aware that his odds on this are rather long, so what he’s really hoping for is to be the consensus candidate of 2016. Maybe the party just has to go through this purge, this Reign of Terror; so just let it do that, and once it does and nominates an extremist who can’t beat a weak incumbent during a time of 9 percent unemployment rates, and the heads are piled high enough in the tumbrels and enough people finally have returned to their senses, he will ride the Thermidorian wave to victory after Obama leaves town.

So, the Tea Party in particular and the conservative movement in general is creating a “Reign of Terror” that is depriving liberals of the most progressive member of the GOP presidential pack from facing Obama next year?

There’s a frightful reality fast-approaching, but it isn’t a 2012 match-up seeing who’s less conservative.  It’s the fiscal and cultural time-bomb that is ticking ever closer to exploding if Barack Obama or Jon Huntsman’s views are put into practice.

H/T: Political Wire