I’ve watched closely this year whenever Republicans speak of the 2012 election. It’s early but I believe the race has already begun. Hillary Clinton signaled a trend, I believe, in 2008 when she kicked off early, and candidates from both sides are already testing the waters.
There are three reason for this, as I see it: 1) the enormous funds it now takes to run a national campaign. I don’t know about you, but see that as the first test for a potential candidate; 2) Both parties are abysmally polarized; 3) the people are likely to want a good long time to vet the candidates after the burning they’re taking from Barack Obama.
My early pick is still Sarah Palin. I think the GOP has grossly underestimated her, just as they have misread the mood of the country. People are not nearly as upset about Obama and the Democrats as they are politicians in general. The GOP doesn’t get that.
Palin does get it.
My pick is considered naïve but I’ll stick it out for a while longer. Virtually no one who’s anyone in the GOP takes her seriously. One can almost see it when watching the pundits on the news programs, the ever-so-slight upward twitch in their lips when someone mentions her name. These are Republicans. Democrats aren’t shy; they’ll make certain you now how stupid she is.
I will say this, if Palin isn’t the GOP choice in 2012, they are unlikely to win the White House.
I saw Bill Krystol float Wisconsin Congressman, Paul Ryan, as a “out of the Box” pick, the other day. I had to laugh. The guy’s a policy wonk. A bean counter, and he’ll sail onto the national stage like a streamlined anvil. A.B. Stoddard says Mitt Romney. Mitt will die in the backlash of ObamaCare. He will never shake the fact that he created the model—RomneyCare.
Liberal Republicans and Democrats always do this to Republicans they see as a genuine threat, because their power base is at stake. They Bork them. They tried it with Reagan, they succeeded with Quayle, and they are trying it with Palin, so far with little success.
No, it will take a rock star to beat a rock star and Palin is the only rock star the Republicans are likely to have. Newt is setting fund-raising records but he comes with heavy baggage. He is brilliant but I’m not sure brilliant is enough. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes scholar, and Barack Obama is an intellectual. Brilliant got us here. Brilliant sucks.
True, Palin is not smooth in interviews, I believe because the McCain people mishandled her. For a good exposé on this kind of thing, read Dan Quayle’s autobiography. But there isn’t a human being alive who is better in front of a crowd than Sarah Palin.
Palin isn’t brilliant, but I don’t need brilliant; I need honest.