Reason delves into it with some humor and expected results.
He released his economic plan last week. Take a look at it and the feedback on it in comparison to the 2012 GOP field.
This could serve as a type of media headline game.
74% of the respondents said that Sarah Palin should not run in 2012. So much for any love from her base and employer, huh?
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered advice to 2012 Republican hopefuls: bashing President Barack Obama is not enough to win on the campaign trail.
“I hope that the Republican candidates, when they are offering their solutions, it’s good to be critical of the president, I think the president means well, but his policies have failed,” Bush said on Fox News. “And to point that out, nothing wrong with that. That is politics. But just to stop there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to win because I am against what is going on’ is not enough.”
When asked by Fox News Host Neil Cavuto if some in his party overdo their criticism of Obama, Bush said, “I do. I think, when you start ascribing bad motives to the guy, I think that is wrong. It turns off a bunch of people that want solutions.”
Bush also suggested candidates not shy away from their conservative views.
“I would humbly suggest to you that being a conservative is not necessarily a bad thing. But if you are a conservative, you have to persuade. You have to defend a position. You can’t just be against the president,” Bush said.
“I never said [Palin] is going to declare..I’m mystified. Look she is all upset about this, saying I’m trying to sabotage her in some way. And how dare I speculate on her future. If she doesn’t want to be speculated about as a potential candidate, there’s an easy way to end the speculation: say ‘I’m not running.’ … I’m saying the schedule leads me to believe she is going to be a candidate. I’m not privy to her thought-making process. It is a sign of enormous thin skin (that) if we speculate about her she would be upset,” – Karl Rove. Apparently Fox News censored the transcript of his critical comments.
Adam Serwer and Conor Friedersdorf discuss this at Bloggingheads. Conor says no while Adam says this is the wrong question to ask.
Considering Perry has just jumped into the GOP race, may be the front-runner without involving himself in the Iowa straw poll, and has a good chance at this point of being a front-runner in his parties nomination race, it’s worth following him.
Here comes George Bush III.
“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book”.
“This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.
Am I the only one who sees people reliant on transportation stuck outside in a Minnesota winter and a government shut down as not good things? It may be winning for you as a pol, as well as a church-type political party obsessed with pure ideological rhetoric in both word and deed, but not for the people you represent. Tina Korbe seconds:
The ad is well-executed, but, after watching it a couple times, I can’t help but question the wisdom of emphasizing a union strike and a government shutdown as evidence of accomplishments. The ad provides little context with which to understand why, exactly, these events should be seen as “wins” for Pawlenty. Instead, it seems to rely on an innate conservative interpretation of union protests and a halt to government as somewhat unpleasant, but ultimately acceptable, consequences of impressive, committed, conservative policy-making. I’d rather hear about the conservative policy-making — the actual accomplishments.
Some of the GOP candidates running in 2012 have executive experience (Johnson, Pawlenty, Huntsman). Conor Friedersdorf gives a good case for not trusting the job creating records these former exec’s had in their given state (New Mexico, Minnesota, and Utah, respectively). Conor even hones in on Gary Johnson, a candidate he most likely would endorse:
Every state has its confounding variables. And it’s unlikely that journalists or voters are going to accurately assign credit or blame for them, especially since a useful comparison requires attributing the appropriate credit to everyone. Plus there’s a huge time horizon problem. What if the best policy doesn’t produce jobs immediately, but does produce them eventually, and in much greater numbers than a shorter term fix? It isn’t as if it’s uncommon for a politician to inherit the consequences of a predecessor’s decision, or to saddle a successor with a problem that is more dire than it seemed when he left office.
Another problem with the jobs metric: success as a governor depends largely upon legislation signed or vetoed during one’s tenure. What if a governor has an intransigent legislature through no fault of his own? What if he owes his tremendous success to personal relationships in the state that he can’t rely on in Washington, D.C.? What if, like Gary Johnson, he vetoes bills aplenty when they’re passed by the other political party? Love or hate Johnson’s record, he amassed it largely through the veto mechanism. Elevated to the White House, but given a Republican rather than a Democratic legislature, would he be able to govern as successfully? Hard to say. A man’s success operating in one political context isn’t a reliable predictor of how he’ll perform in another. See all the successful governors who performed poorly after attaining higher office.
Believe it or not, but Jon Huntsman could possibly be someone I’d vote for over Obama in 2012. Huntsman has a great track record as an executive (two-term governor of Utah),which Obama in retrospect may have needed more than he thought, and is focused on two very important things: job creation and returning civility to our public debate. First, the economy:
We must reignite the powerful job creating engine of our economy – the industry, innovation, reliability, and trailblazing genius of Americans and their enterprises — and restore confidence in our people.
We did many of these things in Utah when I was governor. We cut taxes and flattened rates. We balanced our budget. Worked to maintain our AAA bond rating. When the economic crisis hit, we were ready. And by many accounts we became the best state for business and the best managed state in America. We proved government doesn’t have to choose between fiscal responsibility and economic growth. I learned something very important as Governor. For the average American family there is nothing more important than a job.
Second, civility. When was the last time you honestly heard a Republican candidate speak like this?
I don’t think you need to run down anyone’s reputation to run for President. Of course we’ll have our disagreements. I respect my fellow Republican candidates. And I respect the President. He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love. But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better President; not who’s the better American.
Jonathan Chait sees the divide between Huntsman and the GOP that may hold him back from succeeding:
The posture of maximal opposition to Obama is the one single thing upon which the entire party agrees. The notion that a dissenter against that consensus might win the presidential nomination is not merely a longshot but totally absurd.
Then there is matching him, his resume, and his message up with the GOP pack:
Huntsman will continue to get a good press (hiring John Weaver, John McCain’s image-guy/strategist was a smart move) and that press won’t be enough. Nor will many people vote for Huntsman because of his foreign policy credentials: as Spencer Ackerman says, being a diplomat don’t give you much suction or juice these days. Anyway, when the C-word comes up we know that Huntsman is going to say something sensible about how America shouldn’t be too worried too soon by too much of anything that China might do. Most of the other “leading” contenders will advise Americans to press the panic button and this, I am afraid, will be more effective than anything Huntsman can say.
Huntsman also comments on the New York state bill to legalize same-sex marriage:
… Huntsman was asked specifically about the growing likelihood of a same-sex marriage bill being passed in New York. Would he seek to overrule Empire State lawmakers should he end up in the Oval Office? “I would respect the state’s decision on that,” he replied.
The answer, while brisk, nevertheless sets Huntsman apart from his fellow Republican presidential candidates. Other members of the field have offered sympathy for state sovereignty on matters of marriage. But they have usually couched that by saying they would support a federal ban on same-sex marriage as well.
(Photo: Republican Jon Huntsman speaks during a press conference to announce his bid for the presidency at Liberty State Park June 21, 2011 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Huntsman, until recently the U.S. ambassador to China under President Obama, emphasized his record as a two-term governor of Utah. By Spencer Platt/Getty Images.)
Sarah Palin gets the same treatment from me as Rick Santorum: she is a divider who plays us versus them, black and white scenarios out in politics, religion, and culture. It is somewhat scary to think about that on a world scale instead of just in Wasilla.
Lexington gives her the benefit of the doubt in the face of poll numbers having her behind Obama by 20 points:
Polls suggest that Barack Obama would trounce her by almost 20 percentage points (Mr Romney trails the president by less than 7%). So it is not only her immediate rivals but also the Republican establishment who have cause to worry. What if she is another Barry Goldwater, who wowed the right but led the Republicans to a crushing defeat by Lyndon Johnson in 1964?
The trouble is that Mrs Palin is not the sort to step aside just because people tell her she cannot win. She thrives on rejection. Twitting intellectuals and the “lamestream” media is part of her brand. She harbours a grudge against the Republican “blue-bloods” who blame her for Mr McCain’s failure to beat Mr Obama in 2008, and would love to prove them wrong. She may not be able to win the presidency herself, but so long as she stays in the headlines, hinting at a run, she makes the party’s sobersides look dull by comparison. For them, the phenomenon from Alaska has gradually mutated into the problem from hell.
Kathryn Jean Lopez gives some love to her Catholic brother, Rick Santorum, as he begins his campaign to run for POTUS after a crushing loss for reelection as a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania in 2006:
The question many of those who follow the news are asking is: “Why would he bother?”
Well, he would bother because he believes, as do so many who have shown up at Tea Party rallies in the last two years, that America is in existential jeopardy if we don’t make some swift and hard choices, rooted in who we are and who we want to be. He would bother because he has experience working in Washington, working with people of a variety of views, moving legislation forward that provides humane solutions to problems sometimes created by well-intentioned government programs. He would bother because he loves people and policy, and sees the connections between the two. He would bother because he feels called to do it, not from a messianic complex, but in service.
Santorum may love people, but his religious outlook (worldview may work better in this case) is a divide and conquer approach. He may be a note less strident than Sarah Palin, but his ultra-conservative views on marriage and abortion (which I don’t fully disagree with him on. It’s his ultra-emphasis that rubs me the wrong way) may not fly with many people (most notably moderates, independents, and democrats) outside of the religious right.
Pundits speak of her lack of professional organization. What they don’t speak of so often is her willingness to say and do things very few politicians will. She will play the race card powerfully, often and repeatedly. She will run a campaign against Obama as an un-American. She will run on hatred of elites, will turn every sad gaffe, lie or untruth into “truth”, she will deploy religious motifs more effectively than any Republican candidate in modern times. In the last campaign she accused Obama of being a friend of terrorists, and was prevented from using Jeremiah Wright in the last few weeks of the campaign. She will make the Willie Horton ad look like happytalk.
Most responsible politicians do not throw gasoline on a cultural tinderwood. But remember Tucson. Even then, she could show no restraint, no regret, no responsibility. Even when a politician was shot in the head, she tried to divide and conquer. And the MSM have no idea how to handle her, how to cope with her, how to expose her. She destroyed them last time and somehow perpetuated the meme that they destroyed her. This is a dangerous, dangerous person.” —Andrew Sullivan responding to Howard Dean’s remarks on Palin being a legit 2012 candidate.
Some amusing “according to Palin” tweets.
Jonathan Chait gives her a better chance than most:
But while Bachmann may be even crazier than Palin on questions of public policy, she seems to manage to hold things together as a candidate. She can answer questions from the news media. She is putting together a professional campaign rather than relying on amateur advisors. She takes care to point out frequently that she is a former tax lawyer, and she does not engage in Palin’s visceral anti-intellectualism, giving herself the aura of a plausible president, at least in the minds of Republican voters. Bachmann may well combine Palin’s most powerful traits without her crippling organizational failures.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the 2010 election cycle featured a long series of conservative upstarts shocking the mainstream media by knocking off establishment-approved candidates in nominating contests. Obviously, the nominating contest is a series of state-level nominating primaries generally dominated by an activist base. Right now, the right wing of the party nominating field is a vacuum. Somebody is going to fill that vacuum.
Palin has partial executive experience (commented on here) while Bachmann has established herself as a stateswoman. I personally wouldn’t vote for either in the unlikely scenario that they were the last two standing for the GOP nomination. I do like that Chait gives Bachmann the fair credit due to her while still not brushing under the rug her craziness.
Reflections on Sarah Palin as a 2012 candidate and POTUS:
“The objections to Mrs Palin are about personality rather than policy. The fear is that she’s too reckless, too divisive and too intemperate to be an effective president. If that’s the case, there’s no reason to think that voters will go for it.” –Erica Grieder
“Given the massive debt, I think her prescription of more, big tax cuts is like giving an alcoholic a free jagermeister supply. Given the perilous instability and transformation in the Middle East, I think accelerating the colonization of the West Bank is insanely reckless, and striking Iran potentially catastrophic. An energy policy that focuses entirely on sustaining a carbon economy is terribly short-sighted. I suspect she would gladly bring back torture into the American government. Above all, I agree with George Will that someone this unstable, this disturbed and this delusional having access to the nuclear codes terrifies me. These concerns are not all about personality, although in her case, I think we have someone outside any conventional boundaries of responsibility. They are also about preventing America accelerating its decline.” –Andrew Sullivan
Obama is also benefiting from the absence of negatives. The economy, while lethargic, is growing. The private sector is creating jobs. Natural disasters, while deadly and plentiful, have not developed into governmental crises. Skyrocketing gas prices, which fed the public’s economic fears, are now subsiding. And the GOP’s signature budget plan, ambitious in its spending reductions, has lost its luster with the public.