Monday, November 8, 2010

Caruba's Crystal Ball: The 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee

By Alan Caruba

If the Republican Party nominates a RINO (Republican in Name Only) like John McCain in 2012 it will lose and, assuming the Democratic Party clings to its suicide pact with Barack Hussein Obama, he will win.

It is doubtful that Obama will not be re-nominated for the 2012 race. As the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel pointed out, “History doesn’t inspire optimism. Over the past 100 years, every time a president two years into his first term lost Congress, he went on to be re-elected: Truman in ’48, Eisenhower in ’56, Clinton in ’96.”

What we do know is that independent voters will decide whoever will be elected in 2012. There were no Tea Parties in those earlier elections and a lot depends on what the GOP does over the course of the next two years. While they control the House, they have limited options beyond a declared intention to repeal Obamacare, cut government spending, etc. Twenty-three very nervous Democrat Senators up for election in 2012 may prove cooperative. Obama will not.

So, let the speculation begin! Rasmussen Reports polled likely primary voters to find out who Republicans favored at this early point and released a November 4 announcement that three ex-governors, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and Sarah Palin were in a dead heat.

My crystal ball says that none of these politicians will be on the ticket.

Romney is a RINO who brought an early version of Obamacare to Massachusetts when he was governor. Huckabee plays well on television and should stay there. Palin has a cult following, but is a political anomaly who could be defeated in a general election.

Many Republican women candidates did not fare well in the midterms. None of these early potential candidates should be considered serious contenders for the presidency at a time when many Republicans are looking for new faces, not failed earlier contenders.

Others to ignore in this category include Governors Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour, as well as Tim Pawlenty. All are good governors, but none have the star power it takes to be president.

There are Republicans who are already making appearances in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and other early primary states and, of these, Mike Pence, an Indiana Representative who won a recent presidential straw vote at a “values summit” in September looks like a viable contender. There’s some buzz for John Thune, a handsome Senator from South Dakota, but Thune has not geared up for the campaign and few voters know anything about him.

Marco Rubio, the newly elected Senator from Florida, is a bright young, articulate face of the new GOP, but he needs to get a full term under his belt before running. He needs his name on some piece of legislation that gains attention. He is, for sure, a rising star.

Newt Gingrich may want to be president, but he is likely to conclude that being the party’s “elder statesman” is the role in which he is most comfortable. I do not think he will run for the nomination. For all his virtues, Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan.

The 2010 midterm elections were unique in that they were all about rejecting Obama’s actions in his first two years and the growing suspicion that he is a few cards short of a full deck. He can be depended upon to pursue the same policies that led to his rejection.

It is worth noting the way even some Republicans in Congress who had been there a long time got swept from office and the way some people with no political resume were elected. A “wave” election, the midterms were also in many ways an anomaly or, as Wall Street would call it, a correction.

My crystal ball tells me that the Republican Party could likely embrace Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.

A lot depends on whether Christie will campaign for the presidency and he seems determined to serve out his first time. In two years he will look even better having already demonstrated that his endorsement is golden and he is a great campaigner whom audiences love. One day after the midterm elections, the respected political pundit, Stuart Rothenberg, addressed a group of D.C. insiders His pick? Gov. Chris Christie.

Gov. Christie says he wants to stay in New Jersey to address its need to reduce its burden of debt and shake loose the civil service union’s grip, but few serious politicians can or would ignore their party’s call to run for the presidency. Gov. Christie has enormous personal appeal on many levels and just the right values for a large segment of independent voters who have demonstrated they want to “clean house” in D.C.

One mistake the Republican Party must not make is the expectation that it can “co-op” the Tea Party. The GOP needs to cooperate and be responsive to it. It’s not a third party. It is a movement.

While potential candidates begin to maneuver for a shot to be the Republican Party choice, I think the time for the familiar faces has passed and the demand for real change based on rediscovered conservative values favors a new face.

© Alan Caruba, 2010


Unknown said...

Alan, I have given this topic a lot of consideration over the last year, myself. My pick has been John Thune for the adjectives that you used to describe him... young and "attractive" which are some of the same silly qualities that got Barack Obama elected by certain demographics. However, John Thune has made some great suggestions to changes in policy and demonstrated good fiscal common sense. He did take out Daschle, which was big in unseating the Senate party leader. He does have good backing and strong ethics.
I am also enamored with Paul Ryan. I think he has amazing fiscal sensibility and a charismatic personality. I loved when he put Chris Matthews in his place while discussing his suggestions on how to cut excess spending in an effort to try to correct the budget disaster. He knows his stuff.
My thoughts are that in the coming Presidential elections, we'll need strong economic sensibilty combined with huge ethics and honestly a return to core principles including matters of faith. These are some of the things that we've lost over the last decade and in particular over thwe duration of Obama. If we can find those in a smart, well-spoken and charismatic person, we have a winner.
I wish Gov. Christie would enter the arena, but he made a strong statement about 6-8 months ago that he would not consider going to Washington D.C. at all, that his service was to NJ only. He would be the "go-to" man in 2016 or 2020 depending on when we need a conservative President next.

Steve Koch said...

Yeah, I like Christie, too. Smart, tough guy. He better lose weight though or it hurts his chances of getting nominated and elected.

The problem with Palin is that she quit as governor in the middle of her term for no real good reason. 99% of life is just showing up and she did not show up to finish the job.

Romney is a smart guy but he seems soft. Huckabee was a spender and really pushes the social conservative thing. The big tent is small government that doesn't waste our money, bully us, or ignore the constitution. Most people want to stay out of wars and protect the borders, too.

Unknown said...

Jim DeMint!

BF Admin said...

Yes, Gary, I was thinking DeMint, too, but he says he won't run.

LarryOldtimer said...

Palin is the only rational person in the political arena I am aware of. She has purposely been demonized by the liberal intelligentsia of the media to appear as a cult figure.

As governor of Alaska, in my opinion, her accomplishment were many, and she was a good governor, and I am not aware of any gaffes she made.

We don't need any president who has bought in to all or any of the pseudoscience which is so prevalent today, such as Thune apparently has done.

In short, we don't need a president who is promising grand expectations, one out to make a name for him/herself, but one who will cause our government to function properly, as the machine of our government is badly broken.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of voters vote on the basis of their emotions, not rationally.

I have always been an optimistic person, thinking that if nothing else, we will muddle through.

Muddling will not work this time. We need a person with a detailed plan, with both the upsides and downsides delineated.

Except for Sarah Palin, all I see are politicians as usual.

I personally think that by the time 2012 rolls around, we will be in a world of hurt.

The last person I would like to see elected is a person with a lot of political experience, as they have already become part of the problem.

The alternative will most likely be some idealist nut-case, which I consider Huckabee to be, promising much, but delivering us into servitude to the government.
What we as a nation need is a return to individual freedom, not fettered by government or a mishmash of various idealisms.
And a president with practicality, not caring whether he/she gets reelected 4 years hence.

It will be difficult. It will take a hardnosed person.

Alan Caruba said...

I nominate LarryOldTimer.

cmblake6 said...

Oh indeed, Alan. We'd better pick somebody that hits the public right in the heart, both looks and history. We're going to have to have somebody that just blasts the publics mind.

Now, I'm sure that the reason for those mid-term loss reelections is that whoever the POTUS is is reflected by the Congress that fixes all the stuff their Congress buggered up. They then get the credit, and keep the Whitehouse. WE MUST NOT LET THE PUBLIC FORGET!

Michael Fitzpatrick said...

I would love nothing more than to see Gov. Christie in a debate with Obama!!!!

Steve Koch said...


Palin did not serve out her term as governor but instead quit when her family was criticized and ridiculed. I can't imagine voting for a quitter.

Palin seems like the least rational and most emotional of the GOP possibilities.

Alaskans ignored Palin's recommendation of Miller in the senate race; Miller got beat by a write in candidate! If alaska does not trust Palin's judgement anymore, why should we?

Palin also endorsed the very weak candidate in Delaware which helped the GOP to lose a near certain victory in that race. Palin is a typical political opportunist who wants to commandeer the Tea Party and does not really care if the GOP takes a hit in the process.

Palin is an attractive woman but if she can't even take the pressure of Alaskan politics, there is no way she can handle the pressure of presidential politics.

Guy in Ohio said...

Steve, you've obviously sucked up the media's explanation of Palin's resignation, and have failed to do your own investigation into it. She didn't "quit" ... she was destroyed, with frivolous lawsuits launched by her adversaries and designed to destroy her financially. When she resigned to protect her assets, the media stepped in to destroy her with the lies and smear tactics you have so willingly sucked up.

The same thing was done to Ross Perot. He was forced to withdraw from politics with a similar dirty trick... threats against his safety and family's safety that forced him to withdraw. By by the time he was able re-organize and provide the necessary security, his reputation had been destroyed by the same disgusting leftist media smear tactics used against Palin.

Even after all that, he still came close to winning the election, proving that he was a major threat that had to be eliminated. They obviously fear Palin just as much.

The damage that was done to her reputation was deplorable, and should be investigated as a criminal conspiracy in my opinion. Whether she can ever recover from it remains to be seen, but the lesson to be learned is that it could have been ANY ONE OF US.

Just ask Joe the Plumber ...

Steve Koch said...


Politics is a tough business. Palin did quit(i.e. resign) when the going got tough. She was treated unfairly but life is not fair, especially politics. Palin was tested in Alaska (pop less than 1 million people) and failed the test. If we nominate her for the GOP prez candidate, who's to say she won't quit again in the middle of the race?

Palin is probably best suited for her current role. Believe it or not, I like and admire her, I just don't think she is presidential timber.

Guy in Ohio said...

Steve, while I'm not necessarily advocating a Presidential run for Palin, I must still respectfully disagree with your characterization of her as a "quitter". If you'll quit drinking the Kool Aid and dig a little deeper, maybe you'll understand what happened to her.

I'll say essentially the same thing to you that I've said to dozens of George Bush haters ... Until you can tell me you've met her, and talked to her, and gotten her side of the story, you don't know what you're talking about. You're certainly not getting the true story from the media, and judging someone based on the left-biased hearsay the media feeds you is a pathetic thing to do to someone.

Daniel Stone said...

Hi Alan, Has anyone considered General Petraeus for the Presidency? He has winning abilities all earned without any political IOU's to repay. We could do much worse.

Alan Caruba said...

@Daniel Stone. I don't think Petraeus wants to be president, but he would make an excellent candidate for the GOP.

I am beginning to take notice of Gov. Perry of Texas as a possible candidate too.

Daniel Stone said...

If General Petraeus is disgusted enough with how things are being handled in D.C. he might run. Popular demand for his services could be the convincing factor.
I'm not familiar with Texas
Governor Perry's record, but he surely didn't get that position by chance!