Beltway GOP Operatives Feeling Down About (Once Loved, Now Hated) GOP Presidential Frontrunners


Politico's Mike Allen reports that establishment GOP strategists/operatives are worried that the GOP presidential field will remain lackluster forever: 

[I]nterviews this week with longtime party activists and strategists made clear that many in the Republican establishment are unnerved by a field led by Mitt Romney, who could have trouble confronting Obama on health reform; Tim Pawlenty, who has yet to ignite excitement; Jon Huntsman, who may be too moderate to get the nomination; and Newt Gingrich, weighed down by personal baggage and a sense that he is a polarizing figure from the 1990s.

Despairing Republican lobbyists say their colleagues don't ask, "Who do you like?" but instead, "Who do we back?"

"It's not that they're up in arms," said a central player in the GOP money machine. "It's just that they're depressed."

And a huge swath of operatives, donors and strategists remain uncommitted, in the hope that the field is not yet set.

So instead of solidifying against the overwhelming force being amassed by Obama's reelection campaign, the GOP is indulging in an embarrassingly public — and probably futile — search for a more compelling standard-bearer.

Perhaps depression is justified: Now that Mike Huckabee has announced his plans to continue not running for president, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich have "emerged as leaders in Republicans' preferences" in Gallup's latest poll. This is why, says Allen, depressed strategists are pulling hard for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to declare, so that their lives will feel meaningful when they are shopping petty opposition research to reporters and crafting vicious attack ads. 

Photo of a sad child oppo researcher courtesy of Flickr user shawncampbell

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  1. I have an idea. Jump on the libertarian bandwagon.

    1. They’d sooner form a “Republicans for Obama” group than back a libertarian.

      1. No kidding, I get that impression. Some of the hate the national party throws at the RLC makes that sound plausible. A stark reminder that the issue is power, not any of the rhetoric.

    2. Yeah, I don’t this obsession with who the GOP is going to nominate.

  2. So the establishment GOP is depressed their “top tier” RINOs totally suck?

    What’s with John Huntsman? The guy is a regular “top tier” candidate who can’t even outpoll Gary Johnson?

    1. To be honest, I had never even heard of him until your post. Is he related to the guy who runs the cancer research center in Utah?

      1. Just did a bit of my own “research”. According to Wikipedia he is the guy’s son.

        1. Born in Palo Alto, California, Huntsman is the son of Karen (n?e Haight) and billionaire businessman and philanthropist Jon Huntsman of the Huntsman Corporation.[7] During the 1970s, he dropped out of high school and was the keyboard player in a rock band before eventually resuming his studies. He attended the University of Utah, where he became, like his father, a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He received a bachelor’s degree in International Politics from the University of Pennsylvania after transferring to that school.

          He spent time in Taiwan as a Mormon missionary and speaks Standard Mandarin Chinese fluently.[8] He is also fluent in Taiwanese Hokkien (Minnan).[9]

        2. Looks like there are a lot worse choices in the Republican field than him. Lowered taxes and supported civil unions.

          1. Huntsman is the considerably less icky Mormon Republican choice.

  3. Sarah Palin becomes the biggest story nationwide the day she announces.

    She’s fascinating to people who don’t give a damn about politics.

    1. It’s cause she’s attractive. We’re lucky Scarlett Johansson isn’t old enough to run. ‘Cause she’d win.

      1. Really though, could Scarlett Johansson be any wworse than either Romney, Newt, or Obama?

        1. I’m not sure Newt would be as bad as Romney, and I’m not so sure Romney would be as bad as Obama.

          I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t care so much about peripheral issues this time. It’s about capitalism for me at this point.

          Obama may not be a real socialist, but he’s hostile to capitalism. I think he sees capitalism as a problem–and government as the solution to that problem. And that pretty much settles it for me.

          I’ll probably do my patriotic duty, and refuse to vote for anybody to be my emperor, but… But if the next emperor isn’t so thoroughly hostile to capitalism, that will be a relief.

          1. “Obama may not be a real socialist”

            I assure you, Obama is a real socialist, through and through. Knowing how to triangulate doesn’t make you a moderate. For god’s sake, the guy was a community organizer, lists Salinsky as one of his major influences, had a father was a communist, a preacher was a communist, etc, etc.

            1. See, if I wanted to make the case that Obama was a real socialist?

              I’d argue that he nationalized two thirds of the American auto industry.

              The fact is that he’s doing everything he can to get rid of GM before the next election, and he isn’t advocating the nationalization of any other industries that I’m aware of–other than health insurance.

              Be that as it may, is there a productive argument to be had between people who think Obama is real socialist on the one hand and people who think he’s just extremely hostile to capitalism on the other?

              If we both think Obama’s hostility to capitalism is a big problem? Then we shouldn’t be arguing with each other.

            2. He’s not a socialist, they at least have ideals. He’s just like every other politician, who by definition think they are better than everybody else and should tell everybody else what to do, because everybody else is not capable of running their own lives.

              In other words, a power hungry statist. Doesn’t make him a socialist.

              Reminds me of the book Dreadnought (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0345375564/reasonmagazinea-20/ a fantastic look at events from Queen Victoria’s birth up to WW I.

              Kaiser Wilhelm II seems to not have thought he was descended from God, but he did believe he was selected by God, and therefore could do no wrong. Because he could do no wrong, he didn’t have to think about his decisions, God would guide him, so his decisions were always correct.

              I can’t think of a better definition of *any* politician.

        2. She’s dating Sean Penn; she could be much worse.

          1. Yes, she’s clearly insane.

          2. Going from Ryan Reynolds to Sean Penn is a huge step down, to be sure.

            1. Ew, was she trying to outdo Ryan Reynolds stepping down from her to Sandra Bullock?

            2. Spicoli’s holding, so there’s that.

      2. I’d vote for her.

      3. Well, if we can elect a guy born in Kenya, then we should be able to elect a 25 year old hottie! 🙂

  4. I would like a nice wide field where no one emerges for a while because that is a recipe for maximum GOP pain viewing entertainment.

  5. Won’t someone please think of the Beltway GOP operatives?

    1. The top GOP candidates in the polls are considered beltway types now that Trump and the Huckster are out.

      The Tea Party and the fundies intersect in ideology (they won’t admit it though) and are holding their breath for Sista Sarah. They might accept Bachmann if let down by Palin. This latter group has the most to complain about – not the beltway crowd.

  6. the gop’s bigger prob is the loser on the top of the ticket will drag-down the undercard also. combine that w collective bargining referendums, which bring-out many more dems & indies, & the table is set for a dem sweep. the house will go back dem & the teapartiers will get booted to the back bench

    1. Yeah, you keep hoping that. The GOP can run strictly on the Democratic record and win. I think this is going to be an easy race for them, once they find a reasonable candidate.

      They’ll also take over the Senate.

      1. I disagree where the presidency is concerned. I think there is a strong chance that they’ll recapture the Senate and maintain or grow their house majority. But I dare not underestimate the incumbent effect for the POTUS, even with shitty unemployment figures. Especially considering that Obama’s blackness is cause enough to motive otherwise non-voters to hit the polling place.

        1. Except for the black vote, I think race isn’t going to help Obama except in the polls. In the quiet secrecy of the voting booth, the economy and everything else will destroy his chances for reelection.

        2. Reelecting a black president doesn’t have the novelty of electing one for the first time. I doubt Obama’s race will have an impact in turnout by any demographic except for the black vote, and expect turnout there will be anything close to 2008 (both due to the novelty factor and the shitty economy).

          1. turnout there *won’t* be anything close to 2008

        3. And the divided government types. If it’s clear that the Republicans will take the Senate and the Republican Presidential candidate isn’t strong I can see Republicans staying home.

          On the other hand, Republicans that stayed home in 2008 may instead be newly enthusiastic about ANYBODY, other than BO.

      2. I’m guessing it’s gonna be Clinton vs. Dole redux.

      3. I think this is going to be an easy race for them, once they find a reasonable candidate.

        Their view of “reasonable candidate” does not include Paul, Johnson, or even somewhat freedom-inclined people like Huntsman.

        1. No argument here. Unfortunately.

  7. Well, condsidering all of the GOP’s predesignated front runners are woefully unexciting, virtually without exception incapable of reducing overall spending, and have the wider independent appeal (critical in an election against Obama) approaching zero, maybe the Grand Ole Party might wanna consider y’know, that plainspoken rabble-rouser from Texas….

    Honestly, it couldn’t hurt. And even if he is deemed unelectable, I think the GOP is really waiting for 2016 as their year. There are a lot of potential GOP candidates that would be seasoned enough to be attractive offerings by then. A primary field of Christie, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio would be exciting and I could actually find myself supporting any number of those guys.

    1. Interesting that Rubio has adamantly ruled out being a VP candidate in 2012 (he knows he is prospect #1 by miles).

      He doesn’t want to be tainted by one of these 2012 losers.

      1. I think the pub field this cycle is largely unattractive because no one wants to challenge an incumbent and lose. The incumbency effect has become such an engrained part of thinking that the best and brightest candidates choose not to challenge incumbents, thereby only reinforcing the incumbency effect.

        The GOP has four guys in the wings that are waiting on 2016 in Christie, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and Rubio. All four have actually proposed legitimate spending reforms. And, outside of Rand Paul, all four are not just palattable to the larger GOP electorate, but could generate legitimate enthusiasm. And to top it all off, there are not many Dems I see right now that can generate the excitement on a national stage that Obama did in 2008. I would think that the ‘pubs, or at least their operatives, are half willing to concede the white house in 2012 if they can gain the senate, and set themselves up to slaughter the democratic offering in 2016.

        1. I think the four you mention are leaps and bounds better than the 2012 crop.

          What about a Chris Christie vs. Brian Schweitzer matchup?

          I know which one is the more popular governor by 10%.

          1. It would be an interesting matchup. A red governor of a blue state vs. a blue governor of a red state. Schweitzer might have some issues in the primary due to his opposition to gun control, but if he captures the nomination, he would be hard to beat because he would likely have appeal to blue-collar midwest/southern voters. That would be a good choice for a philosophical libertarian because neither would overly offend the sensibilities (although I’m sure either will once elected) that way Bush’s SoConism did or Obama’s top-down statist economic policies do.

            But predicting Schweizer is a bit of a stretch now. It really all depends on who Obama picks as Veep this cycle.

            1. I would not characterize Montana as a Red state — it’s a formerly Red state turning Purple.

              Montana’s governor and both senators are Democrats, and in the 2009 legislative session the legislature had 73 Democrats and 77 Republicans.

        2. I think the pub field this cycle is largely unattractive because no one wants to challenge an incumbent and lose.

          The last two incumbents that lost were Bush Sr. and Carter and they both lost because of the economy.

      2. He doesn’t want to be tainted by one of these 2012 losers.

        over 9% unemployment.

        If the economy does not improve and improve fast a corpse could beat Obama.

        1. Have you seen the Republicans? They are the only force on Earth that could fuck this up.

          1. Their only advantage is that the Democrats are stupider.

        2. You know, I don’t see anything in the Constitution about having to be alive to be president. It addresses dying in office, but what about death before office?

          1. bring back Zombie Reagan!

  8. Hey Mike, two words; alt text. Learn it, know it, live it.

  9. Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich have “emerged as leaders in Republicans’ preferences” in Gallup’s latest poll.

    What the fuck!?!?

    Why isn’t Paul on that list?

    Has Riggs joined the media hordes in choosing to ignore Ron Paul?

    1. I heard him in that recent debate, whatever, talking about how if he legalized heroin, not everybody would suddenly rush out and buy heroin.

      Just because he’s right on that, doesn’t mean the GOP caucus is about to turn out to nominate someone who advocates the legalization of heroin in front of a national audience.

      It’s great that Ron Paul can help get the message out though. That’s probably the most we can reasonably hope for.

      1. Treading the ground and building a constituency for his son in 2016.

        1. Rand Paul is unlikely to run in 2016, since his Senate seat is up for re-election then. He’s already filed for re-election.

          Politicians in the Senate tend to run during their off-cycle years when they don’t have to give up their seat.

          1. He can run for both, as Kerry did in 2004.

      2. And the audience erupted in applause when Ron Paul said that. Despite Frank Luntz’s dopey “focus group” afterwards, Ron Paul clearly won the debate, hands down.

        1. You know, it is possible to win a battle and lose the war.

          If I’m running the Obama campaign, I don’t have to look too hard for sound bites to use in attack ads. He’s givin’ ’em more ammunition every time he opens his mouth.

          If he’s arguing for the legalization of heroin–even within that context–he’s not running a serious campaign. He’s just pandering to his libertarian base.

          That’s always been Ron Paul’s weakness as a presidential candidate. Pandering explains the newsletter fiasco; pandering explains why he’s talking to the GOP caucus about legalizing heroin.

    2. Newt peaked before he started. Palin is the biggest celebrity in the GOP. It’s Romney’s turn.

      1. And that means it will be Romney. Republicans always go with the next in line.

  10. Why won’t the establishment back Gary Johnson? Is there something about his performance as governor of New Mexico that they don’t like?

    1. Yeah, you hardly see any mention of him.

      I think part of it is like making a big budget movie. If you’re gonna get a studio to commit big bucks, you usually need to come with a built in audience. …be it a book that a lot of people have already read or a bankable star.

      If Johnson were the governor of a state with more electoral votes, he’d get more consideration. I think that’s the appeal of Romney–if the GOP can split the northeastern swing vote to break for the GOP? Then maybe they can do what the Democrats have typically done to the GOP by always running someone from the South.

      …until recently. Obama was able to split a lot of that vote despite not having someone from the south.

      Before that, no Democrat won the presidency without someone from the South on the ticket going back to half of forever. It wasn’t just that Clinton, for instance, brought Arkansas. It’s that he split the GOP vote all across the South.

      New Mexico just doesn’t offer that, and if all he’s got going for him is his good ideas and his record on the job, then running for president may be a waste of time.

    2. Is there something about his performance as governor of New Mexico that they don’t like?

      His errors as governor (poorly handled attempt to privatize prisons, unresponsive/ineffectual on education) are likely to be balanced by his reputation as Mr. Veto, but doing a middling job as governor of NM is hardly enough to get you noticed. It is a small state, doesn’t even get you regional numbers, will not even strongly support Johnson (he’d probably squeak a win for those electoral votes, but not by much).

      1. But he is so similar (in my opinon better than) Mitch Daniels on performance, why is everyone so excited to jump behind Mitch? Indiana is not that much more important that NM. Plus, NM is one of the poorest democrat strong states. I’ve worked there for years and when I first learned of Johnson, I was shocked a true fiscal conservative could win much less get re-elected. I think the party just has thier backroom boys and that’s all they care about. I also think they don’t want the Libertarian part of the party (which is growing and I think taking in independants). There is still so much focus on the social issues and the religious base. Listening to Santorum at that Fox debate was like being in the 1990s — it was just so dated. Ultimitley, I think it will be to the Rep’s demise not to let the parties natural libertarian roots take hold again. The more they cling to the social issues, the more irrelevant they become since they aren’t cutting spending any more than the dems. The old, “Reps are tkaing us to hell on a train, but Dems are doing it on a rocket” just isn’t going to carry them along anymore.

  11. This is all setting up nicely for, unfortunately, Rick Perry.

    He was boxed in to a late announcement by the Texas legislative calendar. The session is over by June 1, and he will be able to say he passed a balanced budget (a lie) without raising taxes.

    With the GOP primary field still trying emerge from the primordial ooze, his window of opportunity will not have closed. I predict a short period of Deep Contemplation of the Nation’s Ills, and an announcement.

    Sure, he’s a corrupt crony capitalist, but he’s never been caught! Woot!

    1. Oh Jeebus no. The GOP can’t be that stupid. Obama has spent the last four years running against Bush (all while governing as Bush on roids), and the best the GOP can think to counter that is by running another fucking Texas Governor?!?!?!

      TEH STOOPIDZ is strong with the GOP

      1. So no Texas governor can be President now? If Johnson were governor of Texas, you wouldn’t support him? That is stupid. People wont’ care that he is governor of Texas. They will care that.

        1. He is not serving in Washington
        2. He is against Obamacare
        3. He is Chief Executive of state that is not going broke
        4. He is not a peacenik
        5. He is not Obama.

        Understand I lived in Texas and I hate Perry. He is a authoritarian crony capitalist piece of shit. But I think he could probably win.

        1. I’m not saying it as an ipso facto indictment of John Q. Texas Governor. I’m saying it as an indictment of running the current Texas Governor against the current sitting president who only became president by running against the prior Texas-Governor-turned-President instead of his actual senator from Arizona opponent. Also, adding that the current sitting president has spent the past three years blaming all of his bumblings and mishandlings on the prior texas governor turned president. It just makes Obama’s narrative far too easy then running a legitimate candidate who has less in common with Bush than Obama does (See: anyone who wants to cut spending)

          1. Meh. The Obama campaign is going to be dirtiest in history. The Republicans could run Christ himself and Obama and the media would paint the guy as a George Bush clone intent on turning the country into Somalia and spending us into bankruptcy with Republican deficits. Logic and reason really aren’t going to be part of the package in 2012. The Democratic campaign is going to be a pack of rutting chimpanzees fighting for their lives screaming and throwing as much shit as possible in hopes something sticks. So I don’t think the guy being from the same place as Bush will make much difference. And hey, by 2012 George Bush may be looking pretty good compared to Obama.

            1. “”The Obama campaign is going to be dirtiest in history. “”

              Aside from regurgitating a republican talking point, what metric are you using to determine that? “In history” is a pretty big claim.

              1. first, go fuck yourself. If you want to have a discussion about this, have it. I am not regurgitating anything. I don’t accuse you of not being sincere. Do me the same favor okay?

                And watch his speeches sometime. The one is El Paso was horrible. He is chumming with Al Sharpton for God’s sake.

                1. Really? Because I saw that headline on the Drudge Report in the last couple of days.

                  1. ReallY? I read drudge and haven’t seen that. And stop questioning people’s sincerity.

                2. You could just ignore my talking point claim and answer why it will be dirtier than every other presidential election in our history.

                  They are all pretty damn dirty John, trying to claim one will be the dirtiest really isn’t easy.

                  1. History is hyperbole. True. But is going to be dirty. Like Nixon dirty.

                    1. “”History is hyperbole. True. But is going to be dirty. Like Nixon dirty.””

                      I agree with that.

                      I don’t notice you throwing around hyperbole very often, you tend not to, so when you do, I believe it’s influenced by something outside of your normal thinking. Like repeating a talking memo. That’s not attacking YOUR sincerity.

                3. “”I don’t accuse you of not being sincere. Do me the same favor okay?””

                  I haven’t, and I won’t. But being that you feel that I have, I must have struck a nerve.

            2. Which George Bush? Sr.’s still eligible.

        2. Agree with all of your points John, except #3. While technically true, all of Texas’s fiscal issues will be screamed from the rooftops by the MSM.

          But Perry will be killed in the primaries, nevermind the election. It’s just too soon after W, and while people shouldn’t care that he’s from Texas, he won’t be able to escape the stink that is W’s turd on the couch. (Love that metaphor for the deficit, BTW.)

          Why isn’t Bobby Jindal running?

          1. Good question about Jindal. And I am not familiar enough with Texas politics to know their financial situation. But the “Bush deficit” dog won’t hunt. Obama has managed to spend so much he has made Bush look responsible.

            1. More of a reference to Brooks’s metaphor for Obama’s spending v. W’s here: https://reason.com/blog/2009/08…..nt_1352803

              Weird how memory works. Really weird that I’m remembering posts from two years’ ago.

          2. Amaerica has yet to develop a palatte for Cajun Curry

        3. Oh, is Obama a peacenik? I hadn’t noticed.

          1. No. I meant people won’t vote for a peacenik not that Obama was.

    2. I will read all of the comments before posting. I will read all of the comments before posting.

    3. Oh fuck, not Rick Perry. Crap.

      1. Seconded.

  12. Why won’t the establishment back Gary Johnson?

    He’s not one of them. He hasn’t been to the right parties, kissed the right asses, genuflected at the right altars.

    Its as simple as that.

    1. I’d like to think that inside the members of the establishment is a Gary Johnson trying get out. but I know it’s not true.

    2. If they’d back him now, he’s have a serious chance of winning the whole shebang. Naturally–and I really mean this–they’d rather lose than put a anti-statist in office.

    3. Is there still time for him to get to the right parties, asses, and altars?

  13. There’s been murmurings from the Rick Perry camp that he might be planning a run. The field is his for the taking, and I think he has the best chance to beat Obama.

    1. I think Perry might be the man for the reasons you give. Who is going to stop him? Especially if he got Palin’s endorsement which he probably could get.

    2. Oh jesus christ please no not Rick Perry.

  14. Sweet Mary, mother of God, Jesus Christ, Abraham, and all the disciples of God Almighty, make Romney and Gingrich die in a fire.

    I wish Paul could win in 2012.

    1. I really think that Paul could win. The Tea Party likes him, even if they’ve been on a libertarian purge as of late. He was very well received at Tea Party Patriots in Phoenix not too long ago — especially when we suggested cutting all foreign aid.

      However, he absolutely must stop committing gaffes like the recent OBL thing. Yes, Paul may have handled it differently by consulting with the Pakistanis. Sure, the ends don’t justify the means. But you know what? OBL is dead, he’s not coming back and nobody seems to care how it happened.

  15. I know it is not fair and there is no evidence he did anything wrong. But Mitch Daniels’ wife was up to something funky in the 1990s. She left him and their children for another man. That is not remarkable. That happens all the time. But she left her kids with him and after four years came back. And she has never said a word about who this guy was or just exactly why she left her husband and kids for him. It may really be a case of a bored rich man’s wife leaves and then comes back and there is nothing else to it. But I think there is a good chance that her relationship with her other husband was not shall we say conventional.

    Think about it. Women leave their husbands all the time. But they rarely don’t take their kids with them. And yes women do leave their kids behind. But when they do that they rarely return. She did both. She clearly is not some dirtbag who doesn’t care about her kids because she came back. But why did she leave them? She was a woman. She could have gotten custody of them. And every guy who dates a woman with kids knows that the kids are part of the bargain. Few women will take a man over their kids. And if it was another conventional relationship, why did she come back?

    No I don’t think it was a conventional relationship. I think the nature of that relationship and whatever she got into with that guy was something that she didn’t want her kids to be around. And I think she came back after a few years because she missed her kids and whatever kink she and her new husband were into got old. My guess is that it was some kind of BDSM relationship. You would be surprised the number of people who walk away from vanilla relationships to live that lifestyle.

    It is just a guess. I may be wrong. But something about that doesn’t add up. And it shouldn’t matter. There are lots of good reasons not to vote for Daniels. His wife’s sexual proclivities should not be one of them. But, we deify the First Lady so much. I am not sure he could get elected if that were true.

    1. I’ve been predicting it will be Daniels for over a year. But seeing’s how the establishment is drooling over him getting into the race, I can no longer support him. But if his wife was living some sort of alternative lifestyle, I would think the establishment knows about it.

      1. That is a good point. But something about that just doesn’t add up, especially since they have been so secretive about it. The other possibility is that he was running around on her and then convinced her to come back for the kids. And they are covering that fact up by being so secretive. But that doesn’t make a lot of sense since she was unlikely to come back to a cheating husband after she had gone to the trouble of marrying someone else. The whole thing is just weird.

        1. Almost every woman I have known who has left a cheating husband took her kids with her, unless the kids were well into their teen years and said they wanted to stay with the father. Leaving the kids with the cheating husband is something I really haven’t seen except in the case of late teen children.

        2. Maybe she was on a secret mission for Harry Truman, or whoever was president at the time.

    2. My guess is that it was some kind of BDSM relationship.

      Jesus John.

      I don’t know what to think. I do think maybe the fact that you have spent some not-inconsiderable time musing the nature of *mitch daniels marriage dynamics* is perhaps a sign of some strange fetish for investigating Other Peoples Lives. And the fact that you seem to have narrowed down the range of possible divorce-catalysts to “Bondage Fetish”…?

      It’s like you managed to combine a Savage Love column with Michael Musto and Meet the Press all at once.

      You should start your own gossip column for Politico or something.

      1. I will admit that it is going out on a bit of limb. But the whole thing doesn’t add up. And I would love to have such a column and would welcome the libel suit so we could get to the truth of the matter.

        1. some strange cuckolding thing?

    3. I dunno, I might be more likely to vote for him if his wife really took a break to get her stank on, and then came back to him.

      1. I would to. And I don’t think it is fair. But the way the media treats first ladies like queens. Could we have a first lady with a checkered past? And what if it is a marriage of convenience and in the Daniels’ White House it is the first lady getting it on with interns. Wouldn’t that a fun scandal.

      2. Couldn’t agree more. I generally like the human frailties (especially the sexual-deviant or narco-dependent type) of politicians more than the fascade of superiority. The only redeeming quality of Newt is his uncontrollable libido, the only redeeming quality of Obama was that he was a smoker, etc.

        1. Although, I should add that there is something that makes me less like Mitch Daniels about this whole episode. Dude was cuckolded. His wife left him to do whatever craziness only Rule 34 knows for four years, and when she comes back, he accepts her with open arms. There’s something weak about that.

          1. I would never reaccept a wife who ran off and left me to raise teenage daughters alone. Come to think of it, it could be the teenage daughters that made her run off in the first place. I’d say Daniels is supremely qualified if he made it through that ordeal without a psychiatrist.

          2. when she comes back, he accepts her with open arms. There’s something weak about that.

            I dunno. Either weak, or really strong. Could go either way. We really just don’t know.

    4. Dashiell Hammet told a story like that as an aside in The Maltese Falcon. The only thing was that they didn’t get back together, although they did get back in touch at the insistence of one, via the also-fictional detective agency of Spade & Archer.

  16. I recall there being a similar theme in 2008, when republicans sort of woke up and said, “Wait a second; our *best* candidates are a freaking mormon from Mass, the cross-dressing mayor of New York, and a non-maverick-maverick guy who tends to not be particular consistent with the Party Line?… We are so fucked.”

    I think this is why Huckabee actually did so well in some states. That and his bass chops, fondness for Jesus. He was the only one who actually looked something like a ‘Conservative’.

    The Even-More-Depressing reality they face now is that they *don’t even have a crew as appealing as that* this time.

    I think the comment “Sudden” made above is probably correct: no one who thinks they’d have a better chance in 2016 is going to burn themselves by running and losing in 2012. Statistically, your chances of winning go way down after your first failed campaign.

    In harmony with the first comment made, I am suprised-I’m-not-surprised that this total dearth of any actual rootable-for candidacy in the ‘mainstream’ GOP will do nothing particularly positive for the libertarian-leaning candidates.

    Oh, well fine, the Paulistas will continue to grow in numbers out of sheer lack of other options… and, yes, because I do believe libertarian themes are increasingly relevant… but when it comes down to it, i am not as sanguine as maybe say Welch and Gillespie in the belief that the growth of “Independents” will lead to a American political renaissance where Libertarian ideals are in the ascendancy. Maybe thats overstating it. I just don’t think the uninspiring nature of the GOP cast of candidates at this point is any reason to expect people to suddenly decide Gary Johnson is the shit, or give any libertarian principles a fair(ish) hearing. As much as Ron Paul and a devastated economy have done to move people to classical liberal themes, libertarians are still the red-headed stepchildren of american politics, and I dont see that changing anytime soon.

    1. Two words, Bill Clinton. Two more words, Jimmy Carter. Those are both Democrats but the lesson is the same and applies here. Re-election campaigns are a referendum on the incumbent. If the public wants to fire them, the replacement is incidental. People will talk themselves into voting for virtually anyone if they hate the incumbent enough.

      1. Even if the incumbent is already a lame duck who is leaving office. God damn the American people are stupid, which is why I need to appoint people to micromanage their lives.

        1. Why yes you do resemble that remark.

      2. Clinton beat Bush I on your premise, but was re-elected. The referendum on the incumbent in 1996 was favorable to that incumbent. You’re premise didn’t apply to Bush II in 2000, but it did in 2004.

        Being the last two crappy Presidents won re-election bids. It’s certianly possible that Obama could win his.

        “”People will talk themselves into voting for virtually anyone if they hate the incumbent enough.””

        For all the anti-Clinton, and anti-Bush rhetoric I heard, I guess they were not hated enough to lose a re-election.

        1. People liked Bill Clinton and the economy was really starting to pick up in 1996. And there was a new war on in 2004. The Dems lost in 2004 because Kerry managed to make himself the candidate of Micheal Moore and the Republicans convinced the country Kerry was going to surrender to the Muslims. And don’t forget the economy was good in 2004.

          Now the economy is horrible and Obama can’t accuse the Repubican of surrendering to the Muslims.

          1. It will be interesting to see. A lot of people still like Obama. I don’t know why. They hated Bush and Obama is very much like Bush on many of the issues they hated Bush for. Yet they give him a pass.

            But personally, I think it’s the republican’s election to lose. Will they put up someone worth electing, and will there be a third party siphoning many of the would be R votes?

            Bush Sr. might have been re-elected if not for Ross Perot.

            1. I was blind-sided in ’92 by Clinton’s win — I didn’t think he had a chance to beat George HW.

              1. I was blind-sided in ’92 by Clinton’s win


                You have to remember Clinton only got 43% of the vote.

                With a good economy or without Perot Bush would have won.

                He got blind sided by a perfect storm.

  17. Meh. The Obama campaign is going to be dirtiest in history.

    Covered above, but I doubt it.

    The Republicans could run Christ himself and Obama and the media would paint the guy as a George Bush clone intent on turning the country into Somalia and spending us into bankruptcy with Republican deficits.

    That doesn’t seem the likely spin this time around.

    Logic and reason really aren’t going to be part of the package in 2012. The Democratic campaign is going to be a pack of rutting chimpanzees fighting for their lives screaming and throwing as much shit as possible in hopes something sticks.

    Historically, a good prediction. Describes the political process pretty well.

    So I don’t think the guy being from the same place as Bush will make much difference. And hey, by 2012 George Bush may be looking pretty good compared to Obama.

    I disagree. Texas, it’s like a whole ‘nuther country. Of course, I might be biased, being from NM. I mean them Texan fuckers tried to invade NM twice. ;^)

  18. Rick Perry vs. Barack Obama? A good excuse to emigrate.

    1. Now that I think about it, at least Rick Perry won’t be governor of Texas anymore!

  19. Anything to try to tie the Rep nominee to Bush will be used. I really don’t know if being from Texas will be all that big a deal. Maybe. Hard to tell when you live in Texas.

    Of course, Bush’s former posse is slithering into the Daniels camp, so there’s that.

    I mean them Texan fuckers tried to invade NM twice. ;^)

    Big talk, from somebody who let California annex Santa Fe.

    1. I really don’t know if being from Texas will be all that big a deal. Maybe. Hard to tell when you live in Texas.

      Ron Paul represents a district in Texas….and the issue has never ever come up.

  20. Big talk, from somebody who let California annex Santa Fe.

    California didn’t annex Santa Fe, they just asked if they could crash on the couch for awhile, and haven’t left yet.

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