Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It is Too Late for Mitch Daniels or any Other Deus ex Machina Candidate

After Newt's impressive victory in South Carolina, quite a few people in the GOP establishment have been talking about their hope for someone else to get into the race as Romney seems to be flailing badly.  One, Bill Kristol, has been doing that during this entire race but now there are even calls from Jennifer Rubin, who has been so pro-Romney she probably had his profile tatoo-ed across her chest.   This is just such an unrealistic hope you just wonder what these people are thinking.  If you look at the filing deadlines it looks like a new candidate would only be able to get onto about 14 different ballots across the country.  The math is easy enough for even a journalist to realize that this means that they will be shut out of 72% of the primaries and caucuses.  So how exactly can Mitch Daniels win?  The only option seems to be a brokered convention.  But imagine how batsh*t crazy the base will get if the establishment picks a nominee who the vast majority of them didn't even have a chance to vote for or against?  In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson, "that's not America, that's not even Mexico."

I've also come to the conclusion that none of these "dream" candidates are really that much better than what we have now.  They all have warts of some sort or another and that is probably why they didn't get into the race in the first place.  And at this point they just don't have the time to make a convincing case for themselves.  Mitch Daniels is distrusted by social conservatives for his "truce" comments and by national security conservatives due to his closeness with Dick Lugar, who has given cover to Obama on START.  Chris Christie, while combative, has quite a few warts policy-wise (global warming, gun control, illegals etc.).  Also, as a New Jersey resident I'm upset that he agreed to dramatically increase bridge tolls even though almost none of that money will actually go to New Jersey.  Even Paul Ryan, the golden boy of the establishment has some issues.  His most recent medicare reform plan only actually starts reforming medicare in 2022, which is after it is scheduled to go bankrupt.  Even he would probably stammer when asked about that problem on national TV.

I'm not saying that these candidates wouldn't be workable in the future or wouldn't have been had they entered the race last year.  Just about all of them are superior to Mitt Romney after all.  It's just too late for 2012.


  1. Funny thing is - Tim Pawlenty was EXACTLY who these guys wanted. And he endorsed Romney immediately after attracting nearly a non-existent following.

    Leadership is rare commodity. Although I despised his personal life and politics - bill Clinton had it. John Kerry didn't.

    The 'establishment" doesn't get it. Read how Gingrich impacted people like Trent Lott, Lee Atwater and even Ronald Reagan and you see why he is attracting a following despite his weaknesses and a Santorum like guy isn't.

    1. I feel a bit sheepish admitting I was part of that non-existent following of Pawlenty's. He was a blue state Governor with a conservative record (a real one not an imagined one like with Romney), was strong on defense and had a blue collar background. I was very disappointed in him dropping out so early and endorsing Romney so quickly (he was probably angling for VP). I liked how he would badger Romney about Obamneycare on the campaign trail, but then he chickened out at a key moment in the debates and that was it for him. I think he had too many consultants buzzing about and that made him look and feel uncomfortable. More afraid of messing up than anything else.

      My road to Newt was a pretty long one. I kind of liked Bachmann, then Perry, thought about Cain and then only in mid-late November came around to Newt. Despite the fact that he had been out of office for 13 years I was really struck by how articulate he was and how he could actually voice what we were thinking and feeling. Well before I decided to support him I kept thinking that I was really happy that he was in the race as we needed someone like that through all of Perry's and Cain's bumbling.

      Newt is the first leader in years who I can watch on c-span and think "we really NEED this guy to be the leader of our country". Sure, I liked Fred Thompson, Jack Kemp, Phil Gramm and Steve Forbes and thought they would have been better than who was nominated in their stead but they really can't hold a candle to Newt's leadership and inspiration.