Thursday, December 09, 2010

Republican 2012 dilemma

There's one question that dominates the mind of every potential contestant in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. Assuming "Sarah the Imbecile" runs, how do I get rid of her without alienating her base? For the record, history is replete with nicknames of political leaders. Ivan the Terrible, Alexander the Great... As of this moment, I'm starting an internet campaign to orchestrate a new means of identifying her - "Sarah the Imbecile." I think it has a nice ring to it. It could catch on - you just need someone with some clout to introduce it an opportune moment.

But the million dollar question remains, how do you dispose of this woman. Right now, the 3 other central competitors (Romney, Huckabee & Gingrich) are terrified of the self anointed mother gristle. Let's look down the road a bit. Most political hacks think she'll run. I tend to agree. But I think her popularity in Iowa, the initial primary, could be a tad inflated. Remember, the Iowa caucuses are unlike regular primaries. There's no secretive voting. They hold the caucuses out in the open. Whether it be in a church, a school or wherever. Basically, there's a large group of people. After everyone makes an impassioned plea for their respective candidate, you literally have to go and stand in a certain part of the room. Not a lot of people realize this. It's a very OPEN process and the Iowan voters take a great deal of pride in their traditional process. Palin never went through all this in 2008. She was simply handpicked by McCain for the VP slot. It's one thing for a registered dumbass to vote for her. It's entirely another matter for them to withstand the embarrassment and scrutiny of their friends and neighbors. When your peers are standing in judgment, and you're pressed with the question, "Do you really think she's qualified to be President of the United States," I strongly suspect many would fold under the pressure.

I don't doubt that Sarah the Imbecile has the "ovaries" to "woman up" and compete. I just don't think she'll compete effectively. No doubt her good 'ol fashioned common sense instincts will be seriously tested in town hall settings. Her impassioned tweets and sound bytes won't hold up so well. If somebody asked her what cities she planned on visiting... Well, other than Iowa City, I doubt she's familiar with Davenport and Des Moines. Well, she probably has visited some of those cities on her book tour but she probably refers to those municipalities as the one with the Sam's Club, Borders or Books a Million. Trust me, this dipshit thinks Barnes and Noble is a wine cooler.

The Republican party has demonstrated a tendency to go with the establishment pick. It's generally more of a closed process than the Democrats. Presidential candidates are usually the traditional pick. That's why I think it will eventually be Mitt Romney. Surprisingly, if you check the gambling odds, Palin's currently the front runner.

Sarah Palin +300
Mitt Romney +400
Bobby Jindal +500
Mike Huckabee +500
Tim Pawlenty +1000
Mark Sanford +1200
Charlie Crist +1200
David Petraeus +1500
Newt Gingrich +1500
Jeb Bush +2000
John McCain +2000
Rudolph Giuliani +1500
Ron Paul +2000

I'm a little surprised with these odds. Jindal is on record adamantly saying he will not run. Crist??? Isn't he an Independent who turned his back on the Republicans and then got crushed by Rubio in Florida. McCain again? Gimme a break. And where's John Thune from South Dakota? He'd have a respectable chance. Not sure if has the name recognition or cashflow though.

But still, the question persists - How do you get the Republican nomination without alienating the Palin's little trained minions? First off, as one of her opponents, you MUST have an appropriate answer for the main question - "Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to be President of the United States?" You cannot dodge this question and sheepishly respond, "Well, that's a question for the American voters in the Republican primaries." That's a cop-out. Here's how I would answer the question everyone fears...

"Of course she is, she was our VP nominee at the 2008 Convention. She had a debate with Joe Biden? Didn't you watch it? They ran it on your network!" The point is, after the primary fades I think it's highly doubtful that the press will begrudgingly harp on the point that you said she was qualified. Other high priority issues will surface - they always do. You might get bashed on MSNBC, but hardly anyone who diligently watches that channel is going to give a damn. And it will eventually become a stale talking point.

Anyhoo, what's my point to all this incoherent blather. Well, here it is. I'm trying to figure out the inevitable Mitt Romney strategy for defeating Palin while simultaneously not alienating her legion of followers. I think it goes something like this...

Mitt - We need to put aside all the hot-button social and religious issues. These issues must take a temporary back seat as we struggle to save the country. Now is NOT the time to get mired in debates about gay marriage, abortion... We need to focus solely on jobs, the economy and the deficit.

This would play well because Romney has flip-flopped on abortion and has overtones as a social liberal because he's from the Northeast. And it also eliminates discussion of the Mormon tag which plays poorly in Georgia and the south and midwest. The move would be unprecedented since all the candidates have historically pandered to the extreme right wing.

He also is the only Republican candidate with REAL big business experience. I think he needs to come out swinging in this direction. It sets him apart from Huckabee the preacher, Sarah the Imbecile, and even Newt the cheater. Romney needs to make it look as though "it's me against the field." I think you come out forcefully with a statement that "I'm the ONLY solid candidate who's focused on the critical economic issues." All the others are only concerned with tv exposure and their social causes. If you want a celebrity, vote for one of them. If you want a Republican president on 2012, vote for me.

Sure enough, you'll take some hits form the anti-gay and pro-lifers, but I think drawing a distinction in the primaries is more crucial. It is of paramount importance. Plus, it's a great way to pivot into the general election, especially if the economy is still tanking (and yes, the overall economy is going to be the same or even worse for the vast majority of Americans). And when the dust finally settles, are any of these hard-line base Republicans going to vote for Obama? Fuck no. You'll easily get them back for the general election. Anyway, I suspect Romney will employ this kind of strategy. Watch for it - specifically, the tacit discouragement and rejection of traditional conservative social issues in 2012.

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