HEAD VS. HEART

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“If the past is pre­lude, Repub­li­cans will gain seats dur­ing the 2010 midterm elec­tions, but Barack Obama will be re­elected in Novem­ber 2012. It’s early, true, but his­tory is on Obama’s side: It is just dif­fi­cult to oust an in­cum­bent U.S. pres­i­dent,” Matt Lewis writes at www.pol­i­tics­daily.com.

“Tra­di­tion also sug­gests that the Repub­li­can Par ty will choose ei­ther Mitt Rom­ney or per­haps Sarah Palin to chal­lenge him. Leav­ing aside the ques­tion of whether the 2012 nom­i­nee will have much of a chance, Repub­li­cans tend to fol­low one of two his­tor­i­cal mod­els when se­lect­ing a nom­i­nee to chal­lenge a sit­ting in­cum­bent,” Mr. Lewis said.

“The most of­ten re­peated tem­plate is for Repub­li­cans to se­lect the per­son whose ‘turn’ it is to run for pres­i­dent. That’s how the Grand Old Party opted for Richard Nixon, John McCain, Bob Dole — and even Ge­orge H.W. Bush. The other, less fre­quently em­ployed model, says: ‘If you’re go­ing to send up a long-shot can­di­date any­way — per­haps a “sac­ri­fi­cial lamb” — why not go with your heart?’ That’s how the GOP chose con­ser­va­tive fire­brand Barry Gold­wa­ter as its stan­dard-bearer in 1964, a de­ci­sion that guar­an­teed a land­slide victory for Democrats.

“To­day, the per­func­tory, ‘next in line’ the­ory sug­gests that the most likely GOP nom­i­nee will be for­mer Mas­sachusetts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney. While Rom­ney dropped out of the 2008 cam­paign ear­lier than Mike Huck­abee, most con­ser­va­tives con­cede that Rom­ney fin­ished in sec­ond place — and that is cer­tainly the view held by the McCaini­acs. So, by the logic that led to the nom­i­na­tions of McCain and Dole, it’s Rom­ney’s turn. Even rank-and-file con­ser­va­tives who find him less than per­fect con­cede that he’s paid his dues.

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