HEAD VS. HEART
“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.