Jonathan Chait, now at New York‘s Daily Intel, is losing hope for a Republican horse race:
The search for a viable alternative to Mitt Romney has been a long and oddly futile process. The requirements are not especially strict: one must be a Republican politician in good standing, be interested in becoming president, never have proposed national health care or tax increases, and be able to deliver teed-up scripted attacks on Romney. The combination turns out to be surprisingly difficult to put together.
One of the handy rules of politics is that any politician who claims to not seek an available promotion due to family interests is lying. Political families are for photo ops, not for consultation. And yet a series of mainstream Republican contenders have all, in apparent sincerity, declined to run due to their family’s desires: John Thune, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan. Jeb Bush begged off, sensibly, due to the branding problems entailed by his unfortunate last name and close blood relations…
And now, Rick Perry. This is a man who was put on Earth to defeat Mitt Romney. He is the walking embodiment of the Republican id. His disembowelment of Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the 2010 Texas gubernatorial primary is the blueprint for attacking a favored Republican from the right. Simply substitute Romney for Hutchinson and “Romneycare” for “bailout” and the plan could not be more promising. And yet Perry, like Pawlenty before him, has found himself unable to deliver the line. In Thursday night’s debate, with a devastating attack teed, up, he began stammering painfully, looking as though he were about to fall asleep. You have to wonder if Romney is protected by some invisible force-field, which incapacitates the brain of any foe who approaches him…
The Media Villagers are facing a contest between the guy who survived a fatal car crash and the guy whose first statewide political opponents are now best known for Seven of Nine jokes and the Crazification Factor. Since all horse-race enthusiasts are superstitious by nature, expect a lot of “luck” talk from the gamblers in the press box.
And, on that note, what’s in the cards for this particular Tuesday evening?
..and yet, Obama has no chance and should be primaried.
Going to go see Moneyball with some co-workers. Post-season baseball is almost upon us. YEAH!
I am of the opinion that Perry spends most of his time higher than a muthafucka on Oxy.
Well I’m watching Cocoon. First off, it reminds me that used to love Steve Guttenberg. Second, I know old people are still sexual human beings, but I still giggle and feel a bit oogy when the ole people are getting frisky…lol. Third, the “aliens” are really lame looking, but I guess they are the best for the time.
Rand Paul would prefer you be blown up than surrender small-gummint principles.
BigAg, OTOH, would like you to know you can buy your own scientists for the right price to give you the right answers.
I’ve been very surprised that Perry has been a – much less – effective debater than Bush.
I thought I would see at least Bush level effectiveness in debating – attack successfully, really go after Romneycare, Mormonism and the ‘true Christian faith’, Romney wasn’t successful enough to even run for a 2nd term, flip-flops – gays, health care, social issues.
It’s all right there – RIGHT THERE – for the taking.
Strange how Perry has been so ineffective.
I wonder if it is a pain thing? Because he doesn’t have to be a GREAT debater – simply average – and he can nail Romney to the wall.
A heckler screams that Obama is the Anti-Christ during an Obama speech which gets little media attention I guess because this is to be expected of religious crazies.
Imagine what would have happened if a crazy leftwinger had interrupted the GOP debates in a similar fashion. There would be a week of outrage centering of how such a person is typical of all the left.
@tulip: Watched Costas interview the stars, the author, and Beane on the MLB channel. Looks good.
The Wall Street trader hoping for a European recession and not giving a damn about how the economies turned out?
Made tons of people suspect him of being one of the Yes Men. But according to all attempts to find out, including the response by the Yes Men (who don’t hide their efforts), it appears to be a real guy who turned it what would have been a perfect Yes M[a]n performance.
As he is regularly surrounded by other Republicans, I can understand how people would make that assumption.
@JC: Needs an earpiece in the debates. Clearly, he hasn’t hired the right guys for his team.
I had Fox on in the background this morning; during the 10am hour, IIRC, there was BREAKING NEWS … Chris Christie is not running (that’s breaking?). So, after doing some of my work for the day, I came back to the Fox commentator claiming that Christie says he’s not running, but he still may change his mind if enough pressure is applied (someone was feeling a draft, apparently). Not giving up.
Anyway, I took one for the team and sat and listened more attentively for a while, curious whose knob Fox was going to be polishing today. Well, it wasn’t Perry (no surprise), it was Cain, repeatedly (shocked); I guess Cain is now the flavor of the month (no wonder the panic for Christie).
If what they say about his back surgery is true, the pain — even without oxy or other pain relief, can totally eff your thinking and make you crazy (or crazier in his case). He was never, a smart dood to begin with and running for office — particularly the Presidency is HARD. The candidate must not only be in good physical and mental condition, but have his whole team ready to go. Perry’s ego and ambition was bigger than his ability to bring that about, I believe. But we’ll see. Aint over yet.
If you’ve seen him “debate” in Texas, this wouldn’t be a surprise. Perry is absolutely debate-o-phobic and tends to avoid them whenever he can. He does a lot of glad-handing with donors and Republican insiders, and he makes an impressive appearance headlining a rally. But at the end of the day, he’s just an actor. The guy doesn’t know shit about campaigning. He just knows the right people in our state to get elected.
I’m not sure that Perry is really hurt. There’s been only one national poll since the debate so far, and Perry is still in the lead by 7 pts, as much as he ever was. It’s just that some pundits have come out against him, but I’m not sure that they matter. The Republicans have to overcome the distance between the party operatives and the base. At the moment, the winner of the primary would not be able to win the general election and vice versa. With Christie in, Perry is the sure winner. He wouldn’t be able to take the social conservatives away from Perry, and while Perry might lose some of his national standing, he WILL win Iowa (except for a strong showing by Sarah Palin…) and South Carolina.
In other news, I’m going to watch Drive. Heard good things about it.
Maybe they can just give him a six-shooter to wave around while the others yack amongst themselves. I can’t (cain’t) bear to watch any more Perry outtakes, myself. He’s a baffoon–a murderous baffoon but a baffoon nevertheless.
It’s that Morman God that is protecting Romney.
And here I am worshiping the FSM…..More shredded parmisian over here please!
This weekend since I had a business opportunity fall through and for the heck of it I decided to bike from Pittsburgh to Washington DC on the Great Allegheny Passage. Nice fun torture and a chance to lose 10 lbs. I’ll send some pics, some of the leaves should be changing.
I finally saw a full length photo of Gov. Christie [on dkos]. Of course, he was standing with Obama and so the comparison isn’t fair but the Gov is a bit chubby, isn’t he?
If he wasn’t such a jerk [according to reports], he might have made an interesting candidate. But campaigns are dangerous things. Everybody who ever run for president received injuries. Maybe he has too much self respect to submit himself to all that.
@MonkeyBoy: Weak. Clinton was handed an aborted fetus when he came to LA. Yelling ‘antichrist’ is the best they’ve got now?
Does anyone have any idea about what to do with Butternut Squash, I have about 10 pounds of it.
Amanda in the South Bay
Goin to my C++ class tonight. Loads of fun.
More like an invisible hand, in the form of corporate America.
“You have to wonder if Romney is protected by some invisible force-field, which incapacitates the brain of any foe who approaches him…”
Magical underwear strikes again.
1. Make a great squash soup.
2. chunk it up in medium sized pieces and roast with butter or olive oil. For the sweet tooths, shake on a little brown sugar and roast at 400 for about 20 min or till tender.
Be sure to leave the rind on if you roast it. Put it on a rimmed cookie sheet covered with tin foil
the cookie sheet covered with tin foil, not the squash (sorry)
Be sure to add a little salt, pepper and even a little oregano to make savory.
It freezes pretty nice if you cut it up and but it in sealed baggies with the air squeezed out.
For eating it plain, I like to peel it and cut it into 3/4″ disks. The pucks can then be cooked in a fry pan with a little butter (10 min a side) or baked for ~20 min. To me this gives a much better texture than if you cut it in half and bake it which tends to give a mushy texture. Also it cooks much faster, not counting the extra prep time.
(to peel cut a little of the top and bottom to give flat surfaces then use a chef’s knife to vertically remove about 12 strips of skin)
I too have just seen my first photo of Chris Christie that showed him below the waist. It struck me that he has the body of Santa Claus and the soul of The Grinch.
@Amanda in the South Bay: There is nothing fun about C++. Nothing at all.
Sad news: RIP Arch West.
The GOP is running out of time to find a new not-Romney. Filing deadlines for primaries are going to start hitting in about a month, month and a half. I think there is now no longer room for any additional clowns inside the car.
Hmmmm.. great idea! gotta try that…
@Linda Featheringill: can you post the link to the dkos post.
One of my dogs got a bad report card at doggie day care; I took my other dog to the dog park and she bit another dog after 20 minutes so we had to leave.
I feel like a bad mother.
I think they’re both just way over-stimulated today for some reason. I don’t know why.
Right about now is when Sarah Palin waltzes in and asks, “how do you like me now?”
Does anyone think that Perry’s heart just aint into it? I dunno. I just don’t see it. Oh, he has the big ego thing, but he knows how hard and actually damaging running for the Presidency can be. Those folks who really want it, show it. He just seems kind of half assed — too reckless to be serious and just so off message — even by Republican National Stupid standards. He stikes me as another grifter like Palin..
Squash soup is good too. Puree most of it and add chunks of squash and other vegetables.
Whoops — TPM got a name wrong there. It’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson from “Modern Family” (I was thinking “Who the heck on that show is named ‘Tyler’?”)
I think people still misunderestimate what a good campaigner Bush II was and think that any half-idiot hick from Texas can do the same thing. The guy really knew his audience and what they wanted to hear, unlike Perry. He was even able to walk the line between the Christianists and the Big Money Boys without pissing either of them off.
Butternut Squash Soup:
1 large squash
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 granny smith apples
Peel and cut everything into large chunks, toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 40 minutes until the squash is tender. Blend with chicken stock and salt to taste.
It’s the best soup I have ever had! I like to put a small dollop of plain yogurt in the center of the soup bowl and eat a small taste with each spoonful of soup.
I am on vacation this week! Staycation, actually, as I have no big plans. Just the sheer luxury of not going to work and actually getting paid for it.
Fixin’ to walk up to the grocery and get some provisions and a few nice treats. I was away all weekend, so the larder needs restocking.
I have rediscovered Monk after not watching it for years. Some second-tier channel (Ion?) is now running batches of episodes at convenient times, so I have found myself accidentally watching some and getting hooked.
ETA: God, my life sounds boring.
I’m rooting for any of the crazies (i.e., any of them besides Romney) to win the fascist nom (Perry would be just fine, and probably most likely).
Romney can beat Obama. In fact, I would bet on it.
Any of the crazy ones would lose.
Noted without comment.
I am going to make dinner, scared all the while to type mlb.com into the browser.
ETA: They are losing already.
I have had the wild-card standings bookmarked for the last week, and it has been killing me. Screw Boston; I’m worried about my Braves.
. . . Just checked to see if the Phillies-Braves game might be my “regional coverage” game on MLB. Yes! Bad news: Phillies up 1-0 in the middle of the second.
That’s the first I’ve seen of Perry’s much talked about flubbed attack on Romney and I gotta say that Perry didn’t do one thing that’s going to undermine him with GOP primary voters. He didn’t earn any debate points either, but the crowd clearly responds to the flip-flop charge against Romney. There are enough debates that he can make up for his poor performance in these ones.
Now if he doesn’t clean that attack up by the next debate, then he’s got a serious problem–but right now? The Beltway Pantswetters might be getting the vapors, but does anyone really think that the base is going to ditch Perry because he came across as inarticulate and stupid to establishment media and politicos? HELL NO.
And if I’m Mitt Romney, I wouldn’t celebrate too much over Cain thumping Perry in the Florida straw poll. The GOP’s base clearly doesn’t like Romney. Watching the establishment bust a nut over him his hilarious, because while he’s a better campaigner than four years ago (and honestly–if you spend four years running for president, one expects you’d improve) he hasn’t solved his fundamental problem, which he can’t solve: he’s Mitt Romney. Maybe the other candidates (other than Perry) aren’t attacking him aggressively because they don’t want to beat him up should he go on to win the nom, but everything suggests that if Mittens gets it, he’s the John McCain of 2012, only with a much more egregious record of flip-flopping on core conservative policies.
Three lines will go a long way toward sinking his general election effort: “There are lots of reasons not to elect me;” calling himself unemployed; and referring to himself as middle class. And let’s not forget that in elections, Romney has only won ONCE in his entire political career: Massachusetts governor in 2002. If you look at his performance in the 2008 GOP primaries, he’s polling almost exactly as he did then: around 20-25%. He has not proven he can break out of that range.
Punditry of the day:
By taking out Hutchison in the Governor’s race, Perry actually removed one of the GOP’s best possible contenders for 2012. Conventional wisdom is that you need to have experience as either a Senator, a Governor, or a cabinet-level administration job (and preferably at least two of three) to make a go of it.
No one ever mentions Hutchison when they are spinning possible candidates, since she was so badly beaten in the Governor’s race, but if she had won, the search for a saviour (i.e. a non-Mormon non-whackjob) would have led to her instead of to Perry.
What do you all think of the alternate universe matchup: Obama versus Governor Hutchison in 2012?
@Splitting Image: Not much – I don’t think Kay Bailey inspires much love among the true believers. She’s another of the relatively sane Republicans who gets a lot of pundit love but not so much from the public. Kind of the GOP Evan Bayh. I’m not the first commentator to say this but so far Perry is holding steady in the polls. It doesn’t matter how badly he does in debates as long as the Republican primary votes like him and he can keep raising money. Perry may be the Great White Hopeless matched up against Obama but he’s still beating Romney in the primary. Besides I’m sure if Perry dropped out Bachmann would pick up again and she really scares the big money. As for Christie, a man who looks like an extra from the Sopranos and has the track record of a Republican from the northeast won’t wow the GOP primary. He’s not even poplar in his home state. Thing is all those GOP governors may be beloved of the pundits but they’re largely unpopular at home.
@Splitting Image: I thought I read that she was running for TX gov because she wanted to get out of DC and spend her time in Texas — if so, maybe unlikely she’d even be interested in running for POTUS had she won the gov’s chair.
On a pure campaigning level, I’d take that bet in a heartbeat. President Obama is an excellent campaigner, charms even people who are suspicious of him, is probably the highest-IQ guy in the Oval Office during my lifetime, and is flexible enough to use those smarts to good advantage on the trail. Romney, on the other hand, is a life-long resident of the Uncanny Valley — he puts strangers off, and the more time even his ‘supporters’ spend around him, the less they seem to like him. Also, Willard’s not half as bright as he thinks he is, which is even more dangerous to a politician than being genuinely stupid. In a “normal” election year, I’d count on Obama’s charismatic skills to bring out borderline Democratic voters, and Romney’s anti-charisma to depress Republican vote totals.
It’s the real-world insanity that worries me. Right now, the 2012 election is President Obama’s to lose, but there are so many unpredictables between now and November 2012 that I’m just not as 100% sure of his re-election as I would be otherwise…
Rookie’s first homer ever comes in 161st game of the season.
You see, that’s true, but not the way you (perhaps) mean.
He’s not like John McCain (of 2008) in that he gets thumped by Obama because he stands for the status quo, and the country is (mostly) looking for a change to that status quo, due to the economy imploding and all.
He’s very much like John McCain in that the GOP primary voters – who didn’t particularly like or trust McCain, same as Romney – end up holding their noses and nominating the person they believe best able to win the general election.
And this becomes even more important to GOP voters in 2012 because of their deep, overarching hatred of Obama.
And, of course, now Obama is the status quo, with a still-shitty economy and all.
Sure, they’d prefer some hateful, crazy, fascist asshole who more truly represents them (like Perry, Bachmann, etc., etc.) but I believe GOP voters in 2012 will care much more about defeating Obama than they will about who, exactly, is the GOP candidate.
Right now, that means Romney.
I hope I’m wrong.
@DW: The pundits pronouncing Perry dead this week are either non-GOPers who want a less threatening possibility should Obama fall into unelectable territory, or GOPers who see Perry as a potential Goldwater. Neither of these groups speak for the GOP primary voters, who last year were told just as often that they’d never nominate Sharon Angle/Christine O’Donnell/Joe Miller etc., but went ahead and did it anyway.
I was compelled, and Bedard can’t get out of the fourth inning.
Best description of Mittens I’ve ever come across.
I agree with your points on Obama vs. Romney as campaigners, all things being equal.
But they are not equal. Far from it.
Obama is saddled with this shitty economy, and unless a miracle occurs, that won’t change between now and Nov 2012. That’s the obvious 800-lb. gorilla.
If Romney is the GOP candidate, he’ll be presented as the non-crazy, sensible businessman with gov’t executive experience who can get things moving again. He’ll be the change agent desperately looked for this time, as Obama was in 2008. And he won’t be seen as a teabagger nutcase, mostly because he actually isn’t, no matter how much he has to pander in the primaries.
All the GOP (and the so-called “independent” but really always-vote-GOP) voters will vote for him in the general, which gives him over 40% right off the bat.
Many of the actual independent (swing) voters will likely also vote for him, as they voted for Obama in 2008. Along with not a few conservadems.
That’s how Romney wins the presidency, and why he is Obama’s most dangerous opponent.
Obama beats any of the hateful lunatics, even with the shitty economy.
Dabnab it! Just got home from the grocery to find the Phillies pummeling the Braves 7-0 in the seventh. Slight consolation is that St. Louis is losing 5-0 to Houston in the third.
Time for fluid replacement therapy. Get me a Brawndo!
@Amanda in the South Bay:
You’ll forgive me if I observe that C++ is a pretty mediocre grade.
Anyhow, and not to make light of the fatal accident, but if Mittens offered me a ride I think I’d call a taxi. Romney and cars seems to be a bad combination. Ask the dog.
Interesting use of statistics to fight a strawman.
Also, it is cute how the writer wants to appear to address the “idea” of the overrepresented “poor” and then forgets all about it in the end.
Pap comes through–8-7 win Sox–Rosh Hashanah will really be the Day of Judgment–
We also know that Lester is going on 3 days rest tomorrow. This does not exactly disperse the cold stone of fear.
Damn it. Braves imploded tonight, now tied with the Cardinals. It all comes down to the last games tomorrow. WTF?!
@Paula: People in the military would be totally, totally shocked that the officers’ corps have a higher proportion of people from the upper middle and upper classes. Totally. After all, since when did militaries ever have a leadership class dominated by the economic upper class members?
I’m almost positive I love you. No..no..wait..I’m sure of it!
That was the answer you were looking for, eh?
@Paula: It’s also a little creative. The study uses the zip code’s average income as a proxy for the recruit’s income. Ecological fallacy much? I think it’s more telling that a high percentage of recruits come from rural regions, suggesting one incentive for enlisting is indeed a lack of other options. The people at the bottom indeed rarely enlist because they can’t meet the standards, but I don’t think elites are well represented either. Any veterans care to comment?
Once again…for the very last time. Rick Perry won’t be the nominee because a) he’s a more extreme version of Bush and all but a tiny fraction of the Republican base will run screaming from another Dubya clone in the general election; b) he’s not far-right enough for the Republican base. Viz., his stand on Latino illegals.
Mitt Romney won’t be the nominee because he’s a Mormon and the Republican base would rather vote for Satan than a member of that particular fringe religion, which they consider a cult.
Still rooting for a murder-suicide in the Republican Primaries. Best possible outcome available short of aliens descending from space deciding that they want to buy them as livestock and pay in cold nuclear fusion tech.
So the great and all powerful “Somebody Else” will represent the Republican ballot on the polls come election day.
That might actually be a problem.
Heck, if our new alien overlords are looking for Repub livestock, I’d be willing to trade every declared and semi-declared candidate for an actual ‘clean coal’ technology and a rhinovirus remedy to be named later. And if they’ll take Karl Rove, Roger Ailes and the entire Bush clan while they’re at it… well, that gets into the punchline territory where the maiden aunt says she’ll sleep with George Clooney for $1,600 — “because that’s as much as I can withdraw from my checking account!”
Likely this is a very, very dead thread, but if anyone is still here, let me comment on the Mormon/Republican thing.
I won’t say it necessarily translates to Republicans throughout the nation, but the non-Mormon Republicans here in AZ have no problem voting for the many Mormon Republicans who have always run for, and usually attained, elected office here.
Yes, the Mormons are a significant presence in AZ, but they are a fairly small minority of the population overall (particularly in the cities). Catholics, for instance, far outnumber them, as do Protestants of all stripes.
As much as the fundagelicals consider Mormonism a cult, they still massively vote for Mormons when the Mormons are the Republican candidates for office. The proportion of Mormon legislators is much higher than the proportion of Mormons in the population, for instance.
The fundies may not like the Mormons’ religion much, but it won’t stop Jeff Flake from becoming the next Republican Senator from AZ in 2012 (i.e., the fundies will vote for him both in the primary and most certainly in the general).
I think the same thing holds for Romney, both in the Republican primaries, as well (FSM help us) as in the general.
Yanks/Rays 7-7 in the 11th.
Phils/Braves 3-3 in the 13th.
Cards won, and Bosox are winning.
Fantastic night of baseball to end the regular season.