With Daniels’ Exit, GOP Looks Out of Luck

May 22nd, 2011 at 2:37 pm | 35 Comments |

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Mitch Daniels’ decision to forgo the presidential race is personally understandable and even laudable: His wife and four daughters would much prefer that he not run. And Daniels understands the gross invasions of privacy that a presidential race would entail not just for him, capsule but for his family.

But although personally understandable, buy cialis Daniels’ decision to opt out speaks to a much larger problem for the GOP in 2012: Its best and brightest candidates seem to be imploding (Newt), seriously flawed politically (Romney), lackluster (Pawlenty), or ducking this race altogether (Rubio, Ryan and Christie).

But you can’t beat something with nothing, as the political pros like to say.  And the question is: who has the political strength, wherewithal and determination to take on and unseat Obama?

In all candor, I’m not sure that anyone does — and I’m not alone. Over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol didn’t waste any time publishing a post declaring that, in the wake of Daniels’ decision not to run, the race is now wide open; and that candidates can even wait until Thanksgiving (!) to enter the fray.

Kristol tries to put the best face possible on the GOP’s rather desperate presidential predicament. Still, you can hear in his spin the plaintive cries of a GOP establishment that is increasingly worried about 2012.

Say what you will about Obama, but at least he was willing to risk his political career for an all-out run at the presidency. And this at a time when all of the “experts” said he couldn’t win.

Yes, Obama had that proverbial “fire in his belly.” And so he mounted a very impressive, historic and winning campaign for the Presidency of the United States. Would that any of the GOP contenders (and prospective contenders) had that same zeal and determination to win.

Instead, though, Republican heavyweights (such as Mike Huckabee) seem more content to sit on the sidelines and make a lot of money while appearing on Fox.

Of course, the one candidate who does seem quite willing to take the fight to Obama is Sarah Palin. “I want to make sure that America’s put back on the right track, and we can only do that by defeating Obama in 2012,” she thundered earlier this week. “I have that fire in my belly.”

Bully for Sarah. Like Margaret Thatcher, she seems to have more testosterone than most of her competitors. Unfortunately, unlike Margaret Thatcher, she isn’t a serious or credible candidate, because she hasn’t taken the time to develop and demonstrate sufficient gravitas and fluency on the great and pressing issues.

So, bottom line, where does this leave the GOP field? In a state of disarray and confusion. Houston, we have a problem.

John Guardiano blogs at www.ResoluteCon.Com, and you can follow him on Twitter: @JohnRGuardiano.


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35 Comments so far ↓

  • Watusie

    OFFS – Daniels was George W. Bush’s budget director. If he is one of your best and brightest, then you really are FUBAR.

  • Russnet

    That reads like a Yankee fan describing why the Red Sox are going to lose. Pointless exercise.

    • ottovbvs

      Actually it sounds like a Red Sox fan describing how the Red Sox are going to lose. Obviously Russnet thinks Guardiano is a Democrat. Chortle, Chortle.

      • Russnet

        I don’t know Guardino from a hole in the wall, never heard of him, but he writes the following:

        “And the question is: who has the political strength, wherewithal and determination to take on and unseat Obama? In all candor, I’m not sure that anyone does — and I’m not alone.”

        “Say what you will about Obama, but at least he was willing to risk his political career for an all-out run at the presidency. And this at a time when all of the “experts” said he couldn’t win.”

        “Yes, Obama had that proverbial “fire in his belly.” And so he mounted a very impressive, historic and winning campaign for the Presidency of the United States. Would that any of the GOP contenders (and prospective contenders) had that same zeal and determination to win.”

        This guy is an unimpressive conservative. His analysis is as lacking as his overuse of tired cliches. Who cares what party he is in. Far as I can tell, there are hundreds of thousands confused people in both parties.

  • dafyd

    John,
    You once wrote back to me telling me you did not believe that one could be objective or at least try to be when covering politics. You proved yourself wrong in your American Spectator piece (calling out, rightfully so, Benjamin Netanyahu ) and in this one. You were correct about how horrible those commentors (at AS) were. I am pleased you were able to call them out.
    I sincerely hope that you could be this consistent in 2012 when one of those awful Pols you wrote about above gets the general nomination. Btw, as bad as Romney and Pawlenty are, they are 100% better than Sarah Palin. She is the worst kind of fruad.
    I do have to wonder though, why were you so critical about Daniels before? Besides his socially conservative statues, he seems like someone who was worth listening too.

  • Manchurian.Candidate

    Ding dong the witch is dead.

  • Redrabbit

    So, who do they have?
    Gingrich, Romney, and Cain.
    Cain seems unlikely to go anywhere. No clear path to the nomination, much less the presidency.
    Gingrich has already humiliated himself. We can only imagine how much damage he will do to his own campaign between now and Iowa.

    There’s still Bachmann and Palin. What’s interesting about Palin is that, even if she does run in the primary, it seems possible that she could suddenly just drop out on a whim regardless of how she is doing, given how unpredictable and seemingly random she is.

    I think Matt Lewis had it right in a recent Bloggingheads session, in which he said the real GOP field of note is for 2016. Anyone who might be considered a serious candidate is sitting this one out.

  • rbottoms

    The GOP is in a heap of trouble. After 30 years of pandering to the crazies you finally ave no one in the starting line up who isn’t a colorless nobody or a fiery nut who is running.

    Dreaming of Christie hopping in? Please, that chunky loud mouth bully would destroy himself faster than Newton. G.

    It’s Bachman/Jindal or worse Palin/Bachman for you.

    Your choice: the Dumb nutcase and Urkel, or Dumb & Dumberer 2012.

  • llbroo49

    I agree that serious Republican candidates will wait till 2016. By that time the conservative base will be so desperate for a Republican to be in the Whithouse, they wont care if they flip- flop, are RINOs, or an Arlen Specter returning to the Republican fold- as long as they have an R behind their name and can get elected.

    That would mean the sane candidates won’t have to pander to the far, far, Right in 2016

  • corwin613

    The problem with the republican party is that the presidency is seen as nothing more than the hired help for the people really running things behind the scenes. All the powerful people in the party are more interested in having a constant flow of money in their bank accounts while they also remain blissfully anonymous. To further compound the problem, the problems we have today were created by republican actions, most people know it, and have no conservative solutions. All the conservatives have left at this point is a mountain of money and extraordinary anger, but no real answers that move us out of our slump.

  • mlindroo

    John Guardiano wrote:
    > Its best and brightest candidates seem to be
    [...]
    > lackluster (Pawlenty)

    Um, why do you say that??

    T-Paw might be boring, and he can be a bit ridiculous such as using a southern accent(!) while trying to woo Tea Party/social conservative voters. But: David Frum is right…T-Paw is Mr.Generic Conservative and his resume has very few obvious flaws. Even his blandness might actually be an asset against Obama. Let’s face it: the One will lose only if the economy remains really awful 1.5 years from now. T-Paw ought to be able to capitalize on this as long as he can persuade swing voters that he is not some wild eyed Ayn Rand radical.

    GOP partisans incorrectly believe they need nasty, aggressive candidate who is willing and able to attack Obama personally. Wrong. The economy is the only thing that can sink Obama next year, in which case the GOP simply needs to be able to field a credible candidate. Both Pawlenty and Romney will do.

    MARCU$

    • dafyd

      I’m wondering which Pawlenty are you referring to, the 2007 one or the 2011 one. I would have defended him like “serious, moderate, candidate” if he had not decided to become Romney Jr, and stood firm on his beliefs. His stupid and unnecessary remarks after Obama’s Israel speech is just another example that he is NOT a credible leader.

  • seeker656

    I still think it’s Romney’s race to lose. Who else is the business community going to support? Romney will have the money/power to win the primary and present a credible challenge to Obama. Since Romney has no deep ideological core, he will do what his board of directors ask and pay for.

    Obama will receive no credit for the bailouts and other support of the business community because he didn’t go far enough to fully meet its needs.

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    she hasn’t taken the time to develop and demonstrate sufficient gravitas and fluency on the great and pressing issues. So, bottom line, where does this leave the GOP field? In a state of disarray and confusion.

    Well, there you have it. It’s an unserious field because it’s an unserious party.

  • SteveT

    Wait until Thanksgiving to enter the race? That would give you exactly 2 months to raise money and build a campaign from nothing before the Iowa Caucaus.

    Furthermore, the race is NOT wide open. Romney’s building a serious war chest and foundation for his campaign. It’s really his race to lose. Daniels and Huckabee out just makes him stronger.

    The only questions I see: Will Bachman or Palin run? They have to be thinking about it now. Can a dark horse be drafted? Christie, Bush (!), Ryan.

    Don’t underestimate the power of campaign funds and an organization and think there’s all the time in the world for someone to jump in.

    • baw1064

      Of equal importance, there’s only 10 weeks between Thanksgiving and Super Tuesday. Maybe you can build an organization in one state quickly, but 14?

      Looking back to 2008, even after Obama won Iowa, he was hard pressed to hold off Clinton’s advantage as the “institutional” candidate on Super Tuesday. He was able to play to a draw only by concentrating on caucuses in red states like Idaho. I think a late starter Republican candidate this time around would have the same problem.

  • Bunker555

    Pawlenty is running for VP, so don’t expect too many more dumb comments from him.

  • ottovbvs

    Its best and brightest candidates seem to be imploding (Newt),

    If Newt is the Republican’s best and brightest they are indeed in deep shit. That Guardiano considers Newt the Republican’s best and brightest tells you all you need to know about his value judgement.

    Unfortunately, unlike Margaret Thatcher, she isn’t a serious or credible candidate, because she hasn’t taken the time to develop and demonstrate sufficient gravitas and fluency on the great and pressing issues.

    In other words she’s ignorant and stupid but Guardiano thinks she’d be a suitable Republican candidate for president.

  • Stewardship

    Huntsman.

    • ottovbvs

      I’m not sure he’ll even run. He has massive baggage and he’s a realist. When field finally gets established which probably isn’t going to happen until after labor day then they’ll spend the next nine months kicking seven bells out of each other while the president watches.

  • Bunker555

    Why is everyone in the GOP ignoring Gary Johnson. Perhaps he will emerge from the cluster f**k in the GOP.

  • Bunker555

    Pawlenty just announced he’s running for VP.

  • Alex 0_0

    Are you schizophrenic Guardiano? In the that anti-gay rag you write for, you basically said Mitch Daniels was a fag-loving abortionist midget who can’t be trusted. Now you’re whining he’s gone? Why are all conservatives such idiots?

  • NRA Liberal

    Republicans in disarray!

  • drdredel

    I don’t see why any semi intelligent person would bother wasting their time and effort trying to unseat Obama. Anyone that thinks his approval is so low that he won’t be able to rapidly muster up a base that would put a trouncing on any (R) opponent so massive that they’d be nervous to run for anything ever again is living in very serious denial.
    If I were a Republican candidate, I would be planning for 2016, but more importantly I’d be trying REALLY hard to play as hard as possible to the center. These guys all live in an echo chamber and honestly believe that the slim micro communities of hate, stupidity, personal greed, environmental neglect, anti-intellectualism, and religious crockery can still be banded together to back them…. but those days are behind us. The only real base left is the center and anyone who refuses to play to it is doomed to failure.

    Romney? Really? That’s your knight in shining armor? I honestly feel almost sad for you guys.

  • ottovbvs

    What’s interesting about this is not Daniels who has about as much charisma as a tin of shoe wax, but what it says about the Republican state of mind. It’s been apparent for a long time that the Republicans are almost totally bought into delusions when it comes to science, history and economics. Anyone who has any pretensions to winning the GOP nomination has to go with the flow and so we get the ridiculous spectacles of Romney having to deny his signature accomplishment in politics or Newt within 24 hours having to apologise for stating the obvious. Now Guardiano is completely bought into the delusions and regularly expresses support for them here but he’s clearly in despair at the state of the Republican line up and so has produce ludicrous appraisals of Newt and Palin. In this environment anything could happen to the Republican nomination. Ron Paul could win it. Probably not but even if a reasonably sane contender like Romney wins it he can only do by sounding like Ron Paul.

  • think4yourself

    I’ve been saying for months that the serious GOP candidates are looking at 2016. It’s hard to unseat a flawed incumbent (think George W) and Obama has generally charted a centrist course and will probably be the first candidate to raise a billion dollars.

    Romney figures this is his last shot and if he gets a little lucky such as a double-dip recession he could win. If unemployment is at 10% or higher in a year and a half, he gets the independents, maybe Reagan Democrats and Conservatives fall in line because they want anybody but Obama. A chance like that is worth spending 750MM of someone else’s money for.

    I agree that Pawlenty can’t beat Romney unless Romney makes a big mistake. Healthcare holds him back, but not enough. Unless, Bachmann gets in and between her and Pawlenty bleed enough of the far right away to cause Romney to have a poor showing in early primaries.

    Assuming the unemployment inches down and nothing dramatic happens in the world, then Obama wins in 2012 and evertyhing that is happening now is positioning for 2016 (including Huntsman).

    • ottovbvs

      While I don’t disagree that Republicans are more focussed on 2016 you ignore a few factors.
      1) Another four years of antics from Republicans enraged by the loss of the white house again to Barack Hussein Obama further calls into question their sanity. If Obama wins big next year it’s going to further exacerbate tensions in the GOP.
      2) Demographics. More of the Republican base dying off while the Democratic base grows.
      3)The Hillary factor. If Obama has a good four years in his second term Hillary (currently in her 9th years as Gallup’s most admired woman in America) steps forward to assume the mantle of sensible and competent government.

      • think4yourself

        Also add in Hispanic vote. If the GOP continues to do everything in their power to force away the Hispanic vote, by 2016 does that put TX, AZ and NV in play?

        However, I think they figure with no incumbent anything can happen (see Barack Obama).

  • LFC

    “Instead, though, Republican heavyweights (such as Mike Huckabee)…”

    Mike Huckabee is a Republican heavyweight. Good grief!

    Romney’s problem in the general election is not who Mitt was in Mass. but rather what Mitt has become in order to win a primary driven in a large part by the ignorant and the looney. If he could actually run as Mass. Mitt, I bet he could do pretty well.

  • LFC

    I was just sent this amusing article on the withdrawal of GOP candidates:

    In Partial Rapture, Credible Republican Candidates Vanish From Earth

    EDIT: UGH! This site has the worst HTML handling. Here’s the link since the link HTML, which is correct, can’t be rendered by their engine. And by engine, I mean that thing being driven by a treadmill and a half dead hamster.

    http://www.borowitzreport.com/2011/05/23/in-partial-rapture-credible-republican-candidates-vanish-from-earth/

  • kevin47

    FrumForum predicted the GOP was out of luck in 2010. I mean, not prescient, these folks.

    If you think the GOP is out of luck, by virtue of the fact that Daniels is out of the race, you are either under 25 or paid to pretend as much.

    I liked Daniels. He was an interesting choice. He also would have had outlets like Sullivan, Frum and HuffPo drooling over his wife and that whole story. He looked good in a vacuum, and might well have looked good outside of it, but we will never know.

    Either way, Obama is going to have to defend his record against a credible candidate. Romney or Pawlenty? Probably. Huntsman/Santorum? Maybe? Christie/Perry? Long-shot.

    All will do fine, or fail in the primary. Liberals, and centrists looking to appease same, make the mistake of assuming that liberal hate for a candidates correlates (albeit to a lesser degree) to moderate hatred. That simply isn’t the case.

    I want a candidate who can appeal to moderates, and whose ideology I respect. I, and about 5/6ths of the American populace, do not at all give a damn what liberals think.

    Incumbent races are, largely, about national mood and the incumbent. In a vacuum, Kerry beats Bush, Carter beats Reagan, and Clinton beats Bush. It is a rare candidate (Roosevelt, and that was some time ago) who can trump national mood as it relates to incumbency.

    That’s what this race is. It does not matter what the GOP contender pool looks like. Nobody cares about the Paul Tsongas’s of the world. It’s about whether the GOP can field a solid candidate. That candidate need not appease the left, nor should he seek to appease FrumForum, which will hate him regardless, because that’s what sells ad space.

  • ram6968

    thjis isn’t about if the gop will win in 2012, because they won’t ..it’s about if the republican party will survive….the koch bros and roger ailes have ligitimized the john birchers, kkk, evangelical radicals, etc…and now can’t control them….there is in fact, 3 political parties now, the right won’t back a moderate and a moderate won’t support a rightwinger….you need the entire right and at least part of the middle to win…and that’s not going to happen….plus you have republican gov’s in half a dozen states making “republican” a dirty word! add to that the ryan “kill medicare” budget….I seriously doubt the majority of teabaggers are thrilled with that……and the republican party is a walking disaster….will it survive at all??