Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The lineup

The Republican establishment is in a funk. Pundits label Romney the “establishment” candidate, but he’s only the establishment candidate by default. They wanted Mitch Daniels.

Now the Republican establishment is attempting to arm-twist Chris Christie or Paul Ryan to enter the race. Indeed, the party bosses have been courting those two for moths.

Now doubt Christie would be fun to watch in a debate with Obama. Christie has that bulldogged, in-your-face demeanor. You can just see Obama wilt under pressure.

He’s conservative by blue state standards. And he’s done some good.

But he’s still a northeastern Republican. He’s not conservative by the standards of the GOP generally, much less the base. He’s to the right of New Jersey, but to the left of the GOP platform.

He’d split the party.

Ryan is harder to gauge. He’s best known or only known as a budget guy. What are his social views? Or his foreign policy views?

Ryan has no incentive to step in at this point. Indeed, he has a disincentive.

He’s young. He has plenty of time ahead of him to run for president, if that’s his ultimate ambition. He already has the job he wants. A powerful chairmanship suited to his strengths and interests.

Why gamble what he already has for something he doesn’t really need or want at this point in his career?

Moreover, it’s not clear how electable he is. From what I’ve read, the Ryan plan is quite unpopular. I think that’s unfair, but politics is unfair.

There’s another calculation. Obama may be so weak that Republicans can afford the luxury of running a candidate who actually represents their views, rather than a compromise candidate who’s supposedly more electable. 

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