Who *will* we get as a nominee for 2016?

I understand Allahpundit’s concern, here:

Nominate a guy like [Ted] Cruz and he can spend the entire campaign pandering to the middle since conservatives feel 100 percent sure he’ll govern as a conservative in office. Obama benefited from the same logic on the left six years ago: He could reassure Rick Warren and evangelicals that he believed in traditional marriage with nary a peep from his progressive base because none of them thought he was serious. He was a loud and proud liberal, no matter he said in his attempt to get elected. He’d support gay marriage later even if he couldn’t support it sooner. Cruz will have that same advantage from the right. Will anyone else have it, though? Even conservative candidates like Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal, I think, might feel pressure to out-Cruz Cruz in the primaries by tacking further right than they’d prefer. I’m not sure anyone except him is above suspicion by grassroots righties.

…but he’s forgetting one important mitigating factor.  There are, in fact, two ways to reassure the conservative base that Candidate X is reliable:

  • Consistently operate and act in accordance with a conservative, small-government, pro-liberty set of principles.
  • Acquire a truly impressive Lefty enemies list, preferably with most of them still groaning feebly from their metaphorical beating.

Scott Walker is the most obvious answer, there – but to use Allahpundit’s examples: Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal have both spent a profitable couple of terms smacking around progressives.  The Left didn’t even really try to put a candidate up against Jindal, and progressives had to resort to attacking Perry in the courts because he refused to accept that an entitled, out-of-control drunk should be a county district attorney.  And we got more governors sitting in back, if we need them (either for Presidential or Vice Presidential runs). Rick Snyder turned Michigan into a right-to-work state, and he got away with it.  Nikki Haley just romped to re-election in South Carolina, sometimes fighting her own party along the way. Heck, even John Kasich is a good deal more lustrous now than he was before: ridiculously lopsided victories can do that for a man (even one who did Medicare expansion)*. And there are others.

This is not to say that Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Marco Rubio will be swept aside, of course.  But I think that one-term Senators now running for President are going to be laboring under a cloud generated by the last one-term Senator who became President.  This may not be fair, but it is real – and Republican Senators are simply going to have to accept that.  And I think that they will: I fully expect that our 2016 ticket will be a governor/Senator combo, with the Senator being the VP nominee.  I also expect them to win, because frankly both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden are kind of past their sell-by date…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*This is not to say that Kasich can overcome supporting Medicare expansion; it’s a touchy issue among the base.  But the Ohio Democratic party is not in its Happy Place right now. That’s going to reflect well on the Republican governor of Ohio.

12 thoughts on “Who *will* we get as a nominee for 2016?”

  1. The major issue is if we Conservatives split our vote (again) and the squish waltzes through to the nomination (again).
    Only to lose the general (again).

  2. Don’t eat the seed corn. If you’re a 1 term Senator and you want to be President, run for Governor of your state. If you can’t. Then run for re-election to the Senate and try for Governor again next opportunity. NEVER GO FROM SENATE TO WH. The chances to win are low, and the chances to do well after are lower.

    If you are a member of the House and want to be President, the rule is the same: become Governor of your home state first. No sitting house member has been elected to the Presidency, ever. No, you are not the one to change that. No, Gerald Ford does not count. Lincoln wasn’t in the House anymore when he ran and was the perfect man at the perfect time. Do you think you’re better than Abraham Lincoln? If you do, you DEFINATELY shouldn’t be President.


    1. Garfield was a sitting House member, altho he had been elected to the Senate in the same year he ran for the WH. but your point is pretty valid; you need to have successfully run something major (a state, or the Army perhaps). maybe Ted and Abbott could switch at some point,
      i dunno.

      1. Ted should just setup permanent shop in the Senate and raise hell. We need more of those in the upper house. He could influence politics for decades. As president he’ll only be an influence for 4 to 8.

  3. Moe, I’m going to say flat out who should not be the nominee, and that’s Mitt Romney, it also shouldn’t be Chris Christie (who is being painted as someone who can’t keep his temper in check). If either of these two are the nominees, the odds are we’re going to get clobbered in 2016.

    We need someone that can:
    1. Draw a clear contrast between himself and the Democrat
    2. Someone that can articulate conservative principles and actually believes in them.
    3. Someone the base actually trusts.

    We need to be looking to people like Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and possibly Rand Paul (reason I say possibly is because I don’t think he’s good from a foreign policy standpoint. If Marco Rubio manages to show promise I’d add him to my list (same goes for Rick Perry), but we all need to focus on one candidate, and then say “To hell with what the media says.”

    Last time the Republican nominee had less charisma than a 2 by 4, and was compared by his own campaign to an “etch-a-sketch.”

    Another thing we need to do is be able to unite the Conservative and Libertarian wings of the party, at the very least we need to focus on what we agree on. For instance, I don’t know who else heard about the fact that our own government may have targetted Sharyl Attkisson (sp?)…

    Above all we need to approach things in a well-thought and rational manner, instead of bouncing from one candidate to another in a blind panic.

    1. Scott “Throne Of Skulls” Walker, paws down.
      Carson? Sure, he’s bright, and he’s probably relatively sincere, but what state has he ever run? Ever? Let him go get elected mayor and then governor first, then we can talk.
      Marco has not, thus far, acknowledged any error in his dealings with Dems on immigration deform – until he does so, he remains dead to me. (I will work against him in the primary *and general*, and Moe may ban me as he sees fit)
      Agree regarding Romney .. he needs to fade out and maybe go run Ogden, Utah or something .. that seems like a good retirement gig.

    2. … but we all need to focus on one candidate, and then say “To hell with what the media says.”

      And then lose the general election.
      The problem is that the party has two factions: the Ideologically Pure and the Squishies. One or the other will win. The losing side will be reluctant to vote for the winning faction’s candidate, and their reluctance will be greatly amplified by the Mushroom Media.
      Then in the runup to the general election the media will replay all the arguments used by the losing faction — either the Squish candidate is venal, insincere, and no different from the other partty’s candidate, or else the Ideologically Pure candidate is an extremist.
      I’ve said for decades that a partial solution to the problem would be to move to an “approval voting” nomination system, in which all of the candidates accumulate thumbs-up votes to determine which one is most acceptable to the greatest number of party members. Candidates would try to build themselves up rather than tear each other down. But does anyone listen to me? Nooooo …

  4. My vote goes to Scott Walker. probably Jindal 2nd. after that I’m not sure. I like Ted Cruz, but I think he’d make a poor candidate. my absolute last choice would be Rand Paul. as 1 of 100 he’s tolerable, but I wouldn’t trust him to ascend further than that any more than I would Chris Christie. and at least Christie would be entertaining at press conferences. (there’s an idea: I vote for Chris Christie for White House Press Secretary!)

    1. We’re going to be dealing with a mainstream media that’s going to be shilling for the Democrats. We need to be able to utterly mop the floor with the Democrat in the Presidential Debates, I’m not sure about Scott Walker’s level of experience in that department.

  5. Kasich is pro Common Core. Even if I could stomach that. (And I can’t) there are a lot of moms out there for which this is a top priority. Of those that support Common Core, they tend to be left leaning and that would leave Kasich out. Just my opinion.

    If the GOP really cares about the gender gap, they should stop belittling parents concerned about common core.

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