Quotes of the day

posted at 9:00 pm on January 23, 2011 by Allahpundit

“But it’s not just his policy outlook that titillates the elites. The diminutive Hoosier has nurtured a profile as a mature politician whose outlook extends beyond the next news cycle and whose demeanor exudes seriousness…

“‘He is a Republican who had never heard of 9/12, Glenn Beck’s tea-party group, before The Economist mentioned it to him,’ exclaimed the traditionally right-leaning British-based magazine, all but giving him the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for their elite, trans-Atlantic audience…

“The idea of a skilled manager who is passionate about ideas, can claim real policy accomplishments and speaks bluntly, but not bombastically, has thrilled influential conservatives like Will and Charles Krauthammer who see a Palin nomination as akin to a suicide pact…

“‘There’s a stronger-than- usual appetite for a treat-them-like-grown-ups message,’ said longtime GOP strategist Mike Murphy. ‘But there are limits to how grown-up people want to be in a campaign.'”

“Saturday’s victory by tea party favorite Jack Kimball in the New Hampshire GOP chairman’s race provided the most significant evidence to date that the energy that activists brought to the midterms is now being channeled in a different direction—one that could reshape the 2012 GOP presidential race and require candidates to rethink the traditional approaches to winning the Republican nomination…

“[I]t was Kimball’s recent comments to the NH Journal regarding litmus test for candidates that set off alarms [among the GOP establishment] because of the effect it might have on the presidential primary.

“‘I think the state GOP chairman should make it very clear to all the incoming presidential candidates that the people of the state of New Hampshire have just made a loud statement as to their desire to our party get back to its conservative values and stay there and I support those values,’ Kimball said in an e-mail to the online publication. ‘In my view, we must put forth a strong conservative presidential candidate.’…

“At the state meeting Saturday, speculation had already begun about the impact on a candidate like Mitt Romney, now a New Hampshire resident but better known for past departures from conservative orthodoxy as governor of neighboring, and far more liberal, Massachusetts.”

“Second by using the Tea Party as a foil Romney can combat one of his own biggest negatives: his reputation for being a political weather vane (see his positions on abortion, gay marriage, and gun control for example). As one Tea Party activists tells the Globe, Romney is ‘a fraudulent conservative. I don’t trust the guy. Be it health care, be it social issues, he’s a chameleon.’…

“Romney could be positioning the Tea Party for something of a Sister Souljah moment with an eye toward avoiding a Sharron Angle moment. The 2012 election will turn on the economy. If unemployment is down and voter confidence is up, Obama will be very hard to beat; if we’re still looking at a jobless rate north of 9 percent, the president will be highly vulnerable—unless a Tea Party-dominated GOP produces an Angle-like nominee (see Palin, Sarah, who is viewed positively by 17 percent of Americans and negatively by 49 percent according to the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll). Indeed, while the Tea Party has huge influence in the GOP it remains unpopular nationally, with 29 percent viewing it very or somewhat favorably and 38 percent viewing it very or somewhat negatively—Pelosi-like numbers (26 very or somewhat positive and 40 very or somewhat negative) that the GOP nominee will want to avoid being tarred with. By steering clear of the fringe, Romney could position himself as the kind of acceptable Republican able to take advantage of a faltering Obama. If, that is, he can get the nomination.”

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