David Brooks: Let’s face it, it’ll probably come down to Romney and Pawlenty

posted at 8:34 pm on March 4, 2011 by Allahpundit

Skip ahead to 5:20 of the audio. Usually I toss Brooks’s stuff out there because I know our commenters have fun ripping on it, but this time — what if he’s right? Two other righty bloggers floated T-Paw’s name to me on Twitter last night as an acceptable “none of the above” choice in the field. If you’re looking for a baggage-free nominee whose blankness will turn the election into a pure referendum on Hopenchange, it makes good sense. In fact, to Brooks’s point I’d add that if it does come down to Romney and Pawlenty, Pawlenty’s probably the nominee, no? Just as he’d be “Not Obama” in the general, he’d end up being “Not Mitt” in the primary. If you hate ObamaCare and therefore hate RomneyCare, the choice is clear. Which, of course, is why National Journal calls Romney the frontrunner whom nobody thinks will win.

One question, though. How exactly does the race get whittled down to Romney and Pawlenty? Huck would have to not run, Palin would have to flame out, and Gingrich would have to disappear. Brooks thinks those first two are likely but I’m hazy on why he thinks Republican voters will prefer T-Paw to Newt. Some will because of Gingrich’s personal baggage and others because they consider him a relic of another age, but his name recognition is higher and he’s better on the stump (in my opinion) than Pawlenty. And no one disputes that he’s smart as a whip; if you want someone to go to toe-to-toe with The One, why not Newt instead of the who-the-hell-is-he candidate? (Incidentally, as Nate Silver explains, Gingrich’s own unlikely path to the nomination requires a heavily diminished field.) Exit quotation from Brooks on Gingrich: “Do not let that man near a management job.”


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Daniels isn’t out is he?

petunia on March 4, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Speaking of Daniels….

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/261285/mitch-daniels-s-obamacare-problem-michael-f-cannon

steebo77 on March 4, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Is this thread made just so Ed can get a tingle up his leg?

ProudPalinFan on March 4, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Oh, and T-Paw has a solid 8 year record of conservative leadership in a liberal state. That’s just as invaluable as Sarah’s busting of the corrupt Republicans in Alaska. Even if his yammering about Wal-Mart does irritate me sometimes.

He’s not EXCITING, but he’s also not John F. Kerry entitled & irritating, I think he would wear well on people. He’s comes across as a nice, genuine guy that most people will like, and is articulate & well versed on policy.

lizzie beth on March 4, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I agree with your sentiments on Pawlenty. He is a decent candidate. I won’t support him in the primary, unless it really is down to him, Romney & Huckabee.

I trust Pawlenty alot more than those other 2 liars.

portlandon on March 4, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Cindy Munford on March 4, 2011 at 9:31 PM

He weighs 100 pounds and I weigh 125.

Knucklehead on March 4, 2011 at 9:37 PM

There are only two kinds of people who push the global warming nonsense. Crooks and morons.

We can’t use either one.

gary4205 on March 4, 2011 at 9:28 PM

For a long time in the earlier 2000′s when the enviros had the initiative C&T was seen as the ‘market based’ alternative to total governmental control of the energy sector. It was a CONSERVATIVE alternative. Just like the INDIVIDUAL MANDATE was originally developed by folks like Orrin Hatch as an alternative to single payer.

The problem isn’t that these ideas were floated – go back through the Heritage archives, lots of things we think of as unacceptable today were once conservative ideas, like tax withholdings, which are detrimental to the conservative cause of less government – it’s the ones that go beyond idea and get implemented and then adopted by someone like Barry as a road to single payer. That’s Mitt’s problem. Actually, if he were a genuine person I think Romneycare as a state solution might be explainable, his problem is his flip-flopping. Must be a Massachusetts thing.

lizzie beth on March 4, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I agree with your sentiments on Pawlenty. He is a decent candidate. I won’t support him in the primary, unless it really is down to him, Romney & Huckabee.

I trust Pawlenty alot more than those other 2 liars.

portlandon on March 4, 2011 at 9:36 PM

I agree with your sentiments, and Newt is a cancer in the leadership dept. If it’s a choice between T-Paw, Romney, Huck & Newt, I will vote for T-Paw. I’ll vote for Cain or Sarah in the primary otherwise, more than likely. But I’m open to being persuaded by T-Paw for the primary.

I also will happily vote for T-Paw, unlike McCain who I couldn’t bring myself to support till he picked Sarah as VP.

lizzie beth on March 4, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Knucklehead on March 4, 2011 at 9:37 PM

That would be too much for me.

Cindy Munford on March 4, 2011 at 9:43 PM

She is definitely running for President!

steebo77 on March 4, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Did you catch her little elbow to those who are toying with a run right now?

Asman asked her if she was ready to announce and she said it was too early. That it was months away. She said we had to many things to worry about just yet.

gary4205 on March 4, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Asman asked her if she was ready to announce and she said it was too early. That it was months away. She said we had to many things to worry about just yet.

gary4205 on March 4, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Once again, she played the role of the reasonable, responsible adult to Cain/Gingrich/Santorum/etc.’s child.

steebo77 on March 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM

No it won’t, David. Sarah is going to mop the floor with those guys. She’s been living rent free in their heads for the past 2 years.

JimK on March 4, 2011 at 9:59 PM

You say that like it’s a bad thing.

strictnein on March 4, 2011 at 9:24 PM

It is.

It’s one thing to be outside the DC beltway. It’s quite another to be totally without experience or accomplishments.

Seriously, Cain couldn’t even get elected in the reddest of red states running against a major league RINO.

Past that, while he talks a good line, he has no record of actually making good on it.

Foolish people might be OK with that, but smart people aren’t.

The entire world is on fire and we need someone with a solid record of performance when the world around them is going to hell.

Palin is the one that has that experience. The ONLY one that has that experience.

Cain is a very good man, but no one in hell is he qualified to be President, Vice President, or anything close to it.

gary4205 on March 4, 2011 at 9:59 PM

For a long time in the earlier 2000′s when the enviros had the initiative C&T was seen as the ‘market based’ alternative to total governmental control of the energy sector. It was a CONSERVATIVE alternative. Just like the INDIVIDUAL MANDATE was originally developed by folks like Orrin Hatch as an alternative to single payer.

The problem isn’t that these ideas were floated – go back through the Heritage archives, lots of things we think of as unacceptable today were once conservative ideas, like tax withholdings, which are detrimental to the conservative cause of less government – it’s the ones that go beyond idea and get implemented and then adopted by someone like Barry as a road to single payer. That’s Mitt’s problem. Actually, if he were a genuine person I think Romneycare as a state solution might be explainable, his problem is his flip-flopping. Must be a Massachusetts thing.

lizzie beth on March 4, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Cap and tax was always about transferal of wealth.

Anyone who wanted to set something like that up is either a crook, or a moron. (true believer in the hoax)

You can’t justify it, you can’t pretty it up.

BTW, Palin set up a sub-cabinet to study this nonsense and how to keep it from destroying Alaska if it came into being.

gary4205 on March 4, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Once again, she played the role of the reasonable, responsible adult to Cain/Gingrich/Santorum/etc.’s child.

steebo77 on March 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Yup. She said she’s more interested about what’s going on right now and speaking out against it.

That was a jab at the Romney types who are in hibernation, afraid to stand for anything.

You know, as much as one despises progressives/communists, at least they take a stand and stick with it.

I’m not saying a person should be inflexible and never ever bend, or evolve when presented with a better set of facts, which happens from time to time, but one has to have a solid, unshakable core.

gary4205 on March 4, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Oh, the excitement. On the bright side, if that scenario were to happen, Nodoz sales would skyrocket.

kingsjester on March 4, 2011 at 10:08 PM

2008 dejavu. All hail President Obama.

Valiant on March 4, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Thanks, I won’t ever forget that sofa scene, it’s nice to see I am not the only one.

Dr Evil on March 4, 2011 at 9:08 PM

That global warming commercial he made with Pelosi should be as damaging to Newt as a video of him in bed with a dead girl (or a live boy) would be.

Kensington on March 4, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Lets face it, Brooks is an ass

Kini on March 4, 2011 at 10:16 PM

After about a decade of being a high priest in Al Gore’s church of global warming and Cap & Trade, Pawlenty saying, almost under his breath, that he no longer supports Cap & Trade doesn’t cut it.

What changed? Did he finally see the fraud or did he only see that it was a loser politically so he’s come out against the name ‘Cap & Trade’ but still supports everything under Al Gore’s global warming umbrella?

RJL on March 4, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Kini on March 4, 2011 at 10:16 PM

But don’t his slacks look nice!

Cindy Munford on March 4, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Let’s face it, it’ll probably come down to Romney and Pawlenty

That sounds like resignation and disappointment to me…

Fallon on March 4, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Chief’s top three at the pre-primary stage.

1) Palin (Way out in front)
2) Cain (About a mile behind Palin at this time)
3) T-Paw (Doing stetching exercises at the starting line)

Great! This is the best!

Amjean on March 4, 2011 at 10:53 PM

David Brooks: Let’s face it, it’ll probably come down to Romney and Pawlenty

If he is correct…then we are doomed…

To make a biblical reference, we don’t need another King Saul, we need a David, and I’m not not referring to David Brookes or David Frum.

DeathB4Tyranny on March 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM

We are paying attention to one of the insider elites because????? They DON’T GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

karenhasfreedom on March 4, 2011 at 11:14 PM

HotAir has gone down the tubes since TownHall took over. Without MM, HA has gone full blown RINO.

Take a look at the posts and headlines. Every day. Any day. It’s anti Palin 24/7.

kevinkristy on March 4, 2011 at 11:16 PM

O’Reilly got b itch slapped.

NoNails on March 4, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Wow! That’s two nights in a row. Last night Rummy did the same.

silvernana on March 4, 2011 at 11:26 PM

I think Pawlenty could win against Obama, he has what it takes, he would do a great job steering us back from the abyss, Romney would be President now if personal agendas meant less than than the nation did, Romney now though would have a very tough time against Obama, he has the wrong kind of baggage to counter a liberal President and even though I like Mitt and I think he would make a great moderate fiscally skilled President, Pawlenty reaches into the Conservative window and Romney only touches it. Albeit our current President would fit well somewhere in the middle range of Lenin’s organization.

Gingrich has to many hands, in his pockets and his in theirs.

Speakup on March 4, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Pawlenty 2012: More charisma than Larry “Bud” Melman.

The Other McCain on March 4, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Brooks………picks a winner for the GOP oh sure!!

Of course that’s the nominee for the GOP Cocktail party set (Pant Crease Republicans) not someone that could win the WHOLE Country!

PappyD61 on March 4, 2011 at 11:42 PM

I will be blunt… bullshit.

PhilipJames on March 5, 2011 at 12:49 AM

David Brooks: Let’s face it, it’ll probably come down to Romney and Pawlenty

LOL

Well, I guess even Brooks has given up on Daniels now.

Let’s go down memory line:

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/01/david-brooks-lets-face-it-mitch-daniels-is-likely-to-be-the-gop-nominee/

This pant-crease fetish clown is the kiss of death for any GOP contender. Looks like Pawlenty is going to be his next victim.

Norwegian on March 5, 2011 at 12:52 AM

Chief’s top three at the pre-primary stage.

1) Palin (Way out in front)
2) Cain (About a mile behind Palin at this time)
3) T-Paw (Doing stetching exercises at the starting line)

Great! This is the best!

Amjean on March 4, 2011 at 10:53 PM

*snort*

Geochelone on March 5, 2011 at 1:26 AM

Brooks could have a point – even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then, as Clinton observed.

Pawlenty has no natural constituency, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for his chances. He would never be the front-runner, so the media crosshairs would not be trained on him early. While he has no strong friends, he doesn’t have major enemies, either.

As the backers of the other candidates develop animus in a tough campaign, no one will be hating Pawlenty. His only card is competence, but this might be the time a technocrat has a good chance.

“I know I’m not an exciting speaker. President Obama gives a inspiring speech I could never match. But he doesn’t deliver. I do.”

It could happen, and it would be far from the worst chance.

Adjoran on March 5, 2011 at 6:49 AM

Cindy Munford on March 4, 2011 at 9:31 PM

He weighs 100 pounds and I weigh 125.

Knucklehead on March 4, 2011 at 9:37 PM

OT: Being a nosey type, a random comment like this will guarantee that I’ll have to backtrack to see what the heck you two were talking about.

SO, now I only have enough time to comment that either would be fine for me over Ron Paul.

hawkdriver on March 5, 2011 at 8:35 AM

“Usually I toss Brooks’s stuff out there because I know our commenters have fun ripping on it…” Sure Allah, you’re doing for us, the children.

“but this time — what if he’s right?” And when’s the last time that happened? John McCain, Obama? It’s good to remember that when you’re the “conservative” columnist at the NY Times and you’re consistently wrong, your job security is assured.

ncjetsfan on March 5, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Newtie was on Hannity last night and all but said he was running. He spouted a lot of solutions to our problems, mainly cut taxes everywhere he sees one. Bragged about balancing the budget, oh, with Kasich’s help. At the end of the night, it’s still Newt with all the closets full of skeletons.

Kissmygrits on March 5, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Brooks has no clue. He stopped being relevant two elections ago. He is a RINO apologist so naturally his choices to win fall under that banner.

volsense on March 5, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Without commenting on whether Brooks is right, since Brooks is a total bozo IMHO, I think we should all make it crystal clear that Romney, and Huckabee and Gingrich for that matter, are simply completely unacceptable. Even against Bambi I could not vote for either Gigolich or Huckchuck, and probably not Romney. I simply find Romney too untrustworthy. T-Paw is hardly a great candidate, but he seems honest and has none of the scumbag/not a fiscal conservative/bad policy choices baggage that the other three have. I want to support Palin, but I don’t think she can win having bagged completing her term in Alaska. Too many people, wrongly, simply will not take her seriously. So, we have many choices, no really good ones.

CatoRenasci on March 5, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Just reading that a couple of prominent NH pols have endorsed Romney. Waste of time. Romney IS the nice guy who cannot beat Obama. The thing is why Romney keeps thinking he can? What kind of blind ego does this suggest? and what does it say about the rigidity of the GOP? Nothing good about either I’d say. However, I’m sure Romney will be the Dem candidate of choice and I think we all know why.

jeanie on March 5, 2011 at 10:31 AM

When, oh, when are we going to STOP looking for charisma?

Charisma just gets us in trouble. (Reagan, of course, an exception.) Hey, Romney’s charismatic! Oh, but, yeah, there’s that socialistic healthcare thing in Mass. Palin’s charismatic! And, hey, she can see Russia from her house! Newt’s charismatic, but he cheated on his wife, and is a bomb thrower – that’s minority whip qualified, not presidential. Huckster has a talk show!! But, is waaaaaaaaaaay too socially conservative – don’t you think Miss Portman?

I like Cain, but it’s a bit early. (He does have a touch of Samuel Jackson in that voice – which is pretty cool.) Mitch Daniels has some chops, but looks like Gaddafi’s bad breath would put him in the hospital. I worry if he has the strength to walk through fog. And, he has this way of saying things that makes people respond: “Wait. He didn’t just say that, did he?”

Which leaves Mr. Pawlenty. So, he’s a bit reserved. Big deal. He has a successful record in a hostile Dem state. Bingo! I think he’s got it. He’s thoughtful, and has good positions on the issues. I think he has a Tony Blairish appeal which middle america will love. He’s a slow burn. Just what the country needs. Keep watching. He’s the guy.

And, he would win.

That said, Brooks is a tool, and I don’t believe in T-Paw because of some NYT sheep in wolf’s clothing.

Pablo Snooze on March 5, 2011 at 10:41 AM

I’m no Palinbot, but I was very unhappy that Pawlenty appeared to pile on Palin for the “crosshairs” graphic after the Arizona shooting blood libel took off. But I do think he learned his lesson there, and he has strongly advocated for Walker’s position in Wisconsin. If Pawlenty can learn to be unafraid — if he can learn that no liberal will ever be his friend no matter how squishy he appears — I think he can take a serious run at the nomination.

And in terms of the “boring factor.” I think it will be quite easy to remind American voters that they voted for “exciting” last time around, and it was a huge mistake. America has lost her appetite for tingles up the leg, and will be looking for an adult in 2012. I could get behind Pawlenty, but he simply cannot make one more error of trying to appeal to liberals. They won’t be voting for him, no matter what he says, so he needs to just forget they exist. I have.

Rational Thought on March 5, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Oh, and the above only matters if Christie isn’t running. Because, he’s the REAL guy.

Pablo Snooze on March 5, 2011 at 10:44 AM

What does Brooks know? He voted for Obama.

steveracer on March 5, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Romney now though would have a very tough time against Obama, he has the wrong kind of baggage to counter a liberal President and even though I like Mitt and I think he would make a great moderate fiscally skilled President, Pawlenty reaches into the Conservative window and Romney only touches it.

Speakup on March 4, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Romney was never a liberal or a moderate. He’s a conservative.

Conservative Samizdat on March 5, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I think Ron Paul is going to come out on top. Plus he’s the most conservative and electable and more independents will vote for him.

RightXBrigade on March 5, 2011 at 12:53 PM

OT: Being a nosey type, a random comment like this will guarantee that I’ll have to backtrack to see what the heck you two were talking about.

SO, now I only have enough time to comment that either would be fine for me over Ron Paul.

hawkdriver on March 5, 2011 at 8:35 AM

My guess is that she was talking about a black-or chocolate-lab.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2011 at 5:08 PM

I think Ron Paul is going to come out on top. Plus he’s the most conservative and electable and more independents will vote for him.

RightXBrigade on March 5, 2011 at 12:53 PM

ROFL!!!! Paulbots say the silliest things.

Ron Paul will NEVER, EVER, win an election. He’s about as electable as Dennis Kucinich, Alan Keyes, or Rapl Nader.

Not gonna happen. EVER.

Conservative Samizdat on March 5, 2011 at 6:24 PM

But, do they have straight, pressed creases in their pants?

lonestar1 on March 5, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Is Paulbot supposed to be some sort of insult? Although I would hardly call myself such an absurd name, I do support a constitutional conservative like congressman Paul. Much more than a moderate at best like Romney or neo-con quasi-liberal like McCain in 2008.
I’m curious to know why it’s so hard to find Ron Paul as being electable? His foreign policy views are in line with traditional middle American views of not being the “world policemen” (which I am sure is a traditional conservative view as well). His economic views are exactly what the Tea Party base espouses. He has won numerous straw polls and sticks to his guns on his beliefs.
He aims to end unconstitutional bureaucracies such as the Dept. of Education, Energy, and Homeland Security among others (which until recently was a big part of the Republican Party platform). He also has the most support of any candidate in the military (Being an active duty Marine, I can personally attest to that).
But yeah, he’s unelectable! I’m sure we’d be able to get Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney to win in a general election over Obama. Might as well give the Dems the keys to the car for another four years!

RightXBrigade on March 5, 2011 at 8:01 PM

RightXBrigade on March 5, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Paul is the only candidate who seems to attract 9/11 truthers and Jew-haters as supporters. He’s also the only candidate who has received from Stormfront and the Holocaust Revisionist group ‘Institute for Historical Review’.
That says a lot about him-and the fact that you’re throwing around the term ‘neo-con’….says much about you.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 6, 2011 at 12:30 AM

So our most likely candidates come down to the guy who brought us the precursor to Obamacare and some nothing out of Minnesota, the state that keeps on giving us losers and whack jobs in political office? Hello 4 more years of Obama. GOP voters, save your money, if you donate to either of these two, you might as well throw it in the garbage. The worst part is going to be all the feigned excitement…just save the time and concede.

Glad I stopped caring when Backdoor John got nominated or this would really bother me. As it is, just have to laugh and shake my head.

austinnelly on March 6, 2011 at 11:55 AM

I think George Will had it right. He thinks the final 5 will be:

Romney
Pawlenty
Barbour
Daniels
Huntsman

MJBrutus on March 6, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Paul is the only candidate who seems to attract 9/11 truthers and Jew-haters as supporters. He’s also the only candidate who has received from Stormfront and the Holocaust Revisionist group ‘Institute for Historical Review’.
That says a lot about him-and the fact that you’re throwing around the term ‘neo-con’….says much about you.

Well some wack jobs who support the same candidate I am are hardly going to deter me from doing what I think is the right thing. While you keep voting for unprincipled moderates I’ll vote for the conservative candidate, whether that means voting for the Republican candidate or voting Constitution Party or Libertarian Party like I’ve done many times before including 2008 Presidential race.

RightXBrigade on March 6, 2011 at 12:41 PM

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