Hey, who’s up for the 2016 campaign?

posted at 11:36 am on November 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I remember a time in America when we used to have some time between elections to reflect on the lessons of the previous contests, develop some talent in the field, and actually get a few things done before worrying about the next election.  If that sounds like a Grandpa walked seventeen miles to school in the snow barefoot and uphill both ways story, well, this article from Politico probably doesn’t bother you at all:

Tired of presidential politics? Get over it: Upwards of 15 prominent Republicans are privately contemplating 2016 campaigns for the presidency — and the most serious and ambitious of the bunch are already plunging in, some quite publicly.

Don’t expect them to officially announce or even officially decide for many months. But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are doing nothing to disguise their presidential ambitions. …

Rubio and Ryan, both arguably better positioned than Jindal, are also competing for the mantle of the high-energy, forward-thinking conservative. POLITICO has learned both will unveil new policy plans at an awards dinner of the Jack Kemp Foundation in early December: Ryan will begin a new push on a more modern approach to alleviating poverty, focused on education; Rubio will lift the curtain on an economic empowerment message, heavy on college affordability and workforce training.

That upcoming duet is one of the clearest signs that this presidential race is beginning as early as any in history.

Not to be outdone, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and heir to his father’s libertarian following, is now on the record exploring a run that will focus heavily on returning power to the states. In a post-election interview with POLITICO, Paul said he wants to find common ground with liberal Democrats on softer marijuana laws and help create an eventual pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Far be it from me to cast any cold water on the economic boost that a political campaign provides, but, er … we’re four years away from that election. We do have another one coming up before then — a midterm Congressional election that might be an opportunity for some success.  Shouldn’t Republicans focus more on producing Senate candidates to challenge the incumbent Democrats who will have to defend twice as many seats as the GOP in 2014?  I mean, it’s great to get a look at policy innovation — something the Republican Party desperately needs, especially in dealing with urban policy — but maybe we could focus on that as something to do now rather than promise in the context of the 2016 elections.

However, if Republican candidates can’t wait to get started, they should also remember that media outlets can’t wait to start marginalizing them, too.  Matt Lewis writes that the Republicans looking to get a head start on their 2016 ambitions had better be on guard against “Palinization,” which GQ tried with Marco Rubio:

Mark Halperin nailed it on “Morning Joe”:

“There’s one area where Democrats are really far ahead of Republicans right now. Science and technology, no. It’s doing this thing that Democrats failed to do in 2000, to stop George W. Bush, which is really, really early on using the left-wing Freak Show to define anyone who’s thinking of running for President, as quickly as possible, in negative terms on Twitter, on cable, on the Internet. They’re all over this Rubio thing because they want to control his image in a negative way and they did it this cycle too. They went after Romney early, it really hurt him. And they’re doing it now.”

And so, this is a strategy. Like Sarah Palin in 2008, Democrats view Marco Rubio as a major threat — not just for one or two elections — but someone who could undermine their advantage among the college educated, the young, and Latinos. Like Palin in ’08, he is viewed as an existential threat.

And just like Palin — whom they feared — they wan’t to destroy his credibility; to make him a joke.

For obvious reasons, it is vital that Rubio — and, in fact, all conservatives going forward — be able to articulate a serious conservative worldview that doesn’t fit the “anti-science” stereotype. (This is part of what I mean when I talk about cosmopolitan conservatism.)

The GQ question reminds me of George Stephanopoulos tossing in the non-sequitur issue of contraception in the New Hampshire debate last January, magically just a couple of weeks before the Obama administration offered the HHS mandate and declared that Republicans wage a “war on women.”  Peter Wehner has some thoughts about the new environment for Republicans in the mainstream media, whose biases have become all but declared, which he approaches from the context of the Benghazi terrorist attack:

In the Benghazi story, we have four dead Americans. A lack of security that borders on criminal negligence. No apparent effort was made to save the lives of Messrs. Woods and Doherty, despite their pleas. The Obama administration, including the president, gave false and misleading accounts of what happened despite mounting evidence to the contrary. And the person who was wrongly accused of inciting the attacks by making a crude YouTube video is now in prison. Yet the press has, for the most part, treated this story with ambivalence and reluctance. A reliable barometer of the views of the elite media is Tom Friedman of the New York Times, who said on Meet the Press on Sunday, “To me, Libya is not a scandal, it’s a tragedy.”

Here’s the thing, though. If the exact same incidents had occurred in the exact same order, and if it had happened during the watch of a conservative president, it would be a treated as a scandal. An epic one, in fact. The coverage, starting on September 12 and starting with Mr. Friedman’s newspaper, would have been nonstop, ferociously negative, and the pressure put on the president and his administration would have been crushing. Jon Stewart, the moral conscience of an increasing number of journalists, wouldn’t have let this story die. …

For some journalists, it’s fairly clear as to why: they had a rooting interest in Mr. Obama winning and they carried a deep dislike, even contempt, for Governor Romney. But for many others I think the explanation is more subtle and in some respects more problematic. They appear to be completely blind to their biases and double standards. If you gave them sodium pentothal, they would say they were being objective. Self-examination, it turns out, is harder than self-justification. And of course being surrounded with people who share and reinforce your presuppositions and worldview doesn’t help matters. …

In general, journalists receive critiques like this with indignation. They enjoy holding up public officials, but not themselves, to intense scrutiny. They insist that their personal biases never bleed into their story selection or coverage. But the outstanding ones and the honest ones would admit, though perhaps only to themselves, that the double standard is real and troubling, that it’s injurious to their profession, and that things really do need to change. Perhaps because they still know why they got into journalism in the first place—not for advocacy but to report the news in a relatively even-handed manner, to “speak truth to power,” regardless of the political views of those in power, and to pursue stories in a way that is fair and unafraid.

Today such an attitude sounds almost quaint.

Republican candidates had better get used to the idea that most of the establishment media wants to see them fail.  The first rule of media relations is this: start preparing for each interview as a hostile encounter not with an objective journalist but with a partisan looking to pursue the “Left-wing freak show,” using Halperin’s words.  That may be unfair to some journalists who pursue their trade honestly, but if so, it’s incumbent on them to pressure and shame their colleagues into better behavior.

And maybe that’s a good reason to get a four-year head start on the process.


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The GOP is going to have to take lessons from the libs…they’re going to have to overpower some television stations, take over some newspapers, learn to spread vicious, unproven allegations against their opponents, attack and ridicule them relentlessly, and spread lies and propaganda in order to win in 2016. They’ll have to offer free this and free that and label everyone in the democratic party as racist, sexist, and a misogynistic. They’ll need to tweet insults and go on the View and gaggle with the hens and whoop it up with Hollywood starlets and promote promiscuity and abortion. That’s the way it’s done, apparently, and that’s what Americans feel is important.

scalleywag on November 21, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I agree with you on everything but the newspapers. I am not sure any will be left by November 2016.

bw222 on November 21, 2012 at 1:37 PM

The first rule of media relations is this: start preparing for each interview as a hostile encounter not with an objective journalist but with a partisan looking to pursue the “Left-wing freak show,” using Halperin’s words. That may be unfair to some journalists who pursue their trade honestly, but if so, it’s incumbent on them to pressure and shame their colleagues into better behavior.

Unfair to call journalists left-wing freaks? After watching Candy Crowley put down the fried chicken long enough to tag team Mitt Romney on stuff the rat-eared wonder lied about? I don’t think so. If I were a GOP hopeful, I’d tell them all to go to hell. They gain nothing by going in front of a partisan hack like Stephanapholis, Crowley, Ifel, or any of the other freaks. They will ask biased questions and offer up fodder for further attacks. A GOP hopeful does better with the charge that they are ignoring the MSM then subjecting themselves to the partisanship.

Put another way, nobody expected the rat-eared wonder to sit down and get interviewed by Romney’s media people. Why should a GOP candidate sit down with the Democrat ministry of propaganda? Again, I’d tell them all that they can go to hell. Which is probably while I’ll never be a candidate. ;0

Happy Nomad on November 21, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Can we at least wait until after the Festivus Airing Of Grievances has wound down a bit? Geraghty is right, we need a short rest, thank you very much.

My pundit friends seem bound and determined to drive me insane. After November 6, I don’t need any help in that area, again thank you very much.

ConservativeLA on November 21, 2012 at 1:49 PM

it’s too early for potential canidates to be saying publicly that they want to run in 2016, that’s ridiculous. but, secretly planning this far ahead isn’t that bad…

and lol at them bringing up rob portman again just like this past election. no one knows who that is. XD

Sachiko on November 21, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I think we need a Constitutional Amendment (for what that’s worth) defining the time parameters for presidential campaigns and maybe redefining at least when primaries are held. These two- and three-year campaigns are really more like cam-pains-in-the-butt and just something for the slimestream media to amuse themselves with since they don’t practice real truthful journalism anymore.

As for now, it’s about clarity in retrospect. The Republicans need to let all the idiocy pass as only over time, as the election events settle and more truth comes out, will we begin to see what really happened. Also, let’s wait to see how events unfold in the near future as our country goes down the crapper then see how opinions begin to change.

stukinIL4now on November 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Sachiko on November 21, 2012 at 1:50 PM

They will be knocking on doors..Meeting folks..Lining up some things..If you are not well known you have too..:)

Dire Straits on November 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM

We need to fight this hard.

Boycott or take one over, like everyone buy Comcast stock.

GardenGnome on November 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Ryan, Rubio, and Jindal are all running. And all three are being incredibly unsubtle about it. They should just come out and say this is the case.

Illinidiva on November 21, 2012 at 2:03 PM

And just like Palin — whom they feared — they wan’t to destroy his credibility; to make him a joke.

Please remain delusional and continue putting up ridiculously unqualified candidates. One liberal pundit’s response to the possibility of Palin ’16 summed it up: “OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE.”

Constantine on November 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

From last night’s QOTD:

When are Republicans going to realize the MSM are enemies?

Newt is the only one who appears to grasp this screamingly obvious reality. He doesn’t fall for their “gotcha” BS, he goes on the attack. Not a big Newt fan, but he makes me want to stand up and cheer every time he kicks journolister a$$.

Republicans need to disengage from the MSM to the maximum extent possible. No interviews, no answers to calls, no nothin’. We don’t need them to spread the word.

The next Republican who gives George Stephanopoulos an interview should be taken out and shot drummed out of the party. And there are a bunch of other names that should join Stepsalotinit on the “no interview” list. The entire staff of MSNBC leaps to mind.

novaculus on November 21, 2012 at 1:50 AM

novaculus on November 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

ConservativePartyNow on November 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Very well said. I hope she takes over the Tea Party and runs for president. The repub party are just a bunch of spineless rinos.

Mirimichi on November 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I dunno about you guys, but I’m hearing really good things about Dengxiao Huntsman. Heard he’s pretty easy on the eyes…

Robert_Paulson on November 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Next time around my vote goes to whatever party puts up a small-government fiscal conservative. If that’s not the republicans, oh well. Every four years it’s the same crap that if I don’t vote for whatever squish the establishment decides is ‘electable’, I’m a traitor and my vote is ‘wasted’.

F*ck you all. My vote has been wasted. It’s been wasted for 20 years by the lying inept republican establishment and all of you that enable them.

1) Not anymore.

2) It’s probably too late to fix this, anyway. I hope it hurts all of you more than it will hurt me.

trigon on November 21, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Please remain delusional and continue putting up ridiculously unqualified candidates. One liberal pundit’s response to the possibility of Palin ’16 summed it up: “OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE.”

Constantine on November 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Well, they said the same thing about a Reagan candidacy in 1979. But we could follow that proven path to victory and nominate eminently “qualified” losers like Romney, couldn’t we? I mean, the liberal pundits took him quite seriously. I wonder why.

ddrintn on November 21, 2012 at 2:50 PM

My Picks:
Mitch Daniels

jake-the-goose on November 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM

LOL, good Lord. “How about some hair of the dog that bit you?”

ddrintn on November 21, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I’d have said this about Romney four years ago and as late as September 2011 I still seriously doubted he had a real shot at being the nominee in spite of his money advantage.

Doomberg on November 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I don’t know why you would’ve thought that. It was pretty obvious ever since early 2009 that Romney was going to be the GOP nominee in 2012 and that he would lose the general election. Normally someone like Jeb would be on the fast track, but I think things are different now. Any attempt to shove yet another favored mannequin of the moment by the GOPe and its toadies will lead to Whigdom in a hurry.

ddrintn on November 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Again, our nominee doesn’t matter if we let Hillary waltz to the nomination unscathed

It’s no longer just about vetting and choosing our strongest candidate

It’s about tearing down their candidates and poisoning the well, and this has to be done for 4 years, starting right now

This is the only reason O won– he carpet bombed OH/VA/CO with negative ads for 5-6 mos before even the primary. The election was already over.

Train all our fire on the Clintons, hit them hard now and don’t stop for 4 years.

thurman on November 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Again, our nominee doesn’t matter if we let Hillary waltz to the nomination unscathed

thurman on November 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I don’t know why that hag who’s won only one election in her career inspires such pants-soiling fear.

ddrintn on November 21, 2012 at 3:15 PM

* one elected office, I should say

ddrintn on November 21, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I have not ruled out running in 2016.

SparkPlug on November 21, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I am not worrying about the 2016 election; we won’t last that long. It is secession or bust.

Theophile on November 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Why is it that any post with the word which means to leave the union is never actually posted? Interesting.

Anyways, hopefully Texas will have divorced itself from the other states by then. Feel free to replace us with Puerto Rico.

2016 would happen the exact same as 2008 and 2012 anyways, there will be a bunch of conservatives running and one establishment moderate (Christie probably). The early primary states which all vote Democratic and have open primaries (New Hampshire, etc.) will vote him in as the nominee via the Democrats and the RINO Republicans. Then we will lose the general election with yet another RINO nominee. Definition of insanity anybody?

The states that have the highest percentage of vote for the Republican nominee in the general election should vote first in the primary. Period. Then, it should go in descending order based on what percentage of vote each state can deliver for the candidate.

Theophile on November 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Hmmm…. the post was posted, it just took awhile. Why is that? The second one went up immediately.

Theophile on November 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I am not worrying about the 2016 election; we won’t last that long. It is s* or bust.

Theophile on November 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

The S word is moderated. :) Just in case anyone is really wondering.

Axe on November 21, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Meh. Repeal Obamacare, no matter how “unfeasible” it is, reform entitlements, and slash federal spending – or I’m not interested.

Of the names listed in the post, I’d probably stand with Rand Paul, even though I couldn’t stand his kooky father.

DRayRaven on November 21, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Theophile on November 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

You betcha.

Mirimichi on November 21, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Republican candidates had better get used to the idea that most of the establishment media wants to see them fail. The first rule of media relations is this: start preparing for each interview as a hostile encounter not with an objective journalist but with a partisan looking to pursue the “Left-wing freak show,” using Halperin’s words. That may be unfair to some journalists who pursue their trade honestly, but if so, it’s incumbent on them to pressure and shame their colleagues into better behavior.

And maybe that’s a good reason to get a four-year head start on the process.

Yes, EXACTLY.

I don’t want to see Republican candidates appearing so defensive and apologetic and embarrassed of their purported views, as John McCain sometimes did, when appearing on shows like The View.

I want to see the candidates capable of proudly standing up for conservative values and not going along with whatever lines of questioning the biased interviewers are taking. John Sununu and Newt were brilliant at pushing back against this sort of thing. I want a candidate who can do the same, but who can do it in a more amiable way.

bluegill on November 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

I think we need a Constitutional Amendment (for what that’s worth) defining the time parameters for presidential campaigns and maybe redefining at least when primaries are held. These two- and three-year campaigns are really more like cam-pains-in-the-butt and just something for the slimestream media to amuse themselves with since they don’t practice real truthful journalism anymore.

stukinIL4now on November 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I propose one common day for the presidential primaries. States can do as they wish for Senate and House races since only their own citizens vote for those candidates. But for president, I propose we all vote at the same time — say the first Tuesday in May. I also propose that no campaigning take place more than one year in advance of the next presidential general election. If these bozos can’t make their cases in a year’s time, they are unfit for the office anyway.

NoLeftTurn on November 21, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I think Rubio is being groomed for Veep and not president. The nominee for 2016 will be Jeb Bush.

I’ll be voting Libertarian in that case.

NoLeftTurn on November 21, 2012 at 8:44 PM

My top 5:

1. Sarah Palin

2. Scott Walker

3. Rand Paul

4. Bobby Jindal

5. Susana Martinez

topdawg on November 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I like this list.

NoLeftTurn on November 21, 2012 at 9:08 PM

The Three Dwarves.

Who is John Galt on November 21, 2012 at 9:12 PM

I think we need a Constitutional Amendment (for what that’s worth) defining the time parameters for presidential campaigns and maybe redefining at least when primaries are held.

Really? Then you are quite possibly the dumbest person online. You’re literally arguing against the FIRST AMENDMENT.

Hire an attorney even for traffic tickets. You are a disaster in court. How were you even able to cast a ballot?

Capitalist Hog on November 21, 2012 at 10:09 PM

1. Sarah Palin

2. Scott Walker

3. Rand Paul

4. Bobby Jindal

5. Susana Martinez

topdawg on November 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Susana Martines, heh. Nice pander Dawg.

Her policies or beliefs are not aligned with those you’ve listed here. She’s a complete moderate. Scott Walker kicked ass, aside from GIVING WISCONSIN, to Obama. He still rocks.

The others are a joke.

Capitalist Hog on November 21, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Hey, who’s up for the 2016 campaign?

…not until the MSM is dead!

KOOLAID2 on November 21, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Yep… there needs to be some serious planning to neuter, derail and de-fang the MSM. Leftist candidates wouldn’t succeed without them.

A few months ago, I heard of surveys (yeah, worthless ones likely) that claimed that America has a low opinion of the MSM… maybe just a bit higher than our congress critters.

If people have such a low opinion of the MSM, how do they hold such sway? I’ll answer my own question.

The MSM has an adequate audience of poorly educated individuals that are also LAZY & APATHETIC… they’re content to make their political candidate decisions based on short sound bites, touchy-feely thinking and whatever pop culture pap moves them.

E-R

electric-rascal on November 22, 2012 at 12:27 AM

There will be 4 more years of campaigning. After that it will cease forever, at least in any traditional sense, as is the case with other dictatorships.

stillings on November 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM

The S word is moderated. :) Just in case anyone is really wondering.

Axe on November 21, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I have noticed this lately. Why is it moderated? What other words are moderated? I understand curse words, but I am trying to figure out why this word (and any other normal word) would be moderated.

Theophile on November 22, 2012 at 5:55 PM

You’re deluded if you think there’s even going to be an election in 2014, much less 2016.

Dunedainn on November 23, 2012 at 1:10 AM

Santorum 2016. Just sayin’…

gocatholic on November 26, 2012 at 11:47 PM

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