Noemie Emery: Why can’t conservative candidates win Republican presidential primaries?

posted at 12:49 pm on March 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

An unsparing piece keying off the same Rick Perry soundbite at CPAC that inspired this post. Perry said that it’s unfair to blame conservatism for the GOP’s losses in 2008 and 2012 because, after all, our nominees weren’t conservative. Emery’s response: Then why did Republican primary voters vote for them instead of for a solid conservative like, say, Rick Perry?

Her answer? Between Reagan’s generation and the current crop of Rubio, Scott Walker, etc, there simply haven’t been many good conservative candidates.

Instead, against establishment types who were national figures, the conservative movement flung preachers and pundits (Pat Robertson, Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan), has-beens and losers (New Gingrich and Rick Santorum), and others still worse (Herman Cain, for example), who on second thought lost even conservative primary voters.

To deny all this reality, some movement types invented a conspiracy theory. The Establishment met at the Country Club on alternate Tuesdays to undermine all the upcoming Reagans (who sadly enough never existed). This is untrue, and it keeps these movement types from facing the real problem — the failure of the conservative movement to find and develop successors to Reagan over the space of the past 20 years…

When things worked less well for conservatives who lacked Reagan’s luck and his genius, they decided their failure was explainable only by sabotage — after all, how else could they lose? On the way, the Right developed a sense of entitlement (the Republican Party owed them a nominee of their liking); an embrace of victimhood; a habit of translating their tactical failure to win over more voters into a moral failure on the part of those voters for not sensing their value; and a belief that they can manage to win more elections by purging all factions (and people) not wholly in sync with their views.

This isn’t the outlook with which Reagan won landslides. The GOP owes conservatives nothing beyond a chance and a hearing. The onus is on them to win over the voters. They are victims of nothing beyond their own much-too-high self-esteem.

Usually it’s “Beltway cocktail parties,” not the country club, where the establishment’s assumed to be plotting, but otherwise fair enough. Two things, though. First, conspiracies aside, surely no one doubts that the GOP’s consultant and donor class trends a bit more centrist than the base. I saw an article about that somewhere just the other day vis-a-vis gay marriage: Many socially conservative grassroots Republicans remain firmly opposed, but there’s widespread (if often quiet) support for legalized SSM among Republicans on the Hill and in other corridors of power. Go figure that that more centrist professional class would gravitate towards centrist candidates like Romney in the primary and bring their money and electoral expertise with them. Karl Rove, the mastermind of “compassionate conservatism,” is building a group right now that’s designed to head off ostensibly unelectable conservative insurgents in House and Senate primaries. Emery’s right about the quality of candidates on the right in presidential races lately, but let’s be fair: They’re swimming upstream against a centrist tide among party power-brokers.

Two: Because Obama was such a political and cultural phenomenon in 2008, and because the country’s Bush fatigue was so profound, I think GOP voters that year put a premium on “electability” in choosing McCain. That premium then carried over to 2012 because, although Hopenchange wasn’t the juggernaut that it was four years earlier, Obama was still an incumbent president with a fearsomely formidable organization. With no well known, charismatic conservative hero on the order of Reagan to captivate Republicans, some GOP voters figured that a moderate nominee with centrist cred was their best bet to steal some independents from O. 2016 should be different because, by almost universal acclaim, the quality of conservatives in the field will be solid: Rubio, Paul, Jindal, maybe Ryan. They’re all electable in theory, or at least more electable than righties in the classes of 2008 and 2012.

That’s when we’ll get an answer to a question that Emery suggests in her piece but doesn’t explore: Namely, were Reagan’s victories in 1980 and 1984 due more to the movement or more to the man? You often hear O’s critics claim his current majority is more about the man himself than the product of a broader ideological realignment; once he leaves office, the theory goes, Democrats will have difficulty replicating the heavy turnout he generated among young voters, minorities, and liberals. It’s his unique gifts and singular identity as a politician — and weak opponents, natch — that have led him to two terms. Was the same true of Reagan, though? It can’t be true entirely: The GOP won three of the next five elections after Reagan left office, so there was obviously some sort of movement behind him. But of course, as any grassroots conservative will happily tell you, the Bushes’ claim to the label “conservative” was always … problematic. The next primary might well produce the most conservative nominee since Reagan, and he might well have to face a much, much more difficult opponent in Hillary than Reagan did in a failed, flailing Jimmy Carter. That’ll be a real test of Emery’s theory.

Update: Lots of commenters are pointing to a primary system that starts with Iowa and New Hampshire instead of, say, Texas and South Carolina. Fair point. That would definitely boost more conservative candidates right out of the box, although Perry’s point at CPAC is that conservatives can win even national majorities if given the chance. There’s no reason in theory they can’t win among Republicans in IA and NH too, even if they lean a bit further toward the center. (Actually, Iowa Republicans are famous for leaning further to the right on social issues than the GOP electorate nationally. That’s how Huckabee and Santorum managed to win in 2008 and 2012, respectively. And the early boost didn’t help them to the nominations.)


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It would help if they got their act together and qualified to run in all the primary states; Unlike every single candidate except for Romney. The one thing you can’t criticize Romney for is his managerial competence.

Fenris on March 21, 2013 at 12:53 PM

With no well known, charismatic conservative hero on the order of Reagan to captivate Republicans,

“Charismatic conservative” is simply material to be slimed.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Slime any charismatic conservative and repeat the mantra that they’re “toxic” and “unelectable”, then be told that only moderates have a chance, and then when that moderate loses it’s “who else was there”?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 12:58 PM

“Charismatic conservative” is simply material to be slimed.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM

I’d be happy with one who had cajones, had principles, believed in those principles and could actually sell those principles. Is that too much to ask in a candidate?

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM

I hope Novaculus doesn’t mind me bringing this in from the headlines thread because it’s just that good and negates this silly article:

So there are NO viable conservative candidates?

Why would that be so?

Where would Sarah Palin be now if the establishment Republicans (aka the Right Wing of the Political Class)had defended her against the onslaught of the Democrat-Media Complex instead of joining in the effort to portray as an ignorant, Bible-thumping snowbilly?

Palin had an enviable track record in Alaska and electrifying charisma. But her record in Alaska was built on her willingness to challenge the corrupt and self-serving without regard to their political affiliations. She didn’t just defeat Democrats, she defeated the corrupt old guard of the Alaska Republicans.

She absolutely terrified the Political Class Republicans, as do all Conservative candidates with potential. They were happy to join with Democrats and the Media in their (all too successful) efforts to toxify her image and destroy her as a viable candidate.

The whole disgusting spectacle served as a warning to all potential Conservative candidates: If you run and challenge the Political Class, you (and your family, including your children!) will not only be ruthlessly defamed and smeared by the Democrat-Media Complex. Your own party’s leadership may not only fail to help, they may join in!

Nothing will change as long as these self-serving tools retain control of the Republican Party.

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Fenris on March 21, 2013 at 12:53 PM

fat lot of good it did romney huh? and the whole ORCA fiasco still undermines any competency he might have had. the virginia mess was some dirty politics by romney supporters and involved rules that violated constitutional rights. still cant get over how dirty romeny played in the primaries but put on kid gloves in the general.

chasdal on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

I see trouble for conservatives until the primary system is fixed. No more ‘open’ primaries. End the Iowa fiasco. Get control of the debate process. There should never be liberal moderators.

trigon on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

2016 should be different because, by almost universal acclaim, the quality of conservatives in the field will be solid: Rubio, Paul, Jindal, maybe Ryan. They’re all electable in theory

So the 2016 field was already set by the end of 2012? LOL

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Slime any charismatic conservative and repeat the mantra that they’re “toxic” and “unelectable”, then be told that only moderates have a chance, and then when that moderate loses it’s “who else was there”?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Funny now that works, huh?

PS: Wacko bird.

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Well it might be SHOCKING if the first states to vote for a Republican candidate were say Texas and Louisiana instead of Iowa and New Hampshire. Boy you might be amazed what you’d end up with in two red states instead of two states that went for Obama. Twice.

Marcus on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Slime any charismatic conservative and repeat the mantra that they’re “toxic” and “unelectable”, then be told that only moderates have a chance, and then when that moderate loses it’s “who else was there”?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Which is why we need Sarah Palin heading up the RNC.

Fenris on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Too many primary candidates & too many debates run by liberal mediaplex.

By the end of the primaries there was a televised debate just about every week.

workingclass artist on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

some GOP voters figured that a moderate nominee with centrist cred was their best bet to steal some independents from O

And by “some” you mean “a clear majority of”, right?

I think it’s wrong to assume that Romney or McCain were nominated solely due to some neat little theory on primary voters placing value on electability. Weren’t there exit polls way back in 2008 that could provide some real data on this subject?

Nonfactor on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

When Rs can get the same coverage and response as the Ds get, then you will see a difference. As long as the media delegates the R message to the last page of the classifieds, or doesn’t even bother, this will be the same again and again.

I don’t see any change happening in my lifetime so……

belad on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Nothing will change as long as these self-serving tools retain control of the Republican Party.

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Nonsense.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

2016 should be different because, by almost universal acclaim, the quality of conservatives in the field will be solid: Rubio, Paul, Jindal, maybe Ryan. They’re all electable in theory

What is “electable in theory” anyway? Anyone other than a convicted felon is “electable in theory”. Man, that Romney was DRIPPING with “electable”, wasn’t he?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Go figure that that more centrist professional class would gravitate towards centrist candidates like Romney in the primary

I don’t think it was Romney’s centrist positions they were gravitating towards.

Remember this?

They say that the truth is the consultants essentially used the Romney campaign as a money making scheme, forcing employees to spin false data as truth in order to paint a rosy picture of a successful campaign as a form of job security.

Zac Moffatt, Digital Director for the Romney campaign, was specifically named as having “built a nest egg for himself and co-founder of Targeted Victory, Mike Beach,” and that they “didn’t get social” media and ignored objections from other consultants and staffers in the campaign.

According to all the sources I spoke to, the breakdown of the campaign can be traced to the primaries. One source saying “they looked at the guy who could raise the most money in history as a ride

Kataklysmic on March 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I see trouble for conservatives until the primary system is fixed. No more ‘open’ primaries. End the Iowa fiasco. Get control of the debate process. There should never be liberal moderators.

trigon on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Took the words right outta my mouth.

Stu Gotts on March 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Which is why we need Sarah Palin heading up the RNC.

Fenris on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I’ve been saying that’s where she needs to be for awhile. I might even start giving money again.

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

And by “some” you mean “a clear majority of”, right?

Not necessarily. Romney won some primaries with pluralities.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

The next primary might well produce the most conservative nominee since Reagan, and he might well have to face a much, much more difficult opponent in Hillary than Reagan did in a failed, flailing Jimmy Carter. That’ll be a real test of Emery’s theory.

And much more aggressive opponents in the LSM which will savagely attack not only the candidate, but family members as well while providing a public security blanket and comprehensive aid and protection for the dem running.

hawkeye54 on March 21, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Because the RINO go along big goverment RNC love the incest with the commie Democrats for the tax money in the pig trough of Ear Marks.

Things like Huckabee bleeding off votes, like all the rest of the vote buying and vote spliting fraud.

After all they learn these things from their buddies in the commie Democrat Party.

Regan won and that pissed them off from then to this very hour.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Perhaps Reagan’s two wins over Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale made it seem almost too easy, convincing his fans that any conviction conservative can beat any rival going away. In retrospect, it may have been more accurate to say that a conviction conservative can beat any rival when he is the successful governor of one of the biggest states; a former film star with his own fame and stage presence; an ex-liberal who voted four times for Franklin Roosevelt and had an instinctive gift for connecting with Democrats; and running against a president with one of the worst first terms in history, featuring an economic crash, a rabbit attack and Iranian seizure of an American embassy.

When things worked less well for conservatives who lacked Reagan’s luck and his genius, they decided their failure was explainable only by sabotage — after all, how else could they lose?

Forgot this part. I think it is important.

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Well it might be SHOCKING if the first states to vote for a Republican candidate were say Texas and Louisiana instead of Iowa and New Hampshire. Boy you might be amazed what you’d end up with in two red states instead of two states that went for Obama. Twice.

Marcus on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Bingo.

The GOP doesn’t want to run a conservative so they leave the primary start in liberal states and have open primaries with Democratic and independent voters who favor the more liberal candidate. If that doesn’t do it they undercut whatever conservative that does start to build a lead and throw money at the more liberal Republican.

sharrukin on March 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I see trouble for conservatives until the primary system is fixed. No more ‘open’ primaries. End the Iowa fiasco. Get control of the debate process. There should never be liberal moderators.

trigon on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

there are many problems w/ those ideas. the main one being who would set and enforce the rules you have proposed? the RNC?

chasdal on March 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Well it might be SHOCKING if the first states to vote for a Republican candidate were say Texas and Louisiana instead of Iowa and New Hampshire. Boy you might be amazed what you’d end up with in two red states instead of two states that went for Obama. Twice.

Could be, although the 2008 and 2012 winners in Iowa didn’t go on to the nomination. Also, if a conservative candidate can win a national election, why can’t he win primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire? Reagan had to navigate states like that and won anyway.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I think it’s wrong to assume that Romney or McCain were nominated solely due to some neat little theory on primary voters placing value on electability. Weren’t there exit polls way back in 2008 that could provide some real data on this subject?

Nonfactor on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

It was pretty much the same dynamic we see today: we have a few “acceptable” candidates offered who are “electable”, and the rest are jokes. Beginning in early 2009 only the roles of Rubio and Rand were played by Romney and Huckabee. Set the filed four years out, close off any other possibilities as much as possible.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:07 PM

The guy Rence Peeonus the RNC boss, he is a fool for the amnesty and he thinks he is an internet new age get out the vote of young commies who voted for Obama two times and the fool thinks he can get them off the dole and vote for a Republican.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Maybe it has something to do with a) a media class interested in running against the squishiest RINO they can find, so they cover conservatives’ gaffes while ignoring the Romneys and McCains until the general, and b) open primaries, which allow Democrats to pick our candidates.

SDN on March 21, 2013 at 1:07 PM

* field

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:07 PM

RNC allowing the states on the east liberal coast to have the early primaries.

The fix is in total.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM

I see trouble for conservatives until the primary system is fixed. No more ‘open’ primaries. End the Iowa fiasco. Get control of the debate process. There should never be liberal moderators.

trigon on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Primaries are really a state issue but I agree with all the rest.

Twenty-three debates among GOP hopefuls was not productive for anybody but the OFA vermin. Lots of their best material against Mitt Romney is thanks to Newt during these debates.

And no journalists as moderators. George Stephenapolus launched the war on women theme when he asked what seemed to be a totally weird question but, of course, it was coordinated with OFA to get tape of the candidates saying stuff that could later be used to accuse the GOP of hating women parts. And Candy Crowley is an ugly fat cow who also happens to be a professional disgrace who also clearly coordinated with OFA.

And as for Iowa. Their 15 minutes is up.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Bingo.

The GOP doesn’t want to run a conservative so they leave the primary start in liberal states and have open primaries with Democratic and independent voters who favor the more liberal candidate. If that doesn’t do it they undercut whatever conservative that does start to build a lead and throw money at the more liberal Republican.

sharrukin on March 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

The RNC wants to win. Iowa still was the first contest, and actually Santorum won. There goes your theory, Leroy Newtron II, Jr, Esq.

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Also, if a conservative candidate can win a national election, why can’t he win primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire?

Because they are liberal voters.

Reagan had to navigate states like that and won anyway.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

We cannot rely on someone like Reagan to show up every cycle.

No one demands that from a guy like Romney, so why make that demand of a conservative?

sharrukin on March 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Obama was still an incumbent president with a fearsomely formidable organization.

And one of the rationales offered for nominating Romney was that he too had a “fearsomely formidable organization”. To quote a great Rod Stewart/Ron Wood song, “Look how wrong you can be”.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

WE need our side to VOTE! Not stay home if the person isn’t 100% who YOU want. NO human will please everyone.

And we CAN not count on latinos voting for us in huge numbers! They never have and I sure doubt they ever will even if they get amnesty?

Just my 2 cents for what it is worth.
L

letget on March 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Instead, against establishment types who were national figures, the conservative movement flung preachers and pundits (Pat Robertson, Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan), has-beens and losers (New Gingrich and Rick Santorum), and others still worse (Herman Cain, for example), who on second thought lost even conservative primary voters.

First of all, the conservative movement doesn’t “fling[]” anyone into primaries. People decide to run on their own and conservatives decide whether to support them or not. Conservatives aren’t like dems or mainstream republicans who have their candidates spoon fed to them and then their vote demanded of them.

Secondly, Buchanan doesn’t really qualify as a “conservative”. Yes, he’s on the right but he holds many views that are offensive to conservatives. He’s more a darling of the libertarians.

Thirdly, Gingrich and Santorum are neither has-beens nor losers. Gingrich just screwed the pooch by going a bit insane and taking a lefty attack against Mittens – for some unknown, weird reason – as a “vulture capitalist” or whatever it was. Santorum is a decent guy who had been a Senator from Pennsylvania. He lost to a name – the royal son of the ex-governor who had shoved himself into the front of the line on heart-lung transplants. Most Pennsylvanians didn’t even know they were voting for the son.

Lastly, where is any mention of Bachmann. She should have been the candidate but the Vichy Right went after her with abandon over one side issue that had nothing to do with anything. And, in Bachmann’s defense on the Gardisil issue; she was absolutely correct that Texas was way out of line trying to force those vaccinations on teen girls. As to the wider discussion of vaccines and problems I point people to the current issue in Europe over narcolepsy induced by one of the “Earth saving” avian flu vaccines … or whichever vaccine it was that was needed or else everyone on Earth would die in a week.

Conservatives have been losing primaries more due to split votes among a choice rather than anything else. The lone standing Vichy Right representative limps to the finish while a set of consrevatives battle it out and end up eliminating each other.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Republicans always nominate the guy whose turn it is. This oiece of wisdom was goiven to me in 1995 by a prominent Republican pollster, who assured me then that Bob Dole would be the nominee in 1996 even after the Gingrich earthquake of 1994. It has proven true.

It was Romney’s turn in 2012; I told people in 2010 he would be the nominee and was laughed at. I do think Rick Perry had a golden opportunity to beat him, but of course he blew it in the debates.

The only really wide-open Republican race in my lifetime was 2000. And it is hard to look back on that year and say George W. Bush was not the conservative in that race. John McCain ran against him as the more experienced man, especially on foreign policy, not as the more conservative man.

The 2016 race looks to be a wide open one again. It is more likely we will get a conservative nominee, becauee the majority of Republicans are conservative. The moderate faction will probably coalesce around Chris Christie, but I do not think he can win in Iowa or South Carolina or many other early primary states.

rockmom on March 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Reagan work for 20 years aginst the RINO’s to get the deal.

20 years of attacks by the RINO’s.

Same thing now and we see it here on this thread by a so called leader.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

And one of the rationales offered for nominating Romney was that he too had a “fearsomely formidable organization”. To quote a great Rod Stewart/Ron Wood song, “Look how wrong you can be”.

No denying that. It’s arguably Romney’s greatest failure. It exploded the whole premise of his campaign. The only question is whether any of the alternatives would have run a better one.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Which is why we need Sarah Palin heading up the RNC.

Fenris on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

I’ve been saying that’s where she needs to be for awhile. I might even start giving money again.

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

But will she quit halfway through her term?

Seriously, Sarah Palin clearly has a place in the future of the GOP but I’m not sure that even she knows exactly what that is.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

^ I should have added. WE need in the worse way to get voter fruad taken! The military needs to be able to vote, get the ballots on time, and have their vote counted!
L

letget on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Well, here and in ’08, it was because conservatives ran their 2nd and 3rd string at best.

The establishment posted who was expected. McCain, and Romney. Who did the right have? Herman Cain and Rick Santorum are decent guys, but they aren’t the top resumes out there. Michele Bachmann can fundraise well, but is too polarized to be viable outside of her district. In ’08 Fred Thompson was a great choice, but had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the race, and didn’t particularly want to be there once he was in. Arguably the only candidate of the bunch from the conservative A team was Perry, and he turned out to be a weak campaigner, possibly because of pain from recent back surgery. But where was Jindal? DeMint? Pence? All focused on their current jobs (or in Pence’s case the Governorship he holds now.) You can’t win if you don’t send out your best players.

’16 at least we have loads of A-string conservatives. Jindal, DeMint, and Pence can have another shot. Rand Paul has more credibility than his father. Mike Lee. Scott Walker. The question is can we get them to play, or will we send out Ben Carson to run a hopeful but underfunded campaign that ultimately loses to the Fat Man and his establishment backing?

Gingotts on March 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

3 steps to allow Conservatives to win the national nominations:

1) closed primaries

2) early primaries/caucuses in CONSERVATIVE states

3) profit

njrob on March 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

No denying that. It’s arguably Romney’s greatest failure. It exploded the whole premise of his campaign. The only question is whether any of the alternatives would have run a better one.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Romney ran the best primary campaign. To think that another candidate who ran a worse primary campaign than him would somehow run a better campaign than Romney in the general election doesn’t make sense.

Nonfactor on March 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

And one of the rationales offered for nominating Romney was that he too had a “fearsomely formidable organization”. To quote a great Rod Stewart/Ron Wood song, “Look how wrong you can be”.

No denying that. It’s arguably Romney’s greatest failure. It exploded the whole premise of his campaign. The only question is whether any of the alternatives would have run a better one.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Which is to fail to see that the quality of the candidate dictates the quality of the organization, and not the other way around.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

I live in Texas, Rick Perry is a tool of the people who use him for highway contracts, and other kick back shit, that and he is a former Democrat and still would be if they had a chance of getting elected in Texas.

The bumbling you saw is the real Rick.

Was not even a good State Rep. when he had that job.

The only reason he gets re-elected is that the job is a nothing under our constitution. The Lt. Gov. has more power thus the elite have rich ass David Doworst in that job.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Interesting article at National Journal today…

“Rick Perry: The Presidential Candidate Ahead of His Time
The Texas governor ran an awful campaign in 2012. But his platform is now belatedly being embraced by party leaders.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign was a slow-motion train wreck, capped off by his embarrassing brain freeze in a nationally televised debate. But as Perry mulls another presidential race in 2016, it’s striking that he was campaigning on many of the reforms that Republican Party leaders are now desperately pushing…”

http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/rick-perry-the-presidential-candidate-ahead-of-his-time-20130320

workingclass artist on March 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Seriously, Sarah Palin clearly has a place in the future of the GOP but I’m not sure that even she knows exactly what that is.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Seriously, I don’t think she gives a rat’s anus about the GOP.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM

fat lot of good it did romney huh? and the whole ORCA fiasco still undermines any competency he might have had. …

chasdal on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Okay, you’re right. You can criticize Romney’s competence as a manager. But the also rans were even worse. Maybe the process for getting on the ballot needs to be simplified, or if you get on the ballot in X many states, you’re automatically on in all Republican primaries.

Fenris on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Surely it has nothing to do with factors like this other Hotair headline from today:
 

Shocka: Networks avoiding the Gosnell trial
 
ABC, CBS, and NBC’s morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, which began on Monday… ABC completely ignored it, CBS Evening News aired one full story, and NBC gave just 50 words on Today.

 
The two things can’t be related, can they?

rogerb on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

No denying that. It’s arguably Romney’s greatest failure. It exploded the whole premise of his campaign. The only question is whether any of the alternatives would have run a better one.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Considering that Gingrich and Santorum couldn’t even get on the ballot in Virginia (where they both live), I saw no GOP candidate with a good ground game. The Dems were canvassing the neighborhood every weekend. Romney supporters came by once.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I don’t care what anyone says, Rick Perry is truly the best person for the job. It is about time people started to vote for experience, proven “governing “experience, proven conservative values. Yes, Rick Perry blew it in two debates but his overall experience and conservative record should not have been over look so quickly.

Look at what the conservatives are pushing now; Rand Paul – no experience, unknown, and somewhat questionable policies much like his father Ron Paul without any “governing experience. True, maybe 2032 Rand Paul will have the experience and we will know more about him but come on – another junior senator with questionable background. The same can be said for Rubio but at least he doesn’t have some of the quirky past as Rand has with his father Ron. Both Rand and Rubio might be great candidates – in the years to come. Now we have the Cruz folks – come on, can we hire someone based on experience instead of sound bites and what the latest fad is? I don’t think Cruz even qualifies for the office.

Can we at least hire someone that has: Experience at governing, a record that is conservative. Stop going by the latest fads, the idea of who can give Obama a bloody nose and who has the best sound bites.

bzip on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Could be, although the 2008 and 2012 winners in Iowa didn’t go on to the nomination. Also, if a conservative candidate can win a national election, why can’t he win primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire? Reagan had to navigate states like that and won anyway.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Because those states are a lot more leftist than they used to be. Because leftists vote in large numbers in the Republican open primaries now and in much greater numbers than they used to. Because certain states, Iowa, are addicted to pork products and will vote for anyone who offers the biggest bag of goodies.

njrob on March 21, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Nothing will change as long as these self-serving tools retain control of the Republican Party.

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Nonsense.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Please do explain why you think that’s nonsense.

Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Oh, hogwash!

Amjean on March 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

No denying that. It’s arguably Romney’s greatest failure. It exploded the whole premise of his campaign. The only question is whether any of the alternatives would have run a better one.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

But AP, don’t you think that crappy alternative field was shaped by 3 years of “Romney’s the one” propaganda prior to the primary season in 2011-2012?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

…and could actually sell those principles. Is that too much to ask in a candidate?

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Give that mellee1228 a Mallo Cup!

I have been studying former President Reagan.

He had several gifts, in addition to President Carter’s problems.

Like president Obama was a “type” attractive for the time, Reagan brought something people wanted:

a politician of principle who made Americans feel good about themselves after years of doubt fuelled by the Vietnam war and the Iran hostage crisis. Source, The age dot com dot au 2004

He was also a great adversary:

Specifically, he stopped the other side in his red zone. “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,

He could score on them when they tried to move the ball:

“There you go again.” Worked for him in a debate. Did not work for Governor Palin, at least not as well.

Finally, Reagan used a line to end the debate in Ohio, which Mitt avoided for reasons unknown:

“Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

The GOP owes conservatives nothing beyond a chance and a hearing.

You know I absolutely LOVE the entitlement mentality of these fools. YOU OWE ME NOTHING.. NO sweetie you have that backwards. I owe the GOP NOTHING. The GOP fights for MY VOTE! I owe them nothing beyond a chance and a hearing.

The absolute fricking arrogance. These people have forgotten that they work for US!

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Rick Perry can on the other hand pick his nose and talk at the same time.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Republicans have thrown away five winnable Senate races with weak candidates. Those candidates (Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Ken Buck in Colorado, Richard Moudock in Indiana, Todd Akin in Missouri) tended to seem more conservative than alternatives in the primary. These idiots helped justify a centrist tide among party brokers.

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Can we at least hire someone that has: Experience at governing, a record that is conservative. Stop going by the latest fads, the idea of who can give Obama a bloody nose and who has the best sound bites.

bzip on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Best person for the job and best campaigner can’t be entirely separated. Perry was not a good campaigner in 2012. But I agree with you about experience. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz…. all good people but what experience do they really have governing?

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:19 PM

What is “electable in theory” anyway? Anyone other than a convicted felon is “electable in theory”.
ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Then again, there’s that guy sitting in prison in WV who got more votes than Obama in the Dem primary there. One would think the Pubs would figure some things out, but the status quo and old-boy club are powerful. I don’t think the Pubs care so much about winning as they do in keeping the long-timers in place. Those are the guys that keep the money rolling in. The younger ones, if losing, are worthwhile sacrifices. It’s almost a form of Darwinism, where a politician who can sustain his position to make important friends with open cash spigots is the one to fight for.

Liam on March 21, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Considering that Gingrich and Santorum couldn’t even get on the ballot in Virginia (where they both live), I saw no GOP candidate with a good ground game. The Dems were canvassing the neighborhood every weekend. Romney supporters came by once.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

That “ground game” comes from fired up grassroots supporters of a candidate, not a bunch of party cheerleaders. Romney wasn’t ever going to match Obama’s GOTV.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I’ll credit Noemie Emery this: conservatives have themselves to blame for splintering so much that they allowed McCain (after having nearly destroyed his own campaign with managerial incompetence) and Romney (who was the weakest frontrunner in a generation).

Conservative institutional leaders — need to identify, recruit, and back a single candidate. Otherwise, the same darn thing that happened in ’96, ’08, and ’12 will happen again.

Robert_Paulson on March 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Mister Mets

One of the reasons for that is that good honest hard working Republicans do not want to be attacked, have their family attacked and their honor questioned by the dam RINO’s in the state party leadership.

The RINO leaders fight Republican conservatives much harder and with blood in their eyes ,,, much more so than when the are up aginst a Democrat.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Republicans have thrown away five winnable Senate races with weak candidates.

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

And you’ve thrown away two presidential elections with weak candidates.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

But AP, don’t you think that crappy alternative field was shaped by 3 years of “Romney’s the one” propaganda prior to the primary season in 2011-2012?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

So conservatives are afraid of the mushes in the middle and got scared off? If they cannot stand up to them then they will never beat the Left.

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 1:22 PM

So conservatives are afraid of the mushes in the middle and got scared off? If they cannot stand up to them then they will never beat the Left.

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Who wants to run against BOTH the GOP and the Dems at THE SAME TIME? Tell me, how early did we start seeing “90% of the GOP doesn’t want Palin to run” stories?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM

WARNING: and Do not click on http://www.ihatethemedia.com/ and read the links if you have high blood pressure.

davidk on March 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM

You know I absolutely LOVE the entitlement mentality of these fools. YOU OWE ME NOTHING.. NO sweetie you have that backwards. I owe the GOP NOTHING. The GOP fights for MY VOTE! I owe them nothing beyond a chance and a hearing.

The absolute fricking arrogance. These people have forgotten that they work for US!

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Hallelujah!

Fenris on March 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Nothing will change as long as these self-serving tools retain control of the Republican Party.

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Nonsense.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Well, you’ve convinced me.

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Ted Cruz looked me in the eye and said, “I will not back down and I will honor your vote and the votes of all Americans who care about the U.S.A..”

I do think he will not back down.

I do know the RINO’s are going to go after him and try to end his rise as soon as possible.

It is guys like Ted Cruz that they fight like devils aginst.

Why?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:24 PM

The scary truth is that conservative economic policies are very politically difficult to implement or advocate for. There are two main reasons why:

1. Conservative policies run counter to natural political instincts. Conservative economic policies require the government to get out of the way and NOT to regulate/tax the economy to death. But politicians are pressured to “take action” in response to problems, and regulation and taxation are the main tools politicians have to “take action.” Unfortnately, those tools are fundamentally unconservative.

2. Fiscal conservatism requires real spending cuts. But cutting spending “for real” necessarily involves: (a) reducing the power of government and (b) telling people (welfare recipients, seniors, military contractors, etc.) that you’re taking away money from them. Both of those are very difficult things to do. (See, e.g., European riots over austerity budgets).

Over the past 30 years, most successful GOP politicians have, for political reasons, compromised their fiscally conservative beliefs. The more ideologically “pure” politicians have tended to retain their purity because they exist in more marginal roles where they haven’t been forced to compromise their beliefs. But those politicians lack the experience to be “A-list” presidential candidates.

My belief is that our Great Recession may have changed the dynamic. People instinctively know that lefty policies and out-of-control spending have cratered our economy and reduced confidence in our financial system. Real change needs to happen. GOP Governors like those in Michigan, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, etc., have bravely adopted unabashedly conservative policies and those policies are taking root. In the end, results speak for themselves. (Or, as Margaret Thatcher said, “win the argument, then you win the election”).

So in 2016, we may actually have successful A-list GOP politicians who have actually “walked the walk” of true fiscal conservative reforms and who can bring that game to Washington. Let’s hope.

Outlander on March 21, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Always blaming the establishment gets old. Rick Perry was the most conservative, experienced man in the race last time but cons blew him off. The establishment wasnt to blame for Romney. He was simply the last decent candidate left by the end.

Jack_Burton on March 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I don’t care what anyone says, Rick Perry is truly the best person for the job. It is about time people started to vote for experience, proven “governing “experience, proven conservative values. Yes, Rick Perry blew it in two debates but his overall experience and conservative record should not have been over look so quickly.

Look at what the conservatives are pushing now; Rand Paul – no experience, unknown, and somewhat questionable policies much like his father Ron Paul without any “governing experience. True, maybe 2032 Rand Paul will have the experience and we will know more about him but come on – another junior senator with questionable background. The same can be said for Rubio but at least he doesn’t have some of the quirky past as Rand has with his father Ron. Both Rand and Rubio might be great candidates – in the years to come. Now we have the Cruz folks – come on, can we hire someone based on experience instead of sound bites and what the latest fad is? I don’t think Cruz even qualifies for the office.

Can we at least hire someone that has: Experience at governing, a record that is conservative. Stop going by the latest fads, the idea of who can give Obama a bloody nose and who has the best sound bites.

bzip on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Perry showed one of the flaws of Governors, especially those who came from big geographically isolated states.

There was no indication that he was familiar with the rest of the 49 states.

And his experience had been limited to Texas, where he had served six years in the state legislatures, ten years in minor statewide office (Agriculture Commissioner, Lieutenant Governor) and twelve more years as Governor.

An ideal resume would be a mix of executive experience and national experience. Jindal has that with his three years in Congress, and brief stint in the Bush administration. Christie also has that thanks to his work as US Attorney. I’m a bit concerned about Rubio, but he did lead a branch of the state legislature for two years, which is more executive experience than President Obama, or Rand Paul.

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Conservative institutional leaders — need to identify, recruit, and back a single candidate. Otherwise, the same darn thing that happened in ’96, ’08, and ’12 will happen again.

Robert_Paulson on March 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Except that what you call splintering is really principled differences. The GOP could win every election if they just abandoned all principle the way the Dems have.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM

These idiots helped justify a centrist tide among party brokers.

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

“Centrist Tide?” More like a trickle.

As other have already posted, the primaries have been engineered by the REpublicans, as to give them the candidate they want. “It was ROmney’s Turn.”

We’re not here to Rebrand a party. We’re here to rebuild a country.

Sarah Palin, CPAC 3/16/13

Palin is a Christian American Conservative. So am I. We are a part of the Republican Party’s Conservative base, whom the Republican Power Brokers have treated so dismissively the last several years., which has only served to bite them in the hindquarters, come election time.

Now, they apparently are so arrogant and short-sighted, as to want to drive us away completely.

As Ron White says,

You can’t fix stupid.

Apparently, the GOP wants to double-down on it.

kingsjester on March 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM

The RNC wants to win. Iowa still was the first contest, and actually Santorum won. There goes your theory, Leroy Newtron II, Jr, Esq.

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Didn’t it take them forever to figure that out so that any momentum that Santorum could ride was long gone when they found out?

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:29 PM

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

I’m honored. Thank you.

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

And you’ve thrown away two presidential elections with weak candidates.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

These were not elections in which the Republicans were favored.

McCain won every state in which President Bush had a higher than 35% approval rating.

As for 2012, incumbents usually win presidential elections. In fact, only one incumbent has lost reelection since 1896 with just one term of their party in the White House. When Ford lost in 1976, he was fighting for a third term of Republicans in the White House post-Watergate. And when Bush lost in 1992, he was fighting for a fourth consecutive term of Republicans in the White House.

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Nonsense.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Oh, yeah? Well, balderdash to you!

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

They split the vote…we need a preprimary to put up one person against the rinos….

Hojczyk on March 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

There is a single, simple reason that Allahpundit made sure this innane article made it to the “posting” section of this blod:

He is a cheerleader for the Establishment Republicans and Liberal Democrats with an “R” after their name. Sowing diviseviness and disingenuousness in the discussion of conservativism is something he takes glee in.

Nothing is more divisive or disingenuous than this article – therefore – making sure it was in the “posting” section was a number 1 priority for him. I’m sure he spent quality alone time with it before he moved it to the posting seciton,

williamg on March 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

There is also a huge tendency to do armchair quarterbacking and revisit some candidates.

In 2008, one of the “conservative” candidate against McCain was Romney. Then by 2012 people realized he’s not really conservative, but couldn’t recruit a successful conservative. Romney never could hold an honest position, and he wasn’t good at hiding that.

Santorum and Gingrich were political losers.

Perry was ill-prepared for the national media.

It will be interesting to see who is actually considered a “moderate” and “conservative” candidate in 2016. But we need to stop being constrained by labels that liberals will throw around. We need someone savvy who uses new words that just aren’t viewed as “bad” or “anti-women” or any of that. Obama won without substance, and by fluffing up his agenda behind fancy words.

amazingmets on March 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM

No denying that. It’s arguably Romney’s greatest failure. It exploded the whole premise of his campaign. The only question is whether any of the alternatives would have run a better one.

Allahpundit on March 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

I’ll take a crack at this.

Since Romney was effectively anointed as the 2012 nominee practically the minute McCain lost in 2008, it’s entirely possible that some people who might have otherwise been inclined to run chose not to run. I agree the majority of the GOP candidates outside of Romney were mostly unserious clowns (barring Gingrich), so why didn’t the serious people run? I do not accept the argument that conservatives are such a minority that there are no conservatives; otherwise the Romney strategy would he worked.

For a candidate to be serious they basically have to devote their lives to running for FOUR years and have massive financial backing either in the form of big donors or else have a huge grassroots-tapping cash machine. No conservative did this for the 2012 election. Palin tried but obviously miscalculated and had to abandon her run for the presidency.

So I’m not sure things will be any different in 2016. Who is really going to be capable of running an insurgent campaign against Rubio, who has clearly already been picked, and then emerge from that campaign to challenge Hillary (all the while being relentlessly attacked behind the scenes by the party leadership in rags like NRO)? I would argue it’s basically impossible to get a viable conservative contender for the presidency any longer.

Doomberg on March 21, 2013 at 1:33 PM

These were not elections in which the Republicans were favored.

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM

2012? Are you kidding me? You had real unemployment in double digits for the previous four years, practically zero economic growth and Romney’s aura as Mr Invincible Electable and you’re going to tell me that he wasn’t favored? LOL

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Between Reagan’s generation and the current crop of Rubio, Scott Walker, etc, there simply haven’t been many good conservative candidates.

Reagan didn’t run as a conservative. Reagan ran as a Republican.

All of the Reagan history revisionists always ignore this. Like, Reagan was some kind arm waving, Mark Levin screaming type. Reagan rarely used the word conservative at all. Look it up.

Meanwhile, the fact that socon silly is an automatic loser nationally also continues to be ignored. This is what you get, then. Losing.

Moesart on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Rick Perry tried and failed to sell out we Texans and our Highways to include all the up and running toll roads. Sell out to a Spanish toll road company and Spanish banks.

He had help via the atty for the Spanish Toll Road Company, Rudi Giuliani.

http://www.corridorwatch.org

Get Rick Perry history correct or be burned when the facts are known.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Surely it has nothing to do with factors like this other Hotair headline from today:

Shocka: Networks avoiding the Gosnell trial

ABC, CBS, and NBC’s morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, which began on Monday… ABC completely ignored it, CBS Evening News aired one full story, and NBC gave just 50 words on Today.

The two things can’t be related, can they?

rogerb on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

How about that Ben Ghazi fellow I keep hearing a little about. Not that much, mind you, but enough that he seems to be an interesting chap and there’s probably lots to know if anyone were curious.

The media covered up the death of an ambassador and the incompetence (at best) of the Obama administration.

This is what we are up against. That, and a dumbed down, apathetic and lazy populace who demand nothing except the trains continuing to run on time.

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Always blaming the establishment gets old. Rick Perry was the most conservative, experienced man in the race last time but cons blew him off. The establishment wasnt to blame for Romney. He was simply the last decent candidate left by the end.

Jack_Burton on March 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Indeed. The purity brigade kneecapped Perry over the HPV vaccine (even though he was clearly better than the alternatives), and end up lining up behind…Rick Santorum.

changer1701 on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I’m honored. Thank you.

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

No. Thank YOU. It was a joy and pleasure to read it.

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I’ll credit Noemie Emery this: conservatives have themselves to blame for splintering so much that they allowed McCain (after having nearly destroyed his own campaign with managerial incompetence) and Romney (who was the weakest frontrunner in a generation).

Conservative institutional leaders — need to identify, recruit, and back a single candidate. Otherwise, the same darn thing that happened in ’96, ’08, and ’12 will happen again.

Robert_Paulson on March 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Wooo, careful. Check the response to me in the headlines before you start saying conservatives are to blame for anything but being too perfect ///

You are absolutely correct, and again, I would add that conservatives need to wait before falling in love. Don’t be suckas for a good speaka. Find a guy who both agrees with you and has the political sense to come in out of the rain—they really, really do exist out there. Know who you are, know what you want, know how to get it. Don’t whinge because Ronald Reagan hasn’t walked through the door with a plan in hand. Be your own Reagan.

Sekhmet on March 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

She absolutely terrified the Political Class Republicans, as do all Conservative candidates with potential. They were happy to join with Democrats and the Media in their (all too successful) efforts to toxify her image and destroy her as a viable candidate.

The whole disgusting spectacle served as a warning to all potential Conservative candidates: If you run and challenge the Political Class, you (and your family, including your children!) will not only be ruthlessly defamed and smeared by the Democrat-Media Complex. Your own party’s leadership may not only fail to help, they may join in!

Nothing will change as long as these self-serving tools retain control of the Republican Party.

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

This “Governor Palin as victim” meme was interesting about two years ago but it is getting putrid. Politics on any level is a contact sport. She immediately got the intense anger of the expected parties.

It is worse for conservatives and she did shake up the left. But to jump into a crazy theory of conspiracy or vendetta by Republican insiders is really stretching it. All I saw was some jerks on McCain’s staff learn to hate her and then sell a story to the left wing pop culture and media.

NEWSFLASH: Republicans like to win, they need to win, they work to win, they connive to win, they are dedicated to winning elections. Talk to a few Democrats on how challenging it remains to stay at war with a party which, frankly, is fighting with a shrinking support structure and the tide of population and cultural changes running against it.

I haven’t studied her and frankly, she is probably not worth a quarter of the ink spent on her.

She recently went after Karl Rove. Had he done anything to her? No, it is just that he wants to play kingmaker with donor funds. So what? He is working without pay.

She is so dedicated to her people, can’t even hold a job in Alaska after being elected.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

The reason moderates get the nomination is because there’s typically only one of them that has any meaningful donor/establishment support. There’s usually one or two strong conservatives, and then some niche candidates, usually social conservatives, who carve up the opposition to the moderate.

I’m guessing that the centrist wing of the GOP is maybe 25% of the party. The moderate establishment candidate locks them up straight away and then uses his cash/organization to pry 10-15% of the conservatives away from the other candidates, and bingo, he’s already at 35-40%—easily enough to win in heavily contested early states. After that, momentum and political gravity takes over.

Old political maxim: Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.

Get used to it, folks.

LukeinNE on March 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I would argue it’s basically impossible to get a viable conservative contender for the presidency any longer.

Doomberg on March 21, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I agree. I think “the establishment” long ago, and not necessarily in any formal sense, determined that there would never ever ever be any sort of Reagan Aberration again. There won’t ever be a really conservative GOP presidential nominee again, which is one reason the GOP is moribund.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM

What happens when conservatives run for office aginst the RNC types and Republican RINO is seen right here on this thread.

The fight gets down and dirty fast.

If it were Democrat trolls talking their crap, it would not get like this as fast, in fact the trolls would be ingnored but,
talk about conservatives and how the RINO’s screw things up and it is full dust up and guns blazing time.

Why?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Indeed. The purity brigade kneecapped Perry over the HPV vaccine (even though he was clearly better than the alternatives), and end up lining up behind…Rick Santorum.

changer1701 on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

LOL– Who exactly is this “purity brigade?” I mean because I have been accused tons of being a trucon and at the time of the HPV thing going down, I was still undecided and didn’t kneecap anyone? I certainly didn’t get on the Santorum bandwagon particularly because I didn’t like a lot of his fiscal position especially his support of ‘compassionate conservatism’ in the Bush years. But I also don’t think he was the church lady boogie man that everyone makes him out to be either. So again where is this brigade you speak of?

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Meanwhile, the fact that socon silly is an automatic loser nationally also continues to be ignored. This is what you get, then. Losing.

Moesart on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Coming from someone who was convinced that Romney was going to win, that’s really really good. You’re going to give advice?

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM

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