I know, I know. It’s not going to happen. But you can’t throw traffic bait this sweet at me and not expect it to be posted. When I saw it, my eyes lit up like a hitter sitting on a 3-0 count with the bases loaded watching a lollypop curveball start to break.
Think of the storylines. Establishment vs. grassroots. Dynastic blue bloods vs. self-made middle-class populist. Third Bush nominee vs. first woman nominee. It would be the greatest blog story ever. It would also tear the party into thousands of pieces, but never mind that.
Greatest blog story ever.
Santorum’s contraception boom — “We’re all Catholics now,” said Mike Huckabee — won’t hold up. Because we’re not. This race could well go to a brokered convention. If Jeb Bush is proposed, so Sarah Palin should be minutes later. She is now and always has been the singular Jacksonian voice in the original Tea Party phenomenon; the only one who can bring it to the mainstream. Her absence from the primary race has left a vacuum and no substitute has been found. Every other possible or potential leadership hopeful has risen and receded in this long Republican primary season…
Perry won [the Texas gubernatorial race] in a landslide. But why would the Bush establishment pull out all the stops to support Hutchison, who was sure to lose? Because they saw a new conservative movement building with Perry and Palin and were determined early on to stamp it out. They still are.
Bush/Christie or Christie/ Bush as “establishment” representation is bound to bring muffled chuckles (“Hey Abbott!!!”) and Obama would win in a landslide. But Bush/Christie vs. Sarah Palin/Rick Perry positions coming head to head at the Republican Convention would pit the storied worlds of Dexter and Paulie Walnuts; the most notoriously corrupt, burned-out, busted-up, used-up, dangerous, underwater and broke Eastern states, against the new, independent, states-oriented, freedom-seeking constitutional conservatives like Palin of the Western states, Texas and Alaska. Now that would be interesting.
If the convention did deadlock on the first ballot and some establishment favorite emerged as the knight in shining armor — Daniels, Bush, Christie — would a populist favorite jump in as an alternative? If so, who? Remember, if we got to that point, the party would be in a white-knuckle panic that its nominee would be fatally weakened against Obama in the general. Electability, or perceived electability, would be prized then even more than it is now as a way to overcome the chaos of the convention and the fact that the nominee would be starting with little or no organization. That gives the establishment candidate a heavy advantage, especially if he can entice populist-minded delegates by naming a grassroots hero (like Rubio, say) as VP in advance. The only option I can see that might make it interesting is if the populist alternative somehow got Rand Paul to agree to be on the ticket with him/her. That would lock up Ron Paul’s delegates and would give the populist ticket an element of viability that might get Santorum’s and Gingrich’s delegates to take a second look. Can’t wait.