Posts tagged 2012
The GOP is a top-down, wait-your-turn, establishmentarian organization. Three of the last four Republican presidents—Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I—ran for president and lost before they ran for president and won; all three of them spent the intervening years either building the party from either inside (Bush) or outside Washington (Reagan, Nixon). The fourth Republican president—George W. Bush—had the same name as one of his predecessors and, as his son, had already spent considerable time in the White House. Even losing nominees (McCain, Dole) tend to be battle-tested, having served for decades in Washington and run for president before. This explains why 2008 presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney typically top the early lists of potential 2012 Republican presidential nominees. And it also explains why Huckabee and Romney are traveling around the country to fundraisers and handing out the money they’ve raised through their political action committees to Republican candidates in upcoming elections. They’re amassing political capital and gathering chits that could boost their own future bids. Like Huckabee and Romney, Sarah Palin is traveling around the country. But unlike her potential 2012 rivals, she’s not promoting other candidates; she’s promoting herself.
Romano, asking whether Sarah Palin is being too selfish.
Romano’s 2012 watch, Mitt Romney edition:
The problem with Romney’s current silence on Afghanistan is that it diminishes rather than enhances the “adult” image he clearly hopes to convey. Since Obama took office in January, Romney has focused most of his fire on foreign affairs, taking the president to task on Iran and Israel as well as Afghanistan (in part, one imagines, because health care isn’t a winner for him). He wants to seem Reaganesque, a brawny advocate for American exceptionalism. But you can’t hope to maintain that image by suddenly ducking out at “the defining [foreign-policy] moment of the Obama presidency.” It just looks wimpy.
I mean, I can guess what Romney is up to here. He’s angling, as most politicians do, for maximum maneuverability: the freedom as 2012 approaches to say (a) “I told you so” if we “win” in Afghanistan or (b) “You should’ve done X” if we don’t. But given that Romney was so critical of Obama for taking his time to plot a new course for the war-torn country, it’s rather ironic that he can’t bring himself to settle on something that seems vanishingly small in comparison: a response, positive or negative, to the president’s actual policy.

Romano’s 2012 watch, Mitt Romney edition:

The problem with Romney’s current silence on Afghanistan is that it diminishes rather than enhances the “adult” image he clearly hopes to convey. Since Obama took office in January, Romney has focused most of his fire on foreign affairs, taking the president to task on Iran and Israel as well as Afghanistan (in part, one imagines, because health care isn’t a winner for him). He wants to seem Reaganesque, a brawny advocate for American exceptionalism. But you can’t hope to maintain that image by suddenly ducking out at “the defining [foreign-policy] moment of the Obama presidency.” It just looks wimpy.

I mean, I can guess what Romney is up to here. He’s angling, as most politicians do, for maximum maneuverability: the freedom as 2012 approaches to say (a) “I told you so” if we “win” in Afghanistan or (b) “You should’ve done X” if we don’t. But given that Romney was so critical of Obama for taking his time to plot a new course for the war-torn country, it’s rather ironic that he can’t bring himself to settle on something that seems vanishingly small in comparison: a response, positive or negative, to the president’s actual policy.

Absurdly Premature 2012 Watch, Puerto Rico Edition

Because it’s never too early, Romano is already handicapping the GOP contenders for 2012. This weeks entry: Luis Fortuño, governor of Puerto Rico, whom Grover Norquist recently touted to us here at Nwk HQ. Here’s Romano:

The most important thing about Fortuño may be that Norquist & Co. are mentioning his name at all—at least for now. Do I think a Puerto Rican will win the 2012 Republican nomination? Not really. And neither, I’m guessing, does Norquist. A party whose base is animated in part by its opposition to illegal immigration is probably not going to “import” someone, as it were, for the biggest job in the land. But in the age of Obama, the GOP is suffering from a serious dearth of credible minority leaders—people who can speak with authority to an increasingly multiethnic electorate. And the shortfall is especially glaring in regard to Latinos, who are the country’s fastest-growing minority group (they represented 7.4 percent of the electorate in 2008, up from 6 percent in 2004 and 5.4 percent in 2000) but are trending heavily Democratic, despite their religious, family-first leanings (George W. Bush took 44 percent of the Latino vote in 2004 versus only 31 percent for John McCain in 2008).

This is where Fortuño comes in. For Republicans, using Fortuño to fuel the eternal flame of 2012 speculation serves to make the GOP seem, at least, like a more welcoming place for Latinos—however whimsical his chances of reaching the White House currently are.